Fond illusions: Some reflections on Australian dependence, Pacific interventions and Indigenous land (2006)

The development of an independent Australian voice and policy seemed promising, and several suggested elements leave us with the fond illusion that one exists. However crippling disabilities stand in the way. Independence might be recognised through the shared and clearly defined institutions of citizenship, mutual support and solidarity. Yet Australian independence has been compromised by imperial dependence and imperial emulation. Continue reading “Fond illusions: Some reflections on Australian dependence, Pacific interventions and Indigenous land (2006)”

Food security and agriculture in the Australia-East Timor relationship (2006)

This chapter will discuss important conflicts of interest over agricultural development in the Australia-East Timor relationship. East Timor needs to stabilise domestic production, as the central element of its food security strategy. However Australia has a strategic view of global agricultural liberalisation, and uses aid programs to advance these interests. Different approaches to ‘food security’ are linked to distinct interests. This paper discusses those different approaches and their associated agricultural development implications. Continue reading “Food security and agriculture in the Australia-East Timor relationship (2006)”

The Howard Government, Australian aid and the consequences (2006)

In 1997 the Howard Government gave Australia’s foreign aid program a ‘poverty reduction’ focus with a ‘national interest’ link, later developing ‘good governance’ as the principal program theme. This anticipated the IMF and World Bank’s 1999 abandoning of ‘structural adjustment’ in favour of ‘poverty reduction’ programs, and build on National Competition Policy established by the previous Labor Government. Most aid moneys are now contracted to private Australia (and New Zealand) based companies, and the total aid budget has grown considerably. Continue reading “The Howard Government, Australian aid and the consequences (2006)”

Marine protected areas: The NSW experience (2005)

The development of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in New South Wales over the past decade has involved heightened campaigns and substantial changes in management structures. NSW Fisheries was joined by the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Premier’s Department, as the responsible state agencies, and conservation groups helped drive public debate over marine conservation. Continue reading “Marine protected areas: The NSW experience (2005)”

Some Thoughts on Method in Political Economy (2004)

There is controversy over the nature of political economy, and to what extent it constitutes a distinct analytical approach. Liberals, realists, institutionalists and Marxists (among others) have laid claim to various parts of this tradition, from the 19th Century onwards. I will argue that, in a practical sense, political economy has enduring relevance more by identifying broad avenues of enquiry than through received canonical knowledge. Continue reading “Some Thoughts on Method in Political Economy (2004)”

Terrorist laws in NSW: Disproportional and discriminatory (2003)

The ‘war against terrorism’ is lauded by dictators, authoritarians and neo-facists around the world. The Pakistani and Burmese military dictatorships have signed up. The Malaysian regime, which has jailed most of its opposition leaders under preventive detention laws, claims its laws to be a ‘best practice’ model for the rest of the world. And Israeli ‘settlers’ in the Palestinian West Bank now claim they are fighting ‘for the free world against terrorism’ (O’Louglin 2002). Continue reading “Terrorist laws in NSW: Disproportional and discriminatory (2003)”

Aid, trade and oil: Australia’s second betrayal of East Timor (2003)

Having abandoned the East Timorese people to invasion and genocide for a quarter of a century, a bewildered Australian Government was forced into military intervention in late 1999, just as that little nation began its final race towards independence. Though civil solidarity had grown over many years, state intervention in support of the East Timorese was a very last minute affair. Informed observers note that there were joint US-Indonesian military exercises just days before the August 1999 referendum. Continue reading “Aid, trade and oil: Australia’s second betrayal of East Timor (2003)”

The political economy of human rights (2002)

Contemporary political economy can make an important contribution to the human rights debates which have come to dominate political relations over the past half century. These debates hide a wide variety of political agendas. The traditions of political economy may help reinterpret the evolving phenomenon of human rights. What is needed is a means to interpret the relationship between language and social interests, as well as to make this relationship relevant to praxis – in this case, human rights activism. Continue reading “The political economy of human rights (2002)”

Criminal oversight: A human rights review of recent criminal justice law in New South Wales (2001)

This paper analyses eight criminal justice laws applicable in New South Wales – six are matters of state legislation, one is the absence of state legislation and one is a High Court decision. The cases were chosen for their currency and the degree of concern expressed about them. In each case the law about which there was concern is identified, the suggested human rights breach is noted, some background to the development of each law is given, and then the international jurisprudence is applied, leading to a provisional conclusion. Continue reading “Criminal oversight: A human rights review of recent criminal justice law in New South Wales (2001)”

The meaning of deregulation (1999)

‘Deregulation’ has been a powerful catchcry behind a series of major economic policy changes in Australia over the past twenty years. The most recent calls for ‘deregulation’ have been aimed at the broadcast media, the milk industry and the higher education sector, but these have followed earlier programs of ‘deregulation’ in the key areas of finance, telecommunications and industrial relations. Continue reading “The meaning of deregulation (1999)”