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Michael Mintrom

CANCELLED – Michael Mintrom in conversation with Chris Pippen-Neff (Online via Gleebooks)

Human rights come into question in times of crisis. But should we wait for crises to arise before we discuss these rights? Michael Mintrom pushes the envelope and argues that advancing human rights should be everyone’s business, not just that of a select group of public interest lawyers, conspiracy theorists or those who prefer tinfoil hats.

In his latest book Advancing Human Rights, Michael Mintrom raises the quality of care in nursing homes, the treatment of illegal immigrants, and police practices towards Indigenous people in custody—as examples of crises that demand remedies and receive less than satisfactory solutions.

He argues that the advancement of human rights is an investment: our efforts today will create ongoing benefits for society. He finds the answers in enhancing the quality and accessibility of early childhood education, shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline, and assisting former prisoners during their re-entry into society. Beyond these powerful examples, he also suggests other candidates for policy change that will lead to the progression of human rights.

In a caring society, the question of how to advance human rights should lie at the heart of public policy making. But does our political class have the will to make the changes needed to ensure a fairer and more just society?

Michael Mintrom is Professor of Public Policy at Monash University, where he serves as the inaugural Director of Better Governance and Policy, a whole-of- university initiative to improve the policy impact of academic research. Michael has
extensive experience as a policy designer.

His two books with Oxford University Press discuss the importance of treating public policies as investments and key elements of contemporary policy analysis. His other books have considered effective policy advocacy, the spread of policy innovations, and the factors that produce enduring, successful public policies. He has served as a policy adviser in New Zealand and as the Monash Chair at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, where he
was Academic Director of the renowned Executive Master of Public Administration degree. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MA in Economics from the University of Canterbury.

Dr. Christopher L. Pepin-Neff is an American-Australian teacher, research academic, writer, and commentator on a number of public policy issues.

Dr. Pepin-Neff is a senior lecturer in public policy at the University of Sydney.

He received his Ph.D. in public policy at the University of Sydney (‘14) and also held a Masters Degree in Public Policy (‘07) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from James Madison University in Virginia (’99). His research looks at agenda-setting in the policy process through an analysis of emotional issues in public policy and the role of lobbyists and activists in LGBTQ politics.

Richard Denniss event

Richard Denniss at the Bendigo Writers Festival

Defence, infrastructure, education, health and aged care, not to mention environmental safeguards and climate change mitigation. All these things require public money as well as clever thinking. Richard Denniss says the message that governments need to get out of the way has led to the shrinking of creativity and standards. He talks to Julie Rudner about why the time is right to reinvigorate the public sector. What could a bigger government do?

Essential Pre-poll Reading
By News

Monash University Publishing’s Essential Pre-Poll Reading

In the lead-up to this federal election, Monash University Publishing has your reading list covered. From our In the National Interest Series:

In Who Dares Loses: Pariah Policies, Wayne Errington and Peter van Onselen explain the political constraints on policymakers and the ways in which they are changing.

In Challenging Politics, Scott Ryan discusses the loss in faith in politics.

In Easy Lies & Influence, Fiona McLeod tells us what corruption can do, and why it’s imperative that we address it.

In Tides that Bind, ALP Deputy Leader Richard Marles implores us to step up our support for Pacific nations threatened by climate change and under-development.

In Governing in the Internet Age, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher outlines the key challenges the internet has posed for governments.

In Fortune’s Fool, Satyajit Das dissects the pandemic, global trends, Australia’s narrow ‘house and holes’ economy and its dependency on China.

In Population Shock, Abul Rizvi asks: how will government chart our larger and older population’s economic future?

In Good International Citizenship, Gareth Evans argues that to be, and be seen to be, a good international citizen is both a moral imperative and a matter of hard-headed national interest.

In Burning Down the House, Jo Dyer looks at how Australian politics has gone awry and how a range of independents are determined to burn it all down and build something new.

In Big: The Role of the State in the Modern Economy, Richard Denniss makes the case for following the lead of the Nordic countries in the provision of great public health, education, housing and infrastructure.

In Now More than Ever, David Anderson gives us an insider’s insight into the ABC: a cultural powerhouse where Australian identity is celebrated, democracy is defended, and creativity is encouraged to flourish.

In Dismal Diplomacy, Disposable Sovereignty, Carrillo Gantner offers some modest suggestions for improving Australia’s relationship with China.

In Leadership, Don Russell reflects on politicians, the political process and the role of government, and explains why our political leaders are as they are.

In A Decade of Drift, Martin Parkinson outlines how the twists and turns in climate change policy over the past decade have contributed to the erosion of public trust in government in Australia.

Other important background reading for the election includes: Cathy Goes to Canberra by Cathy McGowan, the inspiring story of one of Australia’s most successful and influential independents; Long Half-life by Ian Lowe on Australia’s nuclear policies and energy and climate challenges; Class in Australia on Australia’s deepening social stratification; and Corporate Power in Australia by Lindy Edwards on how the ‘big end of town’ influences our politics.

  • Who Dares Loses

    Wayne Errington & Peter van Onselen
  • Governing in the Internet Age

    Paul Fletcher


  • Good International Citizenship

    Gareth Evans
  • Dismal Diplomacy, Disposable Sovereignty

    Carrillo Gantner


  • Class in Australia

    Steven Threadgold and Jessica Gerrard
  • Corporate Power in Australia

    Lindy Edwards
Carrillo Gantner Q&A

Carrillo Gantner in conversation (Readings online)

Please note: this event is being held online.

Join us to hear Carrillo Gantner in conversation with Linda Jaivin, author of The Shortest History of China.

Gantner’s Dismal Diplomacy, Disposable Sovereignty: Our Problem with China & America, is an explanation of how we can repair the recent damage done to the Australian/US/China.

This book describes the current unhappy situation and, based on Gantner’s forty years of work in cultural exchange with China, offers some modest suggestions on improving bilateral relations.

This event is free to attend but bookings are essential.

How to ‘attend’ a virtual event at Readings

This event commences online at 6.30pm using the video conferencing platform Zoom.

To book for this event, you must provide your email address.

To ensure the Zoom event stays private, participants will be emailed a unique zoom link and a password 30 minutes before the event begins on the day of the event. Please check your email.

All bookings for online events will be closed one hour before the event begins.

You do not need to have a Zoom account to join a meeting, but mobile users will need to download the Zoom app for their device. Desktop and laptop users can either download the Zoom application or access the event via their web browser.

  • Dismal Diplomacy, Disposable Sovereignty

    Carrillo Gantner
Compounding Damage

Compounding Damage: Michael Bradley, Rachel Doyle, Saxon Mullins (Adelaide Festival)

Events of the last year have brought a renewed and urgent focus on the experiences of women seeking redress after experiencing harassment or assault. With exhausting regularity, the perpetrator is protected at the expense of the victim, with the justice system and corporate culture accused of exacerbating trauma. In their books System Failure and Power and Consent, Michael Bradley and Rachel Doyle draw on their legal experience to highlight the flaws in our current laws. Advocate and survivor Saxon Mullins was instrumental in changing the definition of consent in NSW.

Policy Drift

Policy Drift: John Daley and Martin Parkinson (Adelaide Festival)

As our Foreign Minister from 1988 – 1996 and President of the Brusselsbased International Crisis Group thereafter, After consistent reform at a Federal level across the Hawke, Keating, Howard and Gillard Governments, policy ambition seems to have stalled. In his book A Decade of
Drift, Martin Parkinson recounts serving six prime ministers as an integral part of key policy development at the highest levels. As CEO of the Grattan Institute for eleven years, John Daley has published widely across key policy areas, his writings underpinned by themes of prioritising government initiatives and the limits to government effectiveness. They argue Australia should demand more courage and commitment from their political leaders.

Gareth Evans event

Gareth Evans at the Adelaide Festival

As our Foreign Minister from 1988 – 1996 and President of the Brusselsbased International Crisis Group thereafter, Gareth Evans is uniquely qualified to discuss the importance of good international citizenship in our interconnected world. Outlining four key tenets to assess a country’s record – foreign aid generosity, reaction to conflicts and their consequences, response to human rights violations, and contribution to global crises – he finds Australia wanting on all of them. His essay is a call for change and decency in the way we engage with the world.

  • Good International Citizenship

    Gareth Evans
Satyajit Das event

Satyajit Das: The Great Southern Province of China (Gleebooks)

Over the last two decades, Australia has economically become a Southern Province of China. But now the trade relationship is fracturing. Australia’s military relationship with the US, such as the new AUKUS alliance, has raised Chinese ire.

The tensions between geography, economic interests and history is longstanding. Australia struggles to reconcile its location and economic self-interest which suggest an affinity with Asia and history and culture which identify with America and Europe. Whether the nation can straddle this barbed wire fence will shape our prosperity and security future.

atyajit Das is a financier, named in 2014 by  Bloomberg as among the 50 most influential people in financial markets. He has held senior positions in banks and industry and now works as a consultant to investors and corporations globally.

He is also the author of Traders, Guns & Money (2006) , Extreme Money (2011)  and A Banquet of Consequences (2015 and 2021) (published in North America as Age of Stagnation). He is also the author (with Jade Novakovic) of In Search of the Pangolin: The Accidental Eco-Tourist (2006). His latest book is Fortune’s Fool: Australian Choice (March 2022).

He appeared in Charles Ferguson’s 2010 Oscar-winning documentary Inside Job. He has spoken at the Sydney and Melbourne Writers Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas and Sydney’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas.

Jo Dyer event

Jo Dyer: How to Fix Democracy (Crikey online)

Jo Dyer made headlines last year after advocating for her friend Kate, who accused former attorney-general Christian Porter of raping her during their high school years. Porter strenuously denies the allegations.

Dyer’s pressured the government to address her late friends’ allegations and hold a proper inquiry. Disheartened with the government’s poor response and years of inadequate governance, she’s decided to fight from the inside, running for an Independent candidate of Boothby as part of the ‘Voices Of’ movement.

Crikey’s Amber Schultz will be joined by the arts powerhouse and independent candidate to discuss her new book Burning Down the House – the story of how our political system went awry, ranging from Morrison government’s many embarrassing moments and rapid moral decline to Labor’s inability to act.

Dyer is an advocate for compassionate, humane and moral leadership, canvassing the rise of Independents and the importance of responsible and honest candidates.

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