Gadget by The Blog Doctor.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our World in Crisis?

Over six nights recently I attended the Our World in Crisis? course run by Professor Jospeh Camilleri.

The course website can be found here

The course was very informative, challenging, and very well run. Thanks to Professor Camilleri for his organisation of the course and many interesting lectures and guest speakers.

The course covered the following:

Making sense of ‘our times’:

It is often said that we live in a globalising world? What does this mean? How different is today’s world from that of our parents or grandparents? Is the Modern world ushered in by the Renaissance and the revolutions of the 16th to the 18th centuries coming to an end? If so, what is taking its place?

The global financial crisis: why, where and how?

How do we explain the unprecedented growth of international finance? What factors have led to the current global financial crisis? What are the long-term implications of the crisis? What do we make of the responses of governments? Of the major international organisations? Where does the crisis leave the rich-poor divide? What are the prospects for greater international regulation?

Climate change: after Copenhagen

What are the key issues at stake in international climate change negotiations? Why are governments finding it so difficult to come to terms with the challenges posed by climate change? What are the prospects for stabilising global warming? Has Australia’s position on climate change shifted significantly since the election of the Rudd Government?

Arc of conflict: from Algeria to Afghanistan:

How do we account for the conflicts that have dotted the recent history of this part of the world? What lies behind the conflicts in the Middle East, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan? How do we make sense of the relationship between Islam and the West? Are international terrorism and the ‘war on terror’ here to stay?

Conflict resolution and the dialogue of cultures:

Are the world’s major civilisations on a collision course? With the decline of the world’s colonial empires, is Western dominance coming to an end? Are we seeing the rise of new centres of power and influence? Can collision be avoided? What are the prospects for dialogue and conflict resolution? How can dialogue be approached internationally? In Australia?

The puzzle that is Australia:

How well are Australians coping with the pressures of a rapidly changing world? How well is Australia managing cultural and religious diversity at home and in its relations with Asia and the Pacific? Does multiculturalism have a future? What of our relations with the United states on the one hand and China on the other? What are the options facing Australia over the next decade and beyond?

The assignments that I produced for the course and some of the research that I conducted on the topics can be found at the links below:

Globalisation, here and here.

Assignment letter to the editor here.

My notes on the Copenhagen conference here.

Assignment on the Global Financial Crisis here.

The Political Philosophy of Malcolm Fraser here.

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