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Posts in Perspectives
Smoke and Thalidomide

Dr Edward Nik-Khah's Smoke and Thalidomide is an enthralling examination of the power of economists - and their constructed institutions - in the mobilisation of the US pharmaceutical industry in the 1970s, and their continued influence in how the industry controls our knowledge about drugs today.

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Gough Whitlam’s Vision of Social Democracy

In Gough Whitlam’s Vision of Social Democracy: Parliament and Party, the Honourable Dr Barry Jones AC, takes you on a political expedition spanning several decades from the Whitlam years to present, exploring the international shift away from Social Democracy in the late 1970s through the modern ‘growth as consumption’ economic mindset that has resulted in investment in research, environmental protection or heritage being seen in negative terms.

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All living things are diminished

In All living things are diminished: Breaking the national consensus on the environment, the Honourable Bob Debus AM, draws deeply from his knowledge and experience to distil a large body of historical material, policy precedent and political experience to argue that it is not only possible to seriously tackle the environmental issues that bedevil us but that our own experience over recent decades demonstrates what can be achieved.

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Fossil Fuels, Global Warming and Democracy

In Fossil Fuels, Global Warming and Democracy: A Report from a Scene of the Collision, Dr Kevin Taft offers his account of the fraught interplay between ‘fossil fuels, global warming and democracy’ in his home province of Alberta, Canada. He writes as participant in and observer of a ‘collision’ between the climate change imperatives of cutting carbon emissions and the commercial imperatives being prosecuted by the fossil fuel industry.

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Climate Change in a New Democratic Age

Dr Randal G Stewart, author of Climate Change in a New Democratic Age: Why we need more, not less, democratic participation, examines the role of three key groups in the climate change debate - scientists, economists, and the bureaucracy - as the lens through which to consider the capacity of democratic decision-making processes to establish effective climate change policy.

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Precarious Work

Precarious Work: The Need for a New Policy Framework, by former NZ Attorney General and Labour Minister Professor Margaret Wilson, is a written detailed account of the rise of precarious work arrangements in Australia and New Zealand. Professor Wilson argues that since precarious work is identified with those who work on the margins of the labour market, such as women, young workers and older workers, we must look at how best to structure the policy agenda to protect those who are currently the most vulnerable.

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Democratic Challenges in Tackling Climate Change

Democratic Challenges in Tackling Climate Change examines the urgency for Climate Change action, and the accompanying political challenges.

Professor the Hon Barry Jones AO tackles this vast issue with a remarkable distillation of the science and scientific history of climate change; a direct and vigorous exposition of the political meanderings that risk leaving Australia without any effective response; and a powerful argument for Australian initiative. Yet underlying his essay is an optimism that it is not too late, if only we choose to act.

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The Northern Territory Intervention and Human Rights

In The Northern Territory Intervention and Human Rights: An Anthropological Perspective , social anthropologist Dr Mary Edmunds draws together the history, circumstance, culture, principles and practice surrounding the Northern Territory Intervention. It is a considered and robust examination of the tension between our human rights obligations, the imperative to act, and the way these intentions are experienced on the ground.

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Commoditising Banking

Commoditising Banking: refashioning the private public partnership of banking around the relative strengths of the private and public sectors, by leading economic thinker and commentator, Dr Nicholas Gruen calls for banking sector reform. The essay argues that Australian banks' profitable navigation of the Global Financial Crisis may be pleasing shareholders but the political and community reception has been hostile. Dr Gruen proposes a viable, low risk policy reform which would address the current inequity in the structure of the Australian banking system.

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An Agenda for Social Democracy

In An Agenda for Social Democracy, Professor John Qiggin addresses the question of where we want Australia to be at the other side of the Global Financial Crisis with a thoughtful, some may say provocative, exploration of what may be required to give practical effect to a social democratic economic agenda.

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