UC Centenary Professor awarded Australian Laureate Fellowship

22 August 2014: A University of Canberra researcher, world-renowned for his work on deliberative democracy, has been awarded the highly prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship today.

Centenary Professor John Dryzek from the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra's Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA), was one of 16 outstanding researchers recognised by the Australian Research Council at a ceremony in Adelaide.

The Australian Laureate Fellowships are highly competitive awards, designed to develop and retain world-class researchers who through leadership and mentoring will build Australia's international competitive research capacity.

Professor Dryzek's work on deliberative democracy highlights the critical importance of effective, inclusive and transformative communication in decision-making, not only among those who make the decisions but between them and the public in order to solve global problems more effectively.

The UK-born political theorist, who joined the University of Canberra in January, said he was delighted to receive this accolade, the first for the University.

"It is an incredible honour to be recognised as a Laureate Fellow," Professor Dryzek said from Harvard, where he is spending a semester as a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government's Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

"This acknowledgement will boost our contribution to the building of deliberative capacity, not only in political theory but more importantly in applied practice, informing Australian positions in global negotiations or how Australian public policy responds to environmental governance."

The fellowship, which includes funding of more than $2.6 million over the next five years, will allow Professor Dryzek and his team of postdoctoral fellows and PhD students take on three of the biggest challenges facing today's world.

"We will investigate and contribute to the discussion on how to promote global justice, how to navigate a potentially chaotic Earth system, and how to involve people from different cultures in productive democratic communication and therefore, effective joint problem-solving," he said.

University of Canberra Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Frances Shannon congratulated Professor Dryzek on his achievement.

"This well-deserved recognition to one of our brightest minds is a testament of the quality of the academics that we have attracted to work at the University of Canberra," Professor Shannon said.

"Professor Dryzek is not only making an outstanding contribution to his field, he is renowned for his dedication to mentoring the next generation of political thinkers and researchers in this area," she said. "We look forward to seeing this opportunity translate into a rich, dynamic research environment on global governance and democratic practices at the University."

  • Professor Shannon is available for phone interviews
  • Photos of Professor Dryzek are available on request

About Professor John Dryzek

John Dryzek is a Centenary Professor in the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra's Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis (IGPA). Before joining the University of Canberra, he was Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Australian Research Council Federation Fellow at the Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, former Head of the Departments of Political Science at the Universities of Oregon and Melbourne and of the Social and Political Theory program at ANU, and former editor of the Australian Journal of Political Science.

Working in both political theory and empirical social science, he is best known for his contributions in the areas of democratic theory and practice and environmental politics. One of the instigators of the 'deliberative turn' in democratic theory, he has published five books in this area. His widely-published work in environmental politics ranges from green political philosophy to studies of environmental discourses and movements to global climate governance.

Professor Dryzek has also worked on comparative studies of democratization, post-positivist public policy analysis, and the history and philosophy of social science. His current research emphasizes global justice, governance in the Anthropocene (a new era of instability in the Earth system), and cultural variety in deliberative practice.
 
Contact the University of Canberra media team:
Claudia Doman: 0408 826 362