Shadow Minister for the Environment Peter Garrett was at UNSW this week to launch a controversial book co-authored by Sarah Maddison, from the School of Social Sciences and International Studies.

The book Silencing Dissent is an analysis of the Howard Government's approach to individuals and organizations critical of its policies.

Mr Garrett described the Howard Government as operating a "culture of tightening, constricting and denying", citing attacks on church leaders who criticized Australia's involvement in the Iraq war.

Mr Garrett, who is the local Federal member, claimed that the Government's approach to dissent had implications for academic freedom.

Sarah Maddison is the author of Activist Wisdom and has published many chapters and journal articles on subjects including democracy, feminism and indigenous issues. As an Australian political scientist she has been engaged in the study of Australian activism and dissent for close to a decade.

Silencing Dissent is available from Allen & Unwin.

For more information, go to the website.