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Politics

Democracy and Its Crisis

Democracy and Its Crisis

A. C. Grayling

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Prompted by the EU referendum in the UK and the presidential election in the USA, A. C. Grayling investigates why the institutions of representative democracy seem unable to hold up against forces they were designed to manage, and why, crucially, it matters.

First he considers moments in history - Periclean Athens, the English Civil War, the American and French Revolutions, among them - in which the challenges we face today were first encountered and what solutions, however imperfect, were found. Then he lays bare the specific problems of democracy in the twenty-first century and maps out a set of urgently needed reforms.    

With the advent of authoritarian leaders and the simultaneous rise of populism, representative democracy appears to be caught between a rock and a hard place, yet it is this space that it must occupy, says Grayling, if a civilised society, that looks after all its people, is to flourish.

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Democracy and its Crisis by A. C. Grayling
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Please Explain: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Pauline Hanson

Please Explain: The Rise, Fall and Rise Again of Pauline Hanson

Anna Broinowski

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"I told her I did not agree with the vast majority of her views, and she trusted me enough to share intimate details from her roller-coaster career." Anna Broinowski

In 1996, Pauline Hanson gave a speech that changed Australia. Attacking Asian and Indigenous people and foreign aid, Hanson unleashed a Pandora's box of violence and division on the progressive country Prime Minister Keating had positioned as 'part of Asia'.

After her famous defeat in 1998, her political downfall seemed assured - but she stayed firmly in the spotlight, whether she was being locked up for electoral fraud or jiving on Dancing with the Stars.

Now, after almost two decades in the political wilderness, Hanson is back and more powerful than ever.

Before One Nation's astonishingly successful return to Australian politics in 2016, multi-award-winning filmmaker Anna Broinowski had complete access to Hanson and her 'Fed Up' election campaign. Broinowski followed Hanson as she flew from Rockhampton to Sydney to Great Keppel Island and beyond in her Jabiru two-seater. The crazies, the madness, the division and the hatred Hanson attracts and inflames were all on show - sometimes funny, sometimes frightening, and often surreal.

At the time, no one was taking Pauline Hanson and One Nation's political chances seriously, but Broinowski quickly realised that there was a movement forming behind her. Pauline Hanson's explosive political journey mirrors Australia's own- from left-leaning multiculturalism, to the divided landscape we live in now. And, alongside the shocks of Brexit and Trump's presidency, Hanson's resurrection reflects a broader global trend towards outrageous far-right outsiders.

Please Explain is a compelling, intimate look at the woman.

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Crossing the Lines by Sulari Gentill
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The Pivot of Power: Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership, 1949-2016

The Pivot of Power: Australian Prime Ministers and Political Leadership, 1949-2016

Paul Strangio

$49.99
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The prime ministership remains the main prize in Australian politics, but it is a precarious one. Leadership turnover in recent years has seen more prime ministers rise and fall than at any time since the decade after federation. What explains this volatility?

The Pivot of Power is the second volume in a unique blend of collective biography and institutional history that shows the skills, limitations and passions of incumbents are only part of the story. The ways in which prime ministers thrive and fail are influenced by the resources at their command, the evolving nature of the parties they lead, the daunting public expectations they face under a relentless media gaze, and the challenges that history throws at them.

Recent changes in these areas have had a destabilising effect and made the role of prime minister more onerous than ever.After decades of strong national leadership, the office has rarely seemed quite so confounding as it does for its contemporary holders.

The Pivot of Power explains how this has come about. And its rich account of prime-ministerial fortune since the mid-twentieth century yields historical lessons for overcoming the current malaise.
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Abbott's Right: The conservative tradition from Menzies to Abbott

Abbott's Right: The conservative tradition from Menzies to Abbott

Damien Freeman

$27.99
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Tony Abbott may have been a Rhodes Scholar, but some commentators are convinced that he offered nothing more than three-word slogans.

Abbott's Right challenges this perception, and presents Abbott as someone who rejoices in the political battle of ideas. It looks at how the contemporary conservative voice that Abbott champions was fashioned by Sir Robert Menzies, Malcolm Fraser and John Howard, and reflects on what it means to be conservative in modern Australia.

It argues that the Liberal Party should return to its conservative roots as a centre-right party and signals how, as such, it might address the public policy challenges in the years ahead. Tony Abbott responds to Freeman's analysis in an afterword, and sets it in the context of the questions that Donald Trump's ascendancy poses for conservatives and Labor alike.
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Total Propaganda: Basic Marxist Brainwashing for the Angry and the Young

Total Propaganda: Basic Marxist Brainwashing for the Angry and the Young

Helen Razer

$27.99
Millennials have it bad. In 2017, they face the problems of underemployment, unaffordable housing and economists who write crap columns telling them that it's their fault for taking an Uber to brunch.Today, the future's so dark, we need night vision goggles, not a few liberal guys shining a torch on a sandwich. Maybe today, we could use the light of Karl Marx.Marx may not have had much to say about brunch in the twenty-first century, but he sure had some powerful thoughts about where the system of capitalism would land us. Over time, it would produce a series of crises, he said, before pushing the wealth so decisively up, a top-heavy system would come crashing down with a push.Pushy old communist Helen Razer offers an introduction to the thought of Marx for Millennials, and anyone else tired of wage stagnation, growing global poverty and economists writing desperate columns saying everything would work better, if only we stopped eating sandwiches. Brunchers of the world must unite! They have nothing to lose but a life lived for the wealth of a few. Both for themselves and their comrades in the Global South, they have a world to win.
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How to Resist: Turn Protest to Power

How to Resist: Turn Protest to Power

Matthew Bolton

$17.99
An empowering and practical set of seven principles to effect actual change for the better in the world around us.

It's easy to feel dispirited by the world around us. We need change but as one person alone, it can all seem far too daunting. What can one person alone achieve? Where to begin?

How to Resist reminds us that all great social change movements in history have been organised by ordinary people coming together, being brave and changing the course of history. Whoever and wherever we are, if we want to effect change, the first step is to look at ourselves. We need to think about what we care about, what motivates us and how we want to be remembered. We need to do more than react against others: we need to look forwards.

With illuminating stories and clear procedures, change seems genuinely achievable. Matthew Bolton, who created and led the successful campaign in Britain that led to millions of people in the UK being given the Living Wage, calmly and clearly shows us how together, we can effect positive change in the world around us.
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Conservatism: Ideas in Profile

Conservatism: Ideas in Profile

Roger Scruton

$22.99
Roger Scruton looks at the central ideas of conservatism over the centuries. He examines conservative thinking on civil society, the rule of law and the role of the state on the one hand; and freedom (including freedom of expression and association), morality, equality, property and rights on the other. He traces the origins and development of the conservative ideology in the philosophies and thoughts of, among others, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, John Ruskin, Michael Oakeshott, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman and Robert Nozick. He shows how conservative ideas have worked out in the politics and policies of leading figures people such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Disraeli, the Earl of Salisbury, Calvin Coolidge, Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. He also looks closely at the degree to which capitalism and free markets have been and are integral to conservative ideology and politics in the UK and in the USA. Professor Scruton's clear, incisive guide is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the politics and policies of the west now and over the last three centuries.
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The Improbable War: China, the United States and the Logic of Great Power Conflict

The Improbable War: China, the United States and the Logic of Great Power Conflict

Christopher Coker

$28.95
The Improbable War explains why conflict between the USA and China cannot be ruled out. In 1914 war between the Great Powers was considered unlikely, yet it happened. We learn only from history, and popular though the First World War analogy is, the lessons we draw from its outbreak are usually mistaken. Among these errors is the tendency to over-estimate human rationality. All major conflicts of the past 300 years have been about the norms and rules of the international system. In China and the US the world confronts two 'exceptional' powers whose values differ markedly, with China bidding to challenge the current order. The 'Thucydidean Trap' -when a conservative status quo power confronts a rising new one-may also play its part in precipitating hostilities. To avoid stumbling into an avoidable war both Beijing and Washington need a coherent strategy, which neither of them has. History also reveals that war evolves continually. The next global conflict is likely to be played out in cyberspace and outer space and like all previous wars it will have devastating consequences.Such a war between the United States and China may seem improbable, but it is all too possible, which is why we need to discuss it now.
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From Fascism to Populism in History

From Fascism to Populism in History

Federico Finchelstein

$54.99
What is fascism and what is populism? What are their connections in history and theory, and how should we address their significant differences? What does it mean when pundits call Donald Trump a fascist, or label as populist politicians who span left and right such as Hugo Chavez, Juan Peron, Rodrigo Duterte, and Marine Le Pen? Federico Finchelstein, one of the leading scholars of fascist and populist ideologies, synthesizes their history in order to answer these questions and offer a thoughtful perspective on how we might apply the concepts today. While they belong to the same history and are often conflated, fascism and populism actually represent distinct political and historical trajectories. Drawing on an expansive history of transnational fascism and postwar populist movements, Finchelstein gives us insightful new ways to think about the state of democracy and political culture on a global scale.
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