Sections

Services

Information

AU Australia

Politics + Society — Analysis and Comment

The silent majority of Muslims shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of Islam’s radical followers – they are victims of radical Islam. EPA/Ali Abbas

Islam’s silent majority: moderate voices drowned out by extremists

Stretching from north Africa to east Asia, many Muslims are engaged in a life-and-death tussle with extremists who are bent on extinguishing the diversity of opinions within the Muslim community. Atrocities…
Opposition leader Bill Shorten described the rape allegation as abhorrent. AAP/Paul Miller

Shorten outs himself as Labor figure in rape investigation

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has identified himself as the senior Labor figure investigated by Victoria Police after an allegation he had raped a young woman in the 1980s. In a claim made last October…
A screengrab from Islamic State’s execution video of American journalist James Foley. Liveleak

James Foley, Islamic State and the media’s treatment of terrorism

The US government has confirmed the veracity of a video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State (IS) militants. US president Barack Obama condemned the act overnight…
With an area smaller than an A4 sheet of paper required per bird, battery hens are debeaked so they don’t peck each other to death. Wikimedia

We have animal welfare laws but they don’t stop the suffering

Julian Burnside and Daniel Reynolds wrote recently for The Conversation that: … animals do have greater rights than asylum seekers in Australia. In fact, Australian law requires that animals be treated…
When faced with an economic policy agenda, the public must be persuaded on two fronts: that it is justified both by evidence and morally. AAP/Paul Miller

The government can sell the budget if it gets its story straight

It is now more than three months since the Abbott government released its first budget. Amid the subsequent wrangling over controversial measures such as the A$7 GP co-payment and re-indexing the fuel…
While African Australians can express themselves in ethnic events such as Sydney’s Africulture festival, they still have almost no presence in mainstream media debate, even when it’s about them. AAP/Newzulu/Teresa Parker

Debate on free speech alone means little for minorities

Recent debates about freedom of expression in Australia have largely neglected the ethnic minority media sector. These debates came to a head in the lead-up to the federal government’s recent decision…
Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane says Australian political leaders have understood the importance of making minorities feel a part of the community. humanrights.gov.au

What does ‘Team Australia’ mean, Race Discrimination Commissioner asks

Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane has raised questions about Tony Abbott’s term “Team Australia” and warned that the “tone” of leadership matters. The Islamic Council of Victoria this…
Noel Pearson has long had the ear of government, including then minister Tony Abbott back in 2002. AAP/Alan Porritt

Pearson’s grip on Indigenous policy is not backed by evidence

Noel Pearson is seen by many as Australia’s most influential Indigenous leader. As well as being chairman of the Cape York Group, he is an outspoken commentator who shapes policy as part of the Abbott…
Personal dispositions, feelings and beliefs may play a decisive role in explaining why people become radicalised. EPA/Stringer

What goes on in the mind of a militant extremist?

So far, the ongoing discussions about radicalisation of extremists both at home and abroad have tended to emphasise its sociological aspects. It has focused on concepts such as the religion and social…
The blurring of the line between the military and the police, especially in the US, is now on the political agenda following recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. EPA/Roberto Rodriguez

Urban combat: Ferguson and the militarisation of police

Anyone watching the footage coming out of Ferguson, Missouri in recent days would be forgiven for thinking they had tuned into a scene from a combat zone, rather than suburban America. There has been a…
NSW premier Mike Baird’s government remains resilient despite a growing body count as a result of revelations at the state’s ICAC. AAP/Nikki Short

A growing body count by ICAC hasn’t hurt the NSW Liberals – yet

The New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) is the state’s most popular institution. If you need proof, ask yourself: just how many other government bodies have members of the…
The future of Scotland … this boy waves the flag for an independent nation. cx1uk/Flickr

What makes Scotland different doesn’t depend on referendum result

One month from today, the people of Scotland will vote in a referendum. The question is: Should Scotland be an independent country? The immediate issues surrounding this question have been widely reported…
Heeding four key messages can make learning to drive a safe and happy experience. Bridie Scott-Parker

What parents need to know about learner drivers: four key lessons

Learner drivers and parents are often thrown in the deep end when it comes to learning to drive and recording hours in the logbook. As part of a unique approach to improving young driver road safety, I…
For acting on a NSW Law Reform Commission review of bail laws, Greg Smith was pilloried for having gone from ‘Rambo’ in opposition to ‘marshmallow soft’ on crime as attorney-general. Daily Telegraph

Is rational law reform still possible in a shock-jock tabloid world?

The New South Wales government’s decision to “review” and amend the new Bail Act after only one month in operation illustrates worrying trends in public policymaking relevant to all jurisdictions. It raises…
The ideology of the market struggles with the society-focused work of community volunteers. AAP/Julian Smith

As our voluntary sector vanishes, we mustn’t just wave it goodbye

Some community welfare sector commentators point to a new order for welfare where the private sector practises social responsibility, states seek to be more entrepreneurial and voluntary community organisations…
In telegraphing toughness on foreign policy issues, Hillary Clinton hopes to send the message that the US will act like a great power when she’s president. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Clinton fires first shot in battle to show she’ll be different as president

Few people expected the opening shots of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to be fired across the bow of the Obama administration. Yet in a recent interview, the former secretary of state took aim…
The G20 summit in Toronto in 2010 was marred by violent clashes between protestors and police. Will there be a repeat in Queensland later this year? EPA/Warren Toda

State of anarchy: policing Queensland for the G20

Queensland will be on the world stage when it hosts some of the most powerful world leaders during the G20 summit this November. But how prepared is Queensland for the expected protests at the event, and…
The recent introduction of unisex dormitories in the Norwegian army was associated with a decline in incidences of sexual assault. Metziker

Why Norway says No Way to gender segregation in the military

Earlier this year, Norwegian sociologists Ulla-Britt Lilleaas and Dag Ellingsen released a report on their country’s armed forces entitled The Army: The Vanguard, Rear Guard and Battlefield of Equality…
A coffin bearing the remains of a victim from flight MH17 arrives in the Netherlands. In determining compensation, the onus is on the airline to prove it wasn’t at fault or negligent. EPA/Bas Czerwinski

The loss of flight MH17: how much compensation – and who pays?

On July 17, 2014, Malaysia Airlines flight 17 (MH17) – an international passenger flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur – crashed in eastern Ukraine. All 298 passengers and crew were killed. It appears…
The Scottish independence referendum shows it is possible for a nation to debate fundamental questions of national identity in an intelligent, informed and inclusive way. EPA/Graham Stuart

An independent country? Scotland and direct democracy

History resonates in Edinburgh. The 2014 International Festival opened last weekend with the James cycle of plays by Rona Munro. It is a study of the first three Stewart kings named James, and a timely…