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Deakin Speaking

Aceh whippings hide deeper problem with Indonesian Islam

Reporting of two gay men being publically whipped in the Indonesian city of Banda Aceh has sparked concerns that Indonesia’s long-vaunted ‘tolerant’ Islam is turning fundamentalist. Islam in Indonesia is in a process of change and a more fundamentalist version of the faith is increasingly prominent. The ‘Aceh whippings’, however, may be misleading. Aceh was […]

The Manchester Attack and the fundamental(ist) divide

The world – or at least the Anglosphere – is recoiling with horror at the bombing of the Manchester arena, in an attack that appears to have been aimed at children. Already shocked by the barbarity of the gross excesses of Islamist violence, this latest outrage has many struggling to comprehend not just why an […]

East Timor, 17 years on: a troubled past, a fragile future

Today [30th Au], 17 years ago, in the small town of Balibo, as elsewhere in East Timor, voters queued from before dawn to vote on whether their country would become independent. Having voted, they fled into the hills to await the coming storm. Pro-Indonesian militia already ruled the town, directed by the Indonesian army. In […]

Autonomy in Hong Kong may mean less in practice than in theory

Hong Kong’s ‘one country, two systems’ is sometimes referred to as constituting Hong Kong’s autonomy from China. This is, in principle, confirmed under Hong Kong’s 1997 Basic Law. However, autonomy arrangements can reflect less, and rarely more, than their legal framework implies. Issues in determining the functional status of autonomy arrangements include the terms of […]

Budget cuts to aid to fund fight against terrorism

Australia’s 2017-18 budget is expected to announce further cuts to Australian foreign aid to help fund an expansion of the country’s counter-terrorism activities. There is no doubt that counter-terrorism is both necessary and expensive, but it is a failure of logic – as well as Australia’s commitment to international welfare – to conflate foreign aid […]

A way forward with North Korea … if the US wants it

The bellicose rhetoric emanating from North Korea recently would have outsiders believe the world is but a step or two away from a military show-down, including the possibility of nuclear war. The threat from North Korea is a serious one if perhaps, for the moment, overstated. North Korea is long on confrontational commentary but, at […]

Jakarta elections mark Indonesia’s increasingly conservative turn

The overwhelming defeat of Basuki Tjahaja Purnama as Jakarta’s governor has marked the most divisive and religiously focused major election in Indonesia’s post-Suharto period. The election was marked by sectarian protests and has resulted in a strong win by former Education and Culture Minister Anies Baswedan. Purnama – better known as ‘Ahok’ – a Christian […]

Timor-Leste Politics: responses to questions from World Politics Review

1. How did the substance of this campaign compare to past campaigns, and what does that say about how the country is evolving more than a decade after the 2006 crisis? Timor-Leste’s 2017 presidential elections were overwhelmingly peaceful, if colorful and sometimes noisy. The campaign process marked an increasing turn towards the normalization of politics […]

Asymetric diplomacy and regime change in Syria

Within 24 hours of the US air strike on an air base in Syria last week, the US claimed it was not pursuing regime change. That was a ‘kiss of death’. Four days later, as he landed on Russian soil, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Syria’s President Bashar al Assad must go. […]