Politics + Society – Analysis and Comment

Under the assertive leadership of Xi Jinping, China won’t meekly accept the terms of closer engagement with Australia being determined by the US alliance. AAP/Lukas Coch

Australian foreign policy needs a shake-up after two decades of sclerotic decline

The past two decades were years of sclerosis and decline in Australia’s once creative and agile foreign policy. A new course must be set to meet the challenges of exciting but risky times.
Kevin Rudd is reportedly campaigning to take over as UN secretary-general when Ban Ki-moon’s term expires in 2016. EPA/Peter Foley

Is Kevin Rudd the very model of a modern UN secretary-general?

If history is a guide, the next UN secretary-general will be from Eastern Europe, working in their national government, and with strong foreign service experience.
Police in NSW will soon be equipped with body cameras – as will their counterparts on Queensland’s Gold Coast in domestic violence incidents. AAP/Andi Yu

Beware the unintended consequences of police-worn body cameras

Police-worn body cameras could be a helpful tool for law enforcement in cases involving domestic violence. But they could also have unintended consequences.
Despite the signing of agreements with NSW and Victoria to roll out the NDIS, many people with disability will still need much better supported housing options. AAP/Lukas Coch

Bringing the NDIS home: smarter housing design for people with disability

As the NDIS roll-out begins, Australia faces a housing shortfall affecting up to 122,000 participants. Developing smart technology and design offers more independent living for people with disability.
Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his team go on a bus tour thanking supporters after their landslide election victory. Reuters/Edgar Su

Fear, smear and the paradox of authoritarian politics in Singapore

Elections Singapore-style are so heavily stacked in favour of the PAP, which has ruled for 56 years, that the country's newly re-elected government is more authoritarian than democratic.
David Leyonhjelm is chairing the Senate inquiry into ‘Personal Choice and Community Impacts’. AAP/Sam Mooy

Is the minimal state a reasonable response to the nanny state?

We don’t know what will come out of the Senate inquiry into the 'nanny state', but we do have some idea about what Australia would look like based on libertarian principles.
Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis was a target of the Fitzgerald Inquiry. Supplied

Book extract: All Fall Down

Matthew Condon’s new book, All Fall Down, ends Queensland Police Commissioner Terry Lewis’ story amid the demise of the Rat Pack and their corrupt system of graft payments known as “The Joke”.
Volunteering is a way to get involved in your community as this man, who has a refugee background, is doing in his work with older vision-impaired people. Volunteering Western Australia (VWA)

Where have all the volunteers gone?

The rate of volunteering among Australians and the hours individuals contribute appear to be falling. So how do people see volunteering and what can be done to restore this vital community activity?