In 1996 the pre-eminent political economist Susan Strange published her final book, The Retreat of the State. Strange had dedicated most of her career to studying the ability of the state to tame the power of international finance. The nexus between state and firm had empowered the United States for more than a century ...... (read more)
In October, the Australian research and academic community was angered by the revelation that the former Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, vetoed eleven Australian Research Council (ARC) grants that had been recommended for funding following a rigorous peer-review process ...... (read more)
Dark Victory opens with a coup: in a deep-etched narrative, joint – and seamless – authors David Marr and Marian Wilkinson make human beings out of the anonymous acronyms of John Howard’s border protection strategy. Explicitly rejecting the gulag language of numbers, of SUNCs in SIEVs (Suspected Unauthorised Non-Citizens in Suspected Illegal Entry Ves ...
David Rolph reviews 'Religious Freedom and the Australian Constitution: Origins and future' by Luke Beck
The role of religion in public life in Australia has become a prominent issue again as a consequence of the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey. Significant opposition to the passage of marriage equality in 2017 was due to the mobilisation of many faiths and denominations. The centrality of religion in the marriage equality debate is best demonstrated by the title of the legislation amending the ...
Over the past few years, no term has been more ubiquitous, among political scientists and political commentators alike, than ‘populism’. The 2016 Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, Donald Trump’s election later that year, and, more recently, the formation of a government mostly supported by two populist parties ...... (read more)
Max Holleran reviews 'Fortress America: How we embraced fear and abandoned democracy' by Elaine Tyler May
On a Saturday afternoon shortly before Christmas in 1984, Bernhard Goetz was riding the New York City subway. Goetz, who is white, was approached by four black screwdriver-wielding teenagers who asked him for five dollars. Goetz drew a 0.38 pistol from his jacket and shot each of the boys once, then turned to one of them ...... (read more)
Franklin Delano Roosevelt is consistently ranked alongside George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as one of the greatest presidents of the United States. His greatness rests on two pillars. Elected in the midst of the Great Depression, he permanently changed how Americans viewed government: as a force that would ...... (read more)
At present it is virtually impossible to make any confident prediction about the future of British politics, or indeed of the British state. The future lies in a fog where shadowy figures can be discerned but none is readily identifiable. Nothing should surprise us, but it now always does. This has been true since the 2015 ...... (read more)
In the lead-up to the 1999 republic referendum, historian John Hirst published a short guide to Australian democracy and law. ‘This is not a textbook,’ he wrote in the preface; rather, he intended it to be a ‘painless introduction’ to the system of government that had formed in this country under the British monarchy. He did not ...... (read more)
Rémy Davison reviews 'America Looks to Australia: The hidden role of Richard Casey in the creation of the Australia–America alliance, 1940–1942' by James Prior
Duumvirates frequently dominate politics, irrespective of whether they are partners or rivals: Napoleon and Talleyrand; Nixon and Kissinger; Mao and Deng. But few second bananas survive history’s vicissitudes. A dwindling portion of the Australian public might still recognise the names of Robert Menzies and John Curtin ...... (read more)