We (Dennis Altman, Joe Camilleri and Robyn Eckersley) have just published a book on ‘Why human security matters’ with Allen and Unwin. I have written a chapter with Chris Roche from Oxfam on the importance of bottom-up approaches to security that are both people-centred as well as generated by the people affected by insecurity. Security continues to be framed in high-level and statist terms that underestimate new approaches, new technologies and people movements or organisations that are finding sometimes radical, new ways of dealing with insecurity. Click here to order a copy. The book was officially launched on October 8th 2012 at Melbourne University by former Australian Foreign Minister and President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group Gareth Evans. Read his speech here.
In the recent issue of the Journal of the Asia-Pacific Economy, Gerhard Hoffstaedter and Chris Roche’s article ‘All the world’s a stage’ explores recent critiques of aid, particularly in regards to notions of ‘good governance’ and accountability. Using the allegory of theatre, they suggest that much of the formal process of interaction between aid agencies and local actors can be seen as a ‘performance’, and what goes on behind the scenes is often, and sometimes deliberately, ignored.
I have recently launched a working paper on religion and development, focusing on Australian faith based organisations.
Faith-based organisations have grown significantly in the last twenty years and while there is a lag in the literature assessing its roles, broadly, FBOs are being embraced as useful intermediaries between secular states funders and aid recipients due to their local networks and social capital.
The working paper provides a look at the literature on FBOs, the difficult issue of finding a definition for FBOs and the role Australian FBOs are playing in international development. The paper proposes that faith is inherent in all development approaches, be it in the market forces, God or people as agents of both.
The biggest cut he put forward was in the aid budget for Indonesia, in particular the education partnership aimed at providing better access to schools and improving the quality of the teaching at both government-run and Islamic schools.