Independent structural adjustment: Cuban and neoliberal models compared (2003)

This article considers the capacity of small island and independent nation-states to recover from serious external economic crises by looking at the case of Cuba in the 1990s and comparing Cuban adjustment with adjustment in Thailand under an essentially IMF-controlled plan in 1997. Cuba had to restructure its socialist economy in the wake of the collapse of its trading relationship with the old Soviet Union and other Council for Mutual Economic Assistance countries. Continue reading “Independent structural adjustment: Cuban and neoliberal models compared (2003)”

Self-determination after Independence: East Timor and the World Bank (2003)

This paper introduces the concept of self-determination in the East Timorese struggle for political independence, and then examines the question of economic self-determination, with special focus on the role of the World Bank in East Timor The paper discusses the Bank’s relationship with East Timor’s Transitional Administration (under the United Nations’ Transitional Authority), and then some new self-determination dilemmas for the politically independent Democratic Republic of East Timor. Continue reading “Self-determination after Independence: East Timor and the World Bank (2003)”

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)”

Island Socialism: Cuban Crisis and Structural Adjustment (2002)

This paper summarises the political economy of the Cuban revolution, then analyses the impact of the COMECON collapse, the unique measures of Cuban structural adjustment in the 1990s, and the outcomes and new challenges for the Cuban political economy. It concludes that the Cuban experience identifies a viable alternative means for an independent state to deal with and stabilise severe external economic crisis, and that the reformed Cuban collective institutions have been strong enough and have sustained sufficient public support to withstand this crisis. Continue reading “Island Socialism: Cuban Crisis and Structural Adjustment (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)”