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 .

Semester 2, 2017

Thursday 31 August 2017, 12-1:30pm
Speaker: Dr Maria Maley
School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University
Topic: Temporary partisans: Public servants as political advisers in Australia and Canada

There are concerns that the line between political and public service roles is becoming blurred, and that political advisers may be politicising the work of public servants. Australia and Canada have similar federal political advisory institutions and both countries permit public servants to take leave and work as political staff, becoming ‘temporary partisans’. Yet the movement of staff between the public service and ministers’ offices challenges the norm of impartiality and presents risks to the public service.

This paper reports on research which compares how the risks posed by these transitions are managed through institutional rules and practices. It finds differences of approach and attention in Canada and Australia. It asks: how does the non-partisan public service absorb former political staff and manage their reversion to neutrality? What rules govern the institutional relationship? Does the concept of impartiality have to be stretched to accommodate this phenomenon?

About the speaker: MariaMaria Maley is a lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the Australian National University. Her ARC-funded research focuses on political advisers. She is a member of the international group Ministerial Advisers Research Consortium. Her most recent published articles are ‘Temporary partisans, tagged officers or impartial professionals: Moving between ministerial offices and departments’ Public Administration Volume 95, Issue 2 June 2017 Pages 407–420 and 'The Iron Butterfly and the Political Warrior: mobilising models of femininity in the Australian Liberal Party’ Australian Journal of Political Science Vol 52 2017 (with K LeeKoo).
Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

CANCELLED Thursday 14 September 2017, 12-1:30pm

Dr Christopher Pepin-Neff
Government & IR, University of Sydney

Dr Thomas Wynter
Electoral Integrity Project, University of Sydney

Topic: The Costs of Pride: Results from the first Australian LGBTQI Activist Survey

This paper reviews the results of the first survey ever conducted of Australian LGBTQI activists. A sample of 206 Australian LGBTQI activists was recruited from social networking site Facebook to complete an online survey in Qualtrics. The data provide a snap shot inside the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) movement in Australia as it confronts the largest fight in its history, the nation-wide postal survey on marriage equality. In particular, this study tested the concept of “emotional taxation” and the degree to which different communities of activists experience different emotional burdens related to their activism.

The survey has two main findings: first, 63 percent of respondents found it emotionally taxing to work in the LGBTQI movement highlighting the personal cost of emotional campaigns. Secondly, nearly across the board, we found greater burdens placed on transgender activists than on non-transgender activists. In all, this data suggests that marginalized groups are emotionally taxed by the political process at a higher rate than previously known.

About the speakers:

chrisDr. Christopher Pepin-Neff is a lecturer in public policy at the University of Sydney. His focus is on the ways emotions influence public policy.

Dr. Tom Wynter is the Survey Manager for the Electoral Integrity Project at the University of Sydney.

Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Thursday 12 October 2017, 12-1:30pm
Speaker: Associate Professor Lily Rahim
Government & IR, University of Sydney
Topic: Social Policy Reform in Singapore’s Authoritarian Developmental State

Singapore’s economic achievements have been widely applauded as a model worthy of emulation, particularly by authoritarian and developing economies. Yet, the city-state retains the dubious distinction of being one of the most inequitable countries in the world – in income inequality terms. Following the 2011 electoral backlash against the long-serving PAP government, numerous social policy reforms were introduced. But have these social policy reforms been effective in qualitatively addressing widening inequality?

The presentation will examine the relationship between the political and social policy dynamics underpinning Singapore’s authoritarian developmental state. The social policy orientation of Singapore’s developmental state is analysed in relation to other authoritarian and democratic developmental states in East Asia. This comparative approach provides us with the conceptual lens to understand social policy reforms within the context of an electoral authoritarian developmental state subjected to the electoral and political pressures associated with the forces of globalisation.

About the speaker: LilyLily Zubaidah Rahim is an A/Professor at the Department of Government and International Relations. She is a specialist in authoritarian governance, ethnic politics and democratisation in Southeast Asia and political Islam in Muslim-majority states. Her books include The Singapore Dilemma: The Political and Educational Marginality of the Malay Community, (Oxford University Press; translated to Malay by the Malaysian National Institute for Translation) and Singapore in the Malay World: Building and Breaching Regional Bridges (Routledge), Muslim Secular Democracy (PalgraveMacmillan) and Democratization Theology: Political Learning Curve of Islamists (under review). Lily is completing her fifth book which centers on authoritarian governance in Singapore.
Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Thursday 26 October 2017, 12-1:30pm

Dr Anna Boucher
Government & IR, University of Sydney

Dr Joseph Toltz
Sydney Conservatorium Of Music, University of Sydney

Topic: Understanding post-War Jewish refugee migration through the First Holocaust Songbook

In the concentration camps and ghettos of Nazi-occupied Europe, Jews wrote songs to maintain a sense of dignity in the face of relentless dehumanisation, pass the time, and satirise the enemy. Mostly written in Yiddish, these songs often drew upon extant Jewish folk tunes but added new messages pertinent to the harsh times and conditions. Out of the Depths: The First Holocaust Songbook provides a translation and analysis of what is believed to be the first published collection of songs written by Jews of the concentration camps of Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania during the Second World War and published shortly thereafter in June 1945 by survivors near a refugee camp in Bucharest, Romania.

This seminar paper analyses and performs several of the songs from this songbook. It also draws upon original archival research in Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Israel and interviews conducted with remaining song authors and their descendants in Israel to trace the post-World War Two emigration of Europe’s Holocaust survivors. This research demonstrates that contrary to historical depictions of post-war Jewish refugee flows that cast such migration as facilitated by robust and established international laws, such migration was often ad hoc, illegal, dangerous and where permitted, generally on discretionary grounds.

About the speaker:

AnnaDr Anna Boucher is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of Sydney. She is the author of Gender, Migration and the Global Race for Talent (2016, MUP) and Crossroads: Comparative Immigration Regimes in a World of Demographic Change (forthcoming, CUP). Her current projects are on migrant worker rights and a book project on the Holocaust and subsequent Jewish emigration.

JosephJoseph Toltz is a Research Fellow at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Artistic Director for “Out of the Shadows: rediscovering Jewish music and theatre” and co-Investigator for “Performing the Jewish Archive”, funded by the British Arts & Humanities Research Council. He is working with material of the Austrian refugee composer Wilhelm Grosz and co-authoring a book on the first collection of Holocaust songs (Indiana). Recent publications appear in Southerly (2016), Music’s Immanent Future (Routledge, 2016) and Perspectives in Artistic Research in Music (Lexington, 2017).

Venue: New Law Annex Seminar Room 107, F10A [map]

Thursday 2 November 2017, 12-1:30pm
Speaker: Dr Sung-Young Kim
Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University
Topic: The Political Logic of the Developmental State: Korea and Taiwan's Smart Grids Strategy

For years, East Asia’s developmental states have been leading a clean energy transition through building and exporting green technologies. However, these strong achievements have been somewhat hindered by weaker efforts to embrace these technologies at home. The blossoming of a new high-tech industry based on smart grids, the key infrastructure of a renewable energy revolution, may bring about a solution to this impasse, significantly increasing the market for green energies. This purpose of this paper is to show why these countries are so aggressively advancing smart grids as part of their national greening strategies. I argue that East Asia’s big bets on smart grids are driven primarily by deep-seated political rationales related to concerns over energy security. This analysis offers a window into the machinery of economic governance as it exists today in formerly authoritarian and now democratised states of Korea and Taiwan.

About the speaker:

KimSung-Young Kim is Lecturer in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations at Macquarie University. His research is on East Asia’s developmental states, energy security, green power, and ICT-centred development. His articles include “Transitioning from Fast-Follower to Innovator” Review of International Political Economy 2012, 19(1); “The Politics of Technological Upgrading in South Korea” New Political Economy 2012, 17(3); “The Rise of East Asia’s Global Companies” Global Policy 2013, 4(2); “Developmental Environmentalism” (with E. Thurbon) Politics & Society 2015, 43(2); and “Korea’s Greening Strategy” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus (with J.A. Mathews) 2016, 14(24). His book chapter “Wither Developmentalism after Democratisation?” has just been published in the Routledge Handbook on Democratization in East Asia (2017).

Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Thursday 9 November 2017, 12-1:30pm
Speaker: Professor Anthony King
Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
Topic: How to be a successful general: military decision-making in the 21st century

Command has long been a major concern for military historians and security studies scholars. Focusing on the divisional headquarters and specifically on staff procedure, this paper analyses the transformation of command in the 21st century. In contrast to the 20th century, when forces institutionalised a relatively individualised system of command, command in the 21st century has become increasingly collectivised. As the span of command has increased, generals have distributed decision-making authority to subordinates who act as their agents, proxies and deputies. At the same time, command has also been collectivised by new bureaucratic methods.

In order to increase the tempo and accuracy of decision making in a complex environment, the staff members of divisional headquarters have instituted means by which they pre-digest and anticipate their commanders’ subsequent decisions. One of the methods which has been used here is the ‘Decision Point’, a projected moment in the future when commanders will have to make a decision about an operation. In the planning process, the staff identify a series of ‘Decision Points’ when the commander’s input might be necessary. Decision Points are typically structured so that generals simply have to make a choice between two pre-planned contingencies; their personal authority is reduced to granting permission for pre-ordained courses of action. With the decision point, the staff prepare their commanders' decisions through analysis, channelling them into specific courses of action. This transformation of military commander has much wider implications for organisations and, indeed, political power.

About the speaker:

KimAnthony King is a Professor in War Studies at the University of Warwick. He specialises in the study of the war and the armed forces and is particularly interested in the question of small unit cohesion. His most recent publications include The Combat Soldier: infantry tactics and cohesion in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries (Oxford, 2013) and (ed.) Frontline: combat and cohesion in the twenty-first century (Oxford, 2015). He is currently working on a new book on divisional command, supported by a research grant from the ESRC. This project also involves an international and interdisciplinary scholarly-practitioner conference, 'Command in the 21st Century' to be held at Warwick in September 2017. He has worked closely with the armed forces as an adviser and mentor. Having worked at the University of Exeter for almost two decades, he is excited about taking up the Chair in War Studies at Warwick and building on PAIS's traditional strengths in the security studies area.

Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Semester 1, 2017

Wednesday 22 March 2017, 12-1:30pm
Speaker: Professor Thomas Poguntke
Düsseldorf Party Research Institute (PRuF), University of Düsseldorf
Topic: The Sovereign Debt Crisis and the Rise of Populism: Germany in a Comparative Perspective

The paper will discuss the impact of the sovereign debt crisis on party system change and the rise of populism in Europe. The presentation is divided into two parts. The first part will present a systematic comparison of the developments in the party systems of the dominant ‘donor state’ Germany, on the one hand, and the Southern European crisis countries (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal) on the other. It can be shown that the crisis has resulted in major party systems change resulting in the rise of populist parties. Yet, this does not fully explain the success of the right-wing populist party AfD in Germany. To this end, the second part of this presentation will take a closer look at the impact of the refugee crisis and the most recent developments following the nomination of the SPD Chancellor-candidate Martin Schulz, which has led to a sudden surge of the SPD poll ratings.

About the speaker: Professor Thomas PoguntkeThomas Poguntke, MSc (LSE) 1983; PhD, European University Institute Florence 1989; Habilitation, University of Mannheim 1999. He is Professor of Comparative Politics at the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf and Director of the Düsseldorf Party Research Institute (PRuF) and has previously held chairs at the universities of Keele, Birmingham and Bochum and was Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence. He was series editor of the Routledge/ECPR Studies in European Political Science and co-editor of German Politics and is author and editor of numerous publications on political parties and comparative politics including The Presidentialization of Politics. A Comparative Study of Modern Democracies (Oxford University Press 2005; with Paul D. Webb) and Organizing Political Parties: Representation, Participation and Power (Oxford University Press, in press; with Susan E. Scarrow and Paul D. Webb).
Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Thursday 6 April 2017, 12-1:30pm
Speaker: Professor Rita Abrahamsen Professor Michael Williams
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa
Topic: Security, Power and Struggles for the “Soul" of Development

This colloquium is an opportunity to learn about and discuss Abrahamsen and Williams’ current book project.

About the speaker: RitaMichaelRita Abrahamsen and Michael C. Williams are both Professors at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa. Abrahamsen’s research interests are in African politics, security and development, security privatization and postcolonial theory. Among other books, she is the author of Disciplining Democracy: Development Discourse and the Good Governance Agenda in Africa (Zed Books, 2000). Williams researches in International Relations theory, security studies, and political thought. His books include Culture and Security: Symbolic Power and the Politics of International Security (Routledge, 2007).Abrahamsen and Williams co-authored Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2011).
Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Thursday 27 April 2017, 12-1:30pm
Speaker: Dr Valerie Hudson
The Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University
Topic: The First Political Order: Sex, Governance, and National Security

The first political order in any society is the sexual political order. How do the character and structure of male:female relations within a society affect its prospects for peace and security? This research project is funded by the Minerva Initiative of the US Department of Defense.

About the speaker: HudsonValerie M. Hudson is Professor and George H.W. Bush Chair at The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, where she directs the Program on Women, peace, and Security. Hudson is also a co-founder of The WomanStats Project ( ), whose online database is an important resource for those interested in the relationship between the security of women and the security of nation-states. Hudson is currently on a Fulbright Distinguished Chair fellowship at ANU.
Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Thursday 11 May 2017, 12-1:30pm
Speaker: Dr Catherine Goetze
University of Tasmania
Topic: Virtue, democracy and global governance

Although neither the Secretary Generals of major international organizations nor the members of international non-governmental organizations are elected to office, they habitually claim to represent values and virtues of democracy, from defending human rights to promoting equality and freedom. This paper uses the work of Pierre Rosanvallon and Pierre Bourdieu to critically assess this claim, paying particular attention to selection processes. The selection processes for the highest offices in inter-governmental and in non-governmental organizations are only open and merit-based on the surface. Underneath this declaratory open access is a socio-economic structure that gives decisive advantages to specific social categories at the expense of others.

About the speaker: CatherineBefore Dr Goetze took up her present post at the University of Tasmania, she worked as international relations scholar in five different countries and in three different languages. She has been recipient of several research grants (British Academy, Political Science Association, German Research Council) and scholarships (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, German Academic Exchange Services, French Foreign Ministry). Her book The Distinction of Peace is forthcoming with the University of Michigan Press in 2017.
Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Thursday 25 May 2017, 12-1:30pm
Speaker: Associate Professor John Mikler
University of Sydney
Topic: The Political Power of Global Corporations

There has been much impassioned debate about the impacts of ‘neoliberal globalisation’ and the inevitability of global market forces determining the interests and preferences of states. Therefore, the answer to the question of ‘who governs’ in a globalised world is often ‘markets’. If not this, then multinational corporations and competition states with market imperatives. However, the rise of global corporations means a conceptual focus on the disembodied power of markets, rather than the power embodied in these huge entities, is increasingly problematic. How should the power of global corporations be best conceived? In this presentation, I argue that it should be done in political rather than market terms. Furthermore, while they may be seen as global political actors in their own right, global corporations' influence is also an extension of the power of their home states. Data on their transnationality, foreign direct investment trends, and mergers and acquisitions is presented to demonstrate that, on balance, the latter view is likely to be more accurate. Therefore, rather than undermining states they reflect and transform the exercise of their home states’ and regions’ political power, interests and institutions.

About the speaker: JohnDr John Mikler's research interests are primarily focussed on the role of transnational economic actors, particularly multinational corporations, and the interaction between them and states, international organisations and civil society. He takes a comparative institutionalist perspective to the way in which economic actors are regulated, or exercise private authority, especially in respect of the social and environmental impacts of their instrumentally-motivated actions. His previous research is on the international car industry, applying the Varieties of Capitalism Approach to analyse the actions it is/is not taking in respect of the environmental impacts of its products. He has also undertaken extensive collaborative and inter-disciplinary research on liberal capitalism and technological innovation for climate change mitigation, as well as global corporate power.
Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]

Thursday 22 June 2017, 3-5pm
Speaker: Dr Alessandro Nai
University of Sydney
Topic: Dark necessities? The Big Five and Dark Triad as personality underpinnings of negative campaigning

We test how the public persona of candidates affects their electoral results. We rely on a novel dataset that includes information about 90 candidates having competed in 39 elections worldwide, based on expert ratings and actual election results. Controlling for several alternative drivers, we show that the public persona of candidates matters. Conscientiousness is an important predictor of a higher score at the ballot box, mostly in relative terms, whereas neither extraversion nor agreeableness matters. Concerning “dark” personality traits our results show that candidates rated as Machiavellian are less likely to succeed, and candidates high in psychopathy are substantively and significantly more likely to attract votes; narcissism does not affect electoral success.

About the speaker: NainI am currently Project Manager and Senior Research Associate at the Electoral Integrity Project (University of Sydney). I was previously lecturer at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Geneva and visiting lecturer at the Political and International Studies Institute at the University of Lausanne. I've been a visiting fellow at the Rutgers University, USA (2008-2009) and at the University of Sydney (2014).

My research agenda focuses on political communication, voting behaviour, political psychology, and campaigning effects.

Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]