Denise Fisher: Explainer: New Caledonia’s independence referendum, and how it could impact the region

A historic independence vote was held on 4 November in the French territory of New Caledonia, our closest neighbour to the east from Brisbane. The vote began the final stage of a negotiated process that ended a civil war in the 1980s and has ushered in 30 years of predictability, peace and economic growth on our doorstep. While representing a promise kept, it also revives deep-seated sensitivities and creates new uncertainties… Read more
Kanak sculptures on the island of New Caledonia

Book Review: Shock Therapy: Psychology, Precarity and Well-Being in Postsocialist Russia by Tomas Matza

Since Russia’s tumultuous transition from communism to capitalism in the early 1990s, the country has grappled with economic, political and cultural challenges, which have frequently been the focus of academic studies. Tomas Matza’s examination of psychotherapy in Russia offers a novel vantage point from which to understand the stories of individual Russians who have faced these challenges. The book’s… Read more
Cover for Shock Therapy by Tomas Matza

Roger Eatwell: Nativists, racists and other nasty people? Understanding who populists are and what they really want

In his September 2018 final State of the Union address, Jean-Claude Juncker warned of a growing ‘unhealthy nationalism’, ‘riddled with both poison and deceit’. In his sights were parties like the French National Rally (formerly National Front), the Italian League, the Alternative for Germany, the ‘Freedom Parties’ in Austria and the Netherlands, the Sweden Democrats, the Danish People’s Party,… Read more
Photograph of contemporary nationalist world leaders

David Dwan: Two Cheers for Inconsistency? : Orwell’s Doublethink

How concerned should we be about consistency? The answer if you were George Orwell would seem to be not very much. Orwell was, to use one of his own phrases, a “change-of-heart man.” So in the 1930s he held the view that fascism and capitalist democracy were flipsides of the same coin, but by 1940, he had dismissed such views as deeply irresponsible. He was on the side of pacifism in the late 1930s, but in the 1940s he felt… Read more
doublethink slogan from 1984

Musgrove and Michelle: Why children in institutional care may be worse off now than they were in the 19th century

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s national apology to the victims of child sexual abuse was a moment of reckoning for the government – an admission of the country’s failures to protect children from abuse in institutions ranging from churches and schools to orphanages and foster homes. We too often hear about child protection when there is a scandal or crisis. For young people who grow up in out-of-home care, however,… Read more
Indigenous Australian children living in poverty

Book Review: The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy by Mariana Mazzucato

Looking at the things around you, do you think they have some value? If the answer is yes, is it simply because they have a price in the market? If the answer is still yes, then The Value of Everything: Making and Taking in the Global Economy, authored by Mariana Mazzucato, is essential reading. ‘Value’ used to be a primary tenet in economics. It essentially originates from the cost of production and determines the… Read more
Cover of Value of Everything by Mazzucato

Marzouki and McDonnell: ‘Us’ and the ‘Other’: How populists continue to hijack religion

“I think Islam hates us. There’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s an unbelievable hatred of us”. So said presidential candidate Donald Trump in a March 2016 interview. “Us” and “Them”. Right-wing populists like Trump base their appeals on these antagonistic pillars. There is “the good people”. And, aligned against them, there are the corrupt elites and dangerous “others”. Who and… Read more
Definition of populism

Rachel Pells: No winners in universities as Brazil edges towards the right

It was destined to be a presidential election campaign of dramatic outcomes. Celebrating 30 years of democracy, Brazilians took to the polls this week in their millions. But set against a background of economic crisis, mass unemployment and political scandal – not to mention anger, which culminated in the frontrunner being stabbed – the results of the first round of voting left the Brazilian population more divided… Read more
Bolsonaro at the Brazil 2018 elections

Tony Ward: Equality: our secret weapon to fight corruption

“We look after our mates,” Australia’s new prime minister, Scott Morrison, has declared. He’s said it on several occasions, in fact. So it must be a value he thinks important. Meanwhile the man he defeated for the top job, Peter Dutton, has been embroiled in controversy over allegedly using his powers as immigration minister to do favours for “mates”. Where do we draw the line between looking after… Read more
Set of balanced scales

Book Review: Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles by Imaobong D. Umoren

‘Wakanda forever!’ If cultural commentators are correct, these words are prophetic: Black Panther heralds a seismic shift in the global cultural landscape. The film has brought new energy to long-sustained conversations about Pan-Africanism and left viewers wondering about the relationship of the African diaspora to the proverbial continental homeland. The phrase and hand gesture from the film have,… Read more
Cover of Race Women Internationalists by Umoren