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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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Now displaying: 2017
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.

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