Government and International Relations Colloquium Series

The Department of Government and International Relations Colloquium Series aims to showcase recent research by members of the Department, visiting scholars and international and interstate guests in an informal setting, conducive to lively debate. It is an open event and everyone is welcome to attend. If you would like to be informed of future events then please contact who will add your name to our email list. The Series is coordinated by .

Download the pdf version of this semester's speakers list.

Thursday 27 October 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: PROFESSOR DAVID SCHLOSBERG
University of Sydney
Topic: RETHINKING ECOLOGICAL JUSTICE: CAPABILITIES AND CRITICS

Prof David SchlosbergThis paper contributes to an ongoing conversation about the applicability of the capabilities approach to justice to the non-human realm. Capabilities offers a way to frame justice not only to individual human beings and their communities, and not just to individual animals, but to ecological systems as well. In contrast to an animal rights approach, and distinct from consideration of the environment as an instrumental ‘meta-capability’ for human justice, I argue for a justice to nature outside of the bounds of human needs. In response to fears of the potential for irreconcilable conflicts between subjects of justice, I refute the premise of some perceived conflicts and offer a deliberative approach to addressing others. The provision of justice for both human and non-human alike is dependent on a broad conception of capabilities, including recognition of our relationship with and impact on the non-human world and a democratic practice of ecological reflexivity.

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]
Monday 24 October 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: DR FABIAN SCHUPPERT
University of Zurich, Centre for Ethics
Topic:

CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION AND INTEGRATIONAL JUSTICE

Prof David SchlosbergThis paper analyses and evaluates three competing conceptions for allocating and distributing the burdens of climate change mitigation (cap-and-trade schemes, carbon emission taxes, and personal ecological space quotas) and their compatibility with principles of intra- and intergenerational justice. It will be argued that none of the proposed instruments is able to satisfy the demands of effective mitigation and egalitarian justice on its own, which suggests that existing proposals for the distribution of emission rights and climate change related costs need to be supported by a thicker account of intergenerational justice.

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]

**CANCELLED**

Tuesday 18 October 2011 - 12.00-1.00pm (TIME CHANGE)

Speaker: DR EDUARDO ARARAL
National University of Singapore
Topic:

THE STRATEGIC GAMES THAT DONORS AND BUREAUCRATS PLAY: AN INSTITUTIONAL RATIONAL CHOICE ANALYSIS

Dr Eduardo AraralForeign aid plays an important role in developing countries, but little is empirically known how it affects incentives of recipient bureaucracies. I provide a model and analytic case study to understand the strategic games that donors and bureaucrats play. My findings are broadly consistent with the theoretical expectations of institutional rational choice: bureaucrats attempt to ensure bureaucratic survival, whereas donors ensure growth of loan portfolio. These findings, however, are not consistent with the Samaritan’s Dilemma and the Patron’s Dilemma.

Download Dr Araral's paper (pdf).

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Thursday 13 October 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: PROFESSOR MICHAEL MORAN
University of Manchester
Topic: POWER, POLITICS AND CITY OF LONDON: UNDERSTANDING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS IN THE UK

Prof Michael MoranThe financial crisis that centred on New York and London is the greatest economic catastrophe for at least a generation. That crisis has roots in the changing character of markets, but in the case of London it also has a wider political configuration. It both arose from, and has created a crisis of, a whole political order in finance. The paper examines the historical and institutional roots of the crisis, traces the political consequences and reflects on where the crisis now leaves power configurations in the City of London. The upshot is to tell us something important not only about the politics of London as a global financial centre, but also about its place in domestic power configurations.

Download Prof Moran's paper (pdf).

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]

**SPECIAL COLLOQUIUM**

Monday 10 October 2011 - 4.00-5.30pm (TIME CHANGE)

Speaker: PROFESSOR IVER NEUMANN
Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
Topic: ENTRY INTO INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY RECONCEPTUALISED: THE CASE OF RUSSIA

Prof Iver NeumannThis article addresses how entry into international society has been conceptualised, suggests a reconceptualisation that will make the concept more relational, and illustrates with a case study. Part one attempts a summary of relevant debates without the English School, and directs attention to the importance of how entrants draw on memories of its subject position in the suzerain system that it left as it entered international society. Part two discuses the experiences of Russia's predecessor polities, with the focus being on the place of Russian principalities within the suzerain system of the Golden Horde (ca. 1240 - 1500). I argue that Russia's basic stance towards European polities in the 16th and early 17th centuries is readily understandable in terms of a key memory, namely the one of being dominated by this polity, which was itself an outgrowth of the Mongol empire. Part three demonstrates how the resulting understanding of politics was confirmed by Russian experiences in the 16th and 17th centuries. I suggest that Russia never really let go of its memories of being part of a suzerain system, and that it is therefore still suspended somewhere in the outer tier of international society.

Download Prof Neumann's paper (pdf).

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]
Thursday 22 September 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: PROFESSOR TONI ERSKINE
Aberystwyth University
Topic: WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?! ASSIGNING DUTIES AND APPORTIONING BLAME TO INSTITUTIONAL MORAL AGENTS IN WORLD POLITICS

Prof Toni ErskineQuestions of moral agency are fundamental to the study of world politics. Who – or what – can bear the related moral burdens of duty and blame for specific acts and outcomes has serious implications for both theory and practice. Problematically, however, these calls to action, claims to duty, and cries of condemnation often precede consideration of the bodies capable of responding. In this paper, I will argue that such prescriptions and evaluations should be directed towards those formal organizations with sophisticated, integrated capacities for deliberation and action (such as most states, multinational corporations, and, sometimes, the United Nations), as well as towards individual human actors. Only then can we hope to avoid disastrous evasions and misdirected assignments of responsibility and respond more effectively, and robustly, to our most pressing global problems. In short, an account of what I call ‘institutional moral agency’ is necessary in order to speak coherently about questions of moral responsibility in world politics.

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]
Thursday 18 August 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker:

PROFESSOR GERRY STOKER
University of Southampton

Topic: REDESIGNING DEMOCRACY: PITFALLS AND PROSPECTS

Prof Gerry Stoker

Social scientists have embraced the idea of engineering societies to take practical steps towards establishing democracy but have paid less attention to the prospects for redesigning established democracies to provide a politics that works in the view of more of its citizens. The essential change tools in emerging democracies have been around electoral systems, supporting new forms of party organisation or encouraging particular forms of power sharing through constitutional arrangements. But are they appropriate for the task of redesign in established democracies? They should not be overlooked but redesign in established democracies needs to be more focused on non-elites, less top-down and driven by a wider developmental understanding of the nature of democracy.

Download Prof Stoker's paper (pdf).

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]
Thursday 4 August 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: DR LIAM WEEKS
University College Cork
Topic: CRASHING THE PARTY: DOES STV HELP INDEPENDENTS?

Dr Liam WeeksThe Single Transferable Vote (STV) electoral system is thought to help independents, a claim based primarily on the experience of Ireland. Such reasoning fails to explain why so few, if any, independents are elected under STV in either Australia or Malta. This study re-examines the nature of this causal link using constituency-level data from the Irish and Australian cases. The results indicate that there is not a great deal of evidence to support the hypothesis that STV favours independents, in particular because electoral system detail can affect a system’s ability to realize expected consequences. This raises questions about the merits of relying on one case to develop theories, and of the grouping of electoral systems for comparative purposes.

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Colloquium Series - Semester 1

Thursday 9 June 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: PROFESSOR JON PIERRE
University of Melbourne
Topic: GLOBALIZATION AND GOVERNANCE: PATH DEPENDENCY AND CONVERGENCE IN JAPAN, SWEDEN AND THE US

Prof Jon PierreMost analyses of the relationship between globalization and the state have focused on the degree to which global political and economic pressures shape domestic policy choice. In this project, the key question is: ‘to what extent does globalization shape domestic governance’? The analysis takes a different approach to these issues and compares three aspects of domestic governance arrangements–administrative reform, inter-governmental relationships and regulation of the economy–in Japan, Sweden and the United States. In these sectors and countries, the trajectory of reform is studied with special attention to whether it mainly reflects national path dependency or whether there are strong global pressures for reform. The paper argues that convergence may or may not take place even when there are strong global forces at play.

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]
Thursday 26 May 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR MARION MADDOX
Macquarie University
Topic: REVISITING THE ‘RELIGIOUS VOTE’

Associate Prof Marion MaddoxIn 2010, Australian voters chose between parties led by a self-described atheist and a devout former seminarian. Gillard was not the first atheist party leader; but may well have been the first whose unbelief attracted so much public attention–and at a time when declared religious adherence in the general population had never been lower. For several elections now, commentators have debated what role (if any) religion plays in voters’ decisions. This paper draws mainly on the 2010 election to argue that, while religion does play a part in elections, its effects are not the ones political scientists have traditionally expected to find, and, therefore, have looked for.

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]
Thursday 12 May 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: DR ALETTA NORVAL
University of Essex
Topic: “BECOMING BLACK”: ACTING OTHERWISE AND RE-IMAGINING COMMUNITY

In this paper, I present a reading of the third volume of a trilogy by the South African poet, writer and activist Antjie Krog, entitled Begging to be Black. I explore her writings through an engagement with James Tully’s interrogation of practices of citizenship as developed by him in Public Philosophy in a New Key. Tully asks how it is possible for ‘diverse citizens’ to avoid being captivated by a picture of ‘one familiar form of national citizenship as the only acceptable form, projecting its hierarchical classifications over others’? This raises the question of how we, as citizens, exercise our critical faculties so as to sustain a multiplicity of alternative forms of citizenship. Reading Begging to be Black as an engagement with this central question, I explore the role of imagination, the telling of stories, and of historical narratives in opening up possibilities of ‘acting otherwise’.

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]
Thursday 14 April 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: PROFESSOR NICK BISLEY
La Trobe University
Topic: SECURITY ARCHITECTURE AND ASIA’S CHANGING REGIONAL ORDER

Prof Nick BisleyAs global economic and strategic weight shifts to Asia, countries in the region are considering how to recalibrate their policies to best meet the strategic challenges of the twenty-first century. Due to the growing strategic rivalry between the United States and China and the emergence of transnational threats, such as terrorism, energy insecurity and infectious diseases, Asian governments are increasingly interested in multilateral security cooperation. There is considerable interest in improving the region’s institutional setting, with some even calling for a formal Asian Community which could include security agreements. Yet, Asia, today, is far from possessing a well-planned security ‘architecture.’ This seminar will provide an up-to-date analysis of the region’s distinctive and rapidly changing security arrangements. It will examine the complex array of efforts to promote regional security cooperation, considers their strengths and weaknesses and assesses how it important these are and are likely to be in shaping the emerging regional order.

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]
Thursday 24 March 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: DR JOHN MIKLER
University of Sydney
Topic: VARIETIES OF CAPITALISM AND TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION FOR CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION

Dr John MiklerPoliticians and polities hope that technological innovation will mitigate the threat of climate change and expect that capitalism will most efficiently deliver the necessary technologies. Yet capitalism is not monolithic. The Varieties of Capitalism approach suggests that capitalist states fall within a spectrum between liberal market economies (LMEs) and coordinated market economies (CMEs). How do the relative styles of technological innovation in LMEs versus CMEs affect their ability to reduce carbon emissions? This presentation addresses this question by investigating the relative technological styles and strengths of LMEs and CMEs, and comparing them to the techonological development needed to combat climate change.

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]
Thursday 10 March 2011 - 3.30-4.30pm
Speaker: PROFESSOR KRIS DESCHOUWER
Vrije Universiteit Brussels
Topic: DIVIDED BELGIUM: WHEN CONSENSUS POLITICS COMES TO A STANDSTILL

Prof Kris DeschouwerIn June 2010 a new federal Parliament was elected in Belgium. Since that date politicians from the Dutch-speaking north and French-Speaking south have been trying to form a new coalition government according to the consensus rules of the Belgian constitution. Yet no new government has been put together so far. Belgium is ruled by a caretaker government that formally resigned in April 2010. Politicians from the north want increased fiscal autonomy for their region, while politicians from the south fear the loss of federal solidarity and financial equalisation. Both stick to their position, which results in total gridlock. What can we learn from this for consesnus politics and joint decision-making? Is it proof that ethno-federations cannot work? Is it another example of elites in divided societies not able to conclude post electoral compromises because of the electoral system? Is it an example of territorial politics moving from language to money?

Venue: Room 397 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Click here to download the Colloquium series in PDF format