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Morrison's Miracle »

The 2019 Australian Federal Election

Publication date: 2020
This book, the 17th in the federal election series and the ninth sponsored by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, provides a comprehensive account of the 2019 Australian election, which resulted in the surprise victory of the Coalition under Scott Morrison. It brings together 36 contributors who analyse voter behaviour, campaign strategies, regional variations, polling, ideology, media and the new importance of memes and digital campaigning. Morrison’s victory underlined the continuing trend toward the personalisation of politics and the loss of trust in political institutions, both in Australia and across western democracies. Morrison’s Miracle is indispensable for understanding the May 2019 Coalition victory, which surprised many observers and confounded pollsters and political pundits.

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A Cautious New Approach »

China's Growing Trilateral Aid Cooperation

Authored by: Denghua Zhang
Publication date: 2020
‘As a student of international relations and a former diplomat, Zhang brings the insights of a practitioner and the eye of scholar to explain why Chinese actors choose to engage in aid cooperation with traditional donors in the Asia Pacific. This book is among the first to take a holistic approach to understanding the motivations of the many agencies involved in China’s aid program, and it will challenge the expectations of many readers.’ —Dr Graeme Smith, Australian National University ‘This book breaks new ground by examining a little known dimension of China’s foreign policy: trilateral aid cooperation. Denghua Zhang sets this highly original analysis in the context of the new assertiveness of Chinese foreign policy under Xi Jinping, the China International Development Cooperation Agency established in 2018, and the Belt and Road Initiative, which now serves as the framework for Chinese overseas aid and engagement. At a time when the debate in the West about the rise of China has intensified, not always knowledgeably, this book fills an important gap in our understanding of China in South East Asia and the Pacific.’ —Dr Stewart Firth, Australian National University ‘This thoroughly researched work examines trilateral cooperation as a new and interesting aspect of China’s growing international aid program, and as a window into the changing nature of that program as well as the wider foreign policy in which it is embedded. The broad themes and topics discussed are clearly significant, ultimately touching on one of the most important international issues of our time, the implications of the rise of China for a long-established Western-dominated international system.’ —Prof. Terence Smith-Wesley, University of Hawai‘i

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Civil Society and Transitional Justice in Asia and the Pacific »

Publication date: November 2019
Over the last two decades, civil society has helped catalyse responses to the legacies of violent conflicts and oppressive political regimes in Asia and the Pacific. Civil society has advocated for the establishment of criminal trials and truth commissions, monitored their operations and pushed for take-up of their recommendations. It has also initiated community-based transitional justice responses. Yet, there has been little in-depth examination of the breadth and diversity of these roles. This book addresses this gap by analysing the heterogeneity of civil society transitional justice activity in Asia and the Pacific. Based upon empirically grounded case studies of Timor-Leste, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bougainville, Solomon Islands and Fiji, this book illustrates that civil society actors can have different – and sometimes competing – priorities, resources and approaches to transitional justice. Their work is also underpinned by diverse understandings of ‘justice’. By reflecting on the richness of this activity, this book advances contemporary debates about transitional justice and civil society. It will also be a valuable resource for scholars and practitioners working on Asia and the Pacific.

Commonwealth Responsibility and Cold War Solidarity »

Australia in Asia, 1944–74

Authored by: Dan Halvorson
Publication date: November 2019
Australia’s engagement with Asia from 1944 until the late 1960s was based on a sense of responsibility to the United Kingdom and its Southeast Asian colonies as they navigated a turbulent independence into the British Commonwealth. The circumstances of the early Cold War decades also provided for a mutual sense of solidarity with the non‑communist states of East Asia, with which Australia mostly enjoyed close relationships. From 1967 into the early 1970s, however, Commonwealth Responsibility and Cold War Solidarity demonstrates that the framework for this deep Australian engagement with its region was progressively eroded by a series of compounding, external factors: the 1967 formation of ASEAN and its consolidation by the mid-1970s as the premier regional organisation surpassing the Asian and Pacific Council (ASPAC); Britain’s withdrawal from East of Suez; Washington’s de‑escalation and gradual withdrawal from Vietnam after March 1968; the 1969 Nixon doctrine that America’s Asia-Pacific allies must take up more of the burden of providing for their own security; and US rapprochement with China in 1972. The book shows that these profound changes marked the start of Australia’s political distancing from the region during the 1970s despite the intentions, efforts and policies of governments from Whitlam onwards to foster deeper engagement. By 1974, Australia had been pushed to the margins of the region, with its engagement premised on a broadening but shallower transactional basis.

International Review of Environmental History: Volume 5, Issue 2, 2019 »

Edited by: James Beattie
Publication date: November 2019
International Review of Environmental History takes an interdisciplinary and global approach to environmental history.  It encourages scholars to think big and to tackle the challenges of writing environmental histories across different methodologies, nations, and time-scales. The journal embraces interdisciplinary, comparative and transnational methods, while still recognising the importance of locality in understanding these global processes. The journal's goal is to be read across disciplines, not just within history. It publishes on all thematic and geographic topics of environmental history, but especially encourage articles with perspectives focused on or developed from the southern hemisphere and the ‘global south’.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 11, Number 4, 2019 »

Publication date: November 2019
The idea that countries can pursue prosperity and security as separate streams of the national interest has passed. Economics and security have always been enmeshed, although we assumed otherwise. The nature of the relationship between the two is changing fast. The narratives that surround the change find it difficult to keep up with the facts. The world has become more multipolar, with remarkable growth outside the established powers in the North Atlantic. And big countries—not just the United States and China, but other G20 members like Brazil, Turkey, Russia and the United Kingdom—have become more nationalist and brazen in asserting what they perceive to be their economic and security interests over those of others. The US–China relationship is increasingly characterised by strategic competition in both the economic and security domains. At the same time, digital technology has not just transformed products, firms and markets, it has opened them to cyber disruption and attack, resulting in a cross-over of security into the economic and social domains. This issue of the East Asia Forum Quarterly explores what is happening, why and how to respond to the change. These essays argue for careful thought and active engagement by governments, business and the broader community. Genuine dialogue and problem-solving between the economic and security parts of universities and government is a good first step to frame the problem broadly, keep perspective and find solutions. East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia, and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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Levelling Wind »

Remembering Fiji

Authored by: Brij V. Lal
Publication date: October 2019
‘What I have sought to do in my work is to give voiceless people a voice, place and purpose, the sense of dignity and inner strength that comes from never giving up no matter how difficult the circumstances. History belongs as much to the vanquished as to the victors.’ — Brij V. Lal ‘Professor Brij Lal is the finest historian of the Indian indentured experience and the Indian diaspora. His Girmitiyas is a classic.’ — Emeritus Professor Clem Seecharan, London Metropolitan University ‘Brij Lal is a highly respected, versatile and imaginative scholar who has  made a lasting contribution to the historiography of the Pacific.’ — Dr Rod Alley, Victoria University of Wellington ‘Professor Brij Lal’s life is a remarkable journey of a scholar and an intellectual whose writings are truly transformative; a man of moral clarity and courage who also has deep pain at being cut off from his homeland.’ — Professor Michael Wesley, Dean of the College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University ‘Brij Lal is a singular scholar, whose work has spanned disciplines – from history, political commentary, encyclopedia, biography and “faction”. Brij is without doubt the most eminent scholar in the humanities and social sciences Fiji has ever produced. He also remains one of the most significant public intellectuals of his country, despite having been banned from entering it in 2009.’ — Emeritus Professor Clive Moore, University of Queensland ‘Brij Lal is an accomplished and versatile historian and true son of Fiji. Above all, there is affirmation here of the enduring worth of good literature and the value of good education that Lal received and wants others to experience. The world needs more Lals who speak out against ruling opinions and dare to stray into  the pastures of independent thought.’ — Professor Doug Munro, historian and biographer, Wellington, and Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland

Contested Terrain »

Reconceptualising Security in the Pacific

Authored by: Steven Ratuva
Publication date: September 2019
Contested Terrain provides a cutting-edge, comprehensive and innovative approach to critically analysing the multidimensional and contested nature of security narratives, justified by different ideological, political, cultural and economic rationales. This is important in a complex and ever-changing situation involving a dynamic interplay between local, regional and global factors. Security narratives are constructed in multiple ways and are used to frame our responses to the challenges and threats to our sense of safety, wellbeing, identity and survival but how the narratives are constructed is a matter of intellectual and political contestation. Using three case studies from the Pacific (Fiji, Tonga and Solomon Islands), Contested Terrain shows the different security challenges facing each country, which result from their unique historical, political and socio-cultural circumstances. Contrary to the view that the Pacific is a generic entity with common security issues, this book argues for more localised and nuanced approaches to security framing and analysis.

East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 11, Number 3, 2019 »

Publication date: August 2019
When Shinzo Abe was given a second chance at the Japanese prime ministership in 2012, Japan was in the throes of a period of intense domestic turmoil. After six prime ministers in six years, the nation was in desperate need of political stability. Abe has not only delivered that but is now set to become the longest-serving prime minister in modern Japanese history. Abe commenced his second term with an ambitious policy program focused on reinvigorating the nation’s stagnant economy, amending the constitution to achieve a more ‘normal’ defence and security policy, and engaging proactively in regional and global affairs. To what extent has Abe achieved these policy goals? How has he utilised the immense political capital accrued throughout his leadership tenure? And what will be the legacy that Abe leaves when his prime ministership ultimately comes to an end? In this issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly, scholars from both inside and outside Japan grapple with these questions. East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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Competing for Influence »

The Role of the Public Service in Better Government in Australia

Authored by: Barry Ferguson
Publication date: July 2019
Amidst growing dissatisfaction with the state of government performance and an erosion of trust in our political class, Competing for Influence asks: what sort of public service do we want in Australia? Drawing on his experience in both the public and private sectors – and citing academic research across the fields of public sector management, industrial organisation, and corporate strategy – Barry Ferguson argues the case for the careful selection and application of private sector management concepts to the public service, both for their ability to strengthen the public service and inform public policy. These include competitive advantage, competitive positioning, horizontal strategy and organisational design, and innovation as an all-encompassing organisational adjustment mechanism to a changeable environment. But these are not presented as a silver bullet, and Ferguson addresses other approaches to reform, including the need to rebuild the Public Sector Act, the need to reconsider the interface between political and administrative arms of government (and determine what is in the ‘public interest’), and the need for greater independence for the public service within a clarified role. This approach, and its implications for public sector reform, is contrasted with the straitjacket of path dependency that presently constricts the field.