A world expert on democracy, the University of Westminster's Professor John Keane, will deliver a public lecture at UNSW next week (Tuesday, 18 November).

The lecture - Monitory Democracy?: The Secret History of Democracy Since 1945 - proposes a fundamental revision of the way we think about democracy and media.

Described as one of the great intellectual exports from Australia, Professor Keane argues that the old world of representative democracy is being redefined by a range of power-monitoring and power-contesting mechanisms, such as integrity commissions, think tanks, summits, human rights groups and new media.

These mechanisms are creating a post-Westminster form of "monitory" democracy designed to prevent governments from doing whatever they please, just because they win an election, he says.

The lecture is organised by the Journalism and Media Research Centre (JMRC) within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The Centre's Associate Professor David McKnight says Professor Keane's work has never been more relevant.

"His lecture raises questions about the causes of this new historical form of democracy, its advantages and disadvantages, and why it has fundamental implications for how we think and practise democracy in the coming decades."

What: Free Public Lecture - Monitory Democracy?: The Secret History of Democracy Since 1945, delivered by Professor John Keane.When: Tuesday 18th November, 5pmWhere: Room 327, Webster Building (theatrette), Kensington Campus, UNSW

Contact: Steve Offner, UNSW Media Office | 9385 8107 or 0424 580 208 | s.offner@unsw.edu.au