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Assad Still Shaky, Despite Russian Airstrikes

Simon Leitch argues that given the propensity for NATO or American-led airpower to make an appearance in Middle Eastern civil wars, Russian intervention in Syria could have been expected at some point. Yet, amazingly, Western politicians, media and the military leadership appear to have been surprised by the brazenness of Russian moves and have taken to the whole thing rather poorly.

Laura Tingle, Amanda Vanstone, Australian Politics and The Simpsons

In an irreverent, self-reflective piece about Australian politics, Sean Barry, who recently won the prize for best student referred Paper in Australian Political Studies Association Conference 2015 held in Canberra discusses how the work of a journalist Laura Tingle led him to find connections between her, Amanda Vanstone , Australian politicians and The Simpsons.

Why “Hokkolorob”?

Hokkolorob, the title of a composition by the popular Bangladeshi musician, Arnob, was the mobilizational theme of a momentous student movement in India last year. Subhasish Ray, an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the National University of Singapore argues that the choice of this theme marks a new and exciting phase in the evolution of protest music in India.

The Sociology of Gun Violence in America

Against the backdrop of Oregon college shooting in America, Jonathan Byrd, an American singer-songwriter offers an insightful sociological analysis behind America’s gun problem. He argues: ” When millions of people live close to the bone in a country that doesn’t seem to care about them, and the most effective weapons in the world are widely available, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to paint the resulting picture.”

It’s the Society, Stupid!

Professor Adil Khan of University of Queensland argues: “as the year 2015 winds down we can take stock of the successes and failures of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Whether these goals have succeeded or failed in certain places, one thing is clear – the wellbeing of society, or lack thereof, is not reflected in GDP growth figures or employment outcomes. We need to put more effort into the development of society and community rather than simply building bigger neoliberal economies.” This is an excellent critic of UN’s new agenda for development –Sustainable Development Goals.