Politics + Society – Analysis and Comment

In preparation for China’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of the second world war, a couple in Luoyang, Henan province, re-enacts the famous photograph taken in New York’s Times Square on V-J Day. Reuters

On our side: remembering the national and international in China’s war

It would be wrong to see China's role in the second world war as a story of the powerful West coming to the rescue of a hapless Chinese nation.
Andrew Hastie (left) is hoping to retain the Western Australian seat of Canning for the Liberal Party. AAP/Sarah Motherwell

The lowdown on the Canning byelection

Two-and-a-half weeks out from polling day, Natalie Mast sat down with elections expert William Bowe to discuss the 12 candidates, the major parties' campaigns, and key issues in Canning.
Despite the show of people power in Malaysia’s streets, the greatest threat to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s leadership is probably from within his own party. Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha

People power challenges Malaysia’s PM, but change from within most likely

The demonstrations against Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak are a potent manifestation of the scale of disillusionment with the government.
Australia’s traditional reliance on multilateralism and alliances won’t be enough to negotiate the geopolitical rivalries of the Asian century. EPA/Barbara Walton

In Australia’s third century, we must rethink our responses to a new world

For the past two centuries, Australia got many of the big calls on global engagement right. In our third century, there are worrying signs that we have not fully grasped what the rise of Asia means.
By appointing former police officer Roman Quaedvlieg to head a uniformed branch that replaced an administrative agency, the Abbott government all but guaranteed a more aggressive enforcement culture. AAP/Glenn Hunt

Operation Fortitude: it’s not just clumsy wording that should worry us

While the Australian Border Force's Operation Fortitude caused an outcry, people might be surprised at the extent of official powers to check their immigration status in a range of circumstances.
The Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is home to thousands of the nine million refugees displaced by the conflict in Syria. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

Australian bombs won’t bring peace to Syria, so why do it?

Australia should keep out of the Syrian conflict. Instead, it should respect the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes by promoting a diplomatic end.
Usain Bolt (centre) won the highly anticipated men’s 100m event at the World Athletics Championships in Beijing. EPA/Hu Wong

Why are we so opposed to performance-enhancing drugs in sport?

In sport, there seems no reasonable justification for drawing a line in the sand that places drug use on one side and the other performance enhancers on the other.
American journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward were shot dead live on air, allegedly by a former colleague. EPA/WDBJ7

Virginia TV shootings: murder as a media event

If someone wants to create panic with a gun and a smartphone, they can. If journalists want to protect the public from disturbing images, they can't.
Former Prisoner star Maggie Kirkpatrick was found guilty of a charge of child sex abuse dating back to the 1980s. AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Why does it take victims of child sex abuse so long to speak up?

Many factors are at play in enabling or constraining a child to speak directly about abuse and bringing that complaint to the attention of the authorities.
Tony Abbott has flagged a plebiscite, or ‘people’s vote’, on same-sex marriage. AAP/Mick Tsikas

A plebiscite on marriage? Robert Menzies didn’t need it

Every generation in the last 150 years has seen in Australia a contest over marriage which reflects shifting positions on its defining features, and its associated rights and obligations.
Children from a village in Papua New Guinea’s Western Highlands Province stand in one of countless sweet potato gardens destroyed by frost across the country, August 2015. Kud Sitango

As Papua New Guinea faces worsening drought, a past disaster could save lives

Papua New Guinea is now facing a drought and frosts that look set to be worse than 1997, when hundreds of people died. So how can memories of 1997 save lives over the next few months?
Most Asia-Pacific governments are more focused on preventing irregular movement of asylum seekers and refugees than addressing the underlying causes of such movement. UNHCR/S.H. Omi

How civil society can improve refugee protection in the Asia-Pacific

In many regional countries there are civil society organisations attempting to fill the protection gap for refugees through service provision, advocacy, or both.