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Symposium calls for more research on the social cost of Temporary Migration

Our Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation held last week (6 July 2012) a national symposium on 'multiculturalism' which attempted to connect theory and academic research to policy making and community practice.

Indeed, and whilst the speakers from academe reflected on such concepts as feminism, cosmopolitanism, liberal demacratic theoy and social justice, a panel with  prominent policy and community representatives provided amlple pointers as to where the real gaps lie in this often polarised debate. 

Connecting theory to research in the ongoing debate about 'multiculturalism'

This blog reproduces an interesting article/interview with Deakin Media coordinator Sandra Kingston about our recent national symposium on multiculturalism (held on 6 July 2012). 

 

'Nice in Theory: conference asks is research playing a part in multicultural policy making?'

 

A national symposium to be held at Deakin University this Friday will examine whether there is a disconnect between government policy surrounding multiculturalism in Australia and academic thought and if so what needs to be done about it.

Poor old Julian

Q: How long can Julian Assange stay in the Ecuadorean embassy in London?

A: Probably as long as the Ecuador government is happy to host him there. Unless the UK government is prepared to declare all the Ecuadorean diplomats persona non grata, so that the embassy would have to close up and all the Ecuadoreans go home. The cops could then grab him.

If Ecuador could make Julian a citizen of Ecuador, which probably depends on their Constitution, then he could probably go to Heathrow and get on a plane to eg the Galapagos Islands. He might have to give up his Oz nationality, perhaps not too great a cost. International law frowns on nationalities of convenience, however,  plural nationality is surely the way of the future.

Julian may be exaggerating the danger of US extradition but he is right to be wary, even if most people accept that as the Monty Python team would say, he's not  a terrorist, "he's just a very naughty boy."

International status of the Vatican/Holy See

With criminal allegations against Roman Catholic priests in the news, not for the first time, the question of international legal status for the Catholic Church/ Vatican City/ Holy See comes up.

Is the Catholic Church like any other global faith-based movement from a legal point of view -- Bah'ai, Anglican, Scientology -- or does it have special status that confers some kind of immunity on its officials? Is the Pope some kind of Head of State?

Geoffrey Robertson argues that the claims for statehood, or anything like statehood, are bogus, and I agree.

The relationships between the Vatican, the Holy See, the office of the Pope, and the worldwide Catholic Church are immensely complicated. That is ok -- faith-based movements can organise themselves in complicated ways if they want.

It is also ok for the state of Italy to allow special privileges for the section of Rome occupied by the Vatican.

Pathways to News

The rise of social media and its impact on news media industries has been making headlines for a number of years. Social media is tipped to transform the newspaper industry. If searching for news was the most important development of the past decade, sharing news may be among the most important of the next, says the Pew Research Centre. Today, debates about the impact of social media on the news industry rage on most recently provoked by proposed staff cuts and restucturing at both Fairfax and News Ltd in Australia.

When the price isn’t right: ACCC sets sights on price gougers in wake of carbon tax

In the lead-up to the introduction of the carbon tax on July 1, there has been considerable focus on the potential for price gouging – inflating prices beyond the cost increases reasonably attributable to the tax. In recent days, this has been fuelled by a letter sent to small business from the opposition, urging them to place flyers in their shops apologising for any carbon-tax related price increases.

What business can and cannot claim following the introduction of the carbon tax

Businesses are generally free to increase or lower their prices as they choose. In the context of the carbon tax, there are no specific laws preventing price gouging. However, the law does prohibit false or misleading claims regarding the cause of any price hike. For example, if a business reasonably estimates that its costs have increased by 5% as a result of the carbon tax then  ..

Getting Lost Online

'People got tired of cities after the war, and they are getting tired of the Web, too. Don't get me wrong: I love the Web, but it's a wild and dangerous place. It's a teeming commercial city. It's haphazardly planned. Its public spaces are mobbed' (Virginia Heffernan, 2012).

HOW do you find your way around the city when you don't have a Google map? Where is the app to help you find your way around the web?

Sure, a number of directories and sites exist online -- some very thorough -- but for the most part the web is like a crowded, sometimes unsafe and scary, city.

With almost 11 million Australian users linked in some way to social media champion Facebook -- not to mention Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Pinterest and the list goes on -- is it any wonder the web seems infinite? The question is, how do we navigate the online world, with its back streets and alley ways, safely?

Social Pandemonium Online?

 

In 2008, John Maritotti, author of The Chinese Conspiracy and cyber-attack expert, claimed social media was an invitation to "at best, uncontrolled and permanent over-exposure and at worst, identity theft or misuse". We've come a long way since 2008. In fact, we've come a long way since the late 1990s when fears of identity theft, identity confusion and deception shaped our engagements with online communication technologies - or CMC, computer mediated communication, as it was known at the time.

Timor-Leste: Glass half full

In 2010, a senior Timorese political figure remarked in private conversation that Timor-Leste had never been better. This particular political figure was commenting on the general state of Timor-Leste since his return in 1999, after a forced 25 year absence from the country.
What is remarkable is not the political figure’s comment at that time, but that this same person now publically decries Timor-Leste’s lack of development. That is, I suppose, how politics is played.
This negative appraisal does come around a time when there has been much public negativity about Timor-Leste’s development process. Much of this negative comment is either anecdotal or reflects a snap-shot of Timor-Leste now, without reference to where it has come from.

West Papua: Tragedy as farce

The Indonesian government’s attempt to initiate dialogue with West Papuan independence activists has declined into farce, following the shooting on 14 June of key West Papuan leader Mako Tabuni. Tabuni’s killing follows seven other recent shootings of West Papuans by Indonesian police and soldiers.
Despite eye witnesses saying that Tabuni was unarmed and trying to flee Indonesian police, Indonesian police spokesman, Senior Commissioner Johnannes Nugroho claimed that Tabuni was armed with a police pistol.
Last Thursday, however, Indonesian police chief General Timur Pradopo said Tabuni had been shot while trying to seize a pistol from police officers. ‘Prior to the capture, a conversation took place,’ Pradopo said in an official statement. ‘Then the gun of a police officer was seized, so other police members protected [the officer].’

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