Archive: Arena Quarterly

A Positive Politics: Community independents and the new wave of political engagement

Politicians and parties targeting the community independents will do so at their peril, for they will also be attacking the communities that have chosen and supported them into parliament.

Reading the Republic Movement

As an act of hermeneutics, glossing the ARM’s case for a republic is on the order of interpreting Heidegger. It is higher criticism...I am treating this issue with the degree of levity it deserves.

Our Given Body: Roe v Wade

In the American context, abortion has only increasingly become a ‘master category’, pointing to an ultimate value around ‘life’ but also condensing the meanings and anxieties that are fuelling the radical Right’s larger political struggle—offering ordinary folks a visceral connection to overcoming something ‘rotten’ in the established liberal system.

Assange in Extremis: The Atlantic powers are determined on extradition

Should Assange find himself shackled in the less than salubrious surrounds of the US carceral system, he will face one of the country’s most vicious statutes. The Espionage Act of 1917, also known as 18 USC 793, has worried the US legal profession for decades.

Melbourne’s Aesthetic Turn: Coffee Culture, Industrial Chic and Global-city Elites

In this process of the re-aesthetisation of the refuse of industrial society there was an emptying out of the history of the inner city. What mattered was the appearance of grit, the chic of industrial production, not the social realities of it for those who were by now long departed from these places.

Born for Leaving: Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast

Unionist paramilitaries who want to ‘cleanse’ the area of Catholics erect barriers at the end of the street. Buddy asks his father whose side they’re on.

The Problem with ‘Lived Experience’: Psychoanalysis, Subjectivity, Ideology

Arguments from experience The ideas of psychoanalysis and its founder, Sigmund Freud, have long been assimilated into both popular culture and academic discourse. This assimilation has been so comprehensive that in the Anglophone world—though not necessarily elsewhere—these ideas have been relegated to the status of historical relics, discredited museum pieces that have been replaced by […]

Gaslit Futures: How Gas Giant Woodside Gets What It Wants

At a time when the International Energy Agency (IEA) has called for a total moratorium on opening any new coal, oil or gas projects to avoid climate disaster, Woodside is hell-bent on locking in increasing greenhouse gas emissions for decades to come.

Experiencing the Floods: Counting the Costs, Preparing for a Hostile Climate

We must get better at communicating risk so that communities have the best chance to prepare for the coming onslaughts—to make good decisions and take the best actions they can, whether in fires or floods, heatwaves or severe storms.

Hard-Wired for Corruption: Arms Trading and Australia’s Lax Monitoring Regimes

There is little dispute among long-term arms industry researchers that it is the most corrupt industry on the planet.

Labor Legacies: What can we expect from an Albanese government?

Intergenerational theft is now so embedded in Australia’s policy architecture that young people will need a lot of cultivation.

Collateral Warfare: The US proxy war in Ukraine

Putting themselves above international law, the American and Russian leaders have made Ukrainians into ants, trampled as the elephants fight.