Asia-Pacific and Us:
Australia In the Region

This course focuses on Australia’s role in the region as well as the impact the region is having on Australia. We will unravel the complex traffic of ideas and people between Australia and the Asia-Pacific and discuss social change and development in the region.

When: Thursdays 30th September – 4th of November 2010 6.30 – 8:00pm
Venue: Railway Station Neighbourhood House, 20 Solly Ave, North Carlton
Co-ordinator: —————–

week 1

2010-09-30

Asia-Pacific and us: Australia in the region
(Jasmine-Kim Westendorf & Gerhard Hoffstaedter)
Introduction to the topic. We will discuss the history of Australia’s engagement with the world, especially the Asia-Pacific region, highlighting the shifts in policy, flows of people into and out of Australia, the social changes in the region and then identify the main actors involved in the often complex interactions (ranging from government departments such as AusAID and DFAT to civil society actors and corporations).

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week 2

2010-10-07

Pacific developments
(Deb Chapman)
The Pacific receives Australia’s largest aid packages, especially Papua New Guinea; however, development policies seem not to work, with poverty still rampant, corruption and unstable governments throughout the region and climate change set to force people off their homelands.

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week 3

2010-10-14

Southeast Asia in Turmoil
(Gerhard Hoffstaedter)
Multiculturalism is failing in many Southeast Asian countries, whilst nationalism is rearing its ugly head. The region’s drive to democratise following the fall of Suharto and reform movements in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have not delivered on their promises. What’s the future for Australia’s closest neighbours and largest Muslim country?

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week 4

2010-10-21

India: Rising Star or Failing Giant
Andrew Kingsford (La Trobe University)

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week 5

2010-10-28

The Rise of China
(Michael Webber)
China’s unprecedented rise to superpower is built on other East Asian economic miracles, such as the Japanese and South Korean success stories. However, within China growing disparities and ethnic tensions are pointing towards cracks in the system. How will China retain its momentum and deal with internal strife?

week 6

2010-11-04

China, Australia and the Pacific
(Michael Webber)
Today China is a global player, both dependent on Australian resources and instrumental in shaping the region’s future. We will discuss China’s diplomatic, trade and investment ties with the countries of the region and illustrate how they are competing with or complementing the activities of other countries, such as Australia and the USA. The future shape of the region that is our ‘front door’ will be assessed.
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