A forensic look at the Lucky Country, from the inside and outside. Never before has Australia enjoyed such economic, commercial, diplomatic and cultural clout. Its recession-proof economy is the envy of the world. It's the planet's great lifestyle superpower. Its artistic exports win unprecedented acclaim. But never before has its politics been so brutal, narrow and facile, as well as being such a global laughing stock.
A positive national story is at odds with a deeply unattractive Canberra story. The country should be enjoying The Australian Moment, so vividly described by the best-selling author George Megalogenis. But that description may turn out to be inadvertently precise. It could end up being just that: a fleeting moment. At present the country seems to be in speedy regression, with the nation's leaders, on both sides, mired in relatively small problems, such as the arrival of boat people, rather than mapping out a larger and more inspiring national future.
In The Rise and Fall of Australia, BBC correspondent and author Nick Bryant offers an outsider's take on the great paradox of modern-day Australian life: of how the country has got richer at a time when its politics have become more impoverished. In this thoroughly entertaining and thought-provoking book, dealing with politics, racism, sexism, the country's place in the region and the world, culture and sport, the author argues that Australia needs to discard the out-dated language used to describe itself, to push back against Lucky Country thinking, to celebrate how the cultural creep has replaced the cultural cringe and to stop negatively typecasting itself.
Rejecting most of the national stereotypes, Nick Bryant sets out to describe the new Australia rather than the mythic country so often misunderstood not just by foreigners but Australians themselves.
For more than a century, the United States has been the world's economic powerhouse. Now analysts predict that China will soon take its place. Are we now living in a post-American world? Will China's rapid rise spark a new Cold War between the two titans? In this compelling essay, world renowned foreign policy analyst, Joseph Nye, explains why the American century is far from over and what the US must do to retain its lead in an era of increasingly diffuse power politics. America's superpower status may well be tempered by its own domestic problems and China's economic boom, he argues, but its military, economic and soft power capabilities will continue to outstrip those of its closest rivals for decades to come.
A Washington Post bestseller While the world has made encouraging strides in the fight against global poverty, there is a hidden crisis silently undermining our best efforts to help the poor. It is a plague of everyday violence.
Beneath the surface of the world's poorest communities, common violence - like rape, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, police abuse and other brutality - has become routine and relentless. And like a horde of locusts devouring everything in their path, the unchecked plague of violence ruins lives, blocks the road out of poverty, and undercuts development. How has this plague of violence grown so ferocious? The answer is terrifying, and startlingly simple: There's nothing shielding the poor from violent people.
In one of the most remarkable - and unremarked upon - social disasters of the last half century, basic public justice systems in the developing world have descended into a state of utter collapse. Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros offer a searing account of how we got here - and what it will take to end the plague.
Filled with vivid real-life stories and startling new data, The Locust Effect is a gripping journey into the streets and slums where fear is a daily reality for billions of the world's poorest ,where safety is secured only for those with money, and where much of our well-intended aid is lost in the daily chaos of violence.
While their call to action is urgent, Haugen and Boutros provide hope, a real solution and an ambitious way forward. The Locust Effect is a wake-up call: Its massive implications will forever change the way we understand global poverty - and will help secure a safe path to prosperity for the global poor in the 21st century.
Scholars normally emphasize the contrast between the two great eighteenth-century thinkers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith. Rousseau is seen as a critic of modernity, Smith as an apologist. Istvan Hont, however, finds significant commonalities in their work, arguing that both were theorists of commercial society and from surprisingly similar perspectives.
In making his case, Hont begins with the concept of commercial society and explains why that concept has much in common with what the German philosopher Immanuel Kant called unsocial sociability. This is why many earlier scholars used to refer to an Adam Smith Problem and, in a somewhat different way, to a Jean-Jacques Rousseau Problem. The two problems and the questions about the relationship between individualism and altruism that they raised were, in fact, more similar than has usually been thought because both arose from the more fundamental problems generated by thinking about morality and politics in a commercial society. Commerce entails reciprocity, but a commercial society also entails involuntary social interdependence, relentless economic competition, and intermittent interstate rivalry. This was the world to which Rousseau and Smith belonged, and Politics in Commercial Society is an account of how they thought about it.
Building his argument on the similarity between Smith s and Rousseau s theoretical concerns, Hont shows the relevance of commercial society to modern politics the politics of the nation-state, global commerce, international competition, social inequality, and democratic accountability.
'I was prime minister for three years and three days. Three years and three days of resilience. Three years and three days of changing the nation. Three years and three days for you to judge.'
On Wednesday 23 June 2010, with the government in turmoil, Julia Gillard asked Prime Minister Kevin Rudd for a leadership ballot. The next day, Julia Gillard became Australia's 27th prime minister, and our first female leader. Australia was alive to the historic possibilities. Here was a new approach for a new time. It was to last three extraordinary years.
This is Julia Gillard's chronicle of that turbulent time, a strikingly candid self-portrait of a political leader seeking to realise her ideals. It is her story of what it was like - in the face of government in-fighting and often hostile media - to manage a hung parliament, build a diverse and robust economy, create an equitable and world-class education system, ensure a dignified future for Australians with disabilities, all while attending to our international obligations and building strategic alliances for our future.
This is a politician driven by a sense of purpose - from campus days with the Australian Union of Students, to a career in the law, to her often gritty, occasionally glittering rise up the ranks of the Australian Labor Party. Refreshingly honest, peppered with a wry humour and personal insights, Julia Gillard does not shy away from her mistakes, admitting freely to errors, misjudgements, and policy failures as well as detailing her political successes. In the immediate aftermath of the leadership, here is her account, of what was hidden behind the resilience and dignified courage Gillard showed as prime minister, her view of the vicious hate campaigns directed against her, and a reflection on what it means - and what it takes - to be a woman leader in contemporary politics.
With new material and fresh insights, Julia Gillard reveals what life was really like as Australia's first female prime minister.
In his On the Glory of Athens, Plutarch complained that the Athenian people spent more on the production of dramatic festivals and the misfortunes of Medeas and Electras than they did on maintaining their empire and fighting for their liberty against the Persians. This view of the Athenians' misplaced priorities became orthodoxy with the publication of August Bockh's 1817 book Die Staatshaushaltung der Athener, which criticized the classical Athenian demos for spending more on festivals than on wars and for levying unjust taxes to pay for their bloated government. But were the Athenians' priorities really as misplaced as ancient and modern historians believed?
Drawing on lines of evidence not available in Bockh's time, Public Spending and Democracy in Classical Athens calculates the real costs of religion, politics, and war to settle the long-standing debate about what the ancient Athenians valued most highly. David M. Pritchard explains that, in Athenian democracy, voters had full control over public spending. When they voted for a bill, they always knew its cost and how much they normally spent on such bills. Therefore, the sums they chose to spend on festivals, politics, and the armed forces reflected the order of the priorities that they had set for their state. By calculating these sums, Pritchard convincingly demonstrates that it was not religion or politics but war that was the overriding priority of the Athenian people.
Traditional methods of diplomacy are fast becoming antiquated. Secrecy, pomp and elitism may have dictated diplomatic strategy of the Cold War era, but in a digitised twenty-first century, inclusivity and transparency are values of increasing importance. Access to information is being democratised for a global citizenry, and nowadays everyone is a potential diplomat. From the handover of Hong Kong to recent high-profile political scandal, former diplomat Kerry Brown explores the chequered relationship between the UK and China, offering fresh insights into the fraught and ever-changing dynamic between these two countries. What's Wrong with Diplomacy? is a call to arms and a probing indictment of diplomacy's failure to adapt to a changing world.
Today we associate liberal politics with secularism. However, the role of religion in American politics has always been more complex than that: America has never had a president, democrat or republican, who has not openly stated that they are a Christian, for a start! The Religion of Democracy is a lively narrative of quintessentially American ideas as they were forged, debated and remade across history. Kittlestrom shows that the principles of liberty and equality did not emerge in opposition to religion but were actually forged by religion.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the single most important piece of legislation passed by Congress in American history. This one law so dramatically altered American society that, looking back, it seems preordained--as Everett Dirksen, the GOP leader in the Senate and a key supporter of the bill, said, No force is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. But there was nothing predestined about the victory: a phalanx of powerful senators, pledging to fight to the death for segregation, launched the longest filibuster in American history to defeat it. The bill's passage has often been credited to the political leadership of President Lyndon B. Johnson, or the moral force of Martin Luther King Jr. Yet as Clay Risen shows, the battle for the Civil Rights Act was a story much bigger than those two men. It was a broad, epic struggle, a sweeping tale of unceasing grassroots activism, ringing speeches, backroom deal-making, and, finally, hand-to-hand legislative combat. In The Bill of the Century, Clay Risen delivers the full story, in all its complexity and drama.
John F. Kennedy remains central to both the American and the global imagination. Featuring essays by leading literary critics, historians, and film scholars, The Cambridge Companion to John F. Kennedy addresses such topics as Kennedy's youth in Boston and his time at Harvard, his foreign policy and his role in reshaping the US welfare state, his relationship to the civil rights and conservative movements, and the ongoing reverberations of his life and death in literature and film. Going beyond historical or biographical studies, these chapters explore the creation and afterlife of an icon, a figure who still embodies - and sparks debate about - what it means to be American.
We know that communism is the right hypothesis. All those who abandon this hypothesis immediately resign themselves to the market economy, to parliamentary democracy - the form of state suited to capitalism - and to the inevitable and 'natural' character of the most monstrous inequalities. Alain Badiou's formulation of the communist hypothesis has travelled around the world since it was first aired in early 2008, in his book, The Meaning of Sarkozy . The hypothesis is partly a demand to reconceptualize communism after the twin deaths of the Soviet Union and neoliberalism, but also a fresh demand for universal emancipation. As third way reforms prove as empty in practice as in theory, Badiou's manifesto is a galvanizing call to arms that needs to be reckoned with by anyone concerned with the future of our planet.
In a well-known text called 'The Communist Hypothesis', first published in 2007, the renowned philosopher Alain Badiou breathed fresh life into the idea of communism as an intellectual representation that provides a critical perspective on existing politics and offers a systemic alternative to capitalism. Now, in the course of this wide-ranging conversation with Peter Engelmann, Alain Badiou explains why he continues to value the idea of communism against the background of current social crises and despite negative historical experiences. From the anticipation of a communism without a state to the problem of the concept of democracy and an analysis of capitalism as a system, the two thinkers discuss the key political issues of our time. Whilst explaining his political philosophy, Badiou also reflects on current socio-political developments such as the turmoil in the Middle East and the situation in China. This compelling dialogue is both a highly topical contribution to the question of how we might organize our societies differently and an accessible introduction to Badiou's philosophical thinking.