Politics + Society – Analysis and Comment

The political crisis surrounding the 2012 ousting of Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed led to a return to authoritarian rule. Dying Regime/flickr

Does Islam have a problem with democracy? The case of the Maldives

Democracy did not fail in the Maldives because it clashed with Islam. Instead, a privileged and powerful elite helped topple the elected government, and nations that advocate democratic ideals did little to stop them.
Australia’s two major political parties are highly dependent on contributions from business by the standards of other rich democracies. AAP/Lukas Coch

No bribes please, we’re corrupt Australians!

Australia’s political finance system is corrupt – but not because of bribery, or indeed any substantial quid pro quo.
Former independent member for Wills, Phil Cleary, joins Sophie Mirabella and Cathy McGowan in photos at a Wodonga football match. Sophie Mirabella/Pat Hutchens

The Indi Project: Sophie Mirabella in the bunker

Phil Cleary, left-leaning one-time independent member for Wills, and Sophie Mirabella, the former Liberal MP for Indi who is trying to regain the seat, are far from political soulmates.
Who took the points in the first leaders' debate of the 2016 campaign? AAP/Tracey Nearmy

Turnbull and Shorten face off in leaders' debate: experts respond

The Conversation’s experts respond to the first Turnbull-Shorten debate with an eye across key policy areas and the leaders’ performances.
Jane Jacobs holds up documentary evidence at a 1961 press conference during the campaign to save the West Village. Wikimedia Commons

What might Jane Jacobs say about smart cities?

In an age of data-driven urban science, we need to remember how Jane Jacobs gave voice to the multiple languages, meanings, experiences and knowledge systems of a vibrant city.
Diplomats and officials from 17 countries met in Bangkok in May 2015 to discuss how to deal with the thousands of Rohingya and Bangladeshi refugees. AAP/Diego Azubel

The Andaman Sea refugee crisis a year on: is the region now better prepared?

Plans for more robust architecture on forced migration need to be more advanced. Countries in our region must not rest on their laurels.
Regional leaders must continue to take concrete steps to avoid a repeat of the 2015 Andaman Sea refugee crisis. Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun

The Andaman Sea refugee crisis a year on: what happened and how did the region respond?

The region is showing signs it is determined to ensure similar mass displacement crises such as that which took place in the Andaman Sea in 2015 are avoided.
Opponents of projects are often scorned as NIMBYs, but active citizenship and local consultation are key elements in creating a city that works well for as many people as possible. Teresa Parker/AAP

30-minute city’? Not in my backyard! Smart Cities Plan must let people have their say

Cities are home to many different people who will not always agree. We need to learn to embrace public debate as an ongoing, constructive process for working through diverse views and values.