School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Rituals, Reassurance, and Compliance: Government Communication in Australia during the COVID-19 Pandemic
    Young, S ; Maarek, PJ (Springer International Publishing, 2022)
    Australia was ranked as one of the top 10 countries in responding to Covid-19 (Lowy Institute, 2021; Time, 2021). Before vaccines were widely available, the main tools applied were border closures, hotel quarantine, lockdowns, contact tracing and financial subsidies. Despite often harsh impositions on daily life, public opinion surveys revealed that trust in government soared, sometimes to levels rarely seen in polling. Key methods of government communication – including state premiers’ press conferences and health department tweets - provided moments of ritual and reassurance that helped secure consent for strict public health measures. The state premiers’ ability to control the news agenda in an era of streaming television, online news and working from home, was unprecedented and overturned many of the usual conventions of Australian politics.
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    How Environmentally Sustainable Is the Internationalisation of Higher Education? A View from Australia
    Baer, HA (Springer Singapore, 2022)
    Abstract In a world of increasing awareness of the many drivers of anthropogenic climate change, all of which fall under the larger rubric of global capitalism with its emphasis on profit-making, economic growth, and a strong dependence on fossil fuels, many universities, particularly in developed societies, have proclaimed a staunch commitment to the notion of environmental sustainability. Conversely, the growing emphasis on internationalisation of higher education, particularly in Australia, entails a considerable amount of air travel on the part of university staff, particularly academics but also support staff, and overseas students and occasionally domestic students. Australia is a generally highly affluent country which is situated in the driest inhabited continent and increasingly finds itself functioning as a “canary the coal mine” with respect to the ravages of anthropogenic climate change. Ironically, climate scientists and other observers often refer to various regions, such as the Arctic, low-lying islands, the Andes, and Bangladesh, inhabited by indigenous and peasant peoples as the canaries in the coalmines when it comes to the adverse impacts of anthropogenic climate change. It is often said that those people who have contributed the least to greenhouse gas emissions are the ones suffering the most from climate change, a more than accurate observation.
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    The toll of totalising masculinities in prison
    Symkovych, A ; Bartlett, T ; Ricciardelli, R (Routledge, 2022)
    Gender relations implicate power and male privilege. Prisons largely house underprivileged men. How then do incarcerated men negotiate masculinities when gender relations in society-at-large, power relations inside prisons, and masculine ideas and ideals continue to change? Drawing on a semi-ethnographic study in a men’s prison in Ukraine, I detail how the dynamic nature of gender normative ideals coexist with the more constant features of gender order: masculine surveillance, censure, and stratification. I highlight that notwithstanding the existence of alternative and subordinate masculinities, the power of hegemonic masculinities in prison is far from waning despite continuously shifting normative expectations and evolving masculine ideals. Whilst adding to the scholarship that questions the hypermasculine image of the men’s prison world, this chapter, by foregrounding the costs men in prison bear in their daily struggle to attain and maintain masculine status, explains how men in prison are simultaneously victims and perpetrators of patriarchy.
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    The Broker: Inequality, Loss and the PNG LNG Project
    Minnegal, M ; Dwyer, P ; Beer, B ; Schwoerer, T (ANU Press, 2022)
    In this chapter, we trace processes and consequences associated with one man’s ventures into those new worlds, and the shifting motivations and mechanisms that framed his journey. Bob Resa has played a crucial role in brokering relationships between Febi and Kubo people from tributary watersheds of the upper Strickland River (Western Province) and others who, it seems, control access to the possible futures that those people now imagine for themselves.
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    Automating Digital Afterlives
    Fordyce, R ; Nansen, B ; Arnold, M ; Kohn, T ; Gibbs, M ; Jansson, A ; Adams, PC (Oxford University Press, 2021-08-26)
    The question of how the dead “live on” by maintaining a presence and connecting to the living within social networks has garnered the attention of users, entrepreneurs, platforms, and researchers alike. In this chapter we investigate the increasingly ambiguous terrain of posthumous connection and disconnection by focusing on a diverse set of practices implemented by users and offered by commercial services to plan for and manage social media communication, connection, and presence after life. Drawing on theories of self-presentation (Goffman) and technological forms of life (Lash), we argue that moderated and automated performances of posthumous digital presence cannot be understood as a continuation of personal identity or self-presentation. Rather, as forms of mediated human (after)life, posthumous social media presence materializes ambiguities of connection/disconnection and self/identity.
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    Ensuring Public Health Care and Tackling Growing Expenditures
    Bækkeskov, E ; Triantafillou, P (Emerald Publishing Limited, 2022-02-23)
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    Defense and Foreign Policy
    Lynch, TJ ; Baker, P ; Critchlow, DT (Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020-04-02)
    The history of American foreign and defense policy is framed by an enduring debate over the appropriate role of federal power in national politics. From the very beginning, parties formed around the role of the armed forces and how America should conduct its diplomacy. Competition between the branches of government, and the parties therein, over who should direct foreign and defense policy is central to their history. This chapter charts the contours of that competition, most notably between the president and Congress, and then considers the ideas that have driven these often overlapping public policies. It concludes by arguing that whilst this competition is basic to the history of the subject, continuity in foreign and defense policy is also an important part of the story.
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    Colonization Calls My Home a Disturbed Area: A Conversation
    Iralu, E ; Kikon, D ; Goldstein, A ; Trujillo, SV (Common Notions, 2022-01-01)
    Authoritarian political leaders and violent racist nationalism are a resurgent feature of the present historical conjuncture that will not be resolved by electoral politics or bipartisanship. The widespread support for Donald Trump in the United States, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, Narendra Modi in India, Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey, and Viktor Orbán in Hungary, among others, is an expansive turn to counterrevolution and punitive governance in an era of escalating ecological crisis, political antagonism, and social uncertainty.1 Responding to the urgency of the current moment, For Antifascist Futures: Against the Violence of Imperial Crisis explores what the analytic of fascism offers for understanding the twenty-first century’s authoritarian convergence. The essays and interviews included in this collection build a critical conversation that centers the material and speculative labor of antifascist, antiracist, and anticolonial social movements and coalitions. These inquiries deliberately connect multiple world contexts to consider what fascism and antifascist movements might mean during the current moment or historically with relevance for the current moment
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    Ritual and Ritualism in a Contested Sea: Scalar Distortions of Space and Time
    Herzfeld, M ; Brightman, M ; Grotti, V (Springer International Publishing, 2021)
    The ground of mutual understanding between locals and migrants in the Mediterranean Sea emerges through the performance of ritual activities. These should be distinguished from the formalistic or incantatory sense of “ritualism.” They include the socially engaged practices of hospitality—a virtuous tradition that governments, even as they claim it for the nation-state, violate in local eyes by confining migrants to impersonal spaces and uncertain futures. Passages across the sea also partake of a pervasive sense of ritual, which thereby offers rich metaphorical material for considering the scalar shifts at play—shifts that entrain such conversions of social interaction into the asocial frameworks of neoliberal management (which in turn encourage aridly scientistic modes of inquiry) but conversely also domesticate cultural distance through a subtle apperception of shared habits of gesture and generosity, made accessible by the close vision of ethnography as described in these essays.