Browsing All Posts filed under »International Relations«

PHOTO ESSAY: Fángchuān — Where China, North Korea and Russia Converge

February 1, 2012 by

Comments Off on PHOTO ESSAY: Fángchuān — Where China, North Korea and Russia Converge

BY BEN HABIB. Some unusual places in the world are magnets for geopolitical intrigue. Fángchuān is one of these places, nestled at the convergence of the Chinese, Russian and North Korean borders on the Tumen River.

PHOTO ESSAY: Porto, Fading Jewel of Portugal

January 30, 2012 by


BY BEN HABIB. In August 2011 I had the pleasure of visiting the city of Porto, Portugal's second largest city. The old city of Porto, on the north bank of the Douro River, is a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) world heritage site that is home to some breathtaking architecture harking back to heyday of the Portuguese empire in the sixteenth century. Today, Porto is a bustling tourist centre catering to visitors predominantly from cooler climes of northern Europe and the home of FC Porto, one of European football's most successful clubs. The beauty of the city is matched by the charm and sophistication of the people who live in it.

YOUTH VOICE: Communism or Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics?

January 23, 2012 by

Comments Off on YOUTH VOICE: Communism or Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics?

BY MARTIN DICKENS. After visiting the capital earlier in the year as a tourist, China on the surface appears to be embracing democratic governance and free market economic opportunities. However, after a more intense and academically focused journey to the capital, what I witnessed as a student came as a complete surprise. Communism with Chinese characteristics is dominating the philosophies and teachings of the people and in my view is likely to continue to do so for years to come.

PHOTO ESSAY: The Yasawa Islands, Fiji

January 19, 2012 by

Comments Off on PHOTO ESSAY: The Yasawa Islands, Fiji

BY BEN HABIB. I'll be honest, Fiji was not a place I had much interest in visiting. I had always thought it rivalled Bali as the destination of choice for Australia's least adventurous travellers. However, Fijian society is diverse, culturally rich and ensconsed in beautiful natural wonders. We spent most of our time on Nacula Island (pronounced "Nathula") in the Yasawa archipelago, northwest of Fiji's main island of Viti Levu. This photo essay is a diary of our experiences in this culturally unique and picturesque place.

What Now? North Korea after the death of Kim Jong-il

December 20, 2011 by


BY BEN HABIB. The death of North Korea’s ‘Dear Leader’ Kim Jong-il casts a cloud over the future of the already weak North Korean state and the stability of Northeast Asian security environment. Speculation about the future of a post-Kim Jong-il North Korea has been mounting since reports about Kim’s ill-health surfaced in 2008, raising questions about leadership succession, the viability of North Korea’s unique political system and political stability on the Korean peninsula. With Kim’s passing, those questions will be answered in short order.

Eye on the Media: The Noose is Tightening on Iran

December 14, 2011 by

Comments Off on Eye on the Media: The Noose is Tightening on Iran

The war drums are beating more loudly these days...

Eye on the Media: International Climate Negotiations — COP-17 in Durban, South Africa

November 28, 2011 by


The seventeenth annual meeting of the council of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change begins today in Durban, South Africa, where the international community will continue negotiations to strengthen the global greenhouse gas mitigation regime. Here is analysis from several different media outlets and think-tanks on the prospects for the talks.

VIDEO: Are We Facing a Eurozone Meltdown?

November 5, 2011 by

Comments Off on VIDEO: Are We Facing a Eurozone Meltdown?

Interview with Professor Leo Panitch of York University in Toronto, Canada, on the economic and political implications of the European debt crisis.

EVENT NOTICEBOARD: Diwali Fiesta 2011 (Indian New Year)

October 20, 2011 by


Celebrate Indian New Year with a special banquet & dance the night away to Bollywood DJ Mixes

Hyper-nationalism, Contested Histories & the China-Japan Relationship

October 14, 2011 by

Comments Off on Hyper-nationalism, Contested Histories & the China-Japan Relationship

BY SEANIAD CONROY. Both China and Japan have accused each other of encouraging fierce nationalism and the corresponding anti- Chinese and anti-Japanese feeling. Their failure to address the past has meant that it is an ongoing divisive issue in the present, though some attempts are being made to rectify this.

Grassroots Reaction to Economic Crisis: The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement

October 11, 2011 by


BY BEN HABIB. Over the past month a grassroots protest movement called Occupy Wall Street has sprung up in the United States, in reaction to that country's increasing disparity between rich and poor in the context of severe economic crisis, the hollowing out of the middle class and the government's co-option by big finance. Occupy Wall Street, taken together with the Tea Party movement and the recent debt ceiling fiasco in Congress are signals pointing to the unravelling of the American political system. For this reason, it is worth paying close attention to the ongoing evolution of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

YOUTH VOICE: Examining the Link Between Climate Change & Migration — The Darfur Case

October 9, 2011 by


BY SOPHIE BUCKLE. This paper investigates the relationship between climate change and human migration in the Darfur region in Sudan which is currently suffering profusely due to numerous climatic stresses. The Darfur region is suffering from desertification which then impacts upon the local communities as they compete for limited resources. This competition will drive movement of people as they vie for natural resources in an increasingly limited supply.

YOUTH VOICE: National vs Human Security in the Context of Climate Change — The Sudan Case Study

October 6, 2011 by

Comments Off on YOUTH VOICE: National vs Human Security in the Context of Climate Change — The Sudan Case Study

BY LISA TUCK. This paper will assess the similarities and differences between national, human and environmental security and discuss using Sudan as a case study how climate change affects these three security paradigms. Sudan presents as an interesting example of how issues related to changes in climate can lead to insecurity and violent conflict within a nation.

The End of Infinite Growth, Part I: The Economic Face of Natural Limits

October 3, 2011 by


BY BEN HABIB. This article delves into the terrain of macroeconomics, political economy and energy. Human societies, along with the economies that facilitate the exchange of goods and services within and between them, can only grow to the extent that the physical limits of the natural world will allow. Systemic breakdown is likely if these limits are exceeded, a reality with which we are beginning to grapple as ecological, energy and economic crises coalesce into a perfect storm.

PODCAST: A Window into Contemporary Indian Society

September 30, 2011 by


Politics students at La Trobe University participated in a workshop on key issues in contemporary Indian society with Dr Peter Friedlander from La Trobe University in Melbourne, who discussed regional identity in India, and Simmi Kaur from Wodonga Senior Secondary College, who talked about changes in modern Indian society.

Wodonga Senior Secondary College and Latrobe University: Social Movements Day

September 20, 2011 by


WSSC teachers Simon Webb and Simmi Kaur teamed up with Ben Habib from La Trobe University to present ‘Social Movements Day’ at the La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga campus. The WSSC students’ multimedia presentations on twentieth century social movements were screened in the main lecture theatre, followed by a university-style tutorial class where WSSC students participated in a series of activities in small groups led by undergraduate LTU students from the Bachelor of Arts program. The activities were based on the themes of life at university, different types of thinking skills, and reflection on twentieth century social movements.

PODCAST: University of the Third Age, Albury-Wodonga

September 8, 2011 by

Comments Off on PODCAST: University of the Third Age, Albury-Wodonga

SOPHIE BUCKLE & BEN HABIB. On Friday 12th August 2011, Sophie Buckle and Ben Habib visited the Albury-Wodonga chapter of the University of the Third Age. During their visit, Ben Habib delivered a presentation to U3A members on politics in the Middle East, while Sophie Buckle conducted an interview with U3A Albury-Wodonga committee members Don Cocks and Lyle Wright, exploring the activities of and the philosophy behind U3A.

PHOTO ESSAY: South Korea — Land of the Long White Cloud

September 5, 2011 by

Comments Off on PHOTO ESSAY: South Korea — Land of the Long White Cloud

BY BEN HABIB. South Korea, what an interesting country! I have had the opportunity to visit fascinating nation on three occasions between 2002 and 2008, spending most of my time in Daegu, South Korea's third largest city, as well as the capital Seoul and the southern port city of Busan. The following is a photographic documentary of my travels in the 'Land of the Long White Cloud'.

TRAVEL DIARY: China – A World of Difference

August 28, 2011 by

Comments Off on TRAVEL DIARY: China – A World of Difference

BY MARTIN DICKENS. For a first time international traveller, arriving at Beijing International Airport at 1:00 AM in the morning felt like the most daunting experience I would ever encounter. Braving the long lines through customs to get entry approval felt like an eternity. Little did I know that the unique cultural experience I would have at the other side of the counter would change my life completely.

YOUR SAY: A Question of Bias – The ABC & the Gaza Flotilla Affair

August 25, 2011 by

Comments Off on YOUR SAY: A Question of Bias – The ABC & the Gaza Flotilla Affair

BY DAVID MACILWAIN. When Israeli navy commandos attacked the humanitarian aid flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea last May, shooting dead nine Turkish civilians and injuring many more, there was widespread condemnation of this act of violent piracy. A number of enquiries were set up to find out what really happened, as despite the presence of numerous journalists in the flotilla Israel had jammed transmissions from them and then seized cameras and laptops while holding the participants in Israeli detention...

Conference Paper: Climate Change & International Relations Theory

August 23, 2011 by


BY BEN HABIB. Paper presented at the World International Studies Committee Third Global International Studies Conference, 17th – 20th August 2011, University of Porto, Portugal. This paper paper and presentation explore the broader relationship between climate change and international relations theory.  A general assumption holds that the anarchic international system of competing sovereign states who […]

PODCAST: Interview with Dr Penny Egan-Vine — Murray Valley Sanctuary Refugee Group

August 10, 2011 by


In this edition of the Politics Albury-Wodonga podcast we’re joined by Dr Penny Egan-Vine, chairperson of the Murray Valley Sanctuary Refugee Group, in conversation with Renae Schilg from La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga. Penny and Renae discuss the activities of the MVSRG, along with the challenges faced by refugee families settling in regional areas and the assistance local residents can provide in helping new migrants settle into the local community.

TRAVEL DIARY: Discovering China

August 4, 2011 by


BY LISA TUCK. During my time in Beijing I saw live scorpions being served up as dinner, bargain hunted in small markets, almost got ripped off by a dodgy ‘art dealer’, strolled down the ancient ‘Hutongs’ (alleyways) which criss cross through the city and much more. My senses were enticed by a variety of new and exiting tastes, colours and smells and I was amazed by the sheer diversity that could be seen between rich and poor, developed and undeveloped, Asian and Western. As I first time traveller I found that my time in China has changed me in many ways and has given me a new outlook on life. It has taught me to better appreciate the differences existing between people and cultures and that wealth shouldn’t determine happiness or quality of life.

PODCAST: History Study Companion — The Chinese Revolution

July 31, 2011 by


BY BEN HABIB. Welcome to Our Voice: Politics Albury-Wodonga's audio study companion series on the Chinese Revolution, a compliment to Units 3 & 4 of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) year 12 History curriculum. The series spans the period from 1836 to the present day, introducing the important events, key players, influential ideas and central themes surrounding the Chinese revolution, along with analysis of the historical background that led to the revolution as well as its legacy today.

VIDEO: The revolution has begun in Europe

July 6, 2011 by

Comments Off on VIDEO: The revolution has begun in Europe

Politics Albury-Wodonga does not normally post video content from other sites, but this video clip about the growing protest movement in Europe truly inspiring.