Monthly Archives: February 2017

Crime and Punishment Show

In which the nerds talk about the prospect of Senator Cory Bernardi’s, new conservative splinter party, examine crime, justice and the media in Australia, and look at research research examining the strategic decision making of Hamas in Palestine.

Hosts:

  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr Amanda Elliott, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney

Guests:

  • Dr Alyce McGovern, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales
  • Dr. Martin Kear, Lecturer, Department of Government and International Relations

With post-show chatter!

Podcast Special: Interview with Shaun Ratcliff

A full length interview with Shaun Ratcliff (University of Sydney), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled “Same-sex Marriage debate in Australia: Public opinion and policy congruence”, written with DrsAndrea Carson (University of Melbourne) and Yannick Dufresne (Universite Laval)

The abstract for the paper is:

    Democratic theory is predicated on the representative role of parties. In particular, representative democracies require that a certain degree of congruence exists between public opinion and the policies pursued by legislators. This paper seeks to identify the degree of this congruence on a particular issue: same sex marriage. This policy area is particularly useful for studying the link between public opinion and legislator policy activity as it is one of the few matters of public concern for which reliable data is available for both voters’ preferences in every Australian electorate and the position taken by most legislators in the Australian Federal Parliament. We study the relationship between public opinion on same-sex marriage and legislator’s position on this issue, and the individual and environmental factors that condition this relationship, using the unique Vote Compass data, collected during the 2013 federal election campaign, information from the 2011 Census, and advances in public opinion estimation. This methodology is used to create estimates of support for same-sex marriage in all 150 electoral divisions contested in this election. We then estimate the probability a parliamentarian would support same-sex marriage legislation in 2012, 2015 and the likelihood they would change their position from no to yes between these years. This study’s findings provide the first Australian test of the relationship between public opinion and legislators’ policy positions.

Podcast Special: Interview with Kcasey McLoughlin

A full length interview with Dr Kcasey McLoughlin (University of Newcastle), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled “Offensive intrusions and protected spaces: The personal, the public and the political” with Jim Jose (University of Newcastle).

The abstract for the paper is:


    In 2013 the High Court ruled on whether the application of s.471.12 of the Criminal Code 1995 to prosecute Man Haron Monis (and his partner, Ms Amirah Droudis) for sending offensive material through the postal services contravened their right to free speech. All members of the High Court agreed the material was offensive but in an historic first the Court split on gender lines—the three women judges upheld the constitutional validity of the Criminal Code, whereas the three men judges found for Monis and Droudis. The divergent opinions adopted by the men and women judges in Monis are revealing about contemporary judicial understandings of the public and private spheres, and perhaps the political nature of the personal. We argue that these judicial opinions signal a seismic shift in how at least half the court thought about what properly belonged in which sphere. When these judgments are interpreted in the context of the political discourses which permeated the decision, both within and beyond the High Court, these judicial understandings of the contours of freedom of communication and notions of ‘harm’, ‘home’, ‘private’ and ‘public’ mean that offensive intrusions are protected, the private space of one’s home is not. Further, we argue that the judgments in Monis reveal a propensity to embed linguistic violence within judicial language and in effect give licence to antisocial, violent behaviour. In consequence, the judgments endorse a return to masculinist understandings of political behaviour and democratic practice.

APSA Statement on US President’s Travel Ban

The Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) has now released its statement on the travel ban to the United States, a ban that has already begun to affect our members and students.
The statement reads:

The Australian Political Studies Association is deeply concerned by the Executive Order issued by the US President on January 27th 2017. The Executive Order bans entry into the United States for 90 days for travellers with citizenship from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen and bans travellers from Syria indefinitely.
A travel ban on people of selected nationalities harms academic freedom and inhibits the global exchange of knowledge and ideas that is central to academic enterprise. This is particularly harmful coming from a country which has such an important presence in the global academy. Australian-based academics who are citizens of or refugees from the affected countries, or who undertake research in the affected countries, may now face significant barriers to conference attendance, research or fellowships in the United States. Many American-based academics will now face the prospect of being unable to return if they leave the United States to attend conferences or undertake research. The uncertainty around the legality of this order, its exact terms, and how it will be implemented makes it very difficult for potentially affected people to plan international travel for either work or family reasons. This is unacceptably discriminatory and destructive of academic freedom.
We are also concerned that a ban on refugees for any length of time violates the obligations of the United States under the Geneva Convention, and that this ban targets people of Muslim faith in a way that may violate the United States Constitution. It endangers vulnerable people around the world and will damage relations between the United States and other countries. We join the calls of numerous Political Science associations worldwide, and express solidarity with our colleagues in the USA and with all Americans who are urging the President and the United States government to end this ban immediately.

You can link to the APSA statement here: http://www.auspsa.org.au/page/news