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
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
'BA Santamaria: Your Most Obedient Servant'
By David McKnight
Kevin Rudd has put religion back on the political agenda, at least as far as the op-ed pages and serious talk shows are concerned. But there was a time when religion played a more incendiary role in the nation's politics, and Australians, especially Catholic Australians, were for a long time desperate to separate the
Sex & power in the age of pornography
By Anne Manne
Through an internet chat room, the girl agreed to meet two of the boys at the local shopping centre. There, she was surrounded, overpowered by up to 12 young men, and forced down to a nearby secluded riverbank. Her clothing was thrown in the mud; she was made to expose her breasts and perform oral sex while the rest
Disconnect in the Fourth Estate
By David Salter
IT'S TIME YOU WERE TOLD THE TRUTH! fumed 60 Minutes, teasing their version of the New Guinea cannibal saga. If it's finally time for the truth, what was all that other stuff you've been telling us?GIVE GERMAINE A GOBFULL! urged the Daily Telegraph, after Greer's critique of the late Steve Irwin. The