• Early warning alert

    Chris Taylor     |      July 5, 2024

    Dictators and hostile states from Hitler’s Germany to Putin’s Russia and Xi’s China tend to flag their actions long before the shooting starts, and a new national Centre to issue strategic warnings of all types could help Australia prepare.

  • Women in diplomacy

    Elise Stephenson     |      July 1, 2024

    Australia has made remarkable strides in gender equality in diplomacy, achieving near parity in its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. However, globally, women remain underrepresented in diplomacy, highlighting the need for continued efforts to address gender disparities and ensure equal representation worldwide.

  • PwCorruption

    Carl Rhodes     |      June 15, 2024

    The PwC tax leaks scandal offered us an opportunity to ask hard questions about the shady role of major consulting firms in Government and the corrupt culture of big business that places profits above any sense of priority, but a year after the furore, what has really changed?

  • Does Australia need a human rights act?

    Open Forum     |      June 14, 2024

    Australia is the only Western democracy that doesn’t have a national Human Rights Act, but this may be about to change.

  • Second time around

    Michelle Grattan     |      June 8, 2024

    Anthony Albanese recently told the Labor caucus his cabinet is preparing “an offer” to put to the Australian people at the election. As it crafts its pitch, the biggest uncertainty looming over Labor is what sort of parliament a second term Albanese government would likely face.

  • Labor’s first term report card

    John Quiggin     |      May 19, 2024

    The Albanese government’s electoral strategy has constrained it to do little more than tweak the policy settings it inherited from the previous government, and adopt them as its own.

  • Natural philosophy

    Open Forum     |      May 17, 2024

    Public policy should be based on scientific evidence – but scientists often lament the gap between science and policy, while policy-makers feel that scientists don’t deliver the evidence that is needed, so perhaps philosophical expertise can help close the gap between research and policy.

  • Chalmers’ budget giveaway

    Stephen Bartos     |      May 15, 2024

    Jim Chalmers has produced a benign third budget aimed at soothing hard-pressed voters agitated about their high cost of living and punishing interest rates without making things worse by over-stoking the economy.

  • Consultancy blues

    Marty Bortz     |      May 12, 2024

    The drive to privatise everything has led to consultants taking on the work of public servants. But at what cost? The PwC scandal in Australia highlights how the excessive use of consultants has very real implications for democratic decision-making.

  • The birth and death of democracy

    George Lawson     |      May 11, 2024

    In their interesting, carefully crafted book on the problems facing liberal international order, Peter Trubowitz and Brian Burgoon argue that the geopolitical predicament facing the Western democracies is premised on their domestic politics.

  • Lobbying gets an orange pass

    Joo-Cheong Tham     |      May 10, 2024

    The recently released Senate report on lobbying in the Federal government passes the buck on improving transparency or strengthening legislation against bribery and influence peddling to protect democracy.

  • Failure to launch

    Laura Woodbridge     |      April 29, 2024

    The lack of women in the national legislature suggests our political system is misfiring, and this inequality of gender representation also undermines the democratic notion of government being for the people, by the people.