Publications

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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The Imperialism of Economic Nationalism, 1890–1913

18 February 2014

In this essay, research associate Marc Palen debunks the common laissez-faire myth surrounding turn-of-the-century American foreign relations, allowing for a reconceptualisation of American imperialism from 1890 to 1913. The Republican Party, the party of protectionism, found itself riven by internal disagreements over the future of the protectionist system and US imperial expansion. From within Republican protectionist ranks arose a progressive wing that increasingly looked beyond the home market for the country’s growing American agricultural and manufacturing surpluses. They did so against staunch anti-imperial opposition not only from American free-trade independents, but also from the Republican Party’s isolationist home-market protectionists, who yet feared or disdained foreign markets and colonial acquisitions. These progressive Republican proponents of empire combined coercive trade reciprocity with protectionism—an expansive closed door—and worked hard to extend American imperial power through informal means of high tariff walls, closed US-controlled markets, and retaliatory reciprocity if possible, by formal annexation and military interventionism when necessary. The American Empire thus arose owing to the imperialism of economic nationalism, not the imperialism of free trade. Read more

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Adam Smith as advocate of empire

11 February 2014

In this article for The Historical Journal, research associate Marc Palen examines how The Wealth of Nations (1776) was transformed into an amorphous text regarding the imperial question throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Adam Smith had left behind an ambiguous legacy on the subject of empire: a legacy that left long-term effects upon subsequent British imperial debates. In his chapter on colonies, Smith had proposed both a scheme for the gradual devolution of the British empire and a theoretical scheme for imperial federation. In response to the growing global popularity of protectionism and imperial expansionism, the rapid development of new tools of globalisation, and the frequent onset of economic downturns throughout the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, turn-of-the-century proponents of British imperial federation formed into a formidable opposition to England’s prevailing free trade orthodoxy — Cobdenism — a free trade ideology which famously expanded upon the anti-imperial dimensions of The Wealth of Nations. Ironically, at the turn of the century many advocates for imperial federation also turned to Smith for their intellectual inspiration. Adam Smith thus became an advocate of empire, and his advocacy left an indelible intellectual mark upon the burgeoning British imperial crisis. Read article

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Australia's relations with China in turbulence

25 January 2014

Relations between the new Australian government and China got off to a rocky start, writes Centre visiting professor Linda Jakobson. In this essay for the Asan Forum, she focuses on relations between the two countries, saying that Australia’s political relationship with China is far less developed than its economic relationship. China is not merely an economic power but also a crucial political and security actor in the region, Jakobson argues, and underdeveloped political and strategic relations between Canberra and Beijing weaken Australia’s ability to exert influence regionally. Australia risks being viewed by China’s leaders merely as a provider of resources and a subordinate member in the alliance with the United States. Read article

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The 2013 United States Studies Centre - World Press Institute Fellowship Report

12 December 2013

Chief business correspondent for SKY News Business Carson Scott reports on the rigorous program of interviews, study, and reporting that spanned ten cities including New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Scott is the 2013 recipient of the US Studies Centre's Media Fellowship, in partnership with the World Press Institute. Read report

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In the Interest of Others: Organizations and Social Activism

9 September 2013

In the Interest of Others develops a new theory of organisational leadership and governance to explain why some organisations expand their scope of action in ways that do not benefit their members directly. John Ahlquist and Margaret Levi document eighty years of such activism by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in the United States and the Waterside Workers Federation in Australia. They systematically compare the ILWU and WWF to the Teamsters and the International Longshoremen's Association, two American transport industry labour unions that actively discouraged the pursuit of political causes unrelated to their own economic interests. Read more

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Disruptive Education: Technology-Enabled Universities

1 August 2013

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are leading the greatest upheaval in university education since the advent of the printing press according to a new report co-authored by chief operating officer and research associate at the Centre Dr Sean Gallagher, together with the Dean of the Australian School of Business at the University of New South Wales, Professor Geoffrey Garrett. Read report

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Next »

VIDEOS & INTERVIEWS

Tom Switzer

Russia under pressure over MH17

Associate professor Brendon O'Connor says Russia is under great pressure to permit international access to the crash site of MH17, but it might find it difficult to exert control over rebel forces in Ukraine. Can the Obama adminstration respond rise to meet the foreign policy challenge?


Kathleen Burk

How "special" is the US–UK relationship?

Centre guest Kathleen Burk, the professor emerita of modern and contemporary history at University College London, discusses the shared history of the United States and the United Kingdom, beginning by considering whether the relationship should be considered a special one.

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