Cuba, Oceania and a ‘Canberra Spring’ (2018)

Cuban engagement with Timor-Leste and the Pacific islands, particularly through powerful health cooperation programs, has helped reshape regional geopolitics. Most of the key initiatives came from the period when Fidel Castro was head of government, with strong continuity under Raúl Castro. The Caribbean island’s medical cooperation with Timor-Leste, from 2003 onward, was the most powerful and successful move, transforming the health system of that new nation. Continue reading “Cuba, Oceania and a ‘Canberra Spring’ (2018)”

Unlikely partners: Challenges for an Australia-Cuba collaboration in Pacific health (2014)

In June 2010, at a joint press conference in Perth, the foreign ministers of Australia and Cuba expressed their wish to work together in a range of areas, in particular health aid programs in the Pacific and Caribbean regions (AMFAT 2010). Australia-Cuba collaboration has its own logic: both countries have great capacity to assist the Pacific island nations, and there is always value to be found in genuine efforts at cooperation and complementarity. However the move also raises the question: how might these two very different systems work together, when they have such distinct aims and methods? Continue reading “Unlikely partners: Challenges for an Australia-Cuba collaboration in Pacific health (2014)”

Iraq and the case for Australian war crimes trials (by Chris Doran & Tim Anderson 2011)

This article presents the case for Australian war crimes trials, following Australian participation in the invasion of Iraq and the subsequent deaths of as many as a million Iraqi civilians. It focuses on jus in bello (war crimes) rather than jus ad bellum (just war). The article sets out the argument and rationale that Australian war crimes trials are needed. Having established the necessity, the article identifies two of the principal alleged atrocities for which Australian officials should be held criminally accountable. Continue reading “Iraq and the case for Australian war crimes trials (by Chris Doran & Tim Anderson 2011)”

Hegemony, big money and academic independence (2010)

This article considers whether a threat is posed to academic independence in corporate universities by the United States Studies Centre (USSC) at the University of Sydney. The USSC rapidly worded its way into Australia’s oldest university, building a unique governance structure in which a private business lobby vets senior academics and controls the Centre’s finances. Despite a secret management agreement, the aims, control mechanisms and some of the outcomes of this project are fairly plain. Continue reading “Hegemony, big money and academic independence (2010)”

Australia’s regional interventions: The antinomies of ‘good governance’ (2007)

This paper examines the antinomies of Australian ‘good governance’: the logical nonsense of regional coerced democracy and carefully tutored economic ‘best practice’. The tension between intervention and independence in the region – particularly with respect to the recent experience of Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste – is apparent in the recent Australian regional assistance missions and largely self-serving ‘good governance’ aid programs. Continue reading “Australia’s regional interventions: The antinomies of ‘good governance’ (2007)”

Timor Leste: The second Australian intervention (2006)

Two stories are in circulation over the second Australian intervention in Timor Leste (East Timor). The first has it that the small, newly independent country, beset with leadership and ethnic divisions, and led by an arrogant and even despotic Prime Minister, out of touch with the people, called once again on Australian assistance to avoid collapse into a ‘failed state’. Continue reading “Timor Leste: The second Australian intervention (2006)”

Land rights and Aboriginal voices (Gary Foley and Tim Anderson, 2006)

This article explains Australian Aboriginal land rights as the just claim of a long historical movement, driven by Aboriginal voices of resistance to dispossession. The land rights movement – demanding the return of land stolen from Aboriginal communities, or compensation for dispossession – grew out of civil rights campaigns, stretching back to the beginning of the 20th century. National land rights claims grew in the 1960s and 70s, leading to a series of partial victories, but for a minority of Aboriginal communities. Continue reading “Land rights and Aboriginal voices (Gary Foley and Tim Anderson, 2006)”

East Timor, Australia and regional order: Intervention and its aftermath in Southeast Asia by James Cotton (2006)

A book review of a collection of essays on the theme of Australian policy towards East Timor with specific reference to the “turnaround” of 1999. Continue reading “East Timor, Australia and regional order: Intervention and its aftermath in Southeast Asia by James Cotton (2006)”

Widening the ambit through a change to commons (2006)

As a latecomer to the IASC I have not had the benefit of the four years discussion over a name change, but perhaps I have some of the benefits of a fresh perspective. In political economy we constantly engage with the corrosive neoliberal notions of property and privatization, so a shift in emphasis to shared institutions, common property and the commons is very welcome. Now that the IASCP has decided to delete the ‘property’ from their name, comments have been invited. Continue reading “Widening the ambit through a change to commons (2006)”