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ARPA is published with the support of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The University of Sydney. Access is free for individual and non-profit educational use.

Relationship Status? It’s Complicated. Heather Brook
Not since the radical reforms to divorce enacted in the heady 1970s has there been so much huffing and puffing and anxiety about the whole institution of marriage being blown down. At the centre of this anxiety is the relationship of marriage and sexuality: is marriage (always, necessarily, naturally) heterosexual? Should it be? Would anxiety dissipate if the focus shifted to the relationship between marriage and love?


War without Asking: US Foreign Policy and the War-Making Power Since 1941 Dennis Phillips
The American Constitution specifies the United States can only declare war by means of a joint declaration by both houses of Congress. Despite fighting wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and elsewhere, the US Congress has not been asked to formally declare war since the day after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. So how did the war-making power evolve from Congressional act to presidential decision?

Domesticating Mandela Rodney Tiffen
Since Nelson Mandela died, compliments have come from all shades of the political spectrum, as politicians and commentators competed for the most impressive sound bite or pithiest phrase. There has been barely a critical word among them. The praise is not insincere or wrong, nor does it need to be qualified. But it tends to reduce Mandela’s life to a couple of stereotyped themes, omitting most of Mandela’s life, giving little context to explain his actions and attitudes, and failing to capture the flavour of the society he confronted and changed.

Homosexuality in the Gallery Robert Aldrich
It may be that being ‘queer’ or ‘gay’ is no longer provocative, dissident or shocking, at least in the major cities of Australia, or in Western Europe or parts of North America. But in other parts of the world, homosexuality provokes violence and repression, and gay men and women have to find their own avenues, public or clandestine, for artistic and literary expression. These differences make ‘gay art’, and its role and reception, particularly interesting.

Why Neoliberals Could be Allies in the Fight Against Income Management Don Arthur
Social democratic critics of the Australian government’s income management policy often argue that the policy is driven by the philosophy of neoliberalism—as espoused by thinkers such as Milton Friedman. But were Friedman alive today, it is almost certain he would oppose income management, as a wasteful and ineffective violation of individual liberty. In fact, Australia’s so-called neoliberal think tanks have done little to promote the kind of reforms that Friedman supported. Instead they have pushed for conservative policies that direct increasing amounts of money and effort into controlling the lives of people on income support. In a fight against income management, might neoliberals be potential allies for social democrats?

Not Mentioned in Despatches David Hansen
In 1885, a volunteer military expedition left New South Wales for the Sudan. This spectacular waste of time and money resulted only in some execrable patriotic verse, three men receiving minor wounds, and half a dozen dying of dysentery in Africa and on the way home. This conflict has pride of place at Australia’s War Memorial—while the 30,000 Aboriginal people killed in the guerrilla war they fought against British colonisation remain unrecognised …

Personal Relations in Russian Politics Graeme Gill
In all societies there is tension between the formal rules governing all aspects of life and the informal norms, practices and principles that contribute to the structuring of that life. In Russia, informal norms and personal relationships dominate social organisation, and cohere into a ‘sistema’ that structures life at the top. A recent book explores the culture of ‘sistema’ and argues that it stands in the way of Russian political and economic development.

Creating Space for Democracy Marian Sawer
Deliberative democrats sometimes assume that existing political organisations, including NGOs or social movement organisations, are too bound up with pre-given interests or ideological frames to provide a public sphere where such deliberation can occur. They favour new mechanisms, ranging from deliberative polls to citizens’ juries, consensus conferences or citizens’ assemblies, to achieve the quality of deliberation that should be central to democracy. But is it true that existing organisations make poor homes for deliberative democracy?

JOURNAL Volume 12, Number 1: August 2013

Politics, Reviews and Support for the Arts: An Analysis of Government Expenditures on the Arts in Australia from 1967 to 2009 Kate MacNeill, Jenny Lye and Paul Caulfield
This paper uses econometric modelling to examine the relationships between Australian federal government arts expenditure and the political persuasion of the government and government reviews of the arts and cultural sector. The research adds to a number of international studies that have examined cultural expenditures in the United States of America, Austria and in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation (OECD) and found little evidence that the political persuasion of the government had an impact on the level of cultural expenditures. Our results express expenditure relative to total government outlays, and similarly find no consistent evidence of a correlation between political persuasion of the government and funding for the arts—however correlations are observed between government instigated reviews and arts expenditures.


Youth and the Real: How Young People Think about Their Lives Harry Blatterer
Young people are not drones determined by social conditions: they think—about who they are and where they are headed and how. And in a world in which there are no enduring guides to a life worth living, where uncertainty suffuses experience, think they must. ‘Reflexivity’ is not only an essential human capacity; turned to the questions ‘who am I?’ and ‘how am I to live?’ it is, in fact, imperative. So how is this imperative played out in the lives of young people?

Understanding Young People and Politics in a Digital Context Ariadne Vromen
What counts as political engagement? Some hold voting to be the gold standard and see online interaction as low cost, low impact, and of low value. Others are interested in new ways of being political and the emergence of new forms of political action. Young people are at the centre of these debates: what are they up to—if anything—in political life, and is what they’re thinking and doing enough to support democracy into the future? A new book has some answers, but raises a few questions too.

Drone Technology and the Future of ‘Modern’ Warfare Dennis Phillips
For the victims of most drone strikes, there is no warning at all. Undetected surveillance drones may have spied on the targeted individuals for days or weeks before an armed drone is directed to release its Hellfire missile. The result, of course, is devastating—certainly for those targeted, but perhaps also for us all. The use of military drones has played havoc with international law and the rules of war. They make war easier to conduct, easier to conceal, and easier to run out of control …

A Great Australian Performer Frank Bongiorno
His name is barely known today except among scholars of sexuality but Dr Norman Haire (1892–1952) was probably one of the more globally influential intellectuals Australia produced during the 20th century. A eugenicist, some of whose books were burned by the Nazis, a campaigner for contraception on compassionate grounds, a man made rich by transplantation of testicular tissue in the pursuit of ‘rejuvenation’, Haire is the subject of a new biography that reminds us of Australia’s place in the larger world of ideas.

After Tocqueville – the Curious Adventures of Bernard-Henri Lévy and Don Watson D.N. Byrne
In 1830 and 1831, as the facts about the New World increasingly challenged the myths about the New World, the French political theorist, Alexis de Tocqueville, journeyed across the nascent American democracy. Two hundred years after de Toqueville’s birth, a French philosopher and an Australian historian made their own journeys around the United States, recording observations and reflections. The trope of the stranger in a strange land shapes their observations and reflections upon the forms of American life that they encounter—yet while both ostensibly write about American society, the reader finds narratives of two very different Americas.

JOURNAL Volume 11, Number 2: June 2013

Child Support Compliance and Tax Return Non-filing: A Feminist Analysis Kay Cook
This paper examines the 2011–12 federal budget measure to strengthen child support compliance in light of gendered assessments of child support reform, particularly those that identify an emphasis on men’s financial autonomy and the buttressing of men’s financial authority beyond the couple relationship. By changing the way non-resident (payer) parent income is calculated for those who fail to lodge tax returns, the government aims to save $78.7 million over four years, with savings to be recouped directly from increased child support assessments and decreased Family Tax Benefits to resident (payee) parents. Given that 87 per cent of child support payers are men, this reform unintentionally legitimises men’s non-compliance with the Australian Tax Office by circumventing the tax system in determining payer income. At the same time, women and children stand to bear indirect financial costs as they face increased reliance on their ex-partner for financial support—a move that increases men’s financial authority over women and children beyond the couple relationship.


Responding to Child Sexual Abuse Judy Cashmore and Rita Shackel
Child sexual abuse is a serious concern for the community and the criminal justice system. The circumstances in which children have been and are sexually abused within social institutions, the impact of this abuse, and the responses to disclosure of their abuse by those involved in these institutions is now the subject of three major inquiries in Australia. The inquiries and agencies who work with children and respond to those who have been harmed face many difficult questions …

JOURNAL Volume 11, Number 2: April 2013

Drug Promotion in Australia: Policy Contestation and the Tightening of Regulation Evan Doran and Hans Löfgren
This paper describes developments in Australia’s regulation of prescription drug marketing and promotion. We show that the pharmaceutical industry has proved less capable of shaping the regulation of promotion than other areas of pharmaceutical policy. Public health advocates have effectively highlighted the negative impact of promotion on quality use of medicines. While consumers have long been assumed to be in need of protection from drug promotion, it is now accepted that marketing to medical professionals should also be more closely controlled. Government has responded by tightening such regulation but has stopped short of ending industry self-regulation.


Evan Doran and Hans Löfgren on drug promotion in Australia
Merrilyn Walton, Jennifer Smith-Merry, Judith Healy and Fiona McDonald on health care complaints
Paul Jewell and Jennie Louise on (musical) parody
Rod Tiffen on Nelson Mandela and moral capital
Kate Gleeson and Carol Johnson on Tony Abbott’s gender politics
Rob Manwaring on Labor’s ghosts
Ilektra Spandagou on Down syndrome and social change