History, politics & current affairs
Politics and Public Policy: Australia and the World
Australia has one of the world’s most educated populations. We have stable institutions, a strong economy and advanced technology. Yet we seem to face endless obstacles when it comes to solving our problems with good public policy. Is it the ideas, the culture or the political contest that get in the way?
And if we can’t solve problems – even those with broad agreement for solutions – how can we possibly create space for innovation?
In this conversation, we examine how public policy is shaped today and how the avenues to reform have changed in recent times. How do global political shifts impact on governance and public policy in Australia? What part do vested interests, changes in the media landscape and declining rates of political participation play?
Join host Sally Warhaft and two speakers who are uniquely qualified to tackle these questions: Geoff Gallop, former premier of Western Australia and Peter Hartcher, political editor and international editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.
Sally Warhaft, Geoff Gallop and Peter Hartcher
The Fifth Estate
The Collapse of American Power in the Middle East
The Syrian War is the most deadly conflict we’ve seen in the 21st Century so far.
And with 12 million Syrians displaced since 2011 and world powers intervening on all sides – it’s far from a regional problem. The Syrian War is a crisis with ramifications that reach across the globe.
Now in its seventh year, the conflict that began…
The Fifth Estate
Hindu Nationalism in India
In 2014, Narendra Modi swept into power as Prime Minister of India; he did so on a pro-business, pro-development platform and on a wave of Hindu nationalism.
It was a spectacular victory and, if the decisive recent state election results for his party in Uttar Pradesh are any indication, he remains a popular figure with many Indians – around 80%…
The Fifth Estate
Immigration has long been among the most contentious, and highly politicised, areas of Australian public policy. The past 20 years have seen a drastic increase in Australia's intake of migrants, as well as an increasingly punitive approach to managing asylum seeker arrivals; an approach that has attracted censure from human rights groups.
Does the recent outcome of the class action…
Gulf States: Maher Mughrabi and Jasim Husain
Maher Mughrabi and Jasim Husain
Within days of Donald Trump’s May 2017 visit to Saudi Arabia, his first overseas trip since becoming President, a major diplomatic feud had erupted between the monarchies of the Persian Gulf.
The dispute saw several gulf states (including Bahrain and United Arab Emirates) backing up Saudi Arabia, with the support of Egypt, to form a bloc severing diplomatic, trade and travel ties with regional rival, Qatar. Tensions between small but ambitious Qatar and its neighbours had been simmering for some time.
At the heart of this issue are some crucial differences between the gulf monarchies on matters of global economic integration, press freedom, relations with America and Iran, malleable definitions of terrorism and pressure from citizens for increased political representation.
Maher Mughrabi and Jasim Husain discuss what the crisis says about the region in 2017 more broadly. How will the downturn in fossil fuel prices affect the political stability of gulf states? How are different regimes in the region responding to opposition groups? And what can we expect in terms of interventions (or lack thereof) from the Trump administration? Listen to this discussion about shifting alliances and regional rivalries in the Persian Gulf.
The Longform Society: Meeting #2: The Argonauts
For our second meeting of the Longform Society, we look at Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts, an exhilarating, genre-defying work of feminism, queer theory and memoir. Strikingly original and immediately beloved, Nelson’s unique writing effortlessly moves between compelling literary criticism and memoir. Using selected extracts, Quinn Eades, Hannah McCann, Onyx Carmine (S.J. Norman) and Sophie Cunningham discuss Nelson's philosophical questions of queer family-making, art, literary history, sexual politics and more.
Sophie Cunningham, Onyx Carmine, Hannah McCann and Quinn Eades
Watch the video below.
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Anything and everything in History, politics & current affairs from across our archives.
Arsenic & Young Jane
A Jane Austen scholar believes it highly likely that Jane Austen died of arsenic poisoning. Although she won’t rule out the possibility that Austen was murdered, Lindsay Ashford believes Austen is most likely to have been prescribed medecine in which arsenic was an ingredient. The Guardian reports that tests on a lock of Austen’s hair currently owned by private collectors has found an unusually…
Prime Prime Ministerial Reading Material
We’ve previously covered US President Barack Obama’s reading habits. Now Melbourne’s Grattan Institute has released a suggested summer reading guide for the Prime Minister. The thinktank has suggested Julia Gillard read books it believes “say something interesting about Australia and its future”. The books are Judith Brett’s Quarterly Essay, ‘Fair Share’; Jan Gehl’s Cities for People; Michael Wesley’s There Goes the Neighbourhood…
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