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The Election Nerds

The Election Nerds is a regular podcast on Australian Politics recorded in the studios of radio 2Ser in Sydney, Australia. Established in 2013, the show is hosted by Doctors Amanda Elliot and Stewart Jackson, the Nerds discuss all things Australian and international politics with an array of political scientists and other experts from Australian universities. #auspol. www.electionnerds.info
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Jul 16, 2017

In which the Nerds discuss all things Trump: from the reshaping of the US political landscape under Trump, issues of legislative management, international relations, political communication, and more.

Hosts:

  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney 

  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney


Guests:

  • Professor Ariadne Vromen, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr David Smith, US Studies Centre and Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr Chris Neff, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

With bonus, post-show podcast-only chatter.

Jun 18, 2017

In which the Nerds consider the recent media coverage of Chinese influence on Australian politics, and the outcome of the 2017 - completely unnecessary - UK national election.

Your hosts:

  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney

With their guests:

  • Associate Professor James Reilly, Department of Government and IR, Sydney ‎
  • Dr Diarmuid Maguire, Department of Government and IR, Sydney

With bonus post-show chatter that will turn you into an instant DUP expert!

May 21, 2017

In which the Nerds review the 2017 Australian Federal Budget and chat about recent international elections.

Hosts:

  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney

Joined by:

  • Dr Chris Martin, UNSW Sydney Built Environment

The focus of the conversation in on aspects of the budget with particular relevance to social housing, the nature of the housing bubble and policy responses associated with the underlying market distortion.  The Nerds also review the 2017 French presidential election, and upcoming British and German votes.

With bonus post-broadcast chatter!

Apr 16, 2017

In which the nerds discuss the direction of employment of work, the implications of changing employment around the world: what changes are coming, and how we can react to change.

Hosts:

  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney
  • Dr Peter Chen, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

Guests:

  • Alexandra Heron, Research Associate, Women, Work & Leadership Research Group, The University of Sydney Business School
  • Associate Professor Sarah Kaine, Management Disciple, University of Technology Sydney
  • Professor John Buchanan, The University of Sydney Business School

Includes extra discussion in the podcast extra chat.

Mar 19, 2017

In which the Nerds dissect the 2017 Western Australian state election, looking at the context of the outgoing Liberal government, the campaign and key issues, players and results, and the incoming ALP government, its faces and challenges.

Your hosts:

  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney

With their guests:

  • Dr Ian Cook, Senior Lecturer, Murdoch University
  • Professor Rodney Smith, Professor of Australian Politics, University of Sydney
  • Ben Raue, Electoral Analyst, http://tallyroom.com.au/

With! Bonus! Post-show podcast extra discussions of the implications of the election for the participants, and wider Australian politics, and a detailed discussion of the recent Dutch national elections!

Feb 19, 2017

In which the nerds talk about the prospect of Senator Cory Bernardi's, new conservative splinter party, examine crime, justice and the media in Australia, and look at research research examining the strategic decision making of Hamas in Palestine.

Hosts:

  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr Amanda Elliott, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney

Guests:

  • Dr Alyce McGovern, Senior Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales
  • Dr. Martin Kear, Lecturer, Department of Government and International Relations

With post-show chatter!

Feb 12, 2017

A full length interview with Shaun Ratcliff (University of Sydney), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled "Same-sex Marriage debate in Australia: Public opinion and policy congruence", written with DrsAndrea Carson (University of Melbourne) and Yannick Dufresne (Universite Laval)

The abstract for the paper is:

Democratic theory is predicated on the representative role of parties. In particular, representative democracies require that a certain degree of congruence exists between public opinion and the policies pursued by legislators. This paper seeks to identify the degree of this congruence on a particular issue: same sex marriage. This policy area is particularly useful for studying the link between public opinion and legislator policy activity as it is one of the few matters of public concern for which reliable data is available for both voters’ preferences in every Australian electorate and the position taken by most legislators in the Australian Federal Parliament. We study the relationship between public opinion on same-sex marriage and legislator’s position on this issue, and the individual and environmental factors that condition this relationship, using the unique Vote Compass data, collected during the 2013 federal election campaign, information from the 2011 Census, and advances in public opinion estimation. This methodology is used to create estimates of support for same-sex marriage in all 150 electoral divisions contested in this election. We then estimate the probability a parliamentarian would support same-sex marriage legislation in 2012, 2015 and the likelihood they would change their position from no to yes between these years. This study’s findings provide the first Australian test of the relationship between public opinion and legislators’ policy positions.

Feb 5, 2017

A full length interview with Dr Kcasey McLoughlin (University of Newcastle), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled "Offensive intrusions and protected spaces: The personal, the public and the political" with Jim Jose (University of Newcastle).

The abstract for the paper is:

In 2013 the High Court ruled on whether the application of s.471.12 of the Criminal Code 1995 to prosecute Man Haron Monis (and his partner, Ms Amirah Droudis) for sending offensive material through the postal services contravened their right to free speech. All members of the High Court agreed the material was offensive but in an historic first the Court split on gender lines—the three women judges upheld the constitutional validity of the Criminal Code, whereas the three men judges found for Monis and Droudis. The divergent opinions adopted by the men and women judges in Monis are revealing about contemporary judicial understandings of the public and private spheres, and perhaps the political nature of the personal. We argue that these judicial opinions signal a seismic shift in how at least half the court thought about what properly belonged in which sphere. When these judgments are interpreted in the context of the political discourses which permeated the decision, both within and beyond the High Court, these judicial understandings of the contours of freedom of communication and notions of ‘harm’, ‘home’, ‘private’ and ‘public’ mean that offensive intrusions are protected, the private space of one’s home is not. Further, we argue that the judgments in Monis reveal a propensity to embed linguistic violence within judicial language and in effect give licence to antisocial, violent behaviour. In consequence, the judgments endorse a return to masculinist understandings of political behaviour and democratic practice.

Jan 29, 2017

In which the Nerds put away their penchant for kinetic energy weapons and kill ratios to talk about alternatives to war as politics by other means: soft power and cultural diplomacy.  With an expert panel they discuss the definition of the concept, its origins and what it looks like in practice, using Australia and China as two key case examples.  In the final part of the show, the Nerds talk about a new book on state succession and formation.

Hosts:

  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr Amanda Elliott, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney

Guests:

  • Distinguished Professor Ien Ang, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University
  • Professor Jocelyn Chey, Director, Australia China Institute for Arts and Culture, Western Sydney University,
  • Dr Ryan Griffiths, Department of Government, University of Sydney

With post-show chatter and a book give away!

Jan 22, 2017

A full length interview with Farah Naz (University of Sydney), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled "Digital age, extremism and radicalisation"

The abstract for the paper is:

This paper aims to better understand the role of digital media in the age of extremism and radicalisation. Many academic scholarships suggest controlling digital media as a key weapon to control radicalization of the society, but is it possible to control digital media in the 21st century. When it becomes the right of every individual to have factual information about everything. To contribute to the existing scholarship, this study is based on primary and secondary data drawn from a variety of sources: interviews with the youth, terrorists and extremist, police and terrorist investigation officers responsible for terrorist activities, government data, newspaper and journal articles. The sample population will be small and will be taken entirely from Islamabad, Pakistan. The reason for a small sample population is due to the sensitive nature of the topic where information in the public domain is limited and also there is a limited number of individuals ready to speak about it with researcher in this field. This research paper will outline some of the key aspects of the digital media both positive and negative. It will also touch upon some of the problematic misunderstanding of the terms extremism and radicalisation in the digital age, and will draw some lessons to counter extremism and radicalisation in the digital age.

Jan 15, 2017

A full length interview with Heath Whiley (University of Tasmania), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled "Appointing royal commissions for political gains: is it a bad thing?"

The abstract for the paper is:

Discourse on royal commissions indicates that they are appointed for either policy advisory or inquisitive reasons. Recent trends in Australia point to a third reason for the appointment of royal commissions, namely their appointment for political advantage. This paper argues that a political advantage through a royal commission occurs through blame avoidance, the shaping of the political agenda and to gain a political edge over competing parties or interests groups. Reviews of recent royal commissions into trade union corruption, natural disasters, child sex abuse and the home insulation program illustrates a developing trend for them to be established for political gain. The act of establishing a royal commission for political advantage can quite commonly be seen as politicising its process, recommendations and conclusions. This can limit its effectiveness because a royal commission is independent from the government that establishes it. This research recognises the seriousness of each royal commission it discusses, and elaborates on both the disadvantages and advantages of their use for political gain.

Jan 8, 2017

A full length interview with Dr Joanna Vince (University of Tasmania), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled Swimming in plastic soup: Governance solutions to the marine debris problem", written with Britta Denise Hardesty (CSIRO).

The abstract for the paper is:

Plastic marine debris has been found in every ocean and coastal area in the world (STAP 2011; Ivar do Sul & Costa 2014). The impacts on the marine ecosystem are profound with nearly 700 marine species being found to interact with marine debris through ingestion and/or entanglement (Gall & Thompson 2015; GEF 2012). It is estimated that three quarters or more of litter in our ocean comes from land-based sources (Hardesty et al. 2014) making this as much a transboundary global problem as a local issue. Governance arrangements, at present, are unable to provide the necessary solutions to large scale mitigation, prevention and/or removal of marine debris. We examine the governance arrangements on a global level, and Australia’s national and local policy responses. We identify community and market based strategies that are making progress with prevention and removal where government policies are lagging behind. We argue that a new, legally binding international agreement will provide guidance to mitigation on a global scale and that nationally a large scale integrated policy approach can make a difference to the marine debris problem in Australian waters. Integrated policy approaches, also known as type VIII policies (Howlett and del Rio 2015) are regarded as the most complex and difficult policy mixes. Despite being been prone to policy failure as suggested by Vince (2015), we argue that due to the complex, transboundary nature of the marine debris problem and the urgency for mitigation, it is the policy solution that may be most effective.

Jan 1, 2017

A full length interview with Dr Nicholas Munn (University of Waikato), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled "Voting, Rights and Compulsion".

The abstract for the paper is:

In this paper, I examine the benefits to democratic legitimacy conferred by compulsory voting regimes, and question the degree to which these benefits in fact arise from the fact of compulsion, rather than from other aspects of institutional practice which occur (in a jurisdiction like Australia) concurrently with it. In particular, I argue that a significant amount of the benefit of compulsory voting comes not from the fact of voting being compulsory, but from the infrastructure which is required to reasonably support a compulsory voting system. Where this is the case, it is the provision of sufficient voting infrastructure that generates the democratic advantages appealed to by proponents of compulsory voting, and this infrastructure is positive independently of compulsion. I explore whether compulsory voting is a) necessary for, or b) the best way to achieve, the desired outcomes of widespread participation and resulting legitimacy in democratic outcomes. I claim that we can achieve these outcomes without compulsion, and discuss whether we should attempt to do so.

Dec 24, 2016

In which the Nerds take seriously the PMs claim that Australia is the "most successful multicultural society on earth" and discuss multiculturalism, its origins, politics and policy with a diverse (get it) group of guests.  The Nerds also talk about a new book on animal welfare policy in Australia

Hosts:

  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney
  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

Guests:

  • Doctor Sev Ozdowski, Director, Equity and Diversity, Western Sydney; Chair of Australian Multicultural Council.
  • Associate Professor Christine Inglis, Honorary Associate Professor, China Studies Centre, University of Sydney
  • Dr Leticia Anderson, National Centre for Cultural Competence, University of Sydney
  • Dr Peter John Chen, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

With show extras! Including a book give away. Ho ho ho.

 

Dec 17, 2016

A full length interview with Dr Meagan Tyler (RMIT University), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled "The ‘Nordic Model’, prostitution policy, and women’s rights in Australia"

The abstract for the paper is:

Prostitution policy in Australia is determined at the state and territory level, consequently, there are various approaches taken across the country. Some states have introduced systems of legalisation or decriminalisation, while other states have criminalisation or de facto criminalisation, often based on long out-dated laws. Problems with each of these existing approaches have led to a number of reviews and inquiries regarding prostitution policy in different Australian states and territories since 2010. During this same time period, a relatively new form of prostitution policy has been gaining traction internationally. Originating in Sweden, and increasingly known as the ‘Nordic Model’, this legislative approach is a type of asymmetric decriminalisation: all prostituted persons are decriminalised, but the purchase of sex is made illegal. Central elements of this model include a recognition of prostitution as a serious site of violence against women and an understanding that the existence of systems of prostitution hampers efforts to achieve gender equality. Many of the recent prostitution reviews in Australia mention the Nordic Model, but have most often dismissed it as an unfeasible policy option. This paper will provide a theoretical, thematic analysis of the understandings of the Nordic Model provided in these reviews. In particular, the analysis will consider if and how the elements of the Nordic Model relating to women’s rights, violence against women, and gender equality, are dealt with in the Australian context.

Dec 11, 2016

A full length interview with Drs Ben Spies-Butcher (Macquarie University) and Gareth Bryant (Sydney University), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled "The Shifting Politics of Financialising Higher Education"

The abstract for the paper is:

This paper explores the Australian innovation of income contingent student loans as a form of financialised social policy. The expansion of finance has been a defining feature of contemporary capitalism. Within the welfare state, two dynamics have seen a growing role for finance. The first involves the tensions between growing tax resistance from business and sustained support for existing and maturing social provision from the public. That tension generates a ‘politics of austerity’ in which financialised policies like Australia’s Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) can provide a potential response. The second involves demands from finance markets to ‘unlock’ the relatively secure savings of households. Most advanced in housing and pension policy, this form of financialisation has extended to student loan markets in the United States. Using this framework, the paper argues HECS combined elements of a tax and a loan in ways that confounded standard accounting principles and advanced a ‘Third Way’ politics of social expansion within neoliberalism. However, by shifting the form of policy towards a financial instrument, HECS changed the nature of political contest. The paper uses recent reports from think tanks and the Parliamentary Budget Office to explore how accounting frameworks are becoming an increasingly important site of policy contest and relates this to a broader trend evident in debates over tax expenditures and public private partnerships.

Dec 4, 2016

A full length interview with Rachel Eberhard (Queensland University of Technology) and Lyndal Hasselman (University of Canberra), recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was their paper, titled "When and why governments and non-government stakeholders engage in collaborative governance of water policy - lessons from the Murray Darling Basin and Great Barrier Reef"

The abstract for the paper is:

Environmental policy issues are classic wicked problems – where problem complexity and stakeholder divergence resist resolution. In water policy, major water users (typically agriculture) need to change their behaviours. Good governance practice suggests that collaborative strategies are the best approach to resolving wicked problems that involve stakeholder behavioural change. Collaborative governance promises better policy design, greater community acceptance and the negotiation of implementation roles. Influential non-government organisations that represent different communities of interest mediate policy development and implementation through formal and informal pathways. The need to engage and negotiate water policy within and across government, as well as with key stakeholder groups, challenges the traditional hierarchical modes of government decision-making. This paper presents findings from research examining the evolution of water policy in the Murray Darling Basin and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. Adopting a critical realist approach, the research has explored the dynamics of water policy evolution and the roles and institutional logics of government and non-government organisations active in policy dialogue. Preliminary findings document the contexts and mechanisms that have driven institutional behaviour in these two case studies. These offer tantalising insights into how policy debates can be better facilitated to support effective collaborative governance, required to negotiate the resolution of water, climate and other environmental issues that are of critical significance and urgency.

Nov 27, 2016

In which the Nerds tap the expertise of the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney to unpack the fallout and implications of the 2016 US Presidential and down ballot votes.

Host:

Guests:

Including podcast extras! 

Nov 20, 2016

A full length interview with Professor Katharine Gelber, University of Queensland , recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled "Free speech and human rights in Australia"

The abstract for the paper is:

In recent years, free speech debates have featured unusually prominently in public debate in Australia. While some of these did not result in a legislative narrowing of free speech rights –an attempt to revise the definition of discrimination in federal law in 2012/13; and an attempt in 2014 to amend federal anti-vilification law – others did. Significant restrictions on freedom of speech have been enacted in the context of federal counter-terrorism legislation (2014/15), asylum seeker policy (2015), and anti-protest laws in Tasmania (2015), and in a current attempt in Western Australia to do the same. The last half decade, therefore, has seen unprecedented debate about the role of freedom of speech in Australian democracy. In this paper I will consider these events through the lens of a capabilities approach-informed analysis of the role of free speech; namely an understanding of the constitutive role of speech in individuals’ lives, and through that its role in democratic deliberation and legitimation. This approach attends to the conditions required at an individual level for democratic legitimation to occur at a social level. I will argue that the new restrictions on free speech in Australia place democratic processes of deliberation and legitimation at risk.

Nov 13, 2016

A full length interview with Dr Aaron Martin, University of Melbourne , recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was his paper, titled "Understanding political trust: evidence from survey experiments", written with Nick Faulkner (Monash), Raymond Orr (University of Melbourne) and Kyle Peyton (Yale University).

The abstract for the paper is:

For decades social scientists have debated the connection between the quality of political institutions and political and social trust, a debate ignited in large part by Putnam¹s (1995a; 1995b) influential work on social capital. In this article, we present experimental evidence of a causal link between the perceptions citizens have of government officials¹ behavior, and the trust they have in government (political trust) and others in society (social trust ¬ a widely used proxy for social capital). The results suggest the behaviour of government officials plays a distinct role in shaping attitudes towards peers and the formation of social capital.

Nov 6, 2016

A full length interview with Dr Hannah Murphy-Gregory from the University of Tasmania, recorded at the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association conference at UNSW Australia.

The subject of the interview was her paper, titled "Governance via persuasion: ENGOs, social license and Australian environmental policymaking"

The abstract for the paper is:

Environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) in Australia are seemingly more politically active and influential than ever before. They have been at the forefront of recent high-profile debates on issues of national significance including the Great Barrier Reef, the renewable energy sector, factory fishing trawlers, forest conservation and of course climate change. Yet important questions about ENGOs remain: what new strategies and tactics have ENGOs used to increase their visibility and influence on Australian policymaking in recent years? How should we understand their contributions to contemporary governance arrangements? This paper addresses these important questions by critically analysing the increasingly used ENGO tactic of withdrawing or denying a ‘social license to operate’ (SLO) to various corporate actors via three recent campaigns. These include the campaigns against Gunns Limited’s proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill, Seafish Tasmania’s FV Margiris/Abel Tasman factory fishing vessel, and salmon producer Tassal’s bid to farm salmon on Tasmania’s East coast. I argue that SLO is best understood as ‘governance via persuasion’, a mode of governance first proposed by Bell and Hindmoor (2009) to capture political activity akin to ‘governance without government’ that incorporates appeals to normative values. Whilst the success of ENGO campaigners appears to support the society-centred view of governance, I contend instead that ENGOs’ SLO campaigns many ultimately enhance state-led hierarchy and therefore support a state-centric relational account of governance. This is because ENGOs in fact demand (and succeed) in bringing about greater government regulation as a result of publicising concerns about corporate actors. Employing the SLO strategy may promote opportunities for ENGOs to participate in subsequent network governance processes alongside state and corporate actors.

 

Oct 29, 2016

In which the Nerds take a break and rely on that old standard of sitcoms the world over, a clip show.  But in a special "election nerds" twist, provide clips from upcoming "podcast only" special interviews from the 2016 Australian Political Studies Association Conference, held at the University of NSW (Australia).

Hosts:

  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney
  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology, University of Sydney

Interviewees:

  • Joanna Vince, University of Tasmania
  • Rachel Eberhard, Queensland University of Technology
  • Lyndal Hasselman, IGPA, University of Canberra
  • Hannah Murphy-Gregory, University of Tasmania
  • Nicholas Munn, University of Waikato
  • Aaron Martin, University of Melbourne
  • Ben Spies-Butcher, Macquarie University
  • Shaun Ratcliff, Monash University
  • Heath Whiley, University of Tasmania
  • Farah Naz , University of Sydney
  • Katharine Gelber, University of Queensland
  • Kcasey McLoughlin, University of Newcastle
  • Meagan Tyler, RMIT University
Sep 25, 2016

In which the Nerds talk to environmental experts about the current state of the “big picture” aspects of environmental policy: climate change. They consider how far we’ve come in recent international negotiation rounds, what we can really expect from these agreements, and issues of democratic participation and justice in the debates.  In the second half of the show, Dr Anna Boucher joins the panel to talk about her new book on migration policy and gender.

Please note: due to a technical problem, this is a low-quality recording.

Hosts

  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government, University of Sydney
  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology, University of Sydney

Guests

  • Professor David Schlosberg, Government and IR, Sydney
  • Dr Ian McGregor, Management, UTS
  • Dr Anna Boucher, author of Gender, Migration and the Global Race For Talent (Manchester University Press, 2016), Department of Government, University of Sydney
Aug 28, 2016

In which the nerds dig deep into one of the largest areas of the budget and an under-considered topic in the 2016 federal election: social policy.  What's been going on, what are the tenancies of policy makers, and what are the future directions of this key area of the policy process.  We discuss employment, welfare services, inequality, participation, and the future of the welfare state in a globalised context.

Hosts:

  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology, University of Sydney
  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government, University of Sydney

Guests:

  • Associate Professor Susan Goodwin, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney
  • Associate Professor Gaby Ramia, Department of Government, University of Sydney

With additional post show chatter / cynicism!

 

Jul 31, 2016

In which the nerds dissect the outcome of the 2016 federal election, looking at the campaign, the state of the count, and the future of the government and management of the parliament.

Hosts:

  • Dr Amanda Elliot, Department of Sociology, University of Sydney
  • Dr Stewart Jackson, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney

Guests:

With bonus post show chatter

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