ZINIO logo
News & Politics
AQ: Australian Quarterly

AQ: Australian Quarterly 90.3 Jul-Sept 2019

For over 90 years AQ: Australian Quarterly has been packing its pages with the debates that have shaped Australia and the world, tackling the big topics in science, politics and society. Grounded in evidence, yet written in a style accessible to everyone, AQ is unique in Australia’s publishing landscape, pushing back against the trends of subjective truth and media spin. If it matters to Australia then it matters to AQ.

Read More
Australian Institute of Policy and Science
$4.95(Incl. tax)
$14.85(Incl. tax)
4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
a word

An incredible number of words have already been spilled on the ‘miracle’ election – an election that was a vigorous, noisy and dramatic vote for a familiar status quo. Voters across the country chose to favour a party with no policy platform other than to flatten the tax system to fatten the rich. It looks like the ghosts of the last 15 years of bleak, navel-gazing politics were not so easily banished. All eyes will be on whether both parties have heard the warning shot of their failing primary vote, and can work to find common ground rather than flirt with the fringes. Yet the challenges facing Australia are not simply domestic. Technology has birthed companies valuated at more than the GDP of some countries – all on the back of harvesting,…

13 min.
open access: should one model ever fit all?

The arrival of the internet threatened to disrupt publishing substantially, and in many ways it has done so. But the changes we have seen have, until very recently, been more related to only the delivery of research via a different medium – electronic versus print. There has not yet been a widespread disruption of publishing business models, nor has there been a full exploitation of the innovative potential of the internet to reshape how research could be published. But that is now changing. The scene was set for the conflict between commercial and academic interests that would play out in the 21st century. The business of publishing is now on the brink of substantial disruption, with a massive wave of innovation and diverse approaches forcing a rethink of what it means to…

10 min.
deleting democracy: australia and the surveillance juggernaut

“…markets that are about us but not for us.”Shoshana Zuboff The ‘datafication’ of the economy as we near the third decade of the 21st century is all-pervasive. The model, in the space of a decade and a half, has become so utterly hegemonic that it has earned its status as a special type of capitalism – Surveillance Capitalism – a term coined by Shoshana Zuboff in 2015 and the subject of her watershed 2019 book.2 Surveillance capitalism is a new data-driven socio-political-economic modality that aims to predict and modify human behaviour for profit and market control. Behavioural prediction markets are dominated in the US by Alphabet, Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Apple and a few others. In China it is TenCent, Alibaba, and Baidu. These markets now consume all forms of economic activity, and these…

10 min.
blowback: the sewage intifada of gaza

Without going into background politics, one result of the Israeli siege imposed on Gaza from 2007, is that few, if any, spare parts and tools are allowed into Gaza for repairs and maintenance of its handful of wastewater treatment plants;3 especially of the new World Bank-funded plant rendered dysfunctional by Israeli bombs.4 Israel categorises most such equipment as ‘dual use’, items that can conceivably be used to manufacture weaponry. “We may not care about infant mortality in Gaza, but the seawater contamination in the strip is going to reach Israel’s shores…Israel is shooting itself in the foot.”1 The dire sewage situation was compounded by the closure of tunnels through which cheap diesel fuel was smuggled, enabling the running of the sewage treatment plants and the electricity plant empowering them. Power is now…

16 min.
interpreting the dismissal paul kelly’s influence

If the present political malaise can be characterised by seriously diminished accountability, a propensity of the executive to stack the system or use mediating institutions as weapons against political opponents, or more generally embodied by ‘doing whatever it takes’ to win, or some mixture of these elements, then there is a compelling case that can be made that this condition has a parallel in the dismissal of the Whitlam government. Yet it seems our task is doubly demanding, for, as this piece is being prepared, a distinguished public intellectual is even willing to write that no dangerous precedent was set by the sacking of a democratically elected government.1 If the present political malaise can be characterised by seriously diminished accountability… then there is a compelling case that can be made that this…

10 min.
from the archive party spirit in politics

When William III [of England] determined to select his ministers from the dominant party in the House of Commons [in 1698], he created a distinction for future generations between politics and statecraft and between the politician and the statesman. EDITOR FORWARD Wherever there is politics there will be political parties, just as whenever there is debate we find ourselves drawn to taking sides. We are, and always will be, a tribal species. The formation of parties is a necessary (and inevitable) evil – a shorthand for the broad aspirations of a community – but it is important to remember that they are in no way fundamental to the formation of government. The existence of the Liberal and Labor parties are not enshrined anywhere. They could (and arguably should) wane and disappear as they…