Publications

2014 World Press Institute Fellowship Final Report

3 December 2014

The World Press Institute Fellowship each year gives a group of mid-career journalists the chance to visit iconic, well-regarded and successful media outlets while immersing themselves in the American culture and way of life. In 2014, Shalailah Medhora, previously at SBS and now at The Guardian Australia, was one of nine journalists from around the world to undertake this inspiring program. Read the full report on her experience here. Read more

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Resolving the Difference between Evolutionary Antecedents of Political Attitudes and Sources of Human Variation

4 November 2014

by Adam Lockyer and Peter K. Hatemi

Humans, despite the country they inhabit, the social structures they constitute, and the forms of governments they live under, universally possess political attitudes; that is, those attitudes towards sexual norms, out-groups, resource allocation, cooperation and fairness. It has been proposed that this near universal manifestation across societies remains ingrained in the psychological architecture of humans because of human evolution. However, there is enormous variation in political attitudes within and across populations, and this variation is not merely a function of social differences but derives, in part, through neurobiological differences within human populations. Thus, there is great confusion on the difference between what has evolved as universal, and what is due to individual variation. This confusion, results, in part on the lack of integration of the theoretical mechanisms that addresses how humans vary within evolutionarily adaptive universals. Here we seek to fill this lacuna by explicating how evolutionary biology and psychology account for the universal need for humans to have political attitudes while neurobiological differences account for variation within those evolved structures. Link to publishers

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The Arabs at War in Afghanistan

3 November 2014

A former senior mujahidin figure and an ex-counter-terrorism analyst cooperating to write a book on the history and legacy of Arab-Afghan fighters in Afghanistan is a remarkable and improbable undertaking. Yet this is what Mustafa Hamid, aka Abu Walid al-Masri, and Leah Farrall have achieved with the publication of their ground-breaking work. The result of thousands of hours of discussions over several years, The Arabs at War in Afghanistan offers significant new insights into the history of many of today’s militant Salafi groups and movements. By revealing the real origins of the Taliban and al-Qaeda and the jostling among the various jihadi groups, this account not only challenges conventional wisdom, but also raises uncomfortable questions as to how events from this important period have been so badly misconstrued. Link to publishers

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American Art, Australian Focus, 1945-1975

18 September 2014

A special edition of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Art (Vol 14, Issue 1, 2014), edited by the US Studies Centre's Professor Roger Benjamin has been published. Entitled “American Art, Australian Focus, 1945-1975”, the edition emerges from a series of seminars and conferences supported by the US Studies Centre. Link to journal

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The theater of inequality

19 August 2014

Like the ideology undergirding Occupy Wall Street, Thomas Piketty’s book Capital in the Twenty-First Century exhibits a marked lack of historical consciousness and complexity, writes lecturer Thomas Adams. In this essay, he argues that Piketty confuses capitalism with capitalist social relations, and thus imagines solutions without politics, lacks coherence regarding the necessity for a revaluation of labor and a shrinking of the moral confines of the market, and hopes for a better world sans class politics as a mechanism. Read article

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Untapped Trilateralism: Common Economic and Security Interests of the European Union, the United States and China

13 August 2014

US Studies Centre CEO Dr Bates Gill has contributed the chapter "Untapped Trilateralism: Common Economic and Security Interests of the European Union, the United States and China" to a new book exploring the economic, political, investment, and trade relations between China and the EU. China and the EU in Context: Insights for Business and Investors brings together the research of world-class commentators on China and is edited by Executive Director of the China Studies Centre and Professor of Chinese Politics at the University of Sydney Kerry Brown. Read more

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2013 Annual Report

8 July 2014

Read about the Centre's 2013 achievements in our Annual Report. Read report

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Working in the Big Easy

26 June 2014

In this book US Studies Centre lecturer Thomas J. Adams and the University of New Orleans's Chair in Latin American Studies Steve Striffler look at the history and politics of labour in New Orleans. Read more

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Wither the Tea Party? The Future of a Political Movement

6 June 2014

In the midst of the Congressional primaries taking place across America this summer, the Tea Party’s history continues to be written. Tea Party membership and funding have continued to grow over the last year, yet many in the media have proclaimed the Tea Party dead. In this paper for Brookings, senior visiting scholar Christopher S. Parker argues that the Tea Party is a true grassroots movement and has real staying power in the current political climate. Download here

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Election of 1876/Compromise of 1877

27 May 2014

Centre research associate Marc Palen explores the long controversy surrounding the contested presidential election of 1876 between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and Democrat Samuel Tilden. The subsequent compromise of 1877 held within it the fate of the Reconstruction South and the national political system; its reverberations were felt particularly strongly in 2000 amid the close presidential race between George W. Bush and Al Gore. The essay can be found in A Companion to the Reconstruction Presidents 1865-1881, edited by Edward O. Frantz and published by Chichester: Wiley Blackwell in 2014. 

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Next »

VIDEOS & INTERVIEWS

Thomas Adams

Obama overhauls US–Cuba relations

US President Barack Obama has proclaimed a "new chapter" in US relations with Cuba, announcing moves to normalise diplomatic and economic ties. Lecturer Thomas Adams discusses what the changes mean.


ABC 24

Damaging CIA torture report released

A US Senate report has found that the CIA's post 9/11 interrogation program involved brutal, unapproved torture which failed to halt terror plots. Associate professor Brendon O'Connor says the revelations are not surprising but will be damaging.

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