School of Politics and International Relations - Events

23
Feb
2017

SPIR Seminar Series: Semester 1, 2017

Week Speaker Talk title 23 February Patrick Dunleavy "Why some bureaucratic autonomy is key for the integrated operation of states: National debt policy-making in Australia and the UK" 2 March Matthew Kerby "Gendered ministerial careers in three Westminster countries" 9 March Jon Fraenkel "What have we learned about constitutional design in deeply divided societies over the last quarter of a century?" 16 March Thomas Poguntke "How Desirable is... Read more

01
Dec
2016

Citizens’ Wealth: Why and How to Transform Sovereign Funds into Citizens’ Funds

How can it be that more governments are wealthier than ever, and yet fewer citizens enjoy the benefits that such wealth can bring? Never before have so many governments owned so much wealth in the form of financial assets amassed in state-controlled investment funds, known as Sovereign Wealth Funds. Despite this, the effects of the 2008 crash are still being felt, and countries still scramble to find a way to kick-start growth. Inequality has... Read more

10
Nov
2016

‘Intra-party divisions in time of party transformation: a framework for analysis’

Intra-party cohesion is a crucial feature of parliamentary democracies. Indeed, government’s stability and survival as well as legislative activity greatly depend on the capacity of political parties to work as unified entities. However, parties are not monolithic organizations: they aggregate more or less divergent views; include amateurs and professionals, followers and leaders; and are organized along a hierarchical or stratarchical structure... Read more

03
Nov
2016

Life after Dictatorship: Authoritarian Successor Parties Worldwide

A surprising feature of democratisation in many countries is that large numbers of people, after gaining the right to choose their leaders through free and fair elections, vote for political parties with deep roots in dictatorship. Authoritarian successor parties—or parties that emerge from authoritarian regimes but that operate after a transition to democracy—are one of the most common features of the global democratic landscape. They have been... Read more

20
Oct
2016

Aborigines: A ‘Genuinely Benevolent’ Genocide?

Is genocide confined to totalitarian despots? Or can good colonists and decent democrats commit the crime? Historian Sir Keith Hancock once wrote that Australian democratic state has been ‘genuinely benevolent’, shedding but an ‘economical tear’ about Aboriginal dispossession. We need to discuss not mere ‘dispossession’ but the physical killings, the child removals and the incarceration on settlements and missions. And then address the ensuing... Read more

13
Oct
2016

How East Asians View a Rising China

China’s regional and global rise has had profound economic, political and security implications. In particular, Beijing has both taken new, robust initiatives in the international economy and stepped-up its activities in maritime East Asia. From the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement to freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea, the United States has rebalanced its policies in order to place special emphasis on Asia and the... Read more

22
Sep
2016

Equilibrium Veto Players: Veto Institutions, Cabinet Formation and Institutional Change

The paper explores the conditions under which institutional veto players such as upper houses can be influential in parliamentary and semi-presidential systems without being subject to substantial reform pressures themselves. We argue that institutions with equal absolute veto power differ systematically in their “restrictiveness”, i.e., in the extent to which they constrain the processes of legislation and cabinet formation. Based on a sample... Read more

01
Sep
2016

Sparing Civilians

In this talk, I will be running over the central themes of my book, Sparing Civilians (OUP 2015). I'll start by introducing the norm that protects civilians in war, and then explain how recent military practice, as well as trends in contemporary just war theory, have put the protection of civilians in jeopardy. I'll set out my approach to vindicating that protection, and run through my core arguments for that conclusion. Seth Lazar is a Senior... Read more

18
Aug
2016

Design Weaknesses in American Presidential Elections

The 2016 presidential election will be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November and until then most attention will focus on the two nominees. But there are more enduring issues. The electoral system's poor designs compromise the results. One problem is a lack of uniformity. There are literally 100 sets of rules for the conduct of primaries. The primary system tends to empower extreme wings of both parties. There are 13,000... Read more

11
Aug
2016

The Good Hegemon: How the United States Helps People to Hold the Multilateral Development Banks to Account

In 1994 the World Bank created a precedent under international law, opening itself up to being held to account by people negatively affected by the projects it finances in developing countries. It was the first time that a universal international organisation (IO) recognised that it had a non-contractual relationship with individuals. The creation of the World Bank’s Inspection Panel and its Information Disclosure policy has been sufficiently... Read more

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