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Fragile Democracy

26 May 2024
12.30pm – 1.30pm AEST
Carriageworks Bay 20, The ARA Stage
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Nick Bryant, Barrie Cassidy, Rosalind Dixon, Bruce Wolpe

Allocation Exhausted

Nick Bryant | Barrie Cassidy | Rosalind Dixon | Bruce Wolpe

Australia has been a close ally of the United States since 1940, but what does this mean for contemporary politics when democracy is more fragile than ever?

Chaired by Festival favourite Barrie Cassidy, one of Australia’s most experienced political correspondents and analysts, this expert panel features former BBC foreign correspondent Nick Bryant (The Forever War: America’s Unending Conflict With Itself), UNSW Sydney Professor of Law and constitutional democracy specialist Rosalind Dixon and Senior Fellow of the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre Bruce Wolpe (Trump’s Australia: How Trumpism changed Australia and the shocking consequences for us of a second term).

Unpack the far-reaching ramifications of this relationship across trade, security, foreign policy and beyond.

This event is presented by the Sydney Writers' Festival and supported by UNSW Sydney. 


UNSW Sydney is the exclusive university sponsor and proud Premier Partner of the Sydney Writers’ Festival. Featuring UNSW academics and researchers on Sydney Writers’ Festival stages, and events at the UNSW Kensington Campus, this partnership brings together a shared vision of creativity, curiosity and thought leadership. 


Ticket Prices*
Adult – $40 
Concession – $35
Wheelchair User – $35

*plus booking fees

Venue Information
This event will take place live at Carriageworks. For all venue and visitor safety information, please visit Sydney Writers' Festival.


Wheelchair Access
All Festival venues are accessible, and provide wheelchair and level access. To book accessible seats at Carriageworks, please contact the Sydney Writers' Festival Box Office on 02 9256 4200 or email

Accessible Parking
Accessible parking is available at Carriageworks. Please call 02 8571 9099 for more information.


Carriageworks is located at 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh. This is a 10 minute walk from Redfern Station, City Road bus stops and Macdonaldtown Station. Catching public transport is strongly recommended as residential parking in the area is strictly limited, and the Sydney Writers' Festival offers shuttle bus services from Redfern Station at selected times. For more information on transport, visit or visit,



Sydney Writers' Festival
For all event enquiries, contact the Sydney Writers' Festival on 02 9256 4200 or email

UNSW Centre for Ideas
For all other enquiries, contact the UNSW Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email

National Relay Service
The UNSW Centre for Ideas and Sydney Writers' Festival are happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for the applicable organisations phone number (listed above). Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for applicable organisations phone number (listed above). Internet relay users, visit, then ask for applicable organisations phone number (listed above). 

Photo of Rosalind Dixon

Rosalind Dixon

Rosalind Dixon is a Professor of Law and Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law at UNSW Sydney. She is a graduate of UNSW and Harvard, and has taught at law schools around the world – including Harvard, Columbia, University of Chicago and National University Singapore, and is the author of a new book, with Richard Holden, From Free to Fair Markets: Liberalism after COVID out later this year. She is passionate about law and politics, and currently Director of the Pathways to Politics for Women Program at NSW. 

Barrie Cassidy

Barrie Cassidy

Barrie Cassidy is one of Australia's most experienced political correspondents and analysts. He was the creator of Insiders on the ABC, a program he hosted for 18 years.

Nick Bryant

Nick Bryant

During a distinguished career with the BBC, much of which was spent covering US presidential politics, Nick Bryant came to be regarded as one of its finest foreign correspondents. He has written for The Economist, The Washington Post and The Atlantic, and is now a regular columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. He is also a regular contributor on the ABC. He is a history graduate from Cambridge University, who holds a doctorate in US politics from Oxford University.

Bruce Wolpe

Bruce Wolpe

Bruce Wolpe is a Senior Fellow (non-resident) at the United States Studies Centre. Bruce is a regular contributor on US politics across media platforms in Australia. In recent years, Bruce has worked with the Democrats in Congress during President Barack Obama's first term and on the staff of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. He has also served as the former Prime Minister's Chief of Staff. He is author of Trump’s Australia.