Author: Ben

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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

    Mourning Kevin Rudd

    • Lyn Bender
    • 23 June 2011
    27 Comments

    Since even the best leaders are not infallible, we must decide who is good enough. Abbott is not, and the jury is still out on Gillard. The anniversary of Rudd's fall provides an opportunity to reflect upon, and perhaps regret, what we have lost.

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  • MEDIA

    Sex education in Pornland

    • Lyn Bender
    • 26 May 2011
    15 Comments

    British sociologist Gail Dines argues that porn shapes young people's expectations of how sex should be, at the cost of healthy intimacy. Positive erotic portrayals can inspire and guide us by enhancing our perceptions and extending our narrow world view. Dines argues that the hardcore porn industry promotes a damaging view of sex that shapes young men's (and women's) fantasies and expectations of how sex should be, at the cost of healthy intimacy.

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  • MEDIA

    Sex scandals and SNAG soldiers

    • Lyn Bender
    • 20 April 2011
    5 Comments

    Listening to the Defence Force top brass talk about the 'female' cadet scandal is like taking a trip back to the 1940s. The stoic military 'warrior culture' can be tempered by encouraging men to develop appropriate self-disclosure and empathy against the dehumanising effects of training.

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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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  • MEDIA

    Raising Julian Assange

    • Lyn Bender
    • 09 December 2010
    10 Comments

    Who is this Assange? Is he a messianic hero, larrikin, renegade, terrorist, or just a very naughty boy? As a psychologist my interest lies in history, as this is frequently re-enacted in our lives. And Julian Assange had a very unusual childhood.

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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

    Communities confront flood fallout

    • Ben Fraser
    • 28 September 2010
    4 Comments

    Amid the horror and gloom there have been moments of inspiration in the flood crisis that have largely gone unreported. While they warmly accept the staples of relief, they know through a history of crippling food insecurity and mass displacement that they are masters of their own destiny.

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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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