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Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform: Volume 26, Number 1, 2019 »

Edited by: William Coleman
Publication date: 2019
Agenda is a refereed, ECONLIT-indexed and RePEc-listed journal of the College of Business and Economics, The Australian National University. Launched in 1994, Agenda provides a forum for debate on public policy, mainly (but not exclusively) in Australia and New Zealand. It deals largely with economic issues but gives space to social and legal policy and also to the moral and philosophical foundations and implications of policy. Subscribe to the Agenda Alerting service if you wish to be advised on forthcoming or new issues.

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The Realities and Futures of Work »

Authored by: David Peetz
Publication date: 2019
What do we know about the current realities of work and its likely futures? What choices must we make and how will they affect those futures? Many books about the future of work start by talking about the latest technology, and focus on how technology is going to change the way we work. And there is no doubt that technology will have huge impacts. However, to really understand the direction in which work is going, and the impact that technology and other forces will have, we need to first understand where we are. This book covers topics ranging from the ‘mega-drivers’ of change at work, power, globalisation and financialisation, to management, workers, digitalisation, the gig economy, gender, climate change, regulation and deregulation. In doing this, it refers to some of the great works of science fiction. It demolishes several myths, such as that the employment relationship is doomed, that we are all heading to becoming ‘freelancers’ or ‘gig workers’ one day, that most jobs will be destroyed by technological change, that the growth in jobs will mainly be in STEM fields, that we will no longer value collectivism as we will all be ‘individuals’, or that the death of unionism is inevitable. The Realities and Futures of Work also rejects the idea of technological determinism—that whatever will be, will be, thanks to technological change—and so it refuses to accept that we simply need to prepare to adapt ourselves to the future by judicious training since there is nothing else we can do about it. Instead, this book provides a realistic basis for thinking about both the present and the future. It emphasises the choices we make, and the implications of those choices for the future of work.

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Labour Lines and Colonial Power »

Indigenous and Pacific Islander Labour Mobility in Australia

Publication date: August 2019
Today, increases of so-called ‘low-skilled’ and temporary labour migrations of Pacific Islanders to Australia occur alongside calls for Indigenous people to ‘orbit’ from remote communities in search of employment opportunities. These trends reflect the persistent neoliberalism within contemporary Australia, as well as the effects of structural dynamics within the global agriculture and resource extractive industries. They also unfold within the context of long and troubled histories of Australian colonialism, and of complexes of race, labour and mobility that reverberate through that history and into the present. The contemporary labour of Pacific Islanders in the horticultural industry has sinister historical echoes in the ‘blackbirding’ of South Sea Islanders to work on sugar plantations in New South Wales and Queensland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as well as in wider patterns of labour, trade and colonisation across the Pacific region. The antecedents of contemporary Indigenous labour mobility, meanwhile, include forms of unwaged and highly exploitative labouring on government settlements, missions, pastoral stations and in the pearling industry. For both Pacific Islanders and Indigenous people, though, labour mobilities past and present also include agentive and purposeful migrations, reflective of rich cultures and histories of mobility, as well as of forces that compel both movement and immobility. Drawing together historians, anthropologists, sociologists and geographers, this book critically explores experiences of labour mobility by Indigenous peoples and Pacific Islanders, including Māori, within Australia. Locating these new expressions of labour mobility within historical patterns of movement, contributors interrogate the contours and continuities of Australian coloniality in its diverse and interconnected expressions.

Teacher for Justice »

Lucy Woodcock's Transnational Life

Publication date: 2019
‘Teacher for Justice is a major contribution to the history of the women’s movement, working‑class activism and Australian political internationalism. But it is more than this. By focusing on the life of Lucy Woodcock – an unrecognised and under-researched figure – this book rewrites the history of twentieth-century Australia from the perspective of an activist who challenged conventions to fight for gender, race and class equality, exploring the complex and multi-layered intersections of these aspects. It explores Woodcock’s personal relationships and the circles she mixed in and the friendships she forged, as well as the conventions she challenged as a single woman in possibly a same-sex relationship. The book makes a key contribution to the history of progressive education and the experience of women teachers. Above all, it charts the life of a transnational figure who made connections globally and, in particular, with refugees and with women in India and the Asian region. It is a detailed, thoroughly researched and richly textured history which places Woodcock within the context of the times in which she lived.’ Joy Damousi, Professor of History, University of Melbourne ‘Meet Lucy Woodcock, a complex, undaunted woman in a tough and changing world. From her role as a public school principal in Depression and wartime, to her union and feminist organising, to her transnational engagements for peace, this clear and thoughtful book brings to life forgotten forms of activism. It’s the gripping story of how Lucy navigated the minefields of gender, class, race and coloniality to change her world.’ Raewyn Connell, Professor Emerita, University of Sydney ‘Just over a century ago, the last of the pupil-teachers, Lucy Woodcock, co-founded the NSW Teachers Federation. So many of the principles and traditions that underpin our union today can be traced back to the lifelong work of Lucy Woodcock. She fought for the industrial rights of teachers deep in the knowledge of the broader social and economic context in which she lived and worked. Too often the role of working-class women whose influence is profound is ignored. This biography installs Lucy Woodcock into her rightful place as pivotal player in the history of twentieth-century Australia.’ Maurie Mulheron, President, NSW Teachers Federation ‘A fascinating history of a fascinating woman: Lucy’s interests were so broad and so modern – equal pay, racism, internationalism, Indigenous rights and anti-war struggles were all part of Lucy’s world. She had a vision beyond nationalism, championed the cause of world peace when peace was being treated as a dirty word and saw women as global citizens. Lucy was one of the heroes of our disgracefully unfinished Equal Pay struggle.’ Hon Dr Meredith Burgmann, anti-racism and peace activist, former President of the NSW Legislative Council

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Competing for Influence »

The Role of the Public Service in Better Government in Australia

Authored by: Barry Ferguson
Publication date: July 2019
Amidst growing dissatisfaction with the state of government performance and an erosion of trust in our political class, Competing for Influence asks: what sort of public service do we want in Australia? Drawing on his experience in both the public and private sectors – and citing academic research across the fields of public sector management, industrial organisation, and corporate strategy – Barry Ferguson argues the case for the careful selection and application of private sector management concepts to the public service, both for their ability to strengthen the public service and inform public policy. These include competitive advantage, competitive positioning, horizontal strategy and organisational design, and innovation as an all-encompassing organisational adjustment mechanism to a changeable environment. But these are not presented as a silver bullet, and Ferguson addresses other approaches to reform, including the need to rebuild the Public Sector Act, the need to reconsider the interface between political and administrative arms of government (and determine what is in the ‘public interest’), and the need for greater independence for the public service within a clarified role. This approach, and its implications for public sector reform, is contrasted with the straitjacket of path dependency that presently constricts the field.

The Chinese Economic Transformation »

Views from Young Economists

Edited by: Ligang Song, Yixiao Zhou, Luke Hurst
Publication date: July 2019
The Chinese Economic Transformation, the 19th volume in the China Update book series, provides an opportunity for young economists to share their views on various issues relating to the Chinese economic transformation. More than half of the contributors to this book are female scholars. Some of the contributors are rising stars in the studies of the Chinese economy and economic transition, and some only recently received their PhDs and are on their way to establishing themselves in the field of China studies. But they have one thing in common: to passionately observe, study and research what is going on in the Chinese economic transformation during the reform period; and, by so doing, make contributions to the policy debates on, and general understanding of, the Chinese economy. The chapters in this volume include an in-depth probe into challenges in capital and credit allocation due to financial friction and policy distortions; investigating the causes of growth slow-down in China and suitable policy responses; the evolution of the household registration system and its impact on off-farm employment and the integration of rural and urban labour markets; the growth, scale and characteristics of nonstandard employment; the development of rural e-commerce and its economic impact; innovation performance of listed enterprises in China; financial services liberalisation and its impact on firms’ performance; financing support schemes for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the effect on banks’ credit allocation to SMEs; the potential costs of US–China trade conflict and ways to mitigate them; gender income gap in China’s labour market; causes of blockage of Chinese overseas direct investment and strategies to reduce the probability of encountering obstacles; and the role of state capital in the iron ore boom in Australia. The great variety of topics in this year’s Update allows readers to understand the current shape of the Chinese economy and to think deeply about policies and necessary reforms for future growth and development.

Afterlives of Chinese Communism »

Political Concepts from Mao to Xi

Publication date: June 2019
Afterlives of Chinese Communism comprises essays from over fifty world- renowned scholars in the China field, from various disciplines and continents. It provides an indispensable guide for understanding how the Mao era continues to shape Chinese politics today. Each chapter discusses a concept or practice from the Mao period, what it attempted to do, and what has become of it since. The authors respond to the legacy of Maoism from numerous perspectives to consider what lessons Chinese communism can offer today, and whether there is a future for the egalitarian politics that it once promised.

Everyday Revolutions »

Remaking Gender, Sexuality and Culture in 1970s Australia

Publication date: 2019
The 1970s was a decade when matters previously considered private and personal became public and political. These shifts not only transformed Australian politics, they engendered far-reaching cultural and social changes. Feminists challenged ‘man-made’ norms and sought to recover lost histories of female achievement and cultural endeavour. They made films, picked up spanners and established printing presses. The notion that ‘the personal was political’ began to transform long-held ideas about masculinity and femininity, both in public and private life. In the spaces between official discourses and everyday experience, many sought to revolutionise the lives of Australian men and women. Everyday Revolutions brings together new research on the cultural and social impact of the feminist and sexual revolutions of the 1970s in Australia. Gay liberation and Women’s Liberation movements erupted, challenging almost every aspect of Australian life. The pill became widely available and sexuality was both celebrated and flaunted. Campaigns to decriminalise abortion and homosexuality emerged across the country. Activists set up women’s refuges, rape crisis centres and counselling services. Governments responded to new demands for representation and rights, appointing women’s advisors and funding new services. Everyday Revolutions is unique in its focus not on the activist or legislative achievements of the women’s and gay and lesbian movements, but on their cultural and social dimensions. It is a diverse and rich collection of essays that reminds us that women’s and gay liberation were revolutionary movements.

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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 11, Number 2, 2019 »

Publication date: June 2019
The global debate on China is becoming more polarised. Is the Chinese economy robust or on the brink of collapse? Does the concentration of power in the hands of President Xi reflect a weaker or more confident China? Is the Belt and Road Initiative a platform for improving global infrastructure, or a strategy to make developing countries more dependent on China? And is Beijing succeeding in its overseas influence campaign, or has China’s global influence diminished in the face of a backlash?In this special issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly, experts from within and outside China force us to confront the complicated, evolving, and often contradictory forces shaping Chinese society, politics, economics and global affairs. East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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Understanding Oceania »

Celebrating the University of the South Pacific and its collaboration with The Australian National University

Publication date: May 2019
This book is inspired by the University of the South Pacific, the leading institution of higher education in the Pacific Islands region. Founded in 1968, USP has expanded the intellectual horizons of generations of students from its 12 member countries—Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu—and been responsible for the formation of a regional elite of educated Pacific Islanders who can be found in key positions in government and commerce across the region. At the same time, this book celebrates the collaboration of USP with The Australian National University in research, doctoral training, teaching and joint activities. Twelve of our 19 contributors gained their doctorates at ANU, most of them before or after being students and/or teaching staff at USP, and the remaining five embody the cross-fertilisation in teaching, research and consultancy of the two institutions. The contributions to this collection, with a few exceptions, are republications of key articles on the Pacific Islands by scholars with extensive experience and knowledge of the region.