ACT Events


  • Trump white house

    Smaller State Engagement in the US: The Politics of Building 'Diplomatic Shelter' in Washington

    Date Tue, 25 Jun 2019
    Time 18:00 – 19:00
    Location AIIA (ACT Branch)
    Not all states are created equal. For smaller states, surviving and prospering in the stormy international system sometimes requires finding shelter. Smaller states that seek shelter with the US face the challenge of managing the politics of diplomatic engagement. With 177 embassies in the US, some states will inevitably be prioritised over other small states.  Some are better at managing the politics of shelter than others. In this presentation, Alan Tidwell will examine three different strategies of managing shelter in Washington. Australia and Israel both use beltway hedging, which is a strategy where support in one branch of government can be used to offset inaction or opposition in another branch. Norway, on the other hand, deploys a diversification strategy in which their diplomatic engagement is spread across the political spectrum.  Finally, New Zealand’s niche strategy has focused until recently on trade.

    Alan C. Tidwell is Director of the Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Prior to joining Georgetown University he was a program officer with the United States Institute of Peace, focusing on conflict resolution and education. His area of specialisation includes work on conflict in the Australasian region. Between 1995 and 2001, he was a senior lecturer in management at Macquarie Graduate School of Management where he taught courses in conflict resolution and negotiation. Tidwell served as the Research Director (1994-95) of the Australian Centre for American Studies at Sydney University.  In 1999, he was honored by Macquarie University with an Outstanding Teaching Award. Tidwell holds a PhD in international relations from the University of Kent at Canterbury, a master of professional ethics from the University of New South Wales, and an MS in conflict resolution from George Mason University.
     

    Refreshments available from 5:30pm

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  • Rohingya refugees

    The UN System in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies: Protecting the Rohingya Refugees

    Date Mon, 08 Jul 2019
    Time 18:00 – 19:00
    Location AIIA (ACT Branch)
    Since the beginning of the so-called ‘clearance operations’ conducted by the Myanmar security force in August 2017 in the northern Rakhine region, 741,792 refugees from Burma/Myanmar have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. While a multifaceted and collaborative response from the United Nations and other humanitarian actors helped to stabilise the dire situation, it is clear that the scale of needs exceeds both Bangladesh’s and the international community’s current capacity to deliver support to the Rohingya community. 
     
    This presentation draws on research undertaken in Cox’s Bazar at the height of the UN L3 emergency response in 2017-2018. It provides an analysis of the UN humanitarian response, takes a deep dive into some of the protection mechanisms on the ground, and offers some observations on the repatriation procedures. One key argument presented is that decades of structural xenophobic discrimination against the Rohingya have directly resulted in protracted displacement of the community. The UN system urgently needs innovative approaches that simultaneously adopt rights-based anti-prejudice initiatives and develop strategic south-south cooperation on both an individual and a structural level.
     
    Bina D'Costa is a Senior Fellow and an Associate Professor at the Department of International Relations, Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. She is also the school’s Deputy Director - Education. At the height of Europe’s refugee emergency, she moved to UNICEF Office of Research-Innocenti as its senior migration and displacement research specialist to build its Migration and Displacement program (2016-2018). She has undertaken research projects on environmental displacement and emergencies in Southwest Bangladesh, complex emergencies and children 'on the move’ in East Africa, the Horn of Africa and South Asia, and protracted displacement and protection mechanisms for the Rohingya. Her new research project focuses on global protection systems and south-south cooperation.

    Bina has published seven books including Children and the Politics of Violence in South Asia (CUP). She has also served as the Asia Rapporteur for the Asia-Europe 55 member states ASEM global meeting on Children and Human Rights in 2017.
     

    Refreshments available from 5:30pm

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  • Erdogan supporter

    Turkey's long arm and increasing transnational influence in the world

    Date Thu, 25 Jul 2019
    Time 18:00 – 19:00
    Location AIIA (ACT Branch)
    In recent years, there has emerged a personalist regime in Turkey that can best be called Erdoganism. Today, Erdoganism controls most public institutions of the Turkish state and society. However, Erdoganism’s goals are not limited to the Turkish context, but extend to the countries and contexts that have either Muslim majority or minority populations, including Turkish as well as Muslim immigrants in the West. The diaspora policies of the AKP can best be understood as components of an Islamist movement trying to mobilise in countries where Muslims live. Turkey’s ruling party AKP has created a transnational social movement: Erdoganist movement. Turkish state institutions (and other organisations, NGOs, GONGOs, etc.) have become the vehicles/structures of this movement. This presentation examines the working of the Erdoganist transnational movement in Muslim-majority and minority settings and tries to answer questions: How does the Erdoganist movement mobilise overseas? What are the main goals of the movement? What type of resources does it draw on to mobilise its constituents? 
     
    Professor Ihsan Yilmaz is Research Chair of Islamic Studies and Intercultural Dialogue at the Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University. His research is focused on Islam-state-society relations in Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt and Central Asia along with research into political participation and legal pluralism in Muslim minority communities, particularly in the United Kingdom and Australia. Professor Yilmaz is one of the Muslim world’s leading social scientists, especially on Islam, secularism, Muslim minorities in the West and Islamic legal pluralism.
     

    This event is co-hosted with Bluestar Intercultural Centre.

    Refreshments available from 5:30pm

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