In 2009, CCG hosted a fortnightly lunchtime seminar series exploring issues such as migration and intercultural relations; international relations; Asia-Pacific regionalism; Asian culture and society; the politics and culture of the Middle East; issues surrounding governance, democracy and citizenship at a global, national and local level.
Citizenship and Globalisation Seminars
Choosing My Religion: Secularism and Citizenship in South Asia
Associate Professor Rohan Bastin
I examine the protests of varied form and different intensity that developed in the Indian state of Kerala concerning a proposed new Social Studies textbook for the 7th Standard. Opposition to this book is broadly concerned with the suspicion that the Communist Party-led state government is using the text to disseminate Marxist principles, specifically atheism. The protests thus articulate with ongoing debates over secularism in government as well as the violent antagonism to aspects of global Christian evangelism in South Asia. This latter point is also increasingly evident in Sri Lanka, where, like India, much of the opposition develops within long-standing political and religious organisations committed to social reform. Sri Lanka's recently reintroduced legislation proposals for Anti-Conversion, which echo the legislation of certain Indian states, raise issues concerning the global application of concepts such as freedom and choice.
From Class Struggle to a Harmonious Society: China's Ideological Transformation
Dr Guo-Qiang Liu
Constant and explicit ideological rhetoric in China makes people believe that it is country driven by ideology. The split between the Soviet Union and China in 1950s also reinforced this view when China branded the Soviet Union revisionism, deviating from Marxism-Leninism, and the Soviet Union accused China of being dogmatic. However, a close look will reveal that, while ideology is regarded as something extremely important in political and social life in China, this country is not driven by Marxist ideology. Rather, ideology is used as a pragmatic tool in "problem solving" when it is appropriate to do so, and it can also be conveniently put aside in the process of "problem solving". The focus of "problem solving" here is political legitimacy in this one-party state. Along with political, social and economic development in the People's Republic, China's ideology has gone through different stages and shapes of transformation. A discuss will be provided of this ideological transformation in the context of establishing and sustaining political legitimacy China's three generations of leadership.
We are all populists now'? Defining the varieties of contemporary populism in the developed world
Associate Professor Stephen Alomes and Professor Sue Kenny
Populism was once about outsiders (farmers and workers) who felt cheated by 'the big end of town' elites (including bankers) and looked to leaders, such as Jack Lang in NSW or Huey Long, to bring regeneration. It resurfaced later as outsider populism, fused with xenophobic nationalism, from Pauline Hanson's One Nation to Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front Nationale (and similar movements in Denmark, Austria and Switzerland) and Tokyo Gov. Ishihara's maverick Right politics in Japan. Populism has now entered the mainstream. All politicians are populists (the opposite of elitist, out of touch) but celebrity populism brings politics and television together (is a Sunrise gig a prerequisite to become PM?). Tabloid populism has become a media staple. Celebrity populism involves the personalisation of the political leader (Obama) as well as associations with wealth and celebrities (Sarkozy, Berlusconi). John Howard became a celebrity – because he was on TV? Populism is about expressive rather than instrumental politics, appealing to emotions and needs rather than offering practical policies. Is it fundamentally different from 'popularism' in the arts? Why has populism become the great, if masked, force of today? Are populist attitudes, as well as movements, a product of a neo-liberal or globalising era or of a mass consumer society? What is it usually combined with – nationalism, neo-liberalism or….? What political, social, economic & cultural trends does it reflect? Or mask?
Populism's Extensions: Volunteerism as New Managerialism
Professor Sue Kenny
Voluntary activity, particularly in the form of volunteerism, has become an increasingly important part of, and indeed an indicator of the 'civic spirit' of Australia. The popular media exalt the voluntary effort of Australians in times of national pride or need, such as the volunteer support for the Sydney Olympic Games or for fighting bushfires. We celebrate the value of volunteers through 'volunteer recognition' days and awards, including News Ltd's Pride of Australia medals. At the government level, politicians encourage volunteerism as a civic duty and as an entry point for community connection. How important is volunteerism as an adjunct to populism? This paper discusses the concept and practices of volunteerism as civic duty, community building, part of the managerialist colonisation of active citizenship and a 'feelgood' substitute for government social provision and good public policy.
Grappling with Globalisation: Contention and Crisis in Sweden and Korea
Dr David Hundt and Dr Andrew Vandenberg
Our comparison of political change associated with economic–financial crises draws on Charles Tilly's "dynamics of contention" (DOC), which highlights episodes of contention that result in changing relations between governments, societal actors, sites of contention, and repertoires of contention. We deploy the DOC approach to investigate contention between governments, corporations, trade unions and civic groups amid conditions of severe financial crisis in Sweden and South Korea. In February 1990, Sweden's social-democratic government made an unexpected announcement that it would apply to join the European Union. The liberal and conservative parties, the metalworkers and other manufacturing workers' unions, and the large engineering corporations supported this decision. The communist and farmers' parties and the public-sector workers' unions opposed it. Opponents hoped to maintain the institutions of permanent full employment. Supporters were more concerned about wage inflation. In late 1992, financial crisis complicated the process of joining the EU. A sudden surge in unemployment strengthened the arguments of EU supporters and further divided the unions. Union EU-skeptics turned from the social democrats to the communists and social movements.
In Korea, an episode of contention began in 1996, when the government intensified financial liberalisation as a condition for joining the OECD, and then sought to curtail employment guarantees. Trade unions and their allies defeated attempts to restrict labour rights, but the financial crisis which began in late 1997 resulted in the introduction of comprehensive neoliberal reforms in return for a rescue package provided by the IMF. Unions initially agreed to partake in tri-partite talks aimed at easing the implementation of the rescue package, and some civic groups also supported the government's agenda. However most unions opposed the conditions of the rescue, and returned to contentious forms of politics until 1999. We trace these cycles of a) social movement mobilisation and contention against market reform, b) financial crisis, and c) demobilisation. In the case of Sweden, we typologise trade unions as discontented insiders who were long an integral component of routine politics. In Korea, independent trade unions were discontented outsiders prior to the crisis. In Sweden, pro-EU unions made strong connections with export-oriented manufacturing employers while EU-sceptical unions made weaker connections with other parties and protest groups. In Korea, unions gained recognition and wider rights but lost employment security in the large corporations and also failed to maintain cross-class alliances with other protest groups. Governments in both countries used new transnational political connections to limit domestic contention and prevent derailing of the ongoing process of liberalisation.
Associate Professor Stan van Hooft
As evidenced by the reactions to Martha Nussbaum's famous essay of 1996, patriotism is a contested notion in moral debate. This paper explores the suggestion made by Stephen Nathanson that patriotism might be understood as "love of one's country", and suggests that this phrase is misleading. It suggests that patriotism, like love, is not rational, and it fails to distinguish two kinds of object for that love: one's cultural community and one's political community. Accordingly, this phrase can lead to a kind of nationalism which involves chauvinism and militarism and that is, therefore, morally objectionable. The problem arises from ambiguities in the notion of "country" which is said to be the object of such love. Moreover, "love" is not the appropriate term for a relationship whose central psychological function is that of establishing an individual's identity as a citizen. I suggest that the proper mode of attachment involved in patriotism is identification with one's political community, and that the proper object of a patriot's allegiance is the political community thought of without the emotional, nationalistic and moralistic connotations that often accompany the concept of community. The "political patriotism" that arises from such an attitude is sceptical of the "national interest" and does not accept that our moral responsibilities to others stop at national borders. In this way political patriotism is consistent with a cosmopolitan stance towards human rights and global justice.
Ministers, Officials and Diplomats: the Australia-India Relationship, 1944-1965
Mr Eric Meadows
Australia was the first Commonwealth country to establish diplomatic relations with India and it did so before India's Independence. There were high hopes on both sides for the relationship. A defence alliance was mooted. Yet by the mid 1950s Paul Hasluck could describe Australia's relations with India as worse than those with any other country including Russia. The Menzies Government worked hard to develop sound working relations with other Asian nations. Why did it fail with India? Australia continued to send some of its best diplomatic representatives to New Delhi; its external affairs minister, Richard Casey, had been pre-independence governor of Bengal. The Liberal Country Party Government should have been well informed about Indian policy; Casey was anxious to improve the relationship. Considering the quality of advice it received why didn't the relationship improve? Who, in fact, determined policy at this time? Peter Edwards' thesis in Prime Ministers and Diplomats was that for the pre-1949 period prime ministers dominated decision-making in Australian foreign policy. Did this pattern continue after the election of the LCP Government in 1949? The evidence from the relationship with India suggests that it did.
An Empirical World of Asian Cosmopolitanism
(Evidence from 9 countries)
Professor Baogang He and Dr Kevin Brown
While there is a great deal literature on the theory of cosmopolitanism it has tended to be European-centric. Little empirical investigation into the emergence and varied patterns of cosmopolitanism in Asian countries has been taken. The neglect of Asian variants of cosmopolitanism betrays the true significance of a cosmopolitan vision. The application of Western theories of cosmopolitanism to Asia raises many interesting questions and generates several important debates, but lacks empirical validation and testing, and cannot settle these questions on an empirical ground.
Utilizing the Asia-Europe Survey (ASES) 2001 for the 9 Asian countries, this paper takes an empirically based study of cosmopolitanism in Asian nations. It will draw an overall picture of Asian cosmopolitanism and identify some key themes or patterns relating cosmopolitanism across nine Asian countries. In particular, it will determine the extent to which the development of lifestyle cosmopolitanism promotes or inhibits critical cosmopolitanism and examine the degree in which national identity is compatible with or in conflict with regional identity.
'Hindi-Chini bhai bhai: India-China Solidarity as a Peaceful Cold War Strategy'
Ms Sally Percival Wood
When the Geneva Conference took place in 1954 to discuss the resolution of conflicts in Asia—the Korean and Vietnam wars—it became clear to Asian leaders that their interests were subsidiary to those of 'the Big Four' (America, Britain, France and Russia). American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles was so hostile to Chinese participation, he stated that 'the only way he could possibly meet with Zhou Enlai was if their cars collided.'
En route from the Geneva Conference to Beijing at the end of April 1954, Zhou Enlai met with Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in New Delhi, and it was at that meeting that Panchsheel—the five principles of peaceful co-existence—were formulated. Panchsheel was grounded in Buddhist philosophy and, as such, was representative of centuries old cultural bonds between India and China. Nehru, especially, envisaged Panchsheel as a foreign policy that would not only revive Asian amity, it would act as a counter to Western military hegemony as a strategy for peace.
At the Bandung Conference the following year, the five principles of peaceful co-existence were asserted as a foreign policy alternative among 29 newly independent Asian and African nations. With the support garnered at Bandung, these principles evolved into the Non-Aligned Movement. This paper explores the historical roots of Panchsheel and the responses of the West, which viewed the prospect of an Asian solution to peace, particularly one grounded in Asian philosophy, with suspicion, obfuscating its meaning and even denouncing non-alignment as 'immoral'.
Pacific Solutions? Relations between Australia and the Pacific viewed through the lens of the Pacific Seasonal Workers' Scheme
Dr Nicole Oke and Dr Jon Ritchie
In 2008 the Rudd government announced the Pacific Seasonal Workers' Scheme would proceed on a small, trial, basis. The scheme allows visa holders from selected Pacific Island states to work in horticultural regions in Australia for seven months of each year. Designed to meet the shortage of seasonal agricultural workers in Australia, the program is also framed as a development scheme for Pacific Island states, and as part of Australia's engagement with the region.
Globally, temporary migration, that is migration without permanent residency rights, is nothing new. What is new is that there has been a re-assessment of the value of these programs as a development strategy for the global South. Proponents argue that remittances are vital to the economies of many states in the global South and that the temporary nature of residency rights in these programs is a development virtue because it increases the flow remittances.
The two presenters examine different ways the relationship between Australia and the Pacific is conceived through the lens of the Pacific Workers' Scheme, one focusing on the view from Port Moresby; the other on how Australian unions have responded to this program, and conceptualized solidarity with regional neighbours.
Doing development missionary-style. Lessons from missionaries
Associate Professor Matthew Clarke
Sectarian organisations have much to teach secular agencies in achieving development outcomes. While President Truman's inauguration 1949 speech is often cited as the beginning of the international community's recognition of the need to improve the lives of the poor in developing countries, religious organizations have been undertaking successful 'development' within their missionary work for many hundreds of years. Reflection on the success of this missionary work provides lessons for secular development practitioners.
This paper will consider the Decalogue of Development and the Summary of Resolutions regarding Development prepared by the Franciscan Friars in the Diocese of Aitape, Papua New Guinea. These documents explicitly describe strategies to 'improve' the physical lives (health, education, economic security) of the people of the Aitape in the late 1940s. The Franciscans understood the importance of community participation, cultural sensitivity, indigenous knowledge and respect when working with local communities. The importance of these principles has only recently been understood by secular development practitioners. This paper will contrast the principles formulated by the Franciscans in the 1940s with the current 'best practice' ideals of secular development practitioners and note the lessons that can be learned from missionaries.
*Associate Professor Matthew Clarke, Director of International and Community Development, Deakin University, email@example.com
*Dr John Donnelly, Country Program Manager, World Vision Australia, firstname.lastname@example.org
'Rethinking Public Space in Rural Australia: A creative approach to place-making'
Dr Emily Potter
According to the Victorian Department of Sustainability, Victorian Mallee communities are on the cusp of becoming 'Australia's first climate change refugees'. The implications of such a displacement, in the context of postcolonial history especially, are complex. One commonly articulated concern is the fragmentation of community, and the resulting loss of sustaining conditions, including public space, that the environmental and social transformation of these places is predicted to occasion. This paper will consider the threat of climate change to rural places in light of an expanded understanding of sustainability, one in which the very nature of place, and the register of what constitutes community, is rethought. It will outline a creative approach to place-making (as both a theory and a practice) in which poetic connections, as much as material conditions, matter to sustainable futures.
Occupation and Human Dignity
Dr Adel Yousif
Dr Adel Yousif is an academic staff member at the School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University. Adel is a third generation Palestinian refugee born in Iraq. Following immigration to Australia, he obtained Australian Citizenship and achieved an academic career in Food Science and Nutrition. In his lecture, Adel will describe the events that lead to his family's eviction from their land and consignment to the role of refugees with no nationality as well as the effect of occupation on the everyday life and human dignity of the occupied. The lecture will provide a first hand point of view of a person who has been delegated to the role of being a stateless refugee.
New Citizenship, World Revolution and Proletarian Pickles: Children's Books in Mao's China (1949-1976)
Dr Xiangshu Fang
To use what children read for moral training has a venerable tradition in China, attributable to Confucius 2,500 years ago. Modern Chinese children's literature emerged as a tool to educate the future generation for 'saving the nation' in the May Fourth New Culture Movement around 1919, which signalled a breaking away from Confucian ethics. In the years of Mao Zedong's rule (1949-1976), the Confucian idea of filial piety was criticised as 'feudal' because it was believed to ignore the class nature of family. The influence of parents and family were often critiqued in terms of social class background. As reflected in many children's stories in that period, children were no longer viewed as heirs to the family, but to the new socialist motherland and the proletarian revolutionary cause to 'liberate' all the humanity. Children's books played a crucial role for cultivating the fanaticism as evidenced by the activities of Red Guards, who were full of hatred for class enemies, longed for the opportunity to fight them, and were prepared to sacrifice themselves for their 'world revolution'.
"Wicked Problems or Wicked People?"
Mr Tony Chalkey
This paper is summary of a research project spanning three years, exploring three field locations and capturing the stories of forty (plus) housing workers. Using an ethnographic research approach, this paper provides an account of how housing workers use language and stories to understand and make sense of the 'wicked problems' they encounter in their challenging and changing work. Firsthand accounts ('stories') about every day housing work provide a framework for this paper, explaining how housing workers in Victoria have experienced and made sense of the shift from public housing as 'affordable housing for the working poor' to 'housing of last resort for the most vulnerable and needy members of the community'. Using composite stories, this paper provides the reader with a glimpse into the world of public housing work, transporting the reader from the relatively static world of policy and procedure to the more colorful world of tenants with 'high and complex' needs, 'wicked' problems, weary staff and the daily reality of organisational change.
A unique feature of this paper is the comparison of how different workers use stories to build a range of 'socially constructed realities' around housing work and its wicked problems. This paper compares and contrasts the socially constructed realities of frontline staff with the corresponding social reality for the managers at head office (and vice versa). This 'same problem, different perspective' approach allows the reader to better understand how the same problem is understood and approached in different ways, depending on the individual's organisational role, responsibly and authority. Using stories about 'working with problem tenants', 'collecting rental arrears from the poor and marginalised', 'maintaining old, neglected properties' and 'coping with organisational change', this paper illustrates how the shifting (and sometimes contradictory) construction of housing problems means that for some years, the organisation has struggled to devise and implement a sustainable remedy.
Leaving Afghanistan? Moral, political & strategic consequences
Dr Scott Burchill
7 October 2009 marks the 8th anniversary of the start of the Afghanistan war. As public opinion in the West turns against the war, policymakers in the West, including Australia, are confronting intensifying pressure for withdrawal. On the other hand, former army officials, conservative academics and journalists are calling for an escalation of troop numbers. This seminar examines the moral, political and strategic consequences of the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan.
'Inter-cultural and inter-faith dialogue in Malaysia:
Can dialogue work in the context of primordial and essentialised politics?'
Dr Farish Noor
This presentation will consider the obstacles to inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue in Malaysia, a country where rapid economic development has been accompanied by the rise of communitarian ethno-religious politics since the 1980s. Malaysia today faces daunting challenges related to issues of freedom of religion and religious debate. Furthermore the new trend in the country points to the rise of more religiously-inspired lobby groups and NGOs campaigning for the specific and often exclusive rights of particular ethno-religious communities. Set against such a backdrop of communitarian politics couched in ethno-religious essentialisms, can there be a rational public discursive space at all, and can there be meaningful dialogue that goes beyond the reproduction of a simplistic form of multiculturalism that merely perpetuates ethno-religious stereotypes?