Politics & Society
What do you mean we are running out of sand?
Although the importance of water as a resource is well accepted, fewer people know that sand is the second most consumed resource globally.
West Papuan campaigners want a ‘green state’. Could it help the planet?
Independence activists want to combine the best parts of liberal democracy with indigenous traditions.
What would a Green Recovery from COVID-19 look like for Aotearoa New Zealand?
To arrest economic downturn, many governments have responded with massive fiscal packages to boost the economy, maintain employment, and stabilise core industries. However, there is deep concern that these economic responses will undermine the goals outlined in the Paris Climate Accords and cause a surge in greenhouse gas emissions.
Why is the UN calling for a gendered approach to climate – and how does Aotearoa stack up?
On November 14th, 2022, COP27 included the conference’s first-ever day devoted to gender. So what is Aotearoa New Zealand doing to address the intersection between climate and gender, and how do we stack up to Sima Bahous’s three asks?
Avoiding climate breakdown depends on protecting Earth’s biodiversity – can the COP15 summit deliver?
COP15 needs to mark a step change in how quickly and how seriously the international community responds to catastrophic nature loss. The focus is expected to be on 30×30, a push to protect 30% of land and sea for nature by the end of this decade.
What if China wins?
A winning China would regain what the Qing Dynasty enjoyed three centuries ago: a central geo-political leadership role among its periphery of tributary states.
How does COP27’s loss and damage deal really look to the Global South?
After two weeks of fractious discussions, at the very last minute COP27 came up with an agreement on ‘loss and damage’ – providing financial assistance to poorer nations who are already facing the catastrophic impacts of climate change. But how long will it take for these words to translate into actions?
Why do social ties matter to climate politics?
Policy-makers frequently fail to communicate scientific knowledge about climate change effectively, with the result that targeted groups often reject potentially useful advice. Our research addressed New Zealand dairy farmers’ perceptions of climate conditions and their perceptions of climate science.
COP27: Breakthrough? Or an inadequate response to the climate crisis?
For 30 years, developing nations have fought to establish an international fund to pay for the “loss and damage” they suffer as a result of climate change. As the COP27 climate summit in Egypt wrapped up over the weekend, they finally succeeded. While it’s a historic moment, the agreement of loss and damage financing left many details yet to be sorted out. What’s more, many critics have lamented the overall outcome of COP27, saying it falls well short of a sufficient response to the climate crisis.
What should New Zealand do to commit fully to tackling climate change?
We need to invest in clean technologies and circular economies to build a sustainable, diversified economy. And that will also lessen our dependence on carbon-emitting industries, say leading Auckland academics.
COP27: Why can rich countries no longer ignore calls to pay the developing world for climate havoc?
Payments from high-emitting countries to mitigate the harm that climate change has caused in the most vulnerable parts of the world is finally on the agenda for discussion at a global climate change summit, more than 30 years after the idea was first articulated by delegates from small island developing states.
What can be expected from COP27?
The world’s leaders are gathering for another global climate meeting, this time in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Expect a bustle of promises and pacts from countries and companies. Expect pressure on states to support people who are most and permanently affected by climate change. Don’t expect much more, but equally don’t lay the blame solely on the United Nations.
The fall into the abyss
In April 1909, two waves of massacres shook the province of Adana, located in the southern Anatolia region of modern-day Turkey, killing more than 20,000 Armenians and 2,000 Muslims.
Who are you calling a Nazi?
While it is all too easy and comfortable to indulge in our Nazi fascination to demonise our enemies, maybe we should still the media chaos just for a moment and reflect. Who are you calling a Nazi? And why?
IPCC report: Is the window closing for a liveable future?
The latest UN climate report finds that in the absence of ambitious action on climate change, the worst is yet to come for human populations.
Is Russia’s invasion the end point for Putin’s kleptocracy?
Putin is the product of a corrupt economic system that we must now reform, writes Mary Kaldor.
What does Russia’s invasion of Ukraine mean for Europe and the world? 🔊
A land war has returned to Europe. This week, Russia attacked Ukraine. What are the causes of the conflict? What are the motivations of the actors? Could this war have been avoided?
Has Putin won in the Ukraine?
The recognition by President Putin of the Donetsk and Luhansk ‘Peoples Republics’ on 21 February is his latest initiative to expand Russia’s influence. Will he prevail? Will he pause or push further?
What are the reasons behind Putin’s invasion of Ukraine?
A view from Russia: no sanctions will stop Moscow, and its actions will drive more countries into NATO’s arms.
What is driving an increase in military coups? 🔊
Military coups have increased over the last year and a half. What is driving this challenge to democracy? How concerned should we be?
What does academic freedom mean in practice?
If the use of academic freedom did not create risk, parliament would not have needed to legislate for its protection. But that risk should not be shouldered by Wiles and Hendy, or anyone else, alone.
What is Havana syndrome?
Robert Bartholomew takes apart the theory US and Canadian diplomats were the target of a mysterious new weapon in Cuba and lays out a much more likely explanation.
Will an income insurance scheme work in New Zealand?
Susan St John responds to the newly-announced income insurance scheme with some suggestions on how to tweak and improve what we already have.
How did the U.S. come to collectively own over 600 million acres of land? How has that changed over time? 🔊
In this two-part special episode of the Scholars’ Circle, Doug Becker explores the history of public land in the United States.
What role can New Zealand play to combat climate change?
Climate change is a global problem requiring a global solution, but individual nations like New Zealand can play a role and must do so, writes Kevin Trenberth.
Is it the end of neoliberalism in Chile?
A new constitutional convention is imagining a country radically different from the one forged by murderous dictator Augusto Pinochet.
Why has democracy eroded in the United States? 🔊
Is American democracy at risk? If so, what must be done to address and redress some of these threats?
Why should we end conversion therapy? ▶
Enabled by religious bigotry and political inaction, the practice of conversion therapy continues to harm young queer people across Aotearoa.
What is the path out of our housing crisis in Aotearoa New Zealand? ▶
Aotearoa New Zealand is in the midst of a housing crisis. As house prices sky-rocket the country becomes increasingly divided by homeownership. But activist, researcher, and policy analyst Jordan King envisions a path out of the crisis.
Why is the war in Yemen escalating again? 🔊
The ongoing civil war in Yemen risks an escalation with drone strikes launched by the Houthi against the United Arab Emirates. This is apparently in retaliation against the increased military campaign against the Houthis led by the Saudis and the UAE.
Is Russia acting out of aggression or self-defense in its threats against Ukraine? 🔊
Is war or conflict likely? What are the Russian motivations? How should NATO respond to potential escalation?
How can we make universities more inclusive? ▶
Sereana Naepi is exploring new and more inclusive models for education from our universities.
How fraudulent is the Trump organisation?
New legal filing reveals startling details of possible fraud by Trump Organisation.
What are the attacks on the US courts? And what might be the effect on justice in America? ▶
Attacks are increasing on the legitimacy and independence of the courts in the United States. What are these attacks? Where are they coming from? What might be the effect of them on justice in America?
Why is Russia threatening Ukraine?
Putin’s threats are a desperate defence of Russia’s status quo.
What role did Facebook play in the January 6 insurrection?
A ProPublica/Washington Post analysis of Facebook posts, internal company documents and interviews, provides the clearest evidence yet that the social media giant played a critical role in spreading lies that fomented the violence of Jan. 6.
How is Omicron affecting global vaccine distribution efforts and issues of inequity? 🔊
The lack of global vaccinations ode partially to uneven distribution to poorer nations and partially to vaccine hesitancy among certain populations has seemingly given rise to this new variant.
Why have protests erupted in Kazakhstan? 🔊
On January 2nd, protests erupted throughout the Central Asian nation of Kazakhstan. The proximate cause was a drastic increase in fuel prices and a popular discontent against the three-decade rule of former President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Has the US Supreme Court lost its legitimacy? What kinds of reforms might restore its legitimacy? 🔊
Following the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett, the US Supreme Court majority held a conservative worldview that was not reflective of the popular vote and continued the journey of the court in deciding cases that were unpopular among the majority of Americans.
Why did a record number of journalists get jailed in 2021?
Journalists’ Nobel Peace Prize casts a shadow on failures of our democracy.
How did Peng Shuai’s #MeToo moment avoid China’s propaganda machine?
Chinese propaganda officials have tried to shape the global discussion of the tennis player Peng Shuai’s accusations and disappearance, but their top-down strategy has largely stumbled.
How should media continue to report on climate change?
Off the back of the momentum generated by COP26, it’s incumbent on all of Aotearoa’s newsrooms to ensure climate remains on the news agenda.
Are the new smoking policies the answer for a smokefree New Zealand?
If implemented as planned, the new smokefree action plan could be the single most significant approach we take as a nation to reducing preventable death and disease and reducing health inequities, writes Chris Bullen.
What did the NZ 2020 election reveal about public opinion and political marketing? ▶
In this talk hosted by Koi Tū: Centre for Informed Futures at the University of Auckland, Jennifer Lees-Marshment and Edward Elder will use Vote Compass data to highlight the key lessons learned about political marketing and policy from the 2020 election.
Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
Institutional autonomy and the right to critically question are essential if universities are to be reliable sources of knowledge and expertise for society at large.
How did Steve Bannon exploit Google ads to monetise extremism?
Google kicked Bannon off YouTube because of his violent rhetoric but still sent ad dollars to his website that promotes misinformation about the election and the pandemic.
Why is China cracking down on dissident international students?
Students and scholars from China who criticise the regime in Beijing can face quick retaliation from fellow students and Chinese officials who harass their families back home. U.S. universities rarely intervene.
Is New Zealand’s legal aid crisis eroding the right to justice?
New Zealand’s legal aid crisis is eroding the right to justice – that’s unacceptable in a fair society.
What does the outcome of COP26 mean for the future of the planet? 🔊
Earlier this month, world leaders met in Glasgow to negotiate on climate change. With the eyes of the world on COP26, did the meeting meet the needs of the globe to address the climate crisis? Was it successful?
Surveillance: What is it good for?
Online monitoring raises serious questions about privacy and rights, but where justified it can be used for good if organisations consider wider issues like transparency and fairness.
What legal systems are really necessary to fix climate change? 🔊
Is the current legal and voluntary structure adequate to meet the challenge of climate change? Are we up to the challenge?
Will China be number one?
Will China be Number One, that is, the most powerful and influential state on earth, soon? This Big Question has already been answered in the affirmative by some commentators…but not all.
What can we learn from past movements to address the climate crisis? ▶
What can we learn from past U.S. climate, youth, and human rights movements to inform our future? Three U.S. experts answer this question following the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26 ).
How do rich politicians avoid paying tax?
IRS records reveal how Gov. Jim Justice, Gov. Jared Polis, former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and other wealthy political figures slashed their taxes using strategies unavailable to most of their constituents.
Will Afghanistan’s new Taliban leaders govern corruptly?
As terrible as the human rights and security situations in Afghanistan are already, things could get worse if the Taliban’s clean governance turns dirty.
Can we have climate justice without migration justice?
Andreas Neef looks at what a failure of the negotiations at the COP26 Climate Summit in Glasgow could mean for climate migration in the Pacific and beyond.
Can litigation save us from climate change?
Governments around the world are being taken to court for inaction on climate change – but can litigation help fill the policy gap?
Will Cameroon survive its ongoing civil war? How can it overcome its governance challenges? 🔊
Cameroon has seen increased violence and an ongoing civil war based on its linguistic, sectarian divide. Can the nation survive? How much is this a democracy deficiency and how much is this failure of leadership?
COP26: Does New Zealand’s latest climate pledge go far enough?
New Zealand’s new climate pledge is a step up, but not a ‘fair share’.
Is a healthy environment a human right?
How the new human right to a healthy environment could accelerate New Zealand’s action on climate change.
Choosing our destiny: why do Pentecostal churches oppose COVID response efforts?
Fraser Macdonald examines why Destiny Church and other New Zealand Pentecostalists oppose lockdowns and vaccination.
Why are the New Zealand Wars still important? 🔊
In this episode of the Big Q podcast, Sam Smith speaks with renowned New Zealand historian Vincent O’Malley about the New Zealand wars, their importance, and their place in contemporary New Zealand.
What can we expect out of COP 26?
Here’s how global climate negotiations work and what’s expected from the Glasgow summit.
Has AUKUS diminished the non-nuclear security strategy of New Zealand?
Despite claims that a new strategic alliance between Australia, the UK, and US had marginalised New Zealand, there are indications this development could bolster the significance of Wellington’s non-nuclear stance in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.
How should Aotearoa respond to the Taiwan-China flashpoint?
The political temperature is rising in the South China Sea, and its effects will be felt in the South Pacific before long.
Does the death penalty have a future in the United States? 🔊
In the United States, state executions have declined with concerns over human rights. Twenty-two states have abolished the death penalty, but the federal government under Donald Trump resumed executions, and the increase in its use was quite significant.
How can Aotearoa apply what we have learnt from COVID to other challenges?
New Zealand’s Covid response has been praised for being led by research, expertise and evidence. Let’s use the same approach for all the big challenges we face, writes Jim Metson.
Is it the end of the American century?
By Stephen Hoadley This ‘evidence’ of US unreliability, weakness and failure is partial, out of context, and lacking in historical perspective. Fifty years ago, as I began my teaching career at the University of Auckland, the United States began withdrawing its forces...
My body, my choice? Not this time
Mike Lee argues that the rights of other people to remain free from harm overrides freedom of choice.
What challenges do disabled people face in the 21st century? 🔊
Disability rights are essential human rights and are recognised by the UN. What is the state of the discourse on ensuring the equality and civil rights of people with disabilities?
What next for Aotearoa’s COVID strategy?
The COVID-zero strategy may be past its use-by date, but New Zealand still has a vaccination advantage.
What are the causes behind Britain’s energy crisis?
Soaring gas prices have exposed longstanding vulnerabilities in Britain’s energy system. A radical overhaul is long overdue.
What is the current status of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict? 🔊
One year ago this week, Azerbaijani forces attacked the region of Nagorno-Karabakh. This war redrew the maps of the area. It shifted the power and influence in this region away from Armenian’s who have declared the region independent, although, legally, it remains a part of Azerbaijan.
How can creativity advance international justice for egregious human rights violations? 🔊
As a legal issue, lawyers have played an essential role in advancing the universality of human rights in light of a mixed record of international protection.
How can we reduce inequities in Aotearoa? ▶
This panel discussion will explore how the pandemic has exposed inequities in Aotearoa and examine how we can bring about change.
What are the challenges facing Aotearoa’s water? ▶
This discussion will focus on identifying the big water challenges facing New Zealand and the role that different stakeholders can play in tackling water issues.
Will AUKUS halt China’s assertive foreign policy?
If good strategy is about effectively relating means to ends, the recently announced trilateral security partnership Aukus – Australia, the UK, and the US – seems unlikely to fulfil expectations.
When will New Zealand stop honouring this genocidal dictator?
Absent-mindedly paying tribute to murderous Turkish dictator Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is a stain on this country’s integrity. It’s time we did something about it, writes Maria Armoudian.
Is AUKUS just ANZUS without New Zealand?
ANZUS without NZ? Why the new security pact between Australia, the UK and US might not be all it seems.
Is surreptitious policing a problem in Aotearoa? ▶
In this talk, Professor Scott Optican examines the criminal justice system’s response to significantly inculpatory evidence generated by surreptitious policing.
How did America’s youth get the right to vote?
In an extract from her new book “Let Us Vote: Youth Voting Rights and the 26th Amendment,” Jennifer Frost outlines the path towards youth voting rights in the United States.
Abortion: What is the future of Roe v Wade in the United States? 🔊
Recently, Texas passed a law outlawing abortion after roughly six weeks. The US Supreme Court did not overturn this law, culminating in a series of phases intending to overturn a women’s reproductive right to access an abortion as enshrined in the landmark US Supreme Court case Roe v Wade.
What makes a terrorist? ▶
From the power of love shown after the Christchurch terror attacks, to why you should use the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff to teach children about terrorism, Professor Peter O’Connor explains the intricacies of terrorism like you’ve never heard before.
Why are Yemenis being starved?
Throughout Yemen’s brutal war, parties to the conflict have deprived civilians of the food and water they need to survive, starving them to death.
Covid: why are people so vaccine-hesitant? ▶
As Aotearoa rolls out its Covid vaccine response, although uptake is high, there remains a few who are either vaccine-hesitant or refuse to want the vaccine. Why are people so vaccine-hesitant?
Is California’s democracy broken? 🔊
California is about to vote on whether to recall their governor and replace him with one of forty-six candidates. This process has uncovered a serious challenge for the governability of the state, and California now faces a governability crisis.
Twenty years on: what were the legal consequences of 9/11? ▶
In this talk hosted by the University of Auckland Law School, John Ip will address the far-reaching legal consequences of the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.
Why did QAnon become so widespread? 🔊
Conspiracy theories have marked American politics throughout the nation’s history. The most recent popular conspiracy centres around a shadowy figure who posts online under the pseudonym Q.
What does a post-neoliberal future look like?
From taming Big Tech to competing with China, Western governments are abandoning free-market policies.
Is our COVID tracer app data protected enough?
New Zealand is introducing mandatory record keeping to help contact tracers. But is the data protected enough?
What are the causes of Haiti’s ongoing poverty and political marginalisation? 🔊
Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the world. But what are the causes of this poverty?
What are the true costs of the war in Afghanistan?
Calculating the costs of the Afghanistan War in lives, dollars and years.
Counter-terrorism: how can Aotearoa reduce the risk of future attacks?
New Zealand needs to go beyond fast-tracking counter-terrorism laws to reduce the risk of future attacks.
What happens if we lose the Amazon?
Brazil is voting to legalize the destruction of the Amazon forest and the extermination of Indigenous peoples, the forest’s last line of defense.
ANZUS at 70: What next for the alliance?
Together for decades, the US, Australia and New Zealand now face different challenges from China.
Where do Afghanistan’s refugees go?
Images of thousands of Afghans desperately trying to flee their country following a hasty U.S. withdrawal have provoked an international outcry.
The end of an era: What next for Afghanistan? 🔊
Since the United States formally began withdrawing from Afghanistan, the nation has witnessed an incredibly rapid deterioration of the government’s position.
How can we get New Zealanders out of their cars?
To get New Zealanders out of their cars we’ll need to start charging the true cost of driving.
What actions do we need to take to mitigate and adapt to climate change? 🔊
This month, the IPCC released its sixth assessment report. This report was the starkest of any of the IPCC reports thus far.
What are the big takeaways from the IPCC report?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the scientific playbook for charting our climate future – but we must act immediately.
Do COVID vaccination passports have a role to play?
As Australia and the world navigates its way to a post-COVID-19 normality, what role should immunity passports play and what does the public think?
What are the implications of America’s new electoral laws? 🔊
Since the 2020 election, the Republican party has confronted defeat by claiming the election was stolen. In response, state legislatures controlled by the party have written substantial revisions to election processes and election law.
How did the Taliban take back control of Afghanistan?
Taliban victory inevitable despite the trillions the US poured in.
Why has there been a rise in corporate mercenaries?
It’s not too late to rein in these unaccountable armed giants, but we need to act fast.
What lessons can we learn from the COVID pandemic?
Societal cohesion, mental health, wellbeing, and even democracy may all be at stake if lessons are not learned quickly from this pandemic, writes Sir Peter Gluckman.
Does poverty impact childhood development?
Dr Jin Russell is working at the coalface of children’s health and says poverty has a major effect on childhood development as well as contributing to illness.
What is going on in Cuba and how much is the US responsible? 🔊
Last month, Cuban’s took to the streets and protested the government in a series of political actions. Lack of food and medicine and anger at the government’s response to the COVID pandemic seemed to be at the centre of these protests.
Climate emergency: What does the IPCC report say about the Earth’s future?
This is the most sobering report card yet on climate change and Earth’s future. Here’s what you need to know.
How can we rethink ‘race’ in Aotearoa?
A new column from Dame Anne Salmond challenges the legalistic, one side up against the other approach to race relations and the Treaty of Waitangi of the past 40 years.
How did the U.S. gamble with peaceful nuclear technology in a world of growing nuclear arsenals? 🔊
Following the development of the atomic bomb and its use against Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the United States was confronted about the concerns of the development of nuclear weaponry. But the technology also presumably held peaceful uses ranging from the use of nuclear power for electricity, as well as broad issues from medical research to other commercial uses.
How serious is the threat of cyberattacks?
Calling out China for cyberattacks is risky — but a lawless digital world is even riskier.
How should we remember the Korean War?
Stephen Hoadley cautions New Zealanders to take into account the security risks – and the economic opportunities – presented by the fragile inter-Korean armistice, and to be aware of the shifting power balances of the East Asian region.
What is the future of the filibuster in U.S. politics? 🔊
The U.S. Senate is a unique legislative body in that it often requires a supermajority of sixty votes in favour of a legislation for a bill to pass. This is due to an historic institution called the filibuster. But the filibuster is not exactly like we think.
What is critical race theory? 🔊
In the last six months, several U.S. states have barred the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Critics suggest this campaign is to eliminate discussions of race in classrooms, while others suggest that critical race theory is poorly understood.
Is it time Pākehā New Zealanders faced their personal connections to the past?
“It is a long since time we Pākehā confronted the unsettled history of the place in which the “team of five million” lives. Time we were honest with ourselves. Time we ended the forgetting.”
What’s happening in Haiti?
The 7 July assassination of the country’s president, Jovenel Moïse, has thrown the country into disarray. Here’s what you need to know.
Will sustainable cities look like the places we know today?
A sustainable city could look like the ones we know today. It could look like the ones we see in science fiction movies, or it could look like something which none of us has yet dreamt.
What is the context behind the protests in Cuba?
In unprecedented protests, Cubans demonstrated against their government and its mishandling of the pandemic, only to be met with repression.
What is the future of Māori-Pakeha relations?
Instead of seeing Māori ways as an either/or with existing thinking about the world and its governance, Dame Anne Salmond argues it’s time to bring them together for new institutional forms of order for Aotearoa-New Zealand.
Why is New Zealand’s literacy rate in decline?
From the rise of social media to dramatic change in the education system, many reasons are offered to explain New Zealand’s decline in international literacy assessments. Stuart McNaughton says a single cause is very unlikely.
Is cyber security a people problem?
In an age where personal information is the new oil, chief privacy officers in companies should be as important as chief financial officers. Gehan Gunasekara explains the human dimension to cyber vulnerabilities – and how we can keep safe.
How bad was Māori segregation?
Robert Bartholomew says it’s time to educate about a dark chapter of Māori racial segregation. Because while history may not repeat, it speaks to the present.
What are the causes of the ongoing conflict in Ethiopia? 🔊
War has broken out in Northern Ethiopia in the Tigray region, and fighting continues despite a tentative ceasefire. What is the cause of this war? What are the implications for the nation and the region?
As the West moves out, what next for Afghans?
As the Taliban rapidly expand in the shadow of US and NATO allies’ retreat, has anyone considered the impact on innocent civilians?
What is He Puapua and how will it impact New Zealand?
Separatist or radically inclusive? What does New Zealand’s He Puapua report really say about the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples?
Is it time to change the definition of ‘cheating’ in higher education?
Online learning has changed the way students work — we need to change definitions of ‘cheating’ too.
Should New Zealand take more refugees?
New Zealand has one of the lowest numbers of refugees per capita in the world — there is room for many more.
Is New Zealand a more cohesive society since Covid-19?
Three Auckland academics give their views on the question of whether we are a more cohesive society thanks to the pandemic.
What are the causes of the civil war in Cameroon? 🔊
Cameroon is a West African nation embroiled in a civil war between its Anglophone and Francophone populations. What led to this civil war? How can it be resolved?
How can ethical algorithms combat online extremism?
Jacinda Ardern is calling for ‘ethical algorithms’ to combat online extremism. What does this mean?
Are prescription medicines particularly expensive in New Zealand?
Access to medicines is in many ways a litmus test of a decent society, particularly if a medication can make a difference between life and death.
What is going on in Colombia? 🔊
In April, Colombian demonstrators took to the streets to protest new policies proposed by the Government. The police responded with violence, with videos of the police response going viral. The response has subsequently led to larger protests against the Colombian Government.
The first 100 days, Biden’s rise and Trump’s demise? 🔊
In this lecture hosted by the University of Auckland Law School, a panel of experts analyse US President Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office. What has Biden achieved so far? What is the state of America? Can Trump make a comeback?
What is America’s grand strategy and where is it heading? 🔊
The large scale long-term strategic challenges of statecraft, politics, and social change is referred generally to as grand strategy. What is America’s grand strategy, and what does the history of American grand strategy tell us about its current goals?
What does Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territory mean for Israeli identity? 🔊
The recent violence in the occupied territories has raised significant questions as to the impact on Israel as a nation and the Israelis as a people.
Free speech: Is it really under threat?
We can expect a lot of sound and fury as we start to debate the hate speech provisions that will be aired soon. But hopefully, we can also have an informed debate about the nature of hate, including what occurs online, and the impacts of this on communities, especially those which have been targeted by hate.
How do we address the overrepresentation of Māori children in New Zealand’s state care system?
A strong partnership with Māori is vital to restoring tikanga and reversing the impacts of colonisation. Health experts further recognise the restoration of tikanga of whānau to be integral to the well-being of Māori, therefore, reducing the likelihood of domestic violence and child abuse.
From Rodney King to George Floyd: How can video evidence be differently interpreted in courts?
Bystander, bodycam and dashcam videos of policing can be powerful forms of evidence that help jurors bear witness to an event from the complicated scenes of its occurrence.
What is going on in Samoa?
Samoan democracy hangs in the balance as a constitutional arm wrestle plays out — with the world watching.
COVID in India: What has happened and what needs to be done?
A long summer awaits India and the world will need to come together to solve the crisis. None of us are really safe until all of us are safe from COVID-19. One hopes that the Indian experience has taught the world this lesson.
What is the so-called deep state? 🔊
While President, Donald Trump regularly complained that a deep state was undermining his policies and his decisions. He painted a picture of a conspiracy that unelected government officials were seeking to overthrow his Presidency.
How can we make sure COVID vaccination passports are ethical and effective? ▶
The Minister of Health has said that COVID vaccine passports are “almost inevitable”. There is, however, a lack of clarity about just what has to be done to ensure that such passports are ethical and effective.
Why the current turmoil in Northern Ireland?
This recent period of instability is attributable to a range of factors, both external and internal to Northern Ireland.
Will New Zealand’s climate change efforts remain unfinished business?
Without the right financial strategies, New Zealand’s climate change efforts will remain unfinished business.
Should COVID vaccines be a public good?
As NGOs, UN agencies and the governments of less affluent states call for the suspension of patents, the stakes could not be higher.
The first 100 days: How has Joe Biden done so far? 🔊
Presidents are often historically judged based on the accomplishments of their first 100 days in office. US President Joe Biden has just passed his 100-day mark. How does his record compare to historical records? How likely are President Biden’s proposals to be adopted?
Armenia: Why do nations deny genocide? 🔊
Last week, to commemorate the start of the Ottoman genocide against Armenians, US President Joe Biden officially acknowledged the genocide. He was the first US President to do so.
What has Joe Biden achieved so far as President?
In his first 100 days as President, Joe Biden has surprised many critics, but he needs to go much further.
How can we create progressive popular platforms?
How can we create a progressive ‘popular force’ in an era of digital media platforms dominated by the innovations of right-wing populism?
Is New Zealand really the least corrupt country in the world?
New Zealand needs additional transparency measures to shed light on “dark money” in politics, says Zachary Meskell.
Are China-US Relations deteriorating?
China and the US will not agree on many points of policy. But on one point they will tacitly agree: their ongoing strategic rivalry must be carefully managed to avoid war.
What does acknowledgement and commemoration mean for genocide awareness and justice? 🔊
After a genocide event, there are voices of remembrance by generations of past survivors. The victims live with the trauma of the experience, which is passed on to the following generations of survivors.
Can better democracy lead to better freshwater in Aotearoa?
If we want to improve NZ’s freshwater quality, first we need to improve the quality of our democracy.
An unequal world: Are we facing more conflict?
Rising inequality provides ripe pickings for militant Islamist groups plotting insurgencies – and ensures the ‘war on terror’ is far from over.
What is behind the latest unrest in Northern Ireland?
This is not a return to the Troubles. But peace cannot truly be achieved until lives improve, says Peter Geoghegan.
How can we recognise and reconcile past humanitarian atrocities? 🔊
After mass atrocities and crimes against humanity, how can societies reconcile? How is justice performed, and how should we recognize these crimes? What of the clash between international interests and local needs when dealing with the punishment and acknowledgement of atrocities?
Do more candidate-centric electoral systems help reduce corruption?
“The conventional argument in favor of open-list systems as a remedy against corruption is that voters can express their preferences over the individual candidates on this list.”
Is tax the ticking time bomb of our generation? ▶
Is tax the ticking time bomb of our generation? That is the focus of this lecture hosted by the University of Auckland Law School.
What has prevented an end to the Syrian war?
Ten years on from the Syrian uprising, what has prevented an end to the tragedy?
Is the bright-line test extension really just a capital gains tax by another name?
“If we want a fair and prosperous future, we need a tax system that helps to redress market inequalities.”
How is Latin America handling the devastation of the COVID pandemic? 🔊
COVID-19 is a truly global pandemic, but the threats to the health, wellbeing, and economic prospects of people are particularly salient across Latin America.
What can we learn from the 2008 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement?
New Zealand was the first developed country to commence FTA negotiations with China. In November 2004, New Zealand and China launched FTA negotiations and in April 2008, New Zealand became the first OECD country to successfully conclude FTA negotiations with China.
What is the state of democracy in Latin America?
This year’s election cycle will tell us whether political systems in the region can deal with social tensions made worse by the pandemic.
Can peace come to Yemen? 🔊
Since 2014, Yemen has been embroiled in an ongoing civil war. In the process, it has become the salient battleground for the ongoing rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran and has been described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster by the UN.
How will climate change affect infrastructure? 🔊
Flooding, drought, and rising sea levels are just some of the major climate events that are already affecting millions. One of the major issues, as a result, is how infrastructure in both urban and rural communities will be affected by climate change.
Is it time for New Zealand to leave Afghanistan?
New Zealand can take some pride from the largely positive contribution it has made in nation-building and advancing human rights in Afghanistan, says Robert Patman and Ryan Webb.
How can we combat domestic terrorism and hate crimes? 🔊
The United States Department of Justice has a new head with the confirmation of Merrick Garland as Attorney General. How much will the DOJ focus on domestic terrorism and how might this campaign proceed?
Why have anti-Asian hate crimes increased during COVID? 🔊
Violence against Asian people has largely gone unreported in places like the United States. This changed this week with the murder of eight people, including six Asian-American workers in Atlanta. What are the roots of these crimes?
Citizenship revocation: Is it enhancing national security or avoiding responsibility?
The citizenship stripping of Suhayra Aden (similarly as in the Shamima Begum case), will not lead to justice or security says Julija Sardelić.
What does the TPNW mean for the future of nuclear armament? 🔊
On February 22, 2021, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) entered into force. However, the treaty’s purpose of a nuclear-weapons-free world has faced opposition from the states who have nuclear weapons stockpiles. What does this mean for the future of nuclear armament?
The Emperor’s Institutions: Does COVID-19 vaccine distribution demonstrate the failure of multilateralism?
“Persistent failures must be addressed and overcome in the future if international organisations are to be recognised as meaningful actors promoting global public goods within the international system.”
Who does the United States attorney general work for? 🔊
The tenures of Donald Trump’s attorney general’s Jeff Sessions and William Bar have raised critical issues on the proper relationship between the Department of Justice and the presidency.
Why does the United States rejoining the Paris climate accord matter?
The United States is formally back in the Paris climate agreement as of Feb. 19, 2021, nearly four years after former President Donald Trump announced it would pull out.
Can environmental regulation save human kind from self-destruction?
The role of environmental regulation is to prevent harm to the natural world, not only for its sake but to save humankind from self-destruction.
What did Trump’s Tweets really mean?
“I analyzed all of Trump’s tweets to find out what he was really saying.”
An economic divide: What are the myths about poverty in the United States? 🔊
The COVID-19 pandemic in America has exposed distinct economic divides throughout the country. But much of the issue of poverty in the US is based on public images rather than empirical evidence.
What will migration look like after the pandemic?
Increased control of people’s mobility because of COVID-19 might not be so easy to undo.
What are the economics of happiness?
New Zealand has its own world expert on the economics of happiness. Professor Robert MacCulloch says the pandemic is an opportunity to show how we could do a lot better.
Is slavery a problem in New Zealand?
International business expert Christina Stringer has lifted the lid on migrant workers facing serious exploitation in New Zealand.
Will a landmark ruling from the ICC finally get justice for Palestinians?
Israel may finally be investigated for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
What is the future of the Republican Party? 🔊
After the electoral defeat and impeachment of Donald Trump, the Republican Party is at a crossroads.
How will Joe Biden change American immigration policy? 🔊
The new American president signed three executive orders to alter the previous administration’s immigration policies, as well as outline a new approach to amnesty and residency for foreign nationals in the US.
What is the future of impeachment as a constitutional tool? 🔊
Former US President Donald Trump has made history by becoming the first president to be impeached twice. He has also made history by having his trial take place after he has left office.
Is Taiwan a geopolitical flashpoint?
It is hoped that moderation in Beijing, Washington, and Taipei will prevent the Taiwan flashpoint from igniting, says Steve Hoadley.
What is going on in Myanmar? 🔊
On February 1st, 2021, the Burmese military overthrew the democratically elected government in Myanmar. Long-time political dissident Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested along with the leadership of the ruling National League for Democracy.
Can the Abraham Accords further the chance of peace in the Middle East? 🔊
On August 13, 2020, the UAE and Israel signed a peace agreement normalising relations. Then on September 11, Bahrain joined the agreement. These are called the Abraham Accords and has led to a drive for normalisation of relations with other countries, including Sudan and Morocco.
How significant was the Treaty of Waitangi Act?
In a new edition of her popular book, The Treaty of Waitangi / Te Tiriti o Waitangi: An Illustrated History, distinguished historian Dame Claudia Orange brings the narrative of the Treaty up-to-date. In this extract, she explores the critical phase in the Treaty’s history that began with the passing of a significant piece of legislation.
Climate change: Is New Zealand doing enough? 🔊
New Zealand has continued to garner criticism for inaction on climate change and was recently excluded from the Climate Ambition Summit. This raises the question of whether New Zealand’s climate policy reflects the urgency of the situation.
How can the US tackle its polarisation?
In the past 20 years, hostility – fomented in a dislike and distrust of different groups – has dramatically increased and extended to many aspects of American life.
The Trump Administration and corruption: How will he be remembered?
“For one thing, it’s now clear that the constraints—both formal and informal—on presidential self-dealing are too weak. For another, it’s rather troubling how little Trump’s brazen profiteering ultimately seemed to matter to most voters.”
What are the human rights considerations of the COVID vaccine distribution process? 🔊
In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the development of vaccines offers hope for global health action. But the task of distributing the vaccine has multiple human rights concerns, including issues of vaccine nationalism and equitable distribution to marginalised communities.
What impact will the US rejoining the Paris Climate Accord have? 🔊
One of the first actions Joe Biden took on the first day of his presidency was to return the United States to the Paris Climate Accords. This follows Donald Trump taking the US out of the agreement while in office.
How will Estonia reckon with the far-right?
As all eyes were glued to the storming of the American Capitol and the second impeachment of Donald Trump, the small Baltic nation of Estonia was experiencing its own reckoning with the far-right.
What will a Joe Biden presidency look like?
Biden’s job gets easier after Senate wins in Georgia – but don’t expect a progressive revolution, says Jared Mondschein.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted prisons? 🔊
The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenges in prisons and for prisoner rights all over the world. Prison crowding and sub-standard living conditions have created ideal breeding grounds for the virus.
Why do housing prices soar despite a COVID recession?
Median housing prices across New Zealand increased by 19.8% year-on-year (YOY) in October 2020. It is one of the largest price surges in the world despite a global COVID recession.
Is Left populism possible?
“We need to fight precarity now and to ensure that, in the process, we retain and enhance the best of our representative institutions.”
Has an authoritarian slide taken place under Donald Trump? 🔊
The events of the past week in the United States were pressured by a President who has shown little regard for democratic norms and principles since his election in 2016.
What are the promises and potential pitfalls of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons?
The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) is an important landmark in the continuing effort to establish a global ban on the use of nuclear weapons.
Why do people believe or endorse conspiracy theories?
“By situating the cause of these events in the hands of a few nefarious actors, conspiracy theorists are able to take the unpredictability out of life and regain a sense of control.”
Was the seizing of the US Capitol an attempted coup? 🔊
On January 6, a mob emboldened by US President Donald Trump seized control of the US Capitol Building in Washington D.C. in an attempt to block the transition of the Presidency to Joe Biden.
Can peace come to the Western Sahara? 🔊
In November last year, a near three-decade-old ceasefire in the disputed region of Western Sahara was broken, and war resumed. This territory has been a tinderbox of conflict since Spain decolonised in 1975.
From Tbilisi to Washington: Is there too much focus on elections?
“Recent elections in Georgia and the US show that elections alone are poor indicators of democracy, and need to be supplemented with other methods of economic and political empowerment.”
What does it mean to decolonise the language around arms control? 🔊
How much of the discourse on nuclear proliferation and other arms control is dominated by western notions, and in particular, a civilisation clash? What would a decolonisation of the discourse on arms control mean for the future of nuclear non-proliferation?
What should come out of the royal commission report into the Christchurch attack?
“When a terrorist kills 51 people and attempts to kill many others, a government has to do two things — ensure the responsible people and institutions are held accountable, and make changes to reduce the risk of another atrocity.”
Will a COVID-19 vaccine bring the pandemic under control? 🔊
The COVID-19 pandemic has reached a new high in infections across the US, Europe, and around the world. But good news is on the horizon with the development of several vaccines.
Is American democracy too polarised to survive?
Donald Trump’s power won’t prove authoritarian enough to compel the other branches and levels of government to undermine the election, writes Associate Professor Tim Kuhner.
What are the key environmental issues facing New Zealand? 🔊
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declared a climate change emergency in New Zealand. This declaration is non-binding, but Ardern says the motion intends to hold the Government accountable and recognises that they are taking the issue seriously.
What does the “climate emergency” mean for New Zealand?
“By declaring a climate emergency Jacinda Ardern needs to inspire hope, not fear.”
Will the Biden administration re-join the Iran nuclear deal? 🔊
President-elect Joe Biden campaigned on a promise to return to normalcy. At the start of his campaign, he proposed that the US return to the Iran nuclear deal, an agreement which President Donald Trump withdrew the US from in 2018.
Who is Donald Trump, really? And how are we supposed to process his Presidency?
Who is Donald Trump, really? And how are we supposed to process his Presidency? Timothy Kuhner shares an extract from his new book “Tyranny of Greed.”
What can news organisations do to rebuild public trust? 🔊
This year’s annual Bruce Jesson lecture hosted by the faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland was given by CEO of Stuff, Sinead Boucher.
What will campaign finance reform in New Zealand look like?
In an election dominated by the response to COVID-19, a line in the Labour manifesto opened the door to campaign finance reform.
Can Joe Biden reverse the authoritarian direction that President Trump took?
As Joe Biden takes office on January 20th, 2021, many questions arise about what a Biden administration will look like to the global community. Early indications show it will be a complete reversal from Trump’s America First policy.
Donald Trump’s post-presidency legal jeopardy: Must he be held accountable to uphold the rule of law?
Despite clearly losing the recent US election — as evidenced by the popular vote, electoral vote and numerous unsuccessful legal challenges – why is Donald Trump still fighting so hard to remain President for a second term?
What lies behind the war in Tigray?
“At the core of the current war between the Ethiopian central government and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front is the realignment of politics and the contest for political hegemony.”
Are women leaders doing better in their COVID response? 🔊
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, national governments have shown distinctly different approaches with different levels of success. But it appears that nations lead by women have a better record than their male counterparts.
What is the difficult road that has brought Chile towards a non-neoliberal constitution?
Chile’s road towards drafting a non-neoliberal constitution has been long and painful, according to Walescka Pino-Ojeda.
The US Election 2020: A Crisis of legitimacy?
Was the 2020 US election conducted properly? Will mail-in ballots be counted, and will that count be allowed to stand? Will, the US Supreme Court, decide the final outcome? And what, in any case, will become of American democracy?
How did Trump win the online disinformation war?
Social media platforms have allowed US conservatives to delegitimise the election and sow mistrust of democracy.
Is this the paradox of access to civil justice? Too many lawyers, but too few in civil courts?
The Rules Committee of the New Zealand Judiciary recently sought feedback from the legal profession and wider community on proposals to change some procedural rules for civil court cases.
Has peace come to Nagorno-Karabakh? 🔊
On September 27, 2020, fighting along the so-called line of control between Azerbaijan and the region of Nagorno-Karabakh broke out. Azerbaijani forces advanced throughout the month, and Armenian resistance struggled to hold territory. On November 10, the two sides agreed to a peace agreement that has been brokered by Russia.
Should the United States Electoral College be reformed? 🔊
Last week’s US presidential election once again revealed fractures in the democratic principles of the Electoral College.
How will Biden’s presidency affect the Indo-Pacific region?
Will President Joe Biden do things differently in the Indo-Pacific region from the policies of President Donald Trump?
The failed war on drugs and cannabis referendum 2020: What reforms are possible in its aftermath?
“We will begin to make real progress when we realise that the War on Drugs has been a complete failure and damaging to our society, and that significant changes in our attitudes and laws are needed to begin to deal with drugs as a health issue, and not a justice issue.”
Can Trump be prosecuted?
“President-elect Biden has rightly made bringing Americans together his highest priority. His greatest challenge will be whether he can lead the nation into a reckoning with the Trump years without further inflaming passions.”
Climate change: Why do humans instinctively reject evidence contrary to their beliefs?
Why do humans instinctively reject evidence contrary to their beliefs? Do we understand why and how people change their mind about climate change? Is there anything we can do to engage people?
Donald Trump: A dangerous psychology?
“The last four years provide a roadmap that shows how the personal and the political can combine to disastrous effect.”
What does Biden’s win mean for race relations, US foreign policy and the Supreme Court?
Joe Biden’s victory presents an opportunity to reset the White House agenda and put it on a different course. Three scholars discuss what a Biden presidency may have in store in three key areas: race, the Supreme Court and foreign policy.
How did the US election look from outside America? 🔊
The US, when it holds an election ends up attracting more interest around the world than most, if not any other country. It might be because of American power; it might be because of the US’s democratic principles, or it might be because of media sources and the ability to follow it.
Taking Issue: can gangs ever be good for society?
We all know the harm that gangs can do but can they ever be good for society? And what constitutes a gang anyway? Three experts from the University discuss the issues in 350 words each.
Tyranny of greed: Is it time for a revolution against corruption in the United States? ▶
Since the U.S. presidential election of 2016, people around the world have debated Donald Trump’s rise to power. How did he win the election? What kind of political regime has he established? And how has that regime transformed the United States of America?
Corruption and the COVID-19 vaccine: The looming problem of distribution?
From the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, activists and analysts have called attention to the significant corruption risks associated with the response to both the public health crisis itself and the economic disruption it has caused.
Trump v Biden: What is the likely future of American foreign policy? 🔊
The 2020 American election campaign has seen a distinct lack of foreign policy discussion. However, despite who wins the Presidency, foreign policy will remain a key issue area for the US moving forward.
A red tide: What does Jacinda Ardern’s historic victory mean?
The pre-election polls suggested it might happen. But the fact that Labour and Jacinda Ardern have provisionally won an outright majority and the mandate to govern New Zealand alone is more than an electoral landslide — it is a tectonic shift.
What is the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh war about? 🔊
On September 27, fighting along the so-called line of control between Azerbaijan and the region of Nagorno-Karabakh erupted. This area of Azerbaijan is majority Armenian and has been de facto-controlled by the local Armenian population since the end of the war between the two populations in 1994.
Replacing the RMA: What are the challenges of the new legislation?
Part two of this two-part series looks at some of the areas where there are concerns about the impact of the proposed new RMA plans.
Replacing the RMA: Will it be more of the same or something better?
This two-part series will look first at the demise of the RMA and its review before turning to what issues might arise in its replacement.
Is the war in Nagorno Karabakh part of Turkey’s neo-imperial ambitions?
The ongoing war between Armenia and Azerbaijan is part of Turkey’s neo-imperial ambitions in the region and it must be stopped.
How have sports shaped the Black Lives Matter movement?
Despite criticism, sports players have used their role and the unique platform of sports to highlight and drive change, from the Springbok tour of New Zealand to the kneeling that Colin Kaepernick did in 2016.
Podcast: The Americans: US Election 2020 🔊
The Americans is a new RNZ podcast hosted by Maria Armoudian in association with the University of Auckland.
The UN at 75: Redundant or still relevant?
“It is clear to me that the world in the 21st century will be better off with the United Nations as its premier international institution than without it.”
Big Q Podcast: The 2020 New Zealand General Election 🔊
In this special Big Q podcast, Sam Smith is joined by Lara Greaves, Mark Boyd, and Victoria Woodman to look at the 2020 New Zealand general election. They discuss how the two main parties are tracking, the state of the minor parties, and assess the overall election campaign so far.
How will Amy Coney Barrett’s Supreme Court nomination shape American politics? 🔊
The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Republican promise to replace her with Amy Coney Barrett has profound implications for American politics and policy. How will the decision shape public policy, the checks and balances of the constitution and the 2020 election?
What are the likely legal outcomes of the current US Supreme Court battle? 🔊
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away last week aged 87. A long time liberal voice on the US Supreme Court, her death has opened the likelihood of the court shifting to the right, perhaps quite dramatically.
What does the future hold for law in a COVID world? ▶
In this webinar hosted by the University of Auckland Law School, four experts discuss the future of law in a COVID world.
Does the Black Lives Matter movement reflect experiences in Aotearoa New Zealand?
In the 1970s African American activism was echoed in New Zealand influencing the creation and activism of both Ngā Tamatoa and the Polynesian Panthers. 50 years later these trends continue with protests across New Zealand sparked by the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, and Black Lives Matter has become an issue of national political contention.
Is the risk of white nationalist terrorism in New Zealand increasing?
“Past white nationalist terrorism demonstrates that the greatest risk often comes from individuals on the periphery of organised extremist groups.”
Is there a growing standoff between Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean? 🔊
In the Eastern Mediterranean, recent confrontations over the rights to drill natural gas have threatened to reignite conflict between Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus.
What do mass protests mean for the future of Belarus?
With demonstrations ongoing despite government repression, longtime Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko is faced with a rare challenge to his leadership.
Climate anxiety: What is it and how can we cope?
Climate change is 100% human-caused, so it’s 100% human-solvable. Don’t surrender to anxiety.
Can you trust political polls?
From now until October 17, Election Day in New Zealand, voters will be getting election poll information from multiple directions. So which ones can be trusted?
Is the 2020 campaign leaving a gap for a return to dirty politics?
Mark Boyd has studied New Zealand elections for three decades and wonders if media coverage of the 2020 election campaign will be a replay of 2014’s ‘dirty politics’.
Is Aotearoa ready to legalise cannabis? 🔊
At this year’s general election, New Zealand voters will have the opportunity to directly influence the future of cannabis policy in Aotearoa via a referendum.
Can COVID misinformation cost lives? 🔊
Misinformation is rampant about COVID-19, and in some cases, it has caused death, blindness, emergency health issues, widespread stigma, and social ostracization.
What is behind the political unrest in Belarus? 🔊
On August 9, 2020, Belarussian voters went to the polls in a presidential election. Long-time president Alexander Lukashenko who has governed the nation since 1994 and who is often called Europe’s last dictator claimed victory.
Is the cyberattack on NZX a wakeup call for New Zealand?
Cyberattacks are taking place with increasing frequency, and with increasing capability to do widespread damage
Should we be worried about COVID-19 conspiracy theories?
Polls indicate that the public broadly supports the coalition government’s COVID-19 pandemic response, and public condemnation of conspiracy theories about COVID-19 is easy to find.
What are our rights when people commit wrongs? An examination about punishment as a right
“Were punishment made a right, there are two possible ways to formulate it: either as a right to be punished for the choices we make, or a right to punish those who wrong us.”
Substance or descriptive representation: What Does Kamala Harris’s VP candidacy really represent?
“As a Black woman, Senator Harris’s presence within the United States Senate helps address the gulf between the 15% percent African-American demographic within society and the four single African-American senators in the current Congress.”
How does social media influence political campaigning and communication? 🔊
Social media has become a key feature in politics and communication and will likely play a significant role in the 2020 US election.
What’s so important about the vice presidency of the United States? 🔊
The Democrat nominee for US President Joe Biden has chosen Kamala Harris to run with him on the national ticket as vice president. Harris is the first woman of colour to run on a major national party ticket in the United States.
Why uncertainty requires a new politics
Governments haven’t found the magic formula for predicting the way people and diseases will interact with each other.
Who is looking the best for New Zealand’s general election?
Politicians are doing the dance of political management ahead of the 19 September election, writes Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment.
Can New Zealand stamp out COVID a second time?
New Zealand is on alert as COVID-19 returns. This is what we need to stamp it out again.
Is the World Health Organization still fit for purpose?
Once capable of taking a leading role in the fight against disease, the World Health Organization has struggled to replicate its early successes in recent decades, including in its response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
A country in crisis: Where is Lebanon heading? 🔊
Last week, on August 4th, an explosion devastated Beirut killing over one hundred people and injuring thousands. This incident shocked the nation amidst a horrible economic crisis and a tremendous lack of faith in the competence of the government.
Should Aotearoa have a wealth tax?
The recent announcement by the Green Party of a proposed wealth tax raises many important questions about the taxation system in New Zealand.
US and China are both raising the military stakes in the South China Sea
“Perhaps the particular issue here lies not with direct risks in and around the South China Sea but back in Washington DC.”
What is it like living through a pandemic if you are under military occupation? 🔊
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of people all over the world. The sense of powerlessness and the fear of infection has alienated people regardless of political situations. But in areas of conflict or military and political occupation, populations are even more at risk.
Social media as the new wild west: How can we curb lawlessness on Facebook?
The crisis of lawlessness on Facebook means it has become a breeding ground for alienation, fragmentation and xenophobia across the globe.
Has the COVID-19 crisis pushed solidarity in the European Union?
Has the COVID-19 crisis pushed solidarity in the European Union? Stefano Riela explores.
A city under siege: What are the legal and political implications of the presence of federal agents in Portland? 🔊
Ever since the killing of George Floyd, the city of Portland has witnessed consistent protests and civic action demanding police reforms. However, recently, camouflaged federal authorities without identification badges have begun arresting protesters in the city, while the Department of Homeland Security has deployed unmarked SUV’s to detain protesters.
Just how healthy is Aotearoa’s freshwater?
In addition to providing a source of taha wairua and taha tinana, particularly for iwi, freshwater health is recognised as a necessary strategic and productive asset for New Zealand.
What does Sweden’s COVID Strategy tell us about Swedish Exceptionalism?
While the devastating truth of Sweden’s COVID death rates has invoked an increase in criticism, international reporting continues to swing on a pendulum between themes of, “Has Sweden got it all wrong?” and “Was Sweden right all along?”.
What does the future hold for the United States Supreme Court? 🔊
Since the 2016 election, the US Supreme Court has become a lightning rod political issue on both sides of the political divide.
What dangers do low-yield nuclear weapons pose to the world?
“With international treaties focused on regulating higher-yield nuclear weapons, the relatively lighter “tactical” armaments have quietly proliferated in their place, despite being far more destructive than either of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
Could lockdowns trigger an ongoing loss of personal freedom around the world?
Professors Tim Dare and Paul Rishworth, and Dr Jiamou Liu have their say on whether the Covid-19 lockdowns could be a portent for freedom restrictions in the future.
Is the United States haunted by its racist past? 🔊
In recent weeks, the news in the United States has been filled with stories of statues and public spaces being altered or removed. These stories are usually connected with America’s racist past, with a particular eye towards the issue of slavery.
Can free speech cost lives?
Despite all the debates and discussions, the pandemic continues to ravage humanity and the fake news phenomenon continues to deceive some people.
Nobody expects the Spanish … Coronavirus?
“Spain was amongst the nations hardest hit by the pandemic and, despite the uneasiness surrounding Sánchez’s late response to the crisis, even by his hardline supporters, Spain is on its way to recovery.”
Will Trump continue to limit immigration in light of COVID-19? 🔊
One of the most fundamental features of the Trump Administration is a policy of limiting immigration and reversing previous US policy on work visas, asylum, and deportation.
At the crossroads: How can we navigate the right path for the betterment of humanity? 🔊
The world is facing multiple crises, from climate change to institutional racism to COVOD-19. Maria Armoudian speaks to three preeminent scholars from the fields of anthropology, philosophy, and psychology about the crossroads we are facing as a global community and how we can navigate them for the betterment of humanity.
Managing the learning curves of moving online during COVID-19. Does Estonia have some answers?
As lockdowns have been imposed across Europe and around the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the move online of traditionally in-person tasks and services has sent many countries into turmoil.
Has COVID-19’s spread benefited from the nature of governance in the 21st century?
Although both sides would deny it, the spread of COVID-19 has highlighted the weaknesses of two systems of governance as represented by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States of America.
COVID contact tracing: Were we clever, or just lucky?
Bluntly, our management of contact tracing has been shambolic and it has important lessons beyond the COVID pandemic.
Are New Zealand and China fair-weather friends?
Over the last three years, New Zealand-China relations have encountered new challenges, as Jonas Fleming explains.
Is German creativity, solidarity and the odd Berlin graffito an answer to COVID-19?
Norman Franke looks at how COVID-19 is impacting Germany and what they are doing about it.
Should international organisations require more anticorruption conditions on their pandemic emergency funding?
“The global anticorruption community has been understandably worried about the risks that emergency response funds could be misappropriated or mismanaged, which would impede the collective public health efforts.”
Can we grow organisations and work that support a sustainable world?
Can we grow organisations and work that support a sustainable world? The answer comes from understanding our deepest psychological drivers, according to Niki Harre.
As democracy crumbles: Why is Hong Kong still protesting one year later?
This is an ideological conflict between authoritarianism and democracy. Both protestors and China are trying to achieve some kind of outcome to secure the legitimacy of a post-2047 future.
What is the cause of growing tension between China and India? 🔊
Earlier this month, India reported that twenty members of its armed forces were killed in fighting with Chinese forces along a disputed border in the Himalayas. Tension is, therefore, growing between the two most populous nations, and emotions are running high.
Will COVID-19 transform world politics?
Will the current COVID-19 outbreak stimulate further international cooperation as did the infections of the 20th Century, or will it undermine cooperation, weaken regimes and alter geopolitics as did the epidemics of the prior two millennia?
The snake, the hedgehog and the Berlin Wall: How significant is the fall of the wall thirty years on?
Stephen Resch reflects on the fall of the wall thirty years on.
What have been the long-term consequences of Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia in 1979? 🔊
In 1979, Vietnam invaded Cambodia and overthrew the Khmer Rouge government. This government had committed genocide since its seizure of power in 1975. Vietnam’s motivations have been asserted in a wide range of explanations, from the advancement of communism to humanitarian interests to strategic interests.
What happens when a nation’s leader is a doctor?
When Ireland’s Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, offered his resignation to President Michael D. Higgins on 20 February, little did he realise the responsibility that lay ahead.
Riot or resistance? How media frames unrest in America will shape public’s view of protest
The general public’s opinions about protests and the social movements behind them are formed in large part by what they read or see in the media. This gives journalists a lot of power when it comes to driving the narrative of a demonstration.
How did George Floyd’s murder come to represent a much broader set of injustices in American life? 🔊
After another brutal police killing of an unarmed black man, a massive wave of protests has spread across the United States, with solidarity protests also occurring across most of the world.
How did Czechs wear face masks when there weren’t any available?
On March 18, 2020, the Czech Republic became the first country in Europe to legislate mandatory coverage of the mouth and nose in all public areas in an attempt to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Is Housing First the solution to homelessness?
In recent years, the “Housing First” model has become thrust to the forefront of the debate around homelessness, with its numerous advocates pointing to its apparent success in trial programmes.
« Le Parti de Le Pen » : What does the rise of the French Far-Right mean for France’s 2022 election?
Marine Le Pen has already announced her bid for the presidency in 2022.
What impact will the COVID pandemic have on the future of climate governance? 🔊
In 2015, the nations of the world agreed to the Paris Climate Accord. This is intended to slow the rate of climate change. Since then, the US has announced its intention to withdraw, while the COVID pandemic has had a profound impact on the agreement.
How are young tertiary students that work faring in the wake of COVID-19?
“Working students should not be in a position to choose finding work over their education.”
A death in the family
“I saw my father alive, dead, and buried, the threefold process that’s at once so ordinary and so extraordinary, and tragically has become more ordinary in the UK in these extraordinary times.”
How can we adapt anticorruption enforcement to an age of populism and polarization?
The resurgence of populism, coupled with increasing polarization, are making it easier for corrupt politicians to evade accountability, even in countries with functional legal and judicial systems.
Bolsonaro’s handling of COVID-19 in Brazil is a disaster: “So What?”
When Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll passed China’s some days ago, a local reporter asked Jair Bolsonaro his thoughts on the morbid figures. The president’s first answer “So what?”
What is the future of the New Zealand media sphere post-COVID? 🔊
Change is happening quickly in the New Zealand media sphere as companies try to adapt to a new world post-COVID.
What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Turkey and its “corona diplomacy”?
Looming economic problems have not prevented Ankara from showcasing its soft power and engaging in “corona diplomacy.”
Will the U.S. Supreme Court leave presidential elections open to corruption?
Electors from the 2016 Presidential Election have brought a case in the Supreme Court challenging “faithless elector” laws as unconstitutional.
Is Islamic State back?
In the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic the crises of tomorrow can fester. A resurgence of Islamic State (IS) is likely to be one of them.
How has COVID-19 shone a light on long-present educational inequalities?
With the mass shift to online and distance learning, both in New Zealand and around the world, a spotlight has been shone on the inequalities that exist within education.
How much do we trust our news media?
A survey released last week tells us 53 percent of New Zealanders trust overall news sources most of the time.
How can we turn our cities into treetopias?
The creation of urban forests will make cities worth living in, able to function and support their populations.
How has Brazilian politics been affected by COVID-19? 🔊
Brazil is the largest country in South America, with a huge population and a deep divide between rich and poor. Its response to the coronavirus pandemic has implications not only for the country itself but also for the region and the world.
What does the turn to using “truth serums” (narcoanalysis) mean for India’s police?
The police have claimed that lie detectors, brain scans, and narcoanalysis (the use of “truth serum,” Sodium Pentothal) represent a paradigm shift away from physical torture.
Are Māori and Pasifika communities more at risk from COVID-19? 🔊
Last week, Te Pūnaha Matatini released a report relating to the infection fatality rate of COVID-19. The report stated, “the communities at the highest risk will be those with elderly populations, and Māori and Pasifika communities.”
How is COVID-19 affecting substance use? 🔊
Grant Christie spoke with Vicki MacFarlane about what kind of problems they are seeing in Auckland Detoxification services and how services are supporting the community during lockdown.
Is the COVID-19 pandemic changing governance in the United States? 🔊
The United States has been hit the hardest by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over one million people have been infected, while there have been over 58,000 deaths. Is the COVID-19 pandemic changing governance in the United States?
What is the plight of climate change’s “refugees”?
Julia Budler explores the displacement of people due to climate change.
Why is it so hard to stop COVID-19 misinformation spreading on social media?
Even before the coronavirus arrived to turn life upside down and trigger a global infodemic, social media platforms were under growing pressure to curb the spread of misinformation.
What is decolonisation?
Many writers only loosely define what they mean by it, while others use it as a general black box for addressing the negative impacts of colonisation upon Indigenous peoples.
How can we counter corruption during the COVID-19 pandemic?
“The outbreak demands swift and bold action not only in the direct response to the pandemic, but also in ensuring that monies are correctly spent, that companies do not profit unfairly from misfortune, and that power is not abused by our leaders.”
Why are pets at risk during this pandemic?
In a few short months the COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated a series of dramatic social, political and environmental changes. Yet the focus remains resolutely on humans, leaving animals largely out of the picture.
Will covid-19 change how we address the climate emergency? 🔊
Can we conceptualise a response to the climate crisis from how the world has reacted and responded to covid-19? What can we take from the response to the pandemic to start a new response to the climate crisis?
How has COVID-19 affected the labour movement in the United States? 🔊
The United States has fast become the most affected country by the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from the hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 cases, the pandemic has also led to mass unemployment and widespread strike action by workers.
How have faith communities responded to Covid-19?
In response to the global spread of Covid-19, many faith communities including churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and gurdwaras have suspended their meetings and services in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
What is the role of WHO in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? 🔊
On March 11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. This triggered a set of regulations and made resources available to nations to combat the virus.
What is the risk of moral injury to frontline health workers? 🔊
Lillian Ng explores with Monique Jonas and Phillipa Malpas the implications of moral distress and clinical decision making in the time of COVID-19.
First in Family: Our University Voyages
Awarding-winning filmmaker Professor Annie Goldson didn’t have to travel too far from her University of Auckland desk for her latest documentary production, with Dr ‘Ema Wolfgramm-Foliaki.
How can we remain socially connected in a time of isolation?
There’s a distinction between social isolation and loneliness, writes professor of gerontology Vanessa Burholt. The key is to create intergenerational connections during this time of physical isolation.
Will corruption increase during the Covid-19 pandemic?
“In emergency situations, when lives are at stake, it is all too easy to rationalize the subordination of concerns about things like accountability and transparency.”
What will a post-COVID-19 world look like?
The world before this coronavirus and after cannot be the same, according to Ian Goldin and Robert Muggah.
How can we recognise misinformation and disinformation? 🔊
The great promises of the internet to offer inter-connectedness and the spread of great ideas has brought great challenges in discerning fact from fiction.
What is behind the recent oil price crash?
Having agreed to restrict production in recent years, it appears that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Russian Federation have been racing to outdo the other in crashing the price of oil.
Are financial declaration systems creating opportunities for corrupt extortion?
One of the most popular reform measures for combating public corruption is the establishment or strengthening of requirements that public officials regularly file declarations of assets and income sources.
Is the independence of US law enforcement under attack?
“The politicization of the institutions of justice, particularly those associated with criminal law enforcement, is one of the greatest threats to the rule of law and the integrity of government.”
What would a Democratic Party President mean for US foreign policy?
As the US presidential election approaches in November, attention is shifting to not only who the leading candidates will be but also to what their policies may foreshadow.
Does far-right extremism still threaten New Zealand?
“In the hours after the Christchurch mosque attacks on March 15 last year, I wrote that I hoped New Zealand would finally stop believing it was immune to far-right extremist violence. A year on, I’m not sure enough has changed.”
Fossil fuel-free superannuation: What is the deal? 🔊
Last week an announcement was made by the government surrounding changes to default KiwiSaver funds. In a bid to align with the zero-carbon bill, in 2021, when the terms of default KiwiSaver end, they will no longer be able to invest in fossil fuels or illegal weaponry.
Dear John, could you be the Kingmaker? Intriguing possibilities in 2020 New Zealand election
Recent political polling suggests that the 2020 New Zealand general election will be a close affair. The result could very well rely on the success of minor parties and the horse-trading that goes on between the parties before and after polling day.
What are the social impacts of climate change?
With the impacts of climate change increasingly apparent, how will this manifest in society?
Can a Democratic candidate win the 2020 presidential election against Donald Trump?
For the Democratic Party in 2020, the US presidential election represents both an opportunity and a threat.
Have rape myths become a barrier to a fair trial process? 🔊
Despite more than forty years of law reform aimed at improving the experience of giving evidence for adult rape complainants, Ministry of Justice research in 2018 re-confirmed that the process remains distressing and re-traumatizing.
Money, Money, Money: What is the deal with political donations? 🔊
Political donation scandals are dominating New Zealand politics at the moment, with the Serious Fraud Office investigating two separate cases involving donations to the National Party and the New Zealand First Foundation.
What’s at stake in West Papua?
Dr. Mark Busse and Sophie Faber examine West Papua’s history to see what’s at stake politically and economically in the current unrest.
What role does the United States play in the Israel-Palestine peace process? 🔊
The United States new peace plan for Israel and Palestine departs significantly from past plans. From altered borders, to decreasing the size of land for Palestine, to a lack of commitment to Palestinian sovereignty, this is a new approach to peace.
Why are New Zealand houses so damp and mouldy? 🔊
Is the housing stock to blame? Is it the way houses are constructed? Is it the typology? Lillian Hanley spoke with Philippa Howden-Chapman about the state of New Zealand’s houses, and what effect damp and mouldy homes have on people’s health and living standards.
Have targeted assassinations become normalised?
According to a new study, the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in combat has worked to normalise the practice of targeted assassinations.
A crisis no more? Refugee journeys through the Balkans
Is there still a refugee crisis in Europe?
How legitimate is proxy warfare? 🔊
Global conflicts have become increasingly more complex, and often, external nations choose to intervene. However, interventions can often be indirect in the form of proxy actors.
Do climate refugees need special protection? 🔊
Last week, the man who would have become the first official climate change refugee, Ioane Teitiota, lost his case to avoid deportation at the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
Why is there a gender pay gap in New Zealand universities? 🔊
New research from the University of Canterbury has revealed a gender pay gap exists in New Zealand universities.
Are public referendums the right way to make law?
In 2020, New Zealanders will vote in two referendums at the general election. Edward Willis investigates whether public referendums are the right way to make law.
Who is killing unionists in the Philippines?
Duterte claims to be fighting crime. But it appears that unionists are being killed with virtual impunity in the Philippines.
Is political change coming to Putin’s Russia? 🔊
Major political change is happening in Russia right now as President Vladimir Putin announced significant constitutional changes in his annual address to the nation.
What is behind the growing tension in the Middle East? 🔊
Following the US drone strike that killed an Iranian general in Iraq and Iran, shooting down a Ukrainian passenger airliner, international concerns over security and legality have arisen.
Is the United Nations achieving its sustainable development goals? 🔊
In 2015, the United Nations passed the sustainable development goals with targets for poverty reduction, economic development, environmental protection, and political empowerment. How were these goals chosen? Has the UN been achieving its goals?
What needs to be done to prevent a climate-induced collapse? 🔊
Why do sustainable business initiatives so often fail? What fundamental changes do we need from societies and the economic system to stem a climate change-induced collapsed? What economic systems might work on a planet with a finite capacity to sustain life?
What is the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process?
Carwyn Jones outlines the process iwi go through to settle Treaty grievances.
Was the killing of Qasem Soleimani legal under international law? 🔊
Doug Becker discusses the laws of war and the current tensions between the US and Iran with Mark Drumbl, Hannah Garry, and Hamoud Salhi.
Why are Indians protesting a new citizenship law?
A new citizenship law in India has sparked demonstrations across India, with protestors angered by the legislation’s exclusion of Muslim refugees.
What could the UK’s foreign policy look like after the general election? 🔊
The United Kingdom goes to the polls on December 12, with Brexit one of the main issues for voters. How will the country vote? Will Brexit finally happen? What will UK foreign policy look like moving forward?
What does a death in Malta have to do with trusts in New Zealand?
What does the death of a journalist in Malta have to do with trusts in New Zealand? Ben Goldson investigates.
Q+A: A Frozen Conflict: What’s really going on between Ukraine and Russia?
What are the roots of the conflict? What are the possibilities of resolution? What role have external powers played in the conflict?
Climate change: Is a careful revolution possible?
In a chapter taken from the new book “A Careful Revolution: Towards a Low-Emissions Future,” David Hall discusses how to tread carefully as the world undertakes what amounts to a climate revolution.
A global explosion of people power?
Are we experiencing a global explosion of people power? David S. Meyer investigates.
Was the “resignation” of Bolivian President Evo Morales actually a coup?
Over the last few weeks, Bolivia has been submerged in a climate of widespread violence and impunity following the “resignation” of President Evo Morales. But was his resignation actually a coup?
What is the future of food?
Gilbert Wong looks at the forces shaping the future of food and how research is contributing to what’s likely to be on our plates in 2030.
Are New Zealand’s electoral finance laws failing? 🔊
The New Zealand First party has been in the news recently following reports the New Zealand First Foundation allegedly channeled donations through to the political party.
Should prisoners be allowed to vote? 🔊
A few days ago, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced plans to change the current law on prisoner voting rights in time for the 2020 election to allow prisoners serving sentences of three years or under to vote.
How bad is poverty in New Zealand? 🔊
New research conducted by AUT’s New Zealand Work Research Institute has found that more than 50,000 working households are living in poverty across New Zealand.
What institutional reform befits the era of the long climate crisis?
On October 22, former MP and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, who now leads Greenpeace Aotearoa New Zealand, delivered the 2019 Bruce Jesson Memorial Lecture at the University of Auckland, looking at institutional reform options for dealing with climate change, in light of Parliament’s recent passage of the Zero Carbon Bill.
Is New Zealand giving away control over its water?
Water issues have come into the spotlight in recent years with foreign water bottling companies setting up plants in New Zealand, as Mia Chung explains.
The ethics of assisted dying: What could a law change mean for New Zealanders?
A new bill intends for terminally ill New Zealanders who have less than six months left of life the option of requesting and receiving an assisted death from a qualified medical practitioner if they fulfil certain eligibility criteria.
What would a merger between TVNZ and RNZ mean for New Zealand’s media landscape? 🔊
The New Zealand Government is considering significant changes to the configuration of public service media in New Zealand.
How bad is food poverty in New Zealand? 🔊
A new report has been released by the Child Poverty Action Group detailing food poverty and how it affects children in New Zealand.
Is corruption to blame for the Amazon forest fires?
Amazonia Is burning, and corruption is one of the reasons, says Rodrigo Telles de Souza.
Q+A: Could working with gangs help reduce crime?
New Zealand National Party leader Simon Bridges wants to stop gang members from gaining access to welfare if they cannot prove their income is from legitimate sources. This comes at a time when some gangs are wanting changes in their community.
Are armed police patrols the solution to gun violence? 🔊
The debate around the trial of armed police patrols in New Zealand continues since it was announced three weeks ago. The patrols will be rolled out in Manukau, Waikato, and Canterbury and involve heavily armed, specially trained units roaming the streets in vehicles.
Turning off the lights: Is the government to blame if Mediaworks’ TV3 shuts down?
Is the government to blame if Mediaworks’ TV3 shuts down? Peter Thompson looks into the crisis at the struggling network.
What impact will Twitter’s political ad ban have on democracy? 🔊
Last week, Twitter announced it would ban all political advertising from the 22nd of November. Founder Jack Dorsey says that political reach should be earned, not bought.
Al-Baghdadi is dead, but is the Islamic State?
The killing of the caliph of the Islamic State (ISIS) Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is significant in many ways, but not as a major victory in the campaign against jihadist violence.
Will Congressional Republicans hold Trump to the standard to which they are held?
Will Congressional Republicans hold Trump to the standard to which they are held, asks Rick Messick.
What does the Canadian election result mean for Canada and the world? 🔊
Canadians have spoken with their ballots, and Justin Trudeau has been returned as Prime Minister to lead a minority government. What does Canada’s election result mean for climate change, for the future of the Arctic, for LGTBQ rights, ethics, and Canada’s role in the world?
What’s behind the chaos in Chile? 🔊
James Robins is joined by Walescka Pino-Ojeda to discuss the current crisis in Chile.
Q+A: Scars of the past: What is historical memory and how does it change?
How important is historical memory in politics? What can we learn about how our past memories are manipulated to change current and future politics? What can we learn from memory entrepreneurs in places like the former Yugoslavia?
Q+A: What does a Trumpian foreign policy look like?
On September 10, 2019, Donald Trump fired his national security advisor John Bolton, significantly changing the dynamic within the Trump Administration’s foreign policy team. So, what does the future of American foreign policy look like under the current president?
Turkey’s offensive: A ceasefire, or a bid for old territory?
Jiyar Aghapouri explores Turkey’s moves into Northern Syria.
Who is to blame for the crisis of voter decline in local elections? 🔊
New Zealand’s local elections took place over the weekend, with the average turnout nationally falling below fifty percent.
Why do we need journalism?
Journalism is facing a profound financial crisis. Around the world, news outlets are closing, and journalists are losing their jobs. Should we be worried?
History Masterclass: How can we understand American populism? 🔊
In this episode of history masterclass, Paul Taillon explores American populism through history and how we can understand it in terms of today’s politics.
History Masterclass: Who was New Zealand’s first populist government? 🔊
In this episode of history masterclass, Linda Bryder talks about New Zealand’s first populist government, the Liberal Government, which served from 1891 to 1912.
Canada votes: Is change on the way? 🔊
Canada’s federal election is taking place on October 21. Justin Wong spoke with Daniel Béland about the election and whether Trudeau can be re-elected.
How bad is the discrimination against trans and non-binary people? 🔊
This week, a report on the health of trans and non-binary New Zealanders revealed some alarming statistics into psychological distress, discrimination and ongoing barriers to health services.
‘Most students don’t share my views’: Why is talking about politics so difficult?
Why is talking about politics so difficult? Sylvia Nissen shares an extract from her new book “Student Political Action in New Zealand.”
Why is housing so unaffordable?
New Zealand is the second most overvalued housing market in the world, with Auckland its most unaffordable city, writes Michael Rehm.
Q+A: To give or not to give? The problem of political party donations
Scrutiny surrounding foreign political donations have flared again after revelations that the New Zealand National party received $150,000 as a gift from Chinese Billionaire Lang Lin.
Q+A: Why does the government remove Māori babies from their family?
In recent months, Oranga Tamariki (the Ministry for Children) has faced widespread criticism for its often-traumatising practice of ‘uplifts’, whereby newborn babies are taken from their mothers into state care.
Q+A: What is going on in Hong Kong?
The movement in Hong Kong is now entering its fourteenth week. So, what are the causes of the protests, and what are the stakes for China and the world?
Q+A: Why do so few people vote in local elections?
Local government elections in New Zealand are fast approaching, but participation in local democracy has been declining for several years.
Why isn’t my professor Pasifika or Māori?
The number of Māori and Pasifika students attending New Zealand universities has been increasing steadily, but for many of these students, they will not be taught by Māori or Pasifika throughout their degree.
Q+A: How do we measure far-right violence?
On the heels of mass shootings in New Zealand and the United States, we ask: what are the mindsets, trends, and changes of a globally connected right-wing movement? What are the solutions to the growing animosity between identity groups?
Q+A: What will a post-Brexit Britain look like?
What does the election of Johnson mean for Brexit and a polarized British public? What is the future of the British economy? What will the UK look like in 2024?
How does party affiliation affect local government elections? 🔊
Local government elections are coming up fast, and an increasing number of candidates are becoming affiliated with political parties, according to new research.
Q+A: How did America become the home of mass shootings?
Julia Rallo spoke with Patrick Blanchfield about the epidemic of gun violence and asks the question: do mass shootings emerge from free-speech message boards like 8chan, or from American culture itself?
Remapping the order of knowing: The idea of ‘Latin America’ revisited ▶
Is ‘Latin America’ part of ‘the West’? Why ask this question, and what do these terms mean for understanding the world today? In this lecture, Professor Walter Mignolo will ask what role the Americas played in forming the colonial matrix of power introduced by Spain and Portugal in the 16th century.
Summer of protest: Are we witnessing a turning point in Hong Kong politics?
As Hong Kong’s summer of discontent passes its tenth week of street protests, analysts agree on one key point: this is the biggest political crisis the city has seen since its reversion from British colony to Chinese Special Administrative Region in 1997.
Q+A: Ihumātao: Can protests really change things?
As peaceful protest and occupation continues at Ihumātao in Auckland, what does the future hold for protest movements of this ilk in New Zealand? How effective can these sorts of protests be in enacting change?
Q+A: Kashmir: What’s behind one of the most volatile rivalries in the world?
What’s driving the conflict in Kashmir? Would granting the region independence lead to peace? How much is this conflict driven by local actions in the region, and how much is it fuelled by policies in Islamabad and New Delhi?
Q+A: Boom or bust: What is the state of housing in New Zealand?
New Zealand is enduring a housing crisis. The chance of buying a home is out of reach for many, while at the same time, rents remain high. Gautami Sithambaram spoke with Campbell Jones about the state of housing in New Zealand and what initiatives young people can take to get into the property market.
What can we learn from Estonia’s cyber revolution?
Logan Carmichael explores Estonia’s cyber revolution and what we can learn from it.
Memes, manifestos, murder: Fascist radicalisation online, and how we can stop it ▶
In a talk given at the University of Auckland, Emmi Bevensee talks about her doctoral research into fascist radicalisation online.
Q+A: The pollution of war: What is the environmental impact of the US military?
The US military has taken some measures to reduce its impact on the environment and green gas emissions. But some researchers say these measures do little to assuage the military’s bigger effects on climate change.
Q+A: Will voting changes help bring more Kiwis to the ballot box?
Last month, the government announced proposals for how New Zealanders will go to the polls in 2020. The new legislation will allow voters to enrol on election day, make it easier for New Zealanders to vote from overseas, and could see ballots in public places like supermarkets and malls.
Q+A: Banning the bomb: Are the days of nuclear weapons numbered?
In 2017, the United Nations General Assembly passed a mandate to negotiate a treaty that would ban nuclear weapons. While the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons passed 122 votes to 1, no nuclear state or NATO member other than the Netherlands voted on the resolution.
Q+A: Is the age of privacy over?
Is the age of privacy over? What is at stake when we lose our privacy? How does a lack of privacy affect security, democracy, and society? Maria Armoudian speaks with Helen Nissenbaum, Michael Patrick Lynch, Bruce Schneier, and Joshua Fairfield.
Taking issue: Is social media good or bad for democracy?
We asked three academics to address the question of whether social media is democratising or eroding democracy.
Are New Zealand’s colonial institutions pushing Māori toward a life of crime?
Are New Zealand’s colonial institutions pushing Māori toward a life of crime? Ethan Kisby explores.
What happened in the European Elections? 70 academics share their reflections
In the wake of the European Elections in May 2019, seventy leading academics from across the European Union contributed their reflections, thoughts, and analysis to Euroflections
Q+A: How can we fix New Zealand’s broken justice system?
A new independent report into New Zealand’s justice system has revealed massive failings and discovered entrenched issues of racism and bias.
Black Lives Matter, otherwise all lives do not matter ▶
In a lecture given at the University of Auckland, Professor Onwubiko Agozino attempts to demonstrate the theory that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Does Trump really want war with Iran?
Does Trump really want war with Iran? Sirous Amerian investigates.
Q+A: Getting the message across: What is public diplomacy?
What is public diplomacy, and how effective can it be? While it has a long history, the study of public diplomacy is only becoming more salient in an age of globalisation and increasing digital communication posing both new challenges and opportunities for governments.
Why are some migrants seen as more deserving than others?
Why are some migrants seen as more deserving than others? James Nicol investigates.
A new India emerging? Explaining Modi’s victory in the world’s largest democracy
Is a new India emerging? Sakhar Bandyopadhyay explains what Narendra Modi’s election victory means for the world’s largest democracy.
The meme politics of white supremacy: How does fascist radicalisation happen on the internet?
The devastating anti-Muslim attacks carried out in Christchurch in March this year were part of a trend of disaffected white men radicalised into fascist politics through social media meme culture, according to Emmi Bevensee.
How can we explain the current wave of anti-immigrant sentiment?
James Nicol explores the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in western countries.
Q+A: Is it time to stop using cars?
A recent report from a team of researchers based at the University of Otago has found that our use of cars is harming both our health and our environment. Is it time to give up our cars?
Q+A: What is going wrong inside New Zealand’s prisons?
A recent report investigating the state of three New Zealand prisons found that low staffing numbers were straining conditions. Lachlan Balfour spoke with Liam Martin, Lecturer in Criminology at Victoria University, about the report and the state of prisons in New Zealand.
Q+A: What does Jair Bolsonaro’s victory mean for Brazil and the rest of the world?
He is known in many circles as the ‘Trump of the Tropics,’ and his election has shaken Brazilian politics and has the potential to shift Brazilian domestic politics and regional politics for years to come.
Q+A: What is the resistance? Political movements in Trump’s America
Even before Donald Trump was elected president of the United States in 2016, protest groups were forming and mobilising against him. Together, they now form what is termed ‘The Resistance’. But what is The Resistance, and can it succeed in keeping American democracy alive?
How can the education sector respond to Trump, Brexit, and Christchurch? ▶
How can the education sector respond to Trump, Brexit, and Christchurch? A panel of experts discuss the extraordinary times we live in and what role education can play in response.
Q+A: Why is the United States so polarised?
What are the fault lines that have fractured politics in America? Julian Zelizer has analysed the historical roots of the present-day political turmoil, divisions, and partisanship in the US for his new book Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974.
What is the ‘Alt-Right’?
After the horrendous attacks in Christchurch, many people understandably have questions about the motives and ideology of the alleged attacker. Damon Berry analyses the role the alt-right might have played in the attacks.
Making room for grief: How should we reflect on the Christchurch atrocities?
New Zealand’s reaction to the mass murder in Christchurch two weeks ago has rightly been celebrated globally for its spontaneity, its heartfelt compassion, its inclusiveness and its impact in bringing about immediate change.
An act of crime, or terror? How the Christchurch attacker might be tried
Was it an act of crime or terror? John Ip explores how the Christchurch attacker might be tried.
The rise of the far-right: Did the media miss the story?
The live-streaming of the March 15 Christchurch terror attacks confronted Western Europe’s mainstream media with a new challenge in the dramaturgy of terrorism, says Jean-Paul Marthoz.
Does stripping people of citizenship lead to security and justice?
Does stripping people of citizenship lead to security and justice? Julija Sardelić explores this complex question in light of some recent cases.
Same tune, different venue? The ideology of white supremacist terrorism
Edwin Hodge and Helga Hallgrimsdottir explore the ideology behind white supremacist terrorism in light of the recent Christchurch mosque attacks.
Terror in Christchurch: Analysing what happened 🔊
On Friday, March 15, a fascist-white supremacist attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing fifty people. This was the deadliest terror attack in New Zealand since the 19th century and one of the worst mass shootings in modern times. But why did it happen? And what does this mean for New Zealand moving forward?
Nativism and terror: Clinging to ‘cherished heritage’
The mosque gunman’s manifesto shows a combination of nationalism and xenophobia, demanding regions be controlled by groups that identify as the true first owners of the land, writes Chris Wilson.
Q+A: Is New Zealand ready to go carbon zero?
In New Zealand, recent policy plans by the government show the first steps towards zero-carbon emissions.
Why does China continue to support North Korea?
China remains North Korea’s closest ally, but why do they continue to support the regime in Pyongyang?
New Zealand and China estranged? Perspectives on a turbulent relationship
Stephen Hoadley explores the supposed estranged relationship between New Zealand and China.
Q+A: How are political ideologies labelled?
How are political ideologies labelled, and how are political spectrums formed?
Q+A: Venezuela in crisis: How did we get here?
Venezuela is once again at a crossroads. But what is the historic context behind the ongoing political polarisation in Venezuela?
Q+A: How can our everyday decisions help alleviate the water crisis?
The world is fast running out of fresh water, and the results could be very grim.
Where is the music industry’s #MeToo movement?
Sam Smith explores why a #MeToo type movement has not taken off in the music industry to the extent it has in the film industry.
Gilets jaunes continued – What is next for the ‘Yellow Vests’ in France?
After over two months of active protest against the French Government, what next for the Yellow Vests?
The Big Chill: What happened to Canada-China relations?
Since December last year, relations between Canada and China have deteriorated to the extent that the major aspirational interests of each country in the other have gone to dust for the foreseeable future.
What next for the Kurds in Syria?
Egemen Bezci looks at the current predicament facing the Kurdish population in Syria.
Q+A: How influential is the Presidency of the United States?
How much does the U.S. Presidency matter for the direction of the United States and for the rest of the world?
What do changes in Congress mean for the ongoing policy battles in the US? 🔊
With the historic changes in the American House of Representatives, what can we expect from the Congress and President in the ongoing policy and investigative battles?
How will climate change impact Aotearoa? ▶
How will climate change affect our natural world, our society, and our culture? What can we do to halt the looming catastrophe? A panel of experts discusses how climate change will impact New Zealand.
Q+A: How do fear, anger, and resentment lead to conflict?
How much do emotions impact or even dictate political outcomes like ethnic violence, wars, or even genocides?
Does denying trans identity impact mental health?
Denying transgender identity has a serious impact on mental health, according to Bethany Grace Howe.
Why are radical environmentalists being persecuted?
Radical environmentalists are fighting climate change, so why are they being persecuted?
Who are the Gilets jaunes?
For the past four weeks, the Gilets jaunes protests have dominated the French socio-political landscape and monopolised the media. But who are they exactly?
Is it time for a law change on cannabis use in New Zealand?
A medicinal cannabis bill has just past its third reading in the New Zealand parliament. But is it time to also look at recreational use in the country?
Q+A: How does our unconscious mind alter political outcomes?
Scientists are finding more and more evidence that human behaviour is not rational, not conscious, and maybe completely programmed without our rational thinking.
What are the implications of the US-China trade war? 🔊
The United States and China have been embroiled in a trade war, with each country continuing to raise tariffs placed on goods traded between the two nations.
How does the media weaponise far-right conspiracy theories?
Heather Woods and Leslie Hahner discuss how mainstream media helps to weaponize far-right conspiracy theories.
Is patriotism the solution to nationalism?
Is patriotism the solution to nationalism? Peter S. Henne explores.
Is bigotry a public health problem?
Is bigotry a public health problem? Ronald W. Pies investigates.
Is democracy surviving in Trump’s America?
The results of the US 2018 mid-term elections are in, and there’s cause for optimism, writes Paul Taillon.
Aid and diplomacy, not tear gas: What should we do do address the Central American Migrant Crisis?
Kai Thaler outlines what needs to be done to resolve the Central American migrant crisis.
How does fear feed online bigotry and real-world violence?
Fear, more than hate, feeds online bigotry and real-world violence, according to Adam G. Klein.
Open Letter: Why must New Zealand act now to halt climate change?
Earlier this week, one hundred and fifty academics and experts across various disciplines signed an open letter to the New Zealand government calling for greater and more immediate action on climate change. If we do not act, we face impending catastrophic environmental breakdown.
Hell on Earth: What is going on in Yemen? 🔊
Experts say Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history. Warnings from the UN say the death toll from starvation could reach 18.4 million by the end of the year. Why is this happening, and what can be done?
Brexit: What’s in the deal?
Seven academics discuss Brexit. What is in the deal? And what does it mean?
Q+A: What are the perils of being a war correspondent?
The world is as dangerous as it has ever been for journalists and war correspondents. Kidnapping, murder, and torture are the risks facing those trying to get us the information from the front line. How hard is it being a war correspondent?
Brexit Deal: What happens next?
Brexit is closing in, but how did we get here, and what will happen next?
Can bots shift public opinion?
Even a few bots can shift public opinion in big ways, according to new research from Tauhid Zaman.
What do the US midterm results mean for international relations? 🔊
Last week the US held its midterm elections with the Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives while the Republicans retained control of the Senate. But what does the outcome of these elections mean for international relations?
What is free speech? ▶
Banned books, defamation suits, de-platformed public figures, alt-righters without a venue: is there a crisis of free speech in New Zealand? And what exactly is free speech: a necessary guarantee of democracy or a misused threat to the common good?
What are the key lessons from the US Midterms?
With the midterms now over, Scott Lucas discusses six key issues facing the US and what they mean for the country’s uncertain future.
Why does the migrant caravan exist? And how did it come to be?
Why does the migrant caravan exist? And how did it come to be? Jerry Flores explores.
What happened in Brazil’s presidential election?
Helder Ferreira do Vale casts an eye over the recently concluded Brazilian presidential election.
What is at stake in the US midterm elections? 🔊
This week, Americans will go to the polls to vote in the midterm elections. But what is at stake? What are the factors that will determine the election’s outcome? And what do these midterms mean for the future of the US?
Could Auckland’s urban sprawl affect food security?
Is Auckland’s food security under threat from urban sprawl? Alexander Louis explores.
Q+A: Artists, Israel, and BDS: To play or not to play?
Sam Smith spoke with Mark LeVine about the impact of the BDS movement and the ongoing issue facing musicians on whether or not they should perform in Israel.
Debate: Should New Zealand be smokefree?
In March 2011, the Government set a goal that by 2025 less than 5 percent of New Zealanders will be smokers. Chris Bullen, Dr Ilaisaane Fifita, and Martin Wilkinson debate the issue of a smokefree New Zealand.
How widespread is contract cheating in universities, and what can we do to stop it?
Contract cheating is one of the most significant problems currently facing higher education. Cath Ellis investigates how universities can combat it.
Was the slave trade ever really abolished?
Slavery was never abolished – it affects millions, and you may be funding it, as Catherine Armstrong explains.
Hard borders: Where are the real frontiers for refugees?
As the refugee crisis continues across Europe, new maps of the continent reveal the real frontiers for refugees, as Martina Tazzioli explains.
Is an international anti-corruption court a dream or a distraction?
Is an international anti-corruption court a dream or a distraction? Matthew Stephenson investigates.
Can Labour’s Kiwibuild policy fix the housing crisis?
Economic and Social Research Aotearoa’s Vanessa Cole critiques Labour’s Kiwibuild policy and whether it can help solve the housing crisis in New Zealand.
Arms and influence: What is the fallout from the Khashoggi affair?
President Trump’s reaction to the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi reveals important details about the declining influence of the U.S. in the Middle East.
Grim history: How did the Catholic Church cover up abuse?
Brian Clites looks back at the Catholic Church’s grim history of ignoring pedophilia and silencing whistleblowers.
Could New Zealand suffer an act of cyberwar?
Could New Zealand suffer an act of cyberwar? Hannah Brown explores.
Representation, fairness and turnout: How is our electoral system delivering?
Is New Zealand’s electoral system delivering? Maryam Hamid investigates.
What is wrong with the US Supreme Court and how can it be fixed? 🔊
Maria Armoudian spoke with one of the preeminent constitutional law scholars in the United States, Erwin Chemerinsky, about what is wrong with the Supreme Court and how it can be fixed.
How does the media conflate Islam with Islamist terrorism?
Audrey Courty and Halim Rane explores why the media needs to be more responsible for how it links Islam and Islamist terrorism.
How is ‘new NAFTA’ different? A trade expert explains
Amanda M. Countryman explains how the “new” NAFTA is different from the old one.
Nauru: Why was NZ’s refugee offer left dangling?
Tracey Barnett analyses why Australia refused New Zealand’s offer to take in 150 refugees detained on the Pacific island of Nauru.
Do Chinese aid projects in Africa make corruption worse?
Development aid is a potentially powerful tool for promoting economic growth among the world’s poor. However, development aid is plagued by corruption, as Jetson Leder-Luis explains.
Are today’s white kids less racist than their grandparents?
Are today’s white kids less racist than their grandparents? Margaret Hagerman explores.
Colin Kaepernick & Nike: Activism, or marketing strategy?
Was Nike’s advertising campaign featuring exiled football player Colin Kaepernick a statement of political principle or a cynical marketing ploy? Claudia Russell investigates.
How has the Declaration of Human Rights changed the world?
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. How has it changed the world as we know it?
The loss of personhood: Identity in refugee camps
India-Mae Osborne looks at the harrowing and dehumanising experiences of migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers in the displaced persons camp system.