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The Promise of Prosperity  »

Visions of the Future in Timor-Leste

Publication date: 2018
For the people of Timor-Leste, independence promised a fundamental transformation from foreign occupation to self-rule, from brutality to respect for basic rights, and from poverty to prosperity. In the eyes of the country’s political leaders, revenue from the country’s oil and gas reserves is the means by which that transformation could be effected. Over the past decade, they have formulated ambitious plans for state-led development projects and rapid economic growth. Paradoxically, these modernist visions are simultaneously informed by and contradict ideas stemming from custom, religion, accountability and responsibility to future generations. This book explores how the promise of prosperity informs policy and how policy debates shape expectations about the future in one of the world’s newest and poorest nation-states.

Making Copyright Work for the Asian Pacific »

Juxtaposing Harmonisation with Flexibility

Publication date: October 2018
This book provides a contemporary overview of developing areas of copyright law in the Asian Pacific region. While noting the tendency towards harmonisation through free trade agreements, the book takes the perspective that there is a significant amount of potential for the nations of the Asian Pacific region to work together, find common ground and shift international bargaining power. Moreover, in so doing, the region can tailor any regional agreements to suit local needs. The book addresses the development of norms in the region and the ways in which this can occur in light of the specific nature of the creator–owner–user paradigm in the region and the common interests of Indigenous peoples.

Global Debates, Local Dilemmas »

Sex-selective Abortion in Contemporary Viet Nam

Authored by: Tran Minh Hang
Publication date: 2018
The practice of sex-selective abortion is on the rise globally, stirring debates about gender inequality, medical ethics and reproductive autonomy. This book is the first ethnography to document practices of sex selection in Viet Nam. It shows how and why abortions are used to select the sex of children and how Vietnamese individuals and health professionals are implicated in this illicit and controversial practice. Telling the stories of women who have undergone sex-selective abortions, it traces their passage through sex determination and abortion decision-making phases, and investigates their experiences during and after their sex-selective abortions. It describes the turmoil experienced by individuals who undergo such abortions and explores their interactions with the spectrum of social actors and health institutions that facilitate practices of sex selection. As the first ethnographic study on sex-selective abortions in Viet Nam, this book delves into socially sensitive terrain and sheds light on personally fraught individual experiences of reproductive agency. It documents societal responses to sex-selective abortions in Viet Nam and identifies gaps in the state’s capacity to regulate reproductive desire in a marketised economy. A resource for researchers, it contributes to ongoing debates on sex selection and provides a framework for developing relevant social policies, interventions and support services. ‘This pioneering study offers a nuanced and sensitive account of sex-selective abortion as human experience. Through thought provoking case studies, the book provides rare ethnographic documentation of the complex quandaries that arise as selective reproductive technologies are routinised across the globe.’ — Tine M. Gammeltoft, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen

Landlock »

Paralysing Dispute over Minerals on Adivasi Land in India

Authored by: Patrik Oskarsson
Publication date: September 2018
Landlock: Paralysing Dispute over Minerals on Adivasi Land in India explores the ways in which political controversy over a bauxite mining and refining project on constitutionally protected tribal lands in Andhra Pradesh descended into a state of paralysis where no productive outcome was possible. Long-running support for Adivasi (or tribal) land rights motivated a wide range of actors to block the project’s implementation by recourse to India’s dispersed institutional landscape, while project proponents proved adept in proposing workarounds to prevent its outright cancellation. In the ensuing deadlock, the project was unable to move towards completion, while marginalised Adivasi groups were equally unable to repossess their land. Such a ‘landlock’ is argued to be characteristic of India’s wider inability to deal with conflicts over land matters, despite the crucial importance of land for smallholder livelihoods and various economic processes in an intensely growth-focused country. The result has been frequent yet grindingly slow processes of contestation in which powerful business and state interests are, at times, halted in their tracks, but mostly seem able to slowly exhaust local resistance in their pursuit of large-scale projects that produce no benefits for the rural poor.

Road Pricing and Provision »

Changed Traffic Conditions Ahead

Publication date: July 2018
Road pricing is not a new concept—toll roads have existed in Australia since Governor Macquarie established one from Sydney to Parramatta in 1811—and distance-based charging schemes have been trialled and implemented with varying success overseas. But how would full market reform of roads look in a federation like Australia? In its responses to the 2016 Australian Infrastructure Plan and the 2015 Competition Policy Review, the Australian Government explicitly supported investigating cost-reflective road pricing as a long-term reform option, and has committed to establishing a study chaired by an eminent Australian to look into the potential impacts of road pricing reform on road users. The challenges we face in this space are manifold and complex, and we still have a long road ahead of us. However, with advocacy for reform coming from interest groups as diverse as governments, private transport companies, peak industry bodies, policy think tanks and state motoring clubs, there is now more support than ever before for changing the way we provide for and fund our roads. This book seeks to advance the road reform agenda by presenting some of the latest thinking on road pricing and provision from a variety of disciplinary approaches—researchers, economists and public sector leaders. It stresses the need for reform to ensure Australians can enjoy the benefits of efficient and sustainable transport infrastructure as our population and major metropolitan cities continue to grow. Traffic congestion is avoidable, but we must act soon. The works presented here all point to the need for change—the expertise and the technology are available, and the various reform options have been mapped out in some detail. It is time for the policy debate to shift to how, rather than if, road reform should progress.

China’s 40 Years of Reform and Development: 1978–2018 »

Edited by: Ross Garnaut, Ligang Song , Cai Fang
Publication date: July 2018
The year 2018 marks 40 years of reform and development in China (1978–2018). This commemorative book assembles some of the world’s most prominent scholars on the Chinese economy to reflect on what has been achieved as a result of the economic reform programs, and to draw out the key lessons that have been learned by the model of growth and development in China over the preceding four decades. This book explores what has happened in the transformation of the Chinese economy in the past 40 years for China itself, as well as for the rest of the world, and discusses the implications of what will happen next in the context of China’s new reform agenda. Focusing on the long-term development strategy amid various old and new challenges that face the economy, this book sets the scene for what the world can expect in China’s fifth decade of reform and development. A key feature of this book is its comprehensive coverage of the key issues involved in China’s economic reform and development. Included are discussions of China’s 40 years of reform and development in a global perspective; the political economy of economic transformation; the progress of marketisation and changes in market-compatible institutions; the reform program for state-owned enterprises; the financial sector and fiscal system reform, and its foreign exchange system reform; the progress and challenges in economic rebalancing; and the continuing process of China’s global integration. This book further documents and analyses the development experiences including China’s large scale of migration and urbanisation, the demographic structural changes, the private sector development, income distribution, land reform and regional development, agricultural development, and energy and climate change policies.

New Directions in Strategic Thinking 2.0 »

ANU Strategic & Defence Studies Centre's Golden Anniversary Conference Proceedings

Edited by: Russell W. Glenn
Publication date: July 2018
The Australian National University’s Strategic & Defence Studies Centre (SDSC) is Australia’s premier university-based strategic studies think tank. Fifty years after the Centre was founded in 1966, SDSC celebrated its continued research, publications, teaching and government advisory role with a two-day conference entitled ‘New Directions in Strategic Thinking 2.0’. The event saw the podium graced by many of the world’s premier thinkers in the strategic studies field. An evening between those tours to the lectern brought together academics, practitioners and other honoured guests at a commemorative dinner held beneath the widespread wings of the ‘G for George’ bomber in the Australian War Memorial—an event that included SDSC’s own Professor Desmond Ball AO making his last public appearance. Since SDSC’s 25th anniversary, the world has seen the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Bipolarity gave way to the emergence of the United States as the world’s sole superpower, a status many now see as under threat. Both the nature of the threats and identity of individual competitors has changed in the interim quarter-century. Non-state actors are presenting rising challenges to national governments. Meanwhile, a diminished Russia and far more wealthy China seek to reassert themselves. Never before has the call for reasoned innovative security studies thinking been more pronounced. Rarely has a group so able to offer that thought come together as was the case in July 2016. This book encapsulates the essence of this cutting-edge thinking and is a must read for those concerned with emerging strategic challenges facing Australia and its security partners.

Agenda- A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform: Volume 25, Number 1, 2018 »

Edited by: William Coleman
Publication date: May 2018
Agenda a refereed, ECONLIT-indexed and RePEc-listed journal of the College of Business and Economics, The Australian National University. Launched in 1994, Agenda provides a forum for debate on public policy, mainly (but not exclusively) in Australia and New Zealand. It deals largely with economic issues but gives space to social and legal policy and also to the moral and philosophical foundations and implications of policy. Subscribe to the Agenda Alerting service if you wish to be advised on forthcoming or new issues.

Prosperity »

Publication date: April 2018
A ‘moderately prosperous society’ with no Chinese individual left behind—that’s the vision for China set out by Chinese President Xi Jinping in a number of important speeches in 2017. ‘Moderate’ prosperity may seem like a modest goal for a country with more billionaires (609 at last count) than the US. But the ‘China Story’ is a complex one. The China Story Yearbook 2017: Prosperity surveys the important events, pronouncements, and personalitites that defined 2017. It also presents a range of perspectives, from the global to the individual, the official to the unofficial, from mainland China to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Together, the stories present a richly textured portrait of a nation that in just forty years has lifted itself from universal poverty to (unequally distributed) wealth, changing itself and the world in the process.

Opening Government »

Transparency and Engagement in the Information Age

Edited by: John Wanna , Sam Vincent
Publication date: April 2018
Transparency and citizen engagement remain essential to good government and sound public policy. Indeed, they may well be the key to restoring trust in government itself, currently at an all-time low in Australia. It is ironic, then, that this has occurred at a time when the technological potential for information dissemination and interaction has never been greater. Opening Government: Transparency and Engagement in the Information Age explores new horizons and scenarios for better governance in the context of the new information age, focusing on the potentials and pitfalls for governments (and governance more broadly) operating in the new, information-rich environment. Its contributors, a range of international and Australian governance academics and practitioners, ask what are the challenges to our governing traditions and practices in the new information age, and where can better outcomes be expected using future technologies. They explore the fundamental ambiguities extant in opening up government, with governments intending to become far more transparent in providing information and in information sharing, but also more motivated to engage with other data sources, data systems and social technologies.