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The Future of Democracy with Masha Gessen and John Lyons


With a US election looming and four billion people heading to the polls in 2024, journalists Masha Gessen, John Lyons and Louisa Lim discuss the threats and challenges to democracy around the world.

About the Event

Journalist Masha Gessen is one of the world’s leading experts on authoritarianism. John Lyons is the Walkley Award-winning Global Affairs Editor of the ABC, and has been a foreign correspondent in Washington, New York, the Philippines and the Middle East. Together with host Louisa Lim, these expert journalists will explore imperialism, corruption, autocracy and other global challenges to modern democracy.

With more than half of the world’s population able to vote in elections this year – including the pivotal upcoming US election – there has never been a more urgent time to confront the future of democracy.


Presented in partnership with Fed Square.

Masha Gessen’s visit to Australia is made possible by the support of Bill Manos and the Manos Foundation. Masha Gessen is presented in Melbourne by The Wheeler Centre and in Sydney by Festival of Dangerous Ideas.


Full $39
Concession $30

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Accessible toilets available

Assistive Listening

Auslan interpreting available by request

Companion tickets available

Registered Assistance Animals welcome

Wheelchair accessible

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About the Bookseller

The bookseller for this event is Paperback Bookshop.


Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen is an opinion columnist for The New York Times and a Distinguished Professor at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York. They have written extensively on The Russian-Ukrainian war, Israel/Palestine, Vladimir Putin, and Donald Trump. They have ... Read more

John Lyons

John Lyons is one of Australia’s most experienced journalists and the Global Affairs Editor of the ABC. Previously he was Head of Investigative Journalism at the ABC, responsible for Four Corners, 7.30, Foreign Correspondent, Insiders, Australian Story, Q&A and the Investigative Reporti... Read more

Louisa Lim

Louisa Lim is the author of Indelible City: Dispossession and Defiance in Hong Kong, which has just been published in the US. It’s been described by the New York Times as a “vivid, loving book”. Her first book The People’s Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited (2014), was s... Read more


The Edge, Fed Square

The Atrium Flinders Street Federation Square Melbourne Victoria 3000

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