Tag Archives: politics

Revenge of the Rich?

Austin Mitchell argues that neoliberalism has caused wealth to trickle up, not down. 

CUP Publisher Catherine Montgomery writes:

170630-Revenge_lo res coverUC alumnus and best-selling author, Austin Mitchell, author of The Half-Gallon Quarter-Acre Pavlova Paradise, has just published a new book Revenge of the Rich: The neoliberal revolution in Britain and New Zealand with Canterbury University Press.

It’s an outspoken commentary on the impact of neoliberalism as a governing ideology, which in Mitchell’s view has failed to deliver on its promises, including the ‘trickle-down effect’, and has led instead to much greater inequality.

Yorkshireman Mitchell’s connections with Aotearoa New Zealand and UC go back a long way and were refreshed quite recently. He lived in Aotearoa New Zealand for eight years while lecturing in political science at the universities of Canterbury (1964–7) and Otago, and returned to UC as a Canterbury Scholar in 2016 to deliver a series of summer lectures. These lectures on ‘Britain and New Zealand: The Great Unravelling’ were a discussion of the evolution of recent British politics, drawing analogies with parallel developments and implications for Aotearoa New Zealand, and they form the nucleus of Mitchell’s new book. He says he believes it is the first to look at the rise and fall of neoliberalism as the prevailing ideology in the two countries where it was imposed ‘further and faster’ than in any others.

On hearing about the forthcoming book, one of his former politics students remarked that Mitchell’s lectures were always ‘packed’ as they were so entertaining.  Helen Clark, prime minister of Aotearoa New Zealand 1999–2008 remarks in the Foreword to the book: ‘Agree with it, or disagree with it, love it or loathe it, Austin Mitchell’s writing provokes us to reflect on what our common future could be. It is written in a lively fashion with highly quotable turns of phrase.’

CUP has a copy of the book to give away. Just answer the following question:
Which English county does Austin Mitchell hail from?
Entries to universitypress@canterbury.ac.nz by cob 7 July 2017. First correct entry to be drawn from the hat will be notified by email.

Drawing strength from humanitarian history

UC lecuturer in women’s and feminist history, Katie Pickles writes about participating in the Women’s March on Saturday 21 January.

Christchurch is a global hotbed for women’s rights as human rights, and for the promotion of social reform, diversity and strong communities.

On the edge of the UC campus is the house where Kate Sheppard lived when she led the campaign that resulted in New Zealand becoming the first country in the world to allow women to vote. And all women were enfranchised in 1893, not just white or rich women, as would happen later on and elsewhere around the world.

Sheppard was part of an important radical strain in Christchurch’s history that is now a firm tradition. We share in, and are connected to, the spirit of the Women’s March on Washington.

As I explore in my recent book Christchurch Ruptures, there are many people in this city who have advanced human rights including Kate Sheppard, Elsie Locke, Ettie Rout, Rewi Alley and Harry Ell. And there are many, many more who go unnamed.

University of Canterbury foundation professor Alexander Bickerton was an important mentor for a generation of students, and the university can boast Apirana Ngata as the first Maori graduate and Helen Connon as the first women with an honours degree in the former British Empire. Humanities and Fine Arts at this university enjoys a long and strong tradition of excellence, questioning the status quo, and seeking truth and new knowledge, that society needs more than ever in 2017.

I marched to remember this proud humanitarian history and to draw strength from it in 2017.

I teach women’s andKatie feminist history here at UC. In particular, I am interested in heroines in history. At the march, my daughter Clara and I read out inspirational quotes from American leading humanitarian, author, political activist and lecturer Helen Keller (1880-1968). Helen overcame being deaf and blind to smash previous barriers for disabled people, and to advocate for and improve the lives of countless people in society. Some examples are: ‘the only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision’, and ‘until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained’.

Keller’s dignified words of wisdom stand in solidarity for tolerance, equality and diversity. She believed that women’s rights were human rights, that diversity is the strength of our communities, that all voices deserve to be heard and that we are stronger together – much like many of our local citizens here in Christchurch through the ages.

21st Biennial New Zealand Asian Studies Conference, 29 Nov-1 Dec 2015

The School of Language, Social and Political Sciences will be hosting the 21st New Zealand Asian Studies Conference from 29 November to 1 December.

The conference is the largest gathering of Asia specialists in New Zealand and attracts participants from New Zealand as well as from overseas.

The conference theme is ‘Asian Intersections: Identities and Linkages’.

More than 130 papers will be presented at the conference covering a range of disciplines across the diverse regions of Asia.

Many of the conference panels explore the plural and complex networks that have crossed countries and regions, intersecting histories and cultures.

Door Knocker, Nagasaki

As part of our community engagement, a number of events on Sunday, 29 November, will be open to the public, including the keynote address by Prof Xianglong Zhang and the screening of a documentary on the partition of India and Pakistan.

The Sunday events from 3:45 pm to 6:45 pm (Central Lecture Theatres) are open to the public. In conjunction with the conference, the ‘Discovering De Jong’ exhibition will be held in the library from 27 November to 13 December.

This exhibition showcases manuscripts, rare books and journals on Central and Southeast Asian religions held at the University of Canterbury library.

Click here for more information on the conference or email naimah.talib@canterbury.ac.nz

China as a Polar Great Power – Professor Anne-Marie Brady – Inaugural Professorial Lectures

China is now a member of a unique club of nations, the polar states: those few countries who are powerful at the Arctic and the Antarctic. Polar states are the global giants, strong in military, scientific, and economic power. The concept of a polar great power is relatively unknown in international relations studies. China has global interests and is well on the way to becoming a global great power. In order to succeed in this evolution it must be dominant in the new geopolitical Heartland: the Polar Regions. Read more…

  • Date: Monday 5 October 2015, 5-6pm
  • Location: A2 Lecture Theatres, North Arts Lecture Block, Ilam Campus

Parsing Parliament: Parliament’s proceedings as speech, text and data

Digital Research Seminar Series – Talk #8
Geoff Ford (PhD candidate, Political Science)

In this seminar Geoff discusses construction of a corpus of New Zealand Parliamentary Debates and what can be learned from the corpus about Parliament’s proceedings and how political parties are using Parliament. He will discuss and illustrate a range of ways of approaching analysis of the text of parliamentary speeches (including basic programmatic parsing, techniques from corpus linguistics, and topic modelling) and some of the associated problems. Read more…

  • Date: Monday 5 October 2015, 11am-12.30pm
  • Location: Room 151, Psycology/Sociology building, Ilam Campus