Australian politics, society & culture

Think tanks

Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge in Disney’s A Christmas Carol © (Disney, ImageMovers Digital LLC/Associated Press)
By Mungo MacCallum
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
A travelling library in India
By Nic Low
Aided by Purves Environmental Fund, sculptor Mark Coreth rides his life-sized ice polar bear in Sydney, 3 June 2011. © Reuters/Daniel Munoz
Australia’s Patrons of Climate Change Activism
By Guy Pearse
A young soldier at the Anzac Day morning service in Warnambool, Victoria, 2009. © Angela Milne / Fairfax
By Sally Neighbour
By Paul Barry
Eighty metres below our vantage point is a flat oblong the size of 15 footy fields. Deep red in colour – because the vegetation has been stripped away – it is speckled with giant yellow earthmovers that look like beetles and a couple of hundred tiny figures dressed in bright orange vests and white hard hats. This
John Keane's 'The Life and Death of Democracy'
By Tim Soutphommasane
It has been a mixed year so far for democracy. There have been peaceful elections in India and Indonesia, the world’s largest and third largest democracy, respectively. Yet elsewhere, there has been little to celebrate. In the United Kingdom, Westminster – the ‘mother of parliaments’ – has been disgraced by an
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
Democracy in Indonesia
By Greg Barton
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
The Return of Deficit Economics
By Robert Manne
By Robert Manne
In 2007, I was involuntarily drawn into an argument about the likely performance of the Rudd government. Before the election, many people on the Left in Australia were beginning to express misgivings about what was called Kevin Rudd's "me-tooism": his support for the Howard government's Northern
Recent Books about Climate Change
By Clive Hamilton
In the early 1950s a woman in Minneapolis began to receive communications from an extraterrestrial being named Sananda. Marian Keech, as she was pseudonymously known, heard that a great flood would cleanse the world of earthlings at midnight on 21 December 1954. Only those who believed in Sananda would be saved; they
An Exchange on Australian anticommunism and the Indonesian massacre of 1965-6 between Gerard Henderson and Robert Manne
By Robert Manne
As those who follow ideological politics in Australia are aware, it is one of Gerard Henderson's many unpleasant habits to engage his enemies in legalistic email exchanges, usually based on a petty grievance about something they have said or written about him, and then, after their patience has been exhausted, to
Hotting Up
By Robert Manne
During the past several weeks I have been reading, with a racing pulse, some recent literature on global warming while watching, with a sinking heart, the political skirmishes connected to the introduction of the Rudd government's emissions-trading scheme. The experience of moving between these parallel universes has
By Linda Jaivin
It was my first visit to Beijing, some 28 years ago. Chairman Mao had died in 1976; two years later, the new Communist leadership under Deng Xiaoping declared itself in favour of economic reform and modernisation, an end to ideological extremism, and an open door to Western tourism, investment and exchange. I was in
A Report From Afghanistan
By Chris Masters
My visit began in late May 2007. It was not yet summer, but at midnight the air-conditioning was still welcome. Over here even the tents are climate-controlled. Sleep does not come in large rations. At 2 am on my first morning we were mustered and stumbled towards a convoy of Bendigo-built Bushmasters. I met my driver
Guy Pearse’s 'High and Dry'
By John Button
High and Dry: John Howard, Climate Change and the Selling of Australia's Future (Viking, 480pp; $35.00) is the second recently published Australian book on climate change. The first, Clive Hamilton's Scorcher, was subtitled ‘The Dirty Politics of Climate Change'. A fair bit of High and Dry is about what the author,
Illustration by Jeff Fisher.
Consuming the Planet
By Clive Hamilton
Loneliness in the age of freedom
By Anne Manne
In most Western nations, the number of people who live alone is rising. In Britain, 18% of all households were single-person by 2001; the figure is expected to reach a staggering 38% by 2026. In New York, while recent census figures showed a slight drop among those living solo, the figure still hovers at around a

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