Out this July | Radical Heart, The Knowledge Solution, On Disruption, and Run for Your Life!
This July, read more on the crisis in Australian democracy (and what our best political thinkers say we can do about it), the process of Aboriginal constitutional reform, a quirky, political memoir and a little book on disruption.
These are some heavyweights: what our best political thinkers say about the crisis of democracy, introduced by Michelle Grattan; Shireen Morris' memoir on her fight to achieve constitutional recognition for Indigenous Australians; Bob Carr's funny and delightful political memoir; and Katharine Murphy on the meaning of disruption.
On Disruption, by Katharine Murphy
There is no way to know if the disruption will settle into a new normal, or whether chaos is the new normal. The internet has shaken the foundations of life: public and private lives are wrought by the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week news cycle that means no one is ever off duty.
On Disruption is a report from the coalface of that change: what has happened, will it keep happening, and is there any way out of the chaos?
Read an extract from On Disruption in The Guardian – in this extract, Katharine Murphy looks at the demise of thoughtful long-term policy making and the ‘new, now’ news cycle.
Conflict is absolutely essential to the democratic process. It is a mechanism to settle contested points of view, or determine they can’t be settled. The process of legislating is active conversation between competing worldviews, interests and ideologies – a kind of structural balancing.
But a couple of things are happening. The “new, now” news cycle, where minute developments are reported in real time, means internal processes of consideration and decision-making, as well as the external process of negotiation, are disrupted much more frequently.
The disruptions then often materially affect outcomes – governments change course, drop ambitious ideas, shape shift to try to avoid an unmanageable stakeholder backlash.
Run for Your Life, by Bob Carr
Most political memoirs are boring. Bob Carr tears up the rules. He plunges in, beginning with the despair of a young man pining for a political career, convinced he's going nowhere, then vaulting to the exhilaration of a premier who, on one day, saves a vast forest and unveils the country's best curriculum.
In an era of bland politicians, here's one with personality true to his quirky self.
Silence the jet skis! Balance the budget! Liberate the dolphins! Roll out the toll roads! Declare a million hectares of eucalypt wilderness! Be a politician of character.
All author proceeds from this book are donated to help the children displaced by the Syrian civil war by funding humanitarian aid through the registered charity Australia for UNHCR.
Radical Heart, by Shireen Morris
Radical Heart is a challenge for all Australians to dream together of a fairer future, and work as one to make it happen.
Neither Indigenous nor white, Shireen Morris is both outside observer and instrumental insider in the fight for Indigenous rights. Shaped by her family's Indian and Fijian migrant story, Morris is a key player in what many consider the greatest moral challenge of our nation: constitutional recognition of Indigenous Australians.
The Knowledge Solution: Politics
Can a return to direct democracy reconnect a jaded electorate with an out-of-touch establishment? Would reforming Canberra's toxic culture lead to worthwhile debate and better decision-making? Should today's leaders look back on successful governments to learn how to lead parliament to a full term?
In The Knowledge Solution: Politics, the best of our thinkers from across the political and ideological spectrum dissect the many challenges facing Australian democracy in the twenty-first century. With an introduction by Michelle Grattan.