This lecture series contains a sample presentations from the 2016 iteration of the second-year undergraduate subject Global Environmental Politics of the 21st Century (POL2GEP) at La Trobe University, coordinated by Dr […]
In this final lecture in the “Global Environmental Politics in the 21st Century” series, Dr Benjamin Habib explores possibilities for a regenerative environmental politics based on the archetype of the […]
It is easy to get lost in hubris when it comes to the transformative impacts of sport on the real world. There is something about international football tournaments in particular […]
Dr Carloyn D’Cruz and Dr Benjamin Habib critically examine Australian rules football as a microcosm of Australian society and a mirror onto ourselves. We rap about how class, politics, corporatisation, […]
In this posting I want to explore a provocative question: is football a mind-numbing salve of the masses? Australian rules football is deeply embedded in the culture of the city […]
Francis Fukuyama’s prediction about the “End of History” might be fulfilled after all, although not in the way he intended. Fukuyama argued in 1992 that liberal democratic capitalism was the […]
BY BEN HABIB. In this podcast I am joined in conversation with Professor Judith Brett, Head of School in the School of Social Sciences at La Trobe University, to discuss her Quarterly Essay entitled Fair Share: Country and City in Australia. In our discussion, Judy interprets some of my observations and experiences growing up and living in regional areas, in the context of the themes of her essay. Topics covered in our discussion include the brain drain from the country to the city, efforts to attract skilled personnel to regional centres, the urban-rural culture clash, intellectual capital and bigotry, along with politics, multiculturalism and environmental issues in country Australia.
BY BEN HABIB. Staff and students from La Trobe University attended yesterday’s rally (Tuesday 29th June 2012) in support of our colleagues at Wodonga TAFE, in protest over the Baillieu government’s drastic thirty percent funding cut to Victorian TAFE institutions.
On Tuesday 24th April 2012, La Trobe University politics lecturer Dr Nicholas Barry gave a guest presentation to first year Australian Politics: Government and Society students and University of the Third […]
BY BEN HABIB. Thank you to everyone who responded to my previous blog posting Anzac Day: Poignant Remembrance or Mythologisation. Your constructive (and not so constructive) comments and criticisms have helped me to further explore my thoughts on ANZAC Day and reach a more nuanced position.
BY BEN HABIB. Australia has a complicated national story. We do no justice to any of the protagonists in this epic tale by leaving out portions of the story or inventing myths to obfuscate its darker moments. I feel sorry for the people who cannot ponder the Galipoli story in all of its complexity. On April 25th, I choose to remember the humanity of those who lost their lives at Galipoli, rather than the excesses of the politicised mythology that has become their unfortunate legacy.
BY BEN HABIB. The sustainability movement has for many years been preparing to confront converging environmental, energy and financial crises. That moment is now here. To adapt with as little disruption as possible, it has never been more important to embrace living lightly.
BY BEN HABIB. Last Saturday I provided comment in an article in the Border Mail—‘Doug takes up fight on carbon tax’—about a new group called Border Says NO to Carbon Tax being established by local trucking operator Doug McMillan. No-one wants to see hard working local businessmen like Doug McMillan lose their livelihoods. If people with climate-related expertise can work cooperatively with local businesses and other impacted members of the community, we can constructively adapt to the many challenges posed by climate change instead of further fracturing the community for the sake of argument. However for the cooperative approach to work, everyone has to begin from a position of informed empowerment.
BY BEN HABIB. Carnivale is by far my favourite annual community event in Wodonga. The economic benefits of Carnivale are great for the town, but there are intangible benefits that are far more important.
BY BEN HABIB. The appointment of former New South Wales Premier and newly minted Federal senator Bob Carr as foreign minister is a bold statement of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s intent to vanquish the prowling wolves within her own ranks.
BY BEN HABIB. The current Gillard-Rudd confrontation highlights the problems that Australia’s 20th century political parties face in dealing with 21st century policy problems. The Gillard-Rudd rivalry is a story of ambition, bitterness and betrayal. Yet there is a broader dimension to the ALP leadership crisis that is more complicated.
BY BEN HABIB. What is Australia Day all about? Like many people, I am increasingly disturbed that our national holiday is becoming more of a drunken orgy for flag-waving rednecks than an opportunity for Australians to appreciate our national story in all its complexity. In raising a number of questions about Australia Day, I challenge you to think more deeply about the Australian national story and what it means to be an Australian.
BY BEN HABIB. On Sunday 10th July, 2011, the Gillard government announced the details of its long-awaited carbon tax—the Clean Energy Future scheme. The hype surrounding the announcement was justified; for a number of reasons, this was one of the most important public policy announcements since Federation. I have a cautiously favourable view of the scheme, based on clear scientific evidence about the seriousness of the climate change threat and expert analysis indicating that a market-based carbon price is the cheapest and easiest way to achieve comprehensive nation-wide greenhouse gas emission reduction.
BY BEN HABIB. The recent spate of threats against climate change scientists in Australia is an act of tactical ineptitude from those responsible within the climate sceptic movement, which only serves to highlight the weakness of the sceptic position on climate change in the face overwhelming contrary evidence.
BY BEN HABIB. The media is usually the main public forum for political discourse. At its best, the media provides a venue for all sides of a debate to make their case, yet this does not always occur. At its worst, the media is openly biased toward one side of a debate, or narrows the focus of a debate to the exclusion of other mitigating factors, or even disseminates outright untruths. In short, the media is a venue for the contest of power and ideas. In short, the media is a venue for the contest of power and ideas.