Archive: Arena Quarterly

The Heat is Still On: Climate and life at 3 degrees

Climate change is a health risk. What can the response to COVID-19 teach us about climate policy making?

Friends You Can’t Depend On

If the United States, United Kingdom and Russia risk nuclear war over Ukraine and a gas pipeline, that is bad enough; for Australia to join this insanity is worse.

Arena Quarterly #9 Occlusions

The first issue of 2022 considers the many ways in which our vision can be obscured in these complex and tumultuous times. The climate emergency—its scale so vast that it can’t be contemplated entire—grows ever more urgent. The far Right exploits well-intentioned concerns about vaccines to draw greater numbers into its fold. Meanwhile, here in Australia, a federal election looms.

Time Travel Through Unfinished Business

A story.

From the US Maelstrom to Political Economy

University campuses across the United States were implacable scenes of angry debate and protest. There were clashes with helmeted police in adjoining streets. In April 1968, students occupied administration buildings at Columbia University, one of the causes being the university’s conducting of classified war research. There is an iconic photograph of student leader Mark Rudd sitting defiantly at the university president’s desk…

Cultural Appropriation and the Politics of the Imagination

If art has largely been stripped of its transcendent power—a casualty of commodification and oversupply—and is now measured by utility, it is simultaneously policed for its potential negative effects. In another reversal, much of this comes from elements of the ‘Left’ rather than conservatives.

Who Are You?

What caught me by surprise was how quickly I’d lost touch with all the nuances of whole-body presence that, once upon a time (was it really only twenty months ago?), we routinely read and responded to in any of scores of encounters on any given day…

Australia’s Nuclear Future?

…if Australia can’t renew itself within terms appropriate to its own region—that is, renew our relations with Indigenous Australians, as well as the peoples of the Pacific and of Indonesia and Asia generally—it will remain an outpost supported only by imperialist powers…

Revolution in Myanmar

Whereas the military junta sanctions its violence through a conception of state sovereignty as commandment, its opponents upend this repressive notion of power by investing the popular will, the power to constitute political order anew, in theirs.

Fracked Futures

If production proceeds in the Beetaloo Basin, it will unleash a carbon bomb of huge proportions, and expose the Northern Territory’s environment and people to numerous other risks associated with fracking, including contamination of groundwater supplies, which make up 90 per cent of the Territory’s consumptive water use.

What Are the Submarines Really For?

The decision to acquire nuclear-powered boats reflects what has been the Australian Way of War for more than a century: to operate inside the strategy of a superpower by contributing a well-chosen, niche capability to augment the larger force.

Forever Partnership, Forever War

…if the next war is against China, over Taiwan, the South or East China Sea, or some contrived event, Australia will become involved, will be a principal target, and will lose the war. China is not the Taliban.