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11 - 13 November 2010
Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood Campus
The events were free and open to all.
We live in a world that appears crisis-prone. But what does crisis mean in today's world?
Some of the risks we face are natural, about which we can do very little. They come from geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, floods and tsunamis, or astrophysical events such as comets and asteroids.
Many more are human-made crises, including economic disasters (eg global financial crisis), systems failures (eg IT collapse), environmental challenges (eg climate change), pandemics (eg swine flu), the perpetual problem of war, or chemical, biological and nuclear threats.
For some analysts, the crises our species produce persist because we lack the ideas and institutions to avert them, and sometimes the knowledge and skills to attenuate their consequences. We “manage” the risks they impose on us without any expectation that we can permanently liberate ourselves from their grip.
Others argue we must learn to live in a “risk society” where “established risk definitions are … a magic wand with which a stagnant society can terrify itself” (Ulrich Beck).
Should we accept that these human-made crises are normal? Have we successfully managed crises like them before? Are attempts to rid our world of its propensity for human-made crises futile? Or have we grossly exaggerated – even mythologised – the extent to which we are living in a world of endemic crisies for political or other motives?
This series of lectures and workshops invites participants from a range of disciplines to consider if the world is in a crisis unique in character and scale, or whether ‘crisis' is simply the term we used to describe the normal patterns and fluctuations of human society.
Keynote speakers for public lectures
Professor Bob Jessop is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Founding Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Lancaster, UK. He is presently researching the ‘cultural political economy of crisis’. Bob Jessop is recognised as a leading ‘regulation’ theorist and for his strategic-relational theory of the state. ‘More convincingly than any other Marxist theorist past or present, he succeeds in transcending the artificial dualism of structure and agency by moving towards a truly dialectical understanding of the relationship’ (Colin Hay). Books include Political Economy and Global Capitalism: The 21st Century, Present and Future, Anthem Press, 2010 (ed with R Albritton and R. Westra); State Power: A Strategic-Relational Approach, Polity 2007; Beyond the Regulation Approach: Putting Capitalist Economies in Their Place, Edward Elgar, 2006 (with Ngai-Ling Sum); The Future of the Capitalist State, Polity 2002; and State Theory: Putting the Capitalist State in Its Place, Polity 1990.
Professor John Mueller
John Mueller is Woodrow Hayes Chair of National Security Studies, Mershon Center and Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University.
Professor Mueller is one of the world’s leading authorities on global risks and threats. He is the author of Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them (2006) and Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism From Hiroshima To Al-Qaeda (2010).
Malalai Joya, the extraordinary and youngest member elected to the Afghan parliament in 2004, has been likened to Aung San Suu Kyi for her forthright and courageous pursuit of justice and unfailing dedication to her people. She was just four days old when her family fled the Soviet Union invasion and spent her childhood in refugee camps in Iran and Pakistan. In the late 1990s, she returned to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan to work for underground organisations promoting the cause of women. She has received numerous, coveted awards for her unceasing pursuit of human rights including the International Human Rights in Film Award at Berlin in 2007 and the Anna Politkovskaya Award in 2008. In 2009, she published her exceptional story in her book ‘Raising My Voice’.
OFFICIAL OPENING – THURSDAY 11 NOVEMBER
6pm Lecture Theatre 12 (Building X)
Dr Scott Burchill and Professor Sue Kenny
Keynote Public Lecture
Professor Bob Jessop -
(Recording of Bob Jessop presentation - restricted)
Crisis, What Crisis? Reflections on Crisis, Crisis-Management and Crises of Crisis-Management
My lecture approaches crisis and crisis-management from three interrelated perspectives: critical discourse analysis, critical political economy, and critical governance studies. The starting point for this analysis is a two-dimensional crisis matrix that distinguishes (a) sociologically amorphous crises (e.g., natural disasters) from form-determined crises; and (b) crises in a crisis-prone system from crises of that system.
Crises are sufficiently routine in social life that social agents develop routines of crisis-management to deal with normal “crises”; problems arise when there extraordinary crises emerge and/or there is a crisis of crisis-management. It is in this context that I combine the three perspectives. Critical discourse analysis is used to analyse struggles over the interpretation of crises and to explain why some crisis interpretations prevail over others as the basis for crisis-management responses, policy shifts, and structural change. Critical political economy is used to explain the form of major economic, political, and socio-cultural crises and to highlight the limits of “arbitrary, rationalistic and willed” readings of a crisis, including denial on the one hand and permanent catastrophism on the other. And critical governance studies are developed to explore the inherent, but variable, limits of any and all attempts to govern (the risks of) crisis. I illustrate these diverse arguments from an ongoing research project on the cultural political economy of crises of crisis-management that takes the “global financial crisis” as its reference point.
And I conclude with a plea for “romantic public irony” rather than fatalism, cynicism, or opportunism in the face of the ever-renewed challenge of governance failure.
FRIDAY 12 NOVEMBER
6pm Lecture Theatre 12 (Building X)
Keynote Public Lecture
Professor John Mueller
(Mueller powerpoint presentation)
(Recording of Mueller presentation - restricted)
Maintaining the Catastrophe Quota
In an important sense the world is, has always been, and always will be in crisis. This is because there is, or seems to be, gain in exaggerating the importance of contemporary problems. Routinely, when one problem is resolved or goes away, another can always be elevated to fill the gap and, in the case of national and international security concerns, there has been a persistent tendency to inflate threat. In the meantime, economic development continues, life expectancies increase, and the amount of war and armed conflict declines. There are problems along the way, and there can be setbacks. But few, if any, of these deserve to be labeled “crises.”
SATURDAY 13 NOVEMBER
10am Lecture Theatre 12 (Building X)
Keynote Public Lecture
Afghanistan 2010: Winners or losers?
(Recording of Malalai Joya presentation - restricted)
When the United States invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, the country was suffering the consequences of over 20 years of war. The promise of the US and NATO forces was to find terrorist Osama Bin Laden and liberate women from the horror of the Taliban regime.
Nine years on, life in occupied Afghanistan has changed little as poverty, insecurity and social instability remain. But the explanation for continued occupation has shifted: to establish a stable, western style, democratic country. But since 2001, each year has seen an escalation in Afghan civilian deaths, the strengthening of Afghan resistance and little social change across the country, particularly for women. In their control pursuits, the western forces have neglected to seek out and support the true democratic elements in the country. Here lies the opportunity for true, positive change.
IDEAS OF REGIONALISM IN ASIA
Professor Baogang He, Chair in International Studies, Deakin University
Associate Professor Wang Yuzhu, Chinese Academic of Social Sciences, China
Professor Rajendra K. Jain, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Professor Dafri Agussalim, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
Associate Professor Philomena Murray, University of Melbourne
Professor Jaechun Kim, Sogang University, South Korea
The ideas of regionalism have constructive roles in guiding directions, providing visions, and setting up the principle in organizing and creating a regional community. They touch upon the fundamental question of what kind of regional organizations should be formed, and how they should be formed and operated.
There are many competing ideas of, and proposals for, regional development. In 1984, Japanese scholars proposed an Asian economic circle, which was later supported by the Japanese government. In 1987 Japanese economists even suggested the establishment of an economic circle centered around the Japan Sea. The South Korean government in 1987 put forward an idea of a Yellow Sea economic circle. Koo Jong-suh, a Korean scholar also talked of a Northeast Asian community of cooperation. In 1987 Chen Kuiyao, a Hong Kong scholar, suggested that Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong should establish a Great China circle. In 1987, Indonesia suggested triangular economic cooperation among the ASEAN, Japan and South Pacific countries. In 1990 the Malaysian Prime Minster Dr. Mahathir Mohamad proposed an East Asian Economic Caucus that invited praise and criticism. Singapore has strongly advocated the free trade zone of ASEAN. Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong called on building an ASEAN Economic Community: a single production base and a single market, with free movement of goods, services and capital at the ASEAN business and investment summit in Bali, Indonesia on 6 October 2003. In 2008 the Rudd government proposed an ‘Asia Pacific Community’ by the year 2020. In 2009, Yukio Hatoyama, Japanese former prime minister, projected an East Asian Community based on the European Union model to rival the APC. This rivalry between Australia and Japan reminds us of an old rivalry between Malaysia and Australia in the 1990s when both nations put forward different proposals for Asian regionalism.
The various proposals raise a number of important questions. Should Asia follow the EU model to transfer national sovereignty to a regional organization so as to develop a great unity of East Asia? Or should East Asia develop its own model of regionalism that defends national sovereignty, and adopt the more informal, weakly organized dialogue forum, incrementalism, consensus-building, and ASEANization approaches? Who should be the leader in building East Asian regionalism? Should Western countries such as US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand be included or excluded?
There has never been a single vision of what the region is or should be. Different ideas about the region have gained ascendancy at different times and in different places. Rather than following a linear deterministic path, these ideas have been the focus of power struggles, with competing actors promoting their own particular idea of regionalism while attempting to undermine rival claims. The outcome of this competition is that some visions of the region materialise in the form of institutions, while other grand ideas rise briefly, only to sink again without a trace. In this contest to define the region, why do some ideas fail to win support and others succeed? How do ideas of regionalism gain historical resonance and how are they transmitted from one nation-state to another? What current ideas are in conflict with one another, what ideas are complementary, and how will this contest over ideas shape the future of the Asian region?
This proposed special issue investigates these questions about ideas of regionalism in Asia with a particular focus on the relationship between ideas and power politics. It assesses the ideas of regionalism that have been promoted by great power actors, as well as those that have been promoted by middle powers, looking at how different actors sell their vision of the region to others, build support for their ideas and manoeuvre against competing proposals. Although ideas about regionalism often appear to be thinly disguised expressions of national interests, an important question for Asia is whether or not ideas about the region can move beyond the limits of narrow national interests into a shared sense of community. A strength of this special issue will be its mapping of the historical evolution of ideas about the region, allowing not only a comparison between the ideas about Asian regionalism that have emerged in different countries, but also an investigation of how these ideas interact with one another and how they are revised over time. It covers not only the “big ideas” about regionalism that focus on questions such as defining who is included as part of the Asian community, but also the “small ideas” that focus on solving practical problems such as instituting mechanisms for regional finance or establishing a regional currency.
Although the special issue focuses on the Asian region, the issues it investigates are of global significance. The role played by factors such as the institutional arena, trade conditions, security relations, and health and environmental challenges in shaping ideas about regionalism in Asia will have implications for regionalism in other parts of the world.
In summary, each chapter will examine the ideas on regionalism in terms of governing norms, material interests and regional security, and investigate how power relations to materialize ideas and how key actors interact each other.
CULTURE, LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY
Associate Professor Guo-Qiang Liu, Coordinator and Senior Lecturer, Chinese Language and Cultural Studies, Deakin University
Mr Hakeem Kasem, Co-ordinator and Senior Lecturer in Arabic Studies
Dr Rosemary Suliman, University of Western Sydney
Dr Birut Zemits, Charles Darwin University
In this workshop, we explore the theme of identity relating to culture and language. In this ever changing world at increasingly faster pace, we are frequently confronted with crises, changes which we are not comfortable with and beyond our control. Such changes or crises inevitably impact on our sense of cultural and linguistic self, leading us to question who and what we are, who and what we are becoming, and who and what we want to become. We will consider various issues broadly related but not exclusive to culture, language, and identity in areas of cultural studies, linguistics, social linguistics, language acquisition, language policy, language education etc.
Professor Fethi Mansouri, Chair Migration & Intercultural Research, Deakin University
Transnational ties and their consequent configurations for citizenship and intercultural relations are shaping the way new social and political relationships are being constructed within the nation state. This paper aims to examine our understanding of the interrelationship between transnational practices and local integration among migrants in the west. Transnationalism in general would appear to play a heuristic role in engendering integration into the host society, particularly in relation to the fluid negotiation of cultural and religious identity that transcends the boundaries of the nation state. Yet, a transnational approach to local integration can also be compromised by a heightened sense of social exclusion, perceived ethnic segregation and societal anxieties toward religious activism and religiosity (in particular in the case of Islam). Therefore this panel will explore whether an upholding of transnational ties can in some cases work against developing a sense of connection to one’s local milieu. It will also examine the complex relationship between transnational practices and related cultural identities on the one hand and issues of national belonging and active citizenship outcomes on the other. In do so, the chapter will reflect on whether transnationalism in general can be posited as a potential conduit toward local integration, despite the obvious tensions relating to social inequality among migrant communities in western émigré societies.
SECULARISATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS
Dr Matthew Sharpe, Lecturer, Deakin University
Professor Nikolas Kompridis, University of Western Sydney
Professor Tracey Rowland, University of Notre Dame
Professor Wayne Hudson, University of Tasmania
Dr Phillip Quadrio, University of New South Wales
Associate Professor John Rundell, University of Melbourne
The recent “GFC” called the wider public’s attention in the developed nations to the possibility that the world may be in crisis. Yet for decades, different voices in the intellectual and religious community have been arguing that the modern West faces crises of various fundamental kinds: crises of values (nihilism or relativism), crises of social disintegration, crises of a science gone mad, crises of political legitimisation. With the fall of the Berlin wall and the seemingly terminal failure of Communism as a secular alternative to liberal-capitalism, criticisms of capitalist modernity motivated by religious perspectives of various kinds have become increasingly vocal. The most tangible, violent forms of such criticisms are the religious fundamentalisms, whose vehement criticisms and sometimes violent acts of terrorism respond to a powerful sense of the moral vacuity of the liberal West. Yet the ‘return to religion’ is a much wider, and more complex, phenomenon than this. Within the academic world, many figures of the post-Marxian Left have turned to figures like Saint Paul to try to motivate resistance to the perceived injustices of global capitalism. Differently, a variety of thinkers, often from avowed religious perspectives, have begun to call into question, theoretically and politically, the very idea of secularisation and the separation of churches and the state. If we are to be serious about the once-fashionable language of post-modernity, some argue, we must consider the type of religious forms of thought and practice which the modern enlightenment thought that it had refuted, or consigned to the private sphere. The liberal state and public sphere, they suggest, is not a 'natural' outcome of the enlightening course of human progress, but a by-product of a particular, Christian religious heritage. On the other hand, the odd, but perhaps non-coincidental, couple to these re-emergent religious voices are the vocal ‘new atheists’: thinkers like Dawkins, Hitchens, or Grayling. Far from representing a neutral reason, their critics assert, they represent their own, new kind of fundamentalism, so we are left with a 'clash of faiths', if not a clash of civilisations.
This workshop will address questions raised by the recent, much-touted return to religion. Why is this turn occurring now? What are its practical, political, and intellectual prospects? Are the forms of religion that the new atheists declaim, or the new post-secular thinkers propose returning to, really points of external resistance to liberal modernity, or its by-products? Is religion only ever a force of political reaction in modernity, or are there resources in it which progressive, even secular social movements, could engage with or adopt? Are the new atheisms, or on the opposite side, the new fundamentalisms, really novel phenomena, or has religion only ever been artificially sidelined in the modern Western states? Has modern liberalism only really been kidding itself about its non-doctrinal neutrality between different faiths, and if so, what should follow?
POLITICS OF ECONOMIC CRISIS
Dr Andrew Vandenberg, Senior Lecturer, Deakin University
Dr Andrew Scott, RMIT University
Associate Professor Geoff Dow, University of Queensland
The supposed verities of neo-liberalism have come under renewed question in recent times. The "global financial crisis" and an escalating sense of urgency about pollution and global warming have prompted renewed argument about the roles and responsibilities of states, large corporations, unions, protest groups, and the relations between these actors and polities, societies, markets, and the environment. How significant is the global financial crisis compared to previous financial and economic crises? How are nation states coping with the combination of economic crisis and pressing environmental concerns?
Professor Evelyne de Leeuw, School of Medicine, Deakin University
An invitation to explore exciting new research opportunities ‘Global Health’ embraces a perspective that action on determinants of health transcends the traditional quarantine paradigm that seems to have been successful in theWestphalian nation-state. Global health governance arrangements in a networked world demand new dynamics between old and new players and may challenge concepts of
Mammoth global institutions such as the World Health Organization are aware of these challenges. The revitalized International Health Regulations and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, as well as a range of new coalitions in which WHO only seems to be a mere partner may well reflect the shift toward new global health governance and diplomacy.
The reconfiguration of these arrangements leads to numerous new and exciting research questions. In the context of the International Public Lecture and Workshop Series 'The World In Crisis - business as usual?' organized by the School of International and Political Science we are proud to welcome Katherine DeLand (WHO Geneva) who will present the current state of play in this field and lead a workshop in which new research opportunities will be explored.
Katherine DeLand has published papers on international health law and policy and on tobacco control policy. She has coauthored chapters in two editions of the Oxford Textbook of Public Health on these topics, and is currently working on a paper on using international law to address noncommunicable diseases including alcohol abuse and obesity for a symposium organized by Roger Magnusson, who is on the Law Faculty at the University of Sydney. She has presented to undergraduate and graduate level academic audiences and professional audiences on global health governance, using international law to address public health issues (both broadly and in the context of, e.g., tobacco control, infectious disease, and organ donation), and WHO's role in international law and governance on health and on international law. Venues for these lectures include the World Forum on Drugs, the World Cancer Congress, the World Conference on Tobacco or Health, UCLA, University of Sydney, The Graduate Institute of International Studies (Geneva), Cambridge University and Boston University.
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