Author: Ben Coleridge

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Demystifying famine

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 25 July 2011
    4 Comments

    If one were to believe the news cycle, the current crisis in Somalia would seem to have arisen without warning. But it is part of a pattern we have had plenty of opportunity to observe and recognise. In fact Eastern Africa is historically well acquainted with famine.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Responsibility to Protect is not a license to intervene

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 28 March 2011
    2 Comments

    Many regard the 'Responsibility to Protect' as a doctrine which licences military intervention when civilians' lives are threatened by murderous governments. In fact, R2P emphasises the 'responsibility to prevent' as much as it does the responsibility to intervene.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    History continues in Egypt and Libya

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 13 March 2011
    6 Comments

    Political and social ideas are a means of conceptualising people's inner urgings and desires. Does the movement towards political change in the Middle East constitute an 'absolute moment' which forecasts the realisation of democratic governments across the Arab world?

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  • AUSTRALIA

    One day at Villawood

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 16 November 2010
    8 Comments

    Soon enough there was a group of children in the yard and a soccer game was about to begin. First we had to decide the teams. I asked one small boy, whose family was from Sri Lanka, which country he wanted his team to be. 'Australia,' he yelled back.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The roots of American arrogance

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 01 October 2010
    9 Comments

    America has grown so used to triumphing in the conflicts of the 1990s that mere stasis is now easily viewed as retreat. But from Teddy Roosevelt to Barack Obama, each time America has become blind to the limitations of its power, it has been wrenched back to reality by failure.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Tales from the kingdom of force

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 16 August 2010
    2 Comments

    Flicking the frisbee with a well practised arm, Jimmy told me about his former home in Sri Lanka. 'Last time I was there, I was carrying bodies to their graves in my arms, even the bodies of friends.' Homer's Iliad is a poem of force in which, at all times, the human spirit is shown modified by its relations with force.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Election year blogs stifle democracy

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 19 July 2010
    6 Comments

    The fact that we are 'discussing' more than ever before due to the internet and the blogosphere, does not prove that our democracy is in better shape. The environment precludes reasoning because reasoning requires a willingness to listen to the other and to approach questions through mutual respect.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Anti poverty protesters miss the language of justice

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 29 June 2010
    16 Comments

    The latest G8 meeting sparked new protests at the failure of rich countries to honour their promises to increase aid. The protest pointed not only to the failures of the G8 governments, but also to the limitations of the mantras 'make poverty history' and 'an end to poverty'.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Possibility springs in Russian winter

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 22 April 2010
    5 Comments

    Winter in the Russian industrial city of Yaroslavl has been hard since the Global Financial Crisis. The 'contract' between Russia's elite and ordinary Russians, whereby the latter sacrifice their civil and political rights for economic wellbeing, is not delivering.

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  • EDUCATION

    Best of 2009: Stairway to international student security

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 05 January 2010
    5 Comments

    After midnight, a group of international students, on a break from their night jobs as waiters, gather in a concrete stairwell and share their stories. Victorian premier John Brumby could learn a thing or two in that shabby stairwell. September 2009

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  • EDUCATION

    Stairway to international student security

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 30 September 2009
    7 Comments

    After midnight, a group of international students, on a break from their night jobs as waiters, gather in a concrete stairwell and share their stories. Victorian premier John Brumby could learn a thing or two in that shabby stairwell.

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  • MARGARET DOOLEY AWARD

    'Silly impulses' of religion

    • Ben Coleridge
    • 14 August 2009

    The lecturer's joke about religion is met with laughter. Here, 'faith' is the jester. In dismissing faith, we dismiss people for whom faith is central to the search for truth. We exclude them from that task of imagination and creation.

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