Browsing All Posts filed under »International Relations«

Poverty, Human Security and Sustainability: Tanzania Case Study

November 3, 2012 by

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BY MARTIN DICKENS. It is through addressing poverty and livelihood security that states then develop the capacity to capitalise on sustainable growth opportunities. On a global level, the imbalance between the environment and human activities are surmised under the Tragedy of the Commons concept, where common natural resources are effectively exploited by international power groups […]

Immigration Policy and the US Election

October 24, 2012 by

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BY SEANIAD CONROY. In the U.S Presidential election of 2012, the issue of immigration though not one of the major issues for voters like  the economy, taxes and healthcare, remains an important priority  for many in the general population and possibly deciding factor in migrant communities. The platforms put forward by the Democrats and Republicans contain […]

An Analytic Summary of Republican & Democrat Climate Change Policy in the Lead-up to the 2012 US Election

October 18, 2012 by

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BY LISA TUCK. — Introduction The climate change policies implemented by the United States of America are of particular importance due to the nation’s status as the global hegemonic power. Although in current times this power is waning, the United States retains much of its symbolic influence as the ‘leader of the free world’. In […]

North Korea’s New Light Water Nuclear Reactor: A Proliferation Risk?

September 5, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. North Korea has recommenced construction of an experimental light water nuclear reactor (LWR) at its nuclear facility at Yongbyon, with completion slated for late 2013.  The Kim regime has previously stated that the new LWR and its already operational uranium enrichment facility at Yongbyon are intended for electric power generation and not […]

Looking Back on the 1992 Rio Earth Summit

June 21, 2012 by

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World leaders and government officials as well as representatives from NGOs and the corporate sector are currently convening in Rio de Janeiro, for "Rio+20: The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development." The conference is timed to coincide with the twentieth anniversary of the seminal 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It is therefore worth looking back on the achievements of the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 to remind ourselves of what can be achieved when parties from around the world unite to address global environmental problems and highlight the obstacles and limitations of international multilateral processes in pursuing environmental objectives.

Women in Modern China

June 19, 2012 by

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BY JESS MARSHALL. In recent history, China and its people have undergone a remarkable change in identity. Undeniably, the role of women has been an area of rapid change and development, with women playing an integral role in the shaping of modern China. From the physical oppression of foot binding in a patriarchal world, to gendered sameness in a communist state, to the modern rhetoric of equality of the sexes, Chinese women have instigated and experienced rebellion, revolution and reform.

MOVIE: The Crisis of Civilization

June 13, 2012 by

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The Crisis of Civilization is a thought-provoking documentary feature film investigating how global crises like ecological disaster, financial meltdown, dwindling oil reserves, terrorism and food shortages are converging symptoms of a single, failed global system. The documentary is based on the book A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization by Dr Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, head of the London-based Institute for Policy Research & Development.

TRAVEL DIARY: India – My Trip to the Subcontinent

June 7, 2012 by

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BY MARTIN DICKENS. In February 2012, I had the opportunity to visit India touring the western side of the country from Delhi to Goa. Before visiting the country, I had a very limited knowledge of what India had to offer with my interest in the oriental country being sparked mainly through an undergraduate subject I studied in 2010. Looking back on the trip, it is hard to realise what impact this experience would truly have on my perceptions of humanity and particularly, developed and developing countries. This visit truly represents the beginning of a story that is and potentially will never finish.

Charles de Gaulle and the French Republic During the Cold War

June 2, 2012 by

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BY JESS MARSHALL. With numerous streets, an airport, and France’s only airline named after him, Charles de Gaulle was a man of immense historical and political significance, and occupies an almost mythical status in French consciousness. Rejecting the notion of bipolarity in the Cold War period, de Gaulle advocated the national independence and strength of France as the Western Alliance’s major ally, and pursued foreign policy based on politique de grandeur. De Gaulle’s concept of France “as dedicated to an exalted and exceptional destiny” has its roots in his background, and directly impacted the development of French foreign policy during the Cold War.

TRAVEL DIARY: I Once Had a Trip to Africa

May 28, 2012 by

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BY FRANK McCLELLAND. Since I was a small boy I have always wanted to see ‘black’ Africa. My interest stemmed from an atlas we still have with a photograph of a beautiful Masi woman and a Zulu warrior. Later I saw the film Shakker Zulu and started to read some of the history of that nation to do with the wars against the British. Then came the film, ‘Out of Africa’ and the story ‘South of the Limpopo’ by Dervla Murphy. A long-time friend knew of my interest and offered to take me to South Africa where he was working on a Poverty Alleviation project in the Limpopo Province.

YOUTH VOICE: Migration as an Adaptive Response to Climate Change — Xinjiang Case Study

May 20, 2012 by

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BY ALICIA PETERS. This essay will look at migration trends in China applying the framework described in “Migration as an Adaption to Climate Change” by McLeman and Smit (2006) to agriculturally based rural communities in the province of Xinjiang, North-Western China, and provide a case study of the provinces exposure to climate change and their adaptive capacity through migration.

EVENT REVIEW: La Trobe University — Wodonga Senior Secondary College Refugee Workshop

May 16, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Friday 11th May 2012, year 10 students from Wodonga Senior Secondary College participated in workshops at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus and excursions to the Bonegilla Migrant Experience as a component of thier studies into refugees and asylum seekers. The introductory remarks of the expert panelists and the panel discussion itself are available here for download.

PHOTO ESSAY: Vietnam — Captivating, Lively, Fragile, Intense and Laid Back

May 13, 2012 by

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BY LISA TUCK. In February this year I had the privilege of travelling to the coastal nation of Vietnam in South East Asia. The experience proved to be exciting, challenging and culturally eye-opening. During this time I visited Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Dalat in the central highlands, Hoi An, Hue and Ninh Binh as well as the vibrant and enticing capital Hanoi.

PODCAST: Korea — A Divided Nation

May 8, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Monday 7th May 2012, I delivered a guest lecture entilted Korea: A Fractured Nation to second and third year students studying the subject Contemporary Politics of the Asia-Pacific Region (POL2/3CPA) at La Trobe University's Melbourne campus. The content of this lecture, along with other lectures in this subject, will form the basis for an international conflict negotiation simulation workshop structured around a hypothetical security crisis on the Korean peninsula.

TRAVEL DIARY: My 2001 Visit to Southern China

May 4, 2012 by

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BY FRANK McCLELLAND. I flew from Melbourne to Hong Kong and thence straight to the city of Nanchang in the Jiangxi province. This is my analysis of what I saw and heard while resident, principally in the city of Nanchang with a few days’ travelling – first, south to Chen Ren, then north to the city of Juijiang on the Yangtze River and to the hill resort of Lushan. I left China (after a 17 hour train journey from Nanchang) via Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

LTU-WSSC Year 10 Workshop: Migration and Refugees Reference Page

May 1, 2012 by

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On Friday 11th May 2012, year 10 students from Wodonga Senior Secondary College will be participating in excursions related to their studies on refugees to the Bonegilla Migrant Experience and workshops at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus. This page has been established as a resource for WSSC students to prepare for and debrief after their excursions on May 11th.

Living Lightly: Reciprocal Bonds and the Trust Horizon

April 23, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. One of the exiting aspects of living lightly is the opportunity it provides for community building and connecting with other people. Strong social networks will become increasingly important as we grapple with environmental problems, energy insecurity and financial turmoil at the end of the age of growth. As a specialist in international relations, I look to Chinese culture for ideas on building social cohesion during tough times.

North Korea’s Failed Unha-3 Missile Test: Implications for Pyongyang and Northeast Asia

April 19, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The technical aspects of the failed Unha-3 rocket launch are less interesting than the political undercurrents swirling around this event. The rocket’s explosion has spared the United States and its regional allies some loss of face while for North Korea, it represents a missed opportunity for Pyongyang to maximise its diplomatic and strategic leverage, over and above any threat to Kim Jong-un’s legitimacy as leader.

The Lessons of Kwangmyongsong-3: Satellite Lauch, Missile Test, Leadership Badge or Bargaining Chip?

April 12, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. The North’s Kwangmyongsong-3 rocket launch is likely to yield important insights in three areas of interest to North Korea watchers. First, the relative success of North Korea’s rocket launch is likely to yield insights into the operability of the North’s overall nuclear weapons capability and specifically its ability to deliver a nuclear payload to targets at distances beyond 1,000 kilometres. Second, it would appear to fit with a longer trend of provocations dating back to the Cheonan incident in 2010 that have been linked to the legitimisation of Kim Jong-un’s leadership credentials. Finally, with the potential restart of negotiations with Washington in the offing, the launch indicates that coercive bargaining is likely to remain Pyongyang’s modus operandi in international negotiations under the new leadership.

EVENT REVIEW: Wodonga Carnivale

March 15, 2012 by

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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.

Peering into the Hermit Kingdom: My Experiences on the Fringes of North Korea — Presentation to the Albury Rotary Club

March 9, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Wednesday 7th March 2012 I made a presentation to the Rotary Club of Albury entitled Peering into the Hermit Kingdom: My Experiences on the Fringes of North Korea. In this presentation I gave a brief chronology of my experiences in and around Korea, touching on some of the interesting things I learnt along the way about Korean history, culture and the North Korean state.

Mao Zedong and the Chinese Communist Party: Presentation to Victory Lutheran College VCE History Class

March 2, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. On Thursday March 1st, 2012, braving torrential rain, Victory Lutheran College VCE history students, led by their teacher Logan Hayward came to La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus for a workshop presented by myself on Mao Zedong and the Communist Party. The workshop was a supplement to the students' VCE History studies on the Chinese revolution.

Immanuel Wallerstein on the 2011 world revolution and the crisis of capitalism

February 15, 2012 by

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A must watch: In this presentation, American world systems theorist Immanuel Wallerstein compares the world revolution of 2011-? to that of 1968 and places both within broader perspective of 500 years of global capitalism. What are your thoughts?

PHOTO ESSAY: The China-Korea Frontier — Yánjí and the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture

February 8, 2012 by

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BY BEN HABIB. All North Korea watchers inevitably get to Yánjí at some point in their careers. Yánjí is a small frontier city of approximately 400,000 people, capital of the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in Jilin Province, China. It is like a "little Seoul" in northeast China, with a large ethnic Korean (Zhonguo Chaoxian minzu) population navigate dual identities as Chinese citizens of Korean heritage. Many Chaoxian minzu have relatives living in North Korea. Yanbian is nestled in the important strategic border region where the Chinese, North Korean and Russian frontiers meet.

EYE ON THE MEDIA: Are We Heading Beyond Dangerous Climate Change?

February 3, 2012 by

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This post is devoted to a comprehensive coverage of an October 2011 presentation at the London School of Economic by Professor Kevin Anderson, entitled 'Going Beyond Dangerous Climate Change: Exploring the Voice Between Rhetoric and Reality in Reducing Carbon Emissions'. Anderson argues that "The analysis suggests that despite high-level statements to the contrary, there is now little to no chance of maintaining the global mean surface temperature at or below 2◦C. Moreover, the impacts associated with 2◦C have been revised upwards, sufficiently so that 2◦C now more appropriately represents the threshold between ‘dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’ climate change."