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The Australian Embassy in Tokyo and Australia–Japan Relations »

Publication date: 2023
Australia–Japan relations have undergone both testing and celebrated times since 1952, when Australia’s ambassadorial representation in Tokyo commenced. Over time, interactions have deepened beyond mutual trade objectives to encompass economic, defence and strategic interests within the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. This ‘special relationship’ has been characterised by the high volume of people moving between Australia and Japan for education, tourism, business, science and research. Cultural ties, from creative artists-in-residence to sister-city agreements, have flourished. Australia has supported Japan in times of need, including the aftermath of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake. This book shows how the Australian Embassy in Tokyo, through its programs and people, has been central to these developments. The Embassy’s buildings, its gardens and grounds, and above all its occupants — from senior Australian diplomats to locally-engaged staff — are the focus of this multi-dimensional study by former diplomats and expert observers of Australia’s engagement with Japan. Drawing on oral histories, memoirs, and archives, this volume sheds new light on the complexity of Australia’s diplomatic work in Japan, and the place of the Embassy in driving high level negotiations as well as fostering soft power influences. ‘With a similar vision for the Indo-Pacific region and a like-minded approach to the challenges facing us, Australia and Japan have become more intimate and more strategic as partners. I am very pleased to see this slice of Australian diplomatic history so well accounted for in this book.’ — Jan Adams, AO, PSM, Secretary, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia’s Ambassador to Japan, November 2020–June 2022

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Come Hell or High Fever »

Readying the World's Megacities for Disaster

Authored by: Russell W. Glenn
Publication date: January 2023
‘Nations appear and fall, but cities endure and rediscover how to succeed. In this meticulously defined and researched book, Glenn presents ideas for minimising suffering during urban catastrophes. His urgency identifies risks held in urban areas by 3.5 billion people. These people are many of us: as urban populations occupying 3 per cent of our planet’s land area, drawing water from 41 per cent of the world’s ground surface, consuming 60 to 80 per cent of global energy and achieving 80 per cent of the world’s economic productivity. For Glenn, our resilience—through diversity in preparation, survival and recovery—includes comprehensive approaches that are sustained in duration, orchestrated in bringing all necessary capabilities to bear, layered in approach and early in application.’ —Major General Chris Field, Australian Army ‘The time to prepare for the inevitable is now. Dr Glenn has written a book that should be read by all leaders, planners and responders who may be called upon in an urban disaster, whether natural or man-made. Military leaders should give it particular attention, as the human race is increasingly concentrated in its cities. Understanding how to wage war in dense urban terrain is essential, especially if a nation also seeks to hold the moral high ground. The fruits of any victory won among people that fails to consider the lessons in Come Hell or High Fever are likely to be very bitter.’ —Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland, United States Army (retired)
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Made in China Journal: Volume 7, Issue 2, 2022 »

Publication date: 2023
In 2020, Chinese Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping pledged to ‘transition to a green and low-carbon mode of development’, as well as to ‘peak the country’s CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060’. Xi’s pledge offered a tangible example of what has come to be known as the ecological civilisation (生态文明)—the idea of engineered harmony between humans and nature that was recently incorporated into the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. But what kind of engineering is required for sustainable transitions at this scale and pace? Through which political concepts and technical practices could such a harmonious rebalancing of China’s resource-devouring development be envisioned and achieved? This issue of the Made in China Journal addresses these questions by borrowing political theorist John Dryzek’s rereading of the Greek myth of Prometheus. Inspired by the story of a demigod who stole the technology of fire for the sole purpose of human advancement, Prometheanism describes an eco-modernist orientation that perceives the Earth as a resource whose utility is determined primarily by human needs and interests and whose environmental problems are overcome through continuous political and technological innovation. In contrast with other environmental perspectives, Prometheanism prioritises human interests and needs over those of ecosystems or the individual needs of other lifeforms. Through this framework, we asked our contributors to offer their takes on the following questions: To what extent can Xi’s dream of an ecological civilisation be understood in terms of techno-optimism and the anthropocentrism that characterise Prometheanism? What price is China paying in its effort to transition towards a heavily engineered ‘sustainable’ market utopia?

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How Government Experts Self-Sabotage »

The Language of the Rebuffed

Authored by: Christiane Gerblinger
Publication date: December 2022
After official policy advice to governments is publicly released, governments are often accused of ignoring or rejecting their experts. Commonly represented as politicisation, this depiction is superficial. Digging deeper, is there something about the official advice itself that makes it easy to ignore? Instead of lamenting a demise of expertise, Christiane Gerblinger asks: does the expert advice of policy officials feature characteristics that invite its government audience to overlook or misread it? To answer this question, Gerblinger critically examines official policy advice and finds the language of the rebuffed: government experts reluctant to disclose what they know so as to accommodate political circumstances. She argues that this language evades stable meaning and diminishes the democratic right of citizens to scrutinise the work of government.
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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 14, Number 4, 2022 »

Publication date: December 2022
Southeast Asian nations have long understood that effective national security goes well beyond military preparedness, encompassing a variety of ‘non-traditional’ security issues. This idea is at the heart of political cooperation within ASEAN and competes with traditional notions of regional security in East Asia. But the vocabulary that has developed in the face of growing geopolitical tensions—decoupling, dual circulation, friendshoring, ‘strategic’ supply chains, securitisation—suggests that the big powers are working towards their own notion of comprehensive security. Contributors to this issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly recognise that comprehensive regional security—an approach that embraces economic, environmental and energy security as well as military interests and considers how they are secured within today’s economically interdependent and politically cooperative regional system—can only be secured collectively: one country’s resilience to climate change, or its access to free and well-served markets for energy and food, cannot come at the expense of others.
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China’s Transition to a New Phase of Development »

Publication date: November 2022
The Chinese economy is currently undergoing fundamental changes. In this context, the 2022 China Update examines the key characteristics of China’s transition towards a new phase of economic growth and development. This year’s update book covers a range of diverse topics that reflect the complex and changing nature of the economy. It explores critical questions: Why does China need a new development paradigm, and what is the best way to achieve it? What are China’s choices when faced with the restructuring of global industrial value chains? What key roles will domestic consumption play in the next phase of China’s development? What does the digital transformation mean for the Chinese economy? What has been the domestic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on income inequality and labour market outcomes? What pathways exist for China in its transition towards carbon neutrality? How does China’s emissions-trading market compare with that of Europe? How will China’s carbon neutrality strategy affect the Australian economy? What are the political factors influencing bilateral trade flows between China and its trading partners? And what is at stake for China–US relations?
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Parliament: A Question of Management »

Authored by: V M (Val) Barrett
Publication date: October 2022
For centuries scholars and practitioners have studied parliament and its potential reform from an institutional perspective. Until now, few authors have addressed in depth the internal relationships among parliamentary actors, their competing beliefs and their influence on parliament’s effectiveness. Parliament is overwhelmingly an agonistic institution, and competition for status, resources, influence and control has pervaded its administration and impeded reform. Parliaments appear to struggle with the concept of institutional management. The doctrine of exclusive cognisance or sole jurisdiction implies that parliament, and only parliament, should retain control of its internal business and processes. But why is parliament considered to be unique among public institutions, and why do parliaments appear to resist or even defy attempts to manage them more effectively? At a time when the public is losing confidence in governments, politics and political institutions, parliament’s role as a broker of ideas and a forum for deliberative policymaking is under threat. In an institution where no one has overall authority and direction, staying relevant and managing public expectations present major challenges for its members and administrators. This book examines parliamentary management in the national parliaments of Australia and the United Kingdom. Without claiming to be a ‘how to’ book, it attempts to provide a relatable account of how parliamentary officials and members of parliament carry out their inherently complex roles and how they might be assisted by contemporary public management approaches.
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Experiments with Marxism-Leninism in Cold War Southeast Asia »

Publication date: September 2022
One of the most contentious theatres of the global conflict between capitalism and communism was Southeast Asia. From the 1920s until the end of the Cold War, the region was racked by international and internal wars that claimed the lives of millions and fundamentally altered societies in the region for generations. Most of the 11 countries that compose Southeast Asia were host to the development of sizable communist parties that actively (and sometimes violently) contested for political power. These parties were the object of fierce repression by European colonial powers, post-independence governments and the United States. Southeast Asia communist parties were also the object of a great deal of analysis both during and after these conflicts. This book brings together a host of expert scholars, many of whom are either Southeast Asia–based or from the countries under analysis, to present the most expansive and comprehensive study to date on ideological and practical experiments with Marxism-Leninism in Southeast Asia. The bulk of this edited volume presents the contents of these revolutionary ideologies on their own terms and their transformations in praxis by using primary source materials that are free of the preconceptions and distortions of counterinsurgent narratives. A unifying strength of this work is its focus on using primary sources in the original languages of the insurgents themselves.
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Rising Power and Changing People »

The Australian High Commission in India

Publication date: September 2022
Beginning in 1943–44, Australia’s relationship with India is its oldest continuous formal diplomatic relationship with any Asian country. The early diplomatic exchanges between Australia and India have teased for their suggestions of potential unrealised, for opportunities missed, especially when compared with the very recent excitement about the future of Australia–India relations. How did Australia’s representatives and their staff in New Delhi negotiate the many dimensions of Australia–India relations? This book brings together expert analyses of the work of the Australian High Commission, its key people and the challenges they faced in New Delhi. The important India Economic Strategy to 2035 report handed to the Australian Government in mid-2018 begins with the comment: ‘Timing has always been a challenge in Australia’s relationship with India.’ As the Australian Government works to implement some of the ambitious recommendations in the report, this book adds to our understanding of why timing has been a challenge, and how those at the coalface of the relationship have grappled with it.
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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 14, Number 3, 2022 »

Publication date: September 2022
Japan ‘crossed the Rubicon’ after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Unlike eight years ago when Russia annexed Crimea, the Kishida government quickly implemented sanctions against Russia with other Western countries. Japanese people have generally stood behind the Kishida government’s foreign and security policy activism, yet uncertainties about Japan’s future remain. Can Japan confront ‘a three-front war’ against China, North Korea and Russia? How can Japan manage its relations with the United States and China amidst great power competition and a growing risk of military conflict? How can it cope with inflation, energy shortages, global warming and the crisis of the nuclear non-proliferation regime? Domestically, Japan has yet to escape from the impact of COVID-19. Maintaining international competitiveness in an era of ageing and shrinking population remains a top priority for Japan. The articles in this EAFQ examine the challenges and opportunities facing Japan and explore its future in an era of growing uncertainty.
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