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Politics
Joh for Canberra: The Inside Story of an Extraordinary Political Drama

Joh for Canberra: The Inside Story of an Extraordinary Political Drama

Paul Davey

$29.99

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Unfolding like a political thriller, Joh for PM reveals for the first time the details of the campaign that rocked Australian politics.

In 1987 the Queensland Premier, Joh Bjelke-Petersen, launched an audacious bid to break the federal Opposition Coalition, replace Ian Sinclair as National Party leader, and become Prime Minister himself. Trench warfare waged between the Sinclair and Joh forces during one of the most bizarre and divisive periods in Australian politics.

In Joh for PM National Party insider Paul Davey reveals what went on behind closed doors in top-level internal meetings and the strategies aimed at thwarting the Joh campaign and reuniting the party at state and federal levels.
The Extreme Centre: A Warning

The Extreme Centre: A Warning

Tariq Ali

$19.99

What can we do in the twilight of democracy? What is the point of elections when the result is always the same? A victory for the Extreme Centre. Since 1989, politics has been replaced by a contest between who can best serve the needs of the market, fringed by unstable populist movements. The same catastrophe can be seen in the US, Britain, Europe and Australia. In this urgent and wide ranging case for the prosecution, Tariq Ali looks at the people and the events that have informed this moment of political suicide: corruption in Westminster; the failures of the EU and NATO, meanwhile the soft power of the American Empire continues to dominate the world stage uncontested. Despite this inertia, Ali also goes in search for alternative futures: the Bolivarian revolutions in Latin America, as well as signs of change at the edges of Europe. Emerging parties in Scotland, Greece and Spain, formed out of the 2008 crisis, are offering new hopes for democracy.
The Edge: Is the Military Dominance of the West Coming to an End?

The Edge: Is the Military Dominance of the West Coming to an End?

Mark Urban

$29.99

The size of western armed forces, their stocks of weaponry and their readiness for combat are declining. Meanwhile, growing nationalism is hampering international cooperation and fuelling conflict everywhere. The west's will - as well as its capability - to shape the world is ebbing away. Beset by economic woes, western countries are continuing the post-Cold War process of disarmament at the very moment that many believe a new Cold War is starting. NATO members have compared Vladimir Putin's foreign policy to that of Adolf Hitler, newly empowered groups such as ISIS, not to mention some governments, are tearing up the rulebook of acceptable international behaviour, and the military prowess that the western world once regarded as its prerogative is being dwarfed by countries like India and China. Tightly argued by Newsnight's diplomatic and defence editor Mark Urban, The Edge is a sharp polemic that breaks new ground in examining the workings and consequences of these geo-political tectonics, and shows just how rapidly the balance of power has been upended.
The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age

The Myth of the Strong Leader: Political Leadership in the Modern Age

Archie Brown

$24.99

In this magisterial and wide-ranging survey of political leadership over the past hundred years, Archie Brown challenges the widespread belief that strong leaders - those who dominate their colleagues and the policy-making process - are the most successful and admirable. Within authoritarian regimes, a more collective leadership is a lesser evil compared with personal dictatorship where cultivation of the myth of the strong leader is often a prelude to oppression and carnage. Within democracies, although 'strong leaders' are seldom as strong or independent as they purport to be, the idea that one person is entitled to take the big decisions is dangerous nonetheless, and the advantages of a collegial style of leadership are too often overlooked. In reality, only a minority of political leaders make a big difference, by challenging assumptions about the politically possible or setting in motion systemic change. Yet in a democracy that is rare. It is especially when enlightened leaders acquire power in an authoritarian system that the opportunity for radical transformation occurs. Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson, Willy Brandt and Mikhail Gorbachev, Deng Xiaoping and Nelson Mandela, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair are among the leaders whom Brown examines in this original and illuminating study.
The End of Representative Politics

The End of Representative Politics

Simon Tormey

$35.95

Representative politics is in crisis. Trust in politicians is at an all-time low. Fewer people are voting or joining political parties, and our interest in parliamentary politics is declining fast. Even oppositional and radical parties that should be benefitting from public disenchantment with politics are suffering. But different forms of political activity are emerging to replace representative politics: instant politics, direct action, insurgent politics. We are leaving behind traditional representation, and moving towards a politics without representatives. In this provocative new book, Simon Tormey explores the changes that are underway, drawing on a rich range of examples from the Arab Spring to the Indignados uprising in Spain, street protests in Brazil and Turkey to the emergence of new initiatives such as Anonymous and Occupy. Tormey argues that the easy assumptions that informed our thinking about the nature and role of parties, and 'party based democracy' have to be rethought. We are entering a period of fast politics, evanescent politics, a politics of the street, of the squares, of micro-parties, pop-up parties, and demonstrations. This may well be the end of representative politics as we know it, but an exciting new era of political engagement is just beginning.
           
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