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AQ: Australian Quarterly

AQ: Australian Quarterly 90.4 Oct-Dec 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.

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Australian Institute of Policy and Science
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4 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
a word

It is fundamental to human nature to want to see beyond the horizon–both literally and figuratively. From the earliest times, this instinct has inevitably led us into contact (and conflict) with other groups, it resulted in tribes, cities, and nations forming. We created religions, mechanisms of trade, and governments in order to interact with others amicably. Travel, economics, and technology brought the citizens of the world closer together and the Internet has since networked the globe. Humanity has never been so connected, or so interdependent. Yet what is Australia’s place in this endlessly complex web? For decades, Australia worked hard to be the tenacious little country at the big international table, to be respected across sport, culture and diplomacy for our generosity and genuineness. Yet in recent years our leaders have squandered much…

2 min.
aq australian quarterly

EDITOR: Grant Mills ASSISTANT EDITOR: Stephen Burke DESIGN AND PRODUCTION: Art Graphic Design, Canberra PRINTING: Newstyle Printing, Adelaide SUBSCRIPTIONS: www.aips.net.au/aq-magazine/subscribe ENQUIRIES TO: Stephen Burke, General Manager, AIPS, PO Box M145, Missenden Road NSW 2050 Australia Phone: +61 (02) 9036 9995 Fax: +61 (02) 9036 9960 Email: info@aips.net.au Website: www.aips.net.au/ aq-magazine/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/AQAustralianQuarterly ISSN 1443-3605 AQ (Australian Quarterly) is published by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. This project is supported by the Commonwealth Government through a grant-in-aid administered by the Department of Finance and Deregulation. ACN 000 025 507 The AIPS is an independent body which promotes discussion and understanding of political, social and scientific issues in Australia. It is not connected with any political party or sectional group. Opinions expressed in AQ are those of the authors. DIRECTORS OF THE AUSTRALIAN INSTITUTE OF POLICY AND SCIENCE: Leon R Beswick (co-Chair) Andrew Goodsall Maria Kavallaris (co-Chair) Jennelle Kyd Suresh Mahalingam Peter M McMahon Sarah Meachem Peter D Rathjen NOTES…

14 min.
chasing the artful dodger multinational tax avoidance

‘Now of course I am minimising my tax and if anybody in this country doesn't minimise their tax they want their heads read…’Kerry Packer giving evidence to the 1991 House of Representatives Committee of Inquiry into the Australian Print Media Industry1 when questioned about his tax payments. For most of us, paying taxes is an unavoidable but necessary civic duty. Yet for the modern corporation it has increasingly become a voluntary matter, with a prevailing sense that a corporation’s duty lies in avoiding tax, in order to maximise returns for shareholders. Milton Friedman (1970) famously dismissed views about the moral obligation of business when he said the duty of business is business, and ‘the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits’.2 That view persists, yet fortunately it remains a minority…

11 min.
the united nations: a history of success and failure

The world is less peaceful than it was a decade ago. Economic instability is on the rise and a global recession is in the offing. The process of post-Cold War democratisation is now running in reverse across the globe. Climate change is reaping devastating impacts. Conflicts in Kashmir, Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Afghanistan continue to rage; while new conflicts are bubbling to the surface. Yet while global problems continue to mount, the problem-solving capacity of our politics continues to decline. Generally, national governments appear to lack the fortitude to embrace imaginative and far-reaching solutions. Multilateralism–the idea of governments working cooperatively–has stalled. Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold The United Nations (UN)–the bastion of the post-war global order–is seemingly overwhelmed. A clear-eyed assessment of the organisation might conclude the following: it is…

15 min.
who cares? science diplomacy and the global commons

This commentary is written in the context of the EL-CSID project [see WWW.EL-CSID.EU] that receives funding from the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under Grant agreement No. 693799. CONTACT: luk.van.langenhove@vub.be When most of us think of ‘the world’, it is easy to consider it a jigsaw puzzle of discrete nation-states, each lord over their own jealously-guarded territories. Yet most of the globe we live on falls outside of these neat jurisdictional boundaries–these are the earth’s shared natural resources such as the oceans, the atmosphere, the Antarctic, and outer space. These are the global commons, and they are the jurisdiction of all, and none. For parts of the planet that escape the governance of individual states, the big challenge is: who is taking responsibility for these global commons? To some extent, states have…

2 min.
science diplomacy in action–space diplomacy

CASE STUDY BY: ANTHONY MURFETT, DEPUTY HEAD, AUSTRALIAN SPACE AGENCY The Australian Space Agency was established in July 2018 with a purpose to grow and transform a globally respected space industry. A key function of the Agency is to be the front door for Australia’s international engagement on civil space. Australia recognises that such engagement is essential not only to support growth of our space industry, but to support and promote the responsible use of outer space. This approach is reflected in the recently released Australian Civil Space Strategy, which sets a path to transform Australia’s civil space industry over the next 10 years. The Agency is committed to promoting a space sector culture that is globally respected, ensures national safety and security under an appropriate regulatory framework, and meets international obligations and…