One of the most striking findings in the Australian National University’s Australian Election Study – the survey of voters the university has undertaken after every federal election since 1987 – are the results on satisfaction with democracy.
The survey tells us that back in 2007, Australians were sanguine.Kevin Rudd had won the federal election, and politics was hovering on the brink of a decade of profound disruption.At the tail end of the revolving door of prime ministers, and the failure of our parliament to achieve a durable consensus on important issues like climate change, only 59% of us are satisfied with democracy, and trust has reached its lowest level on record, with just 25% believing people in government can be trusted.
Loss of faith, given the experience post-2007, is to be expected.But the striking bit for me in the latest AES was the rate of decline in satisfaction with democracy.The faceplant in Australia has been steeper than the experience in the United Kingdom after the 2016 Brexit referendum and in the United States following Donald Trump’s 2016 election win.Just roll that small insight around in your head for a minute.Politics in the US and the UK has completely jumped the shark – yet our citizens are hitting the screw this button faster than the citizens of America and Britain.
Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of Our Planetary Future
by Joel Wainwright and Geoff Mann
How climate change will affect our political theory—for better and worse. Despite the science and the summits, leading capitalist states have not achieved anything close to an adequate level of carbon mitigation. There is now simply no way to prevent the planet breaching the threshold of two degrees Celsius set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. What are the likely political and economic outcomes of this? Where is the overheating world heading? Available On Amazon
Upheaval: Turning Points for Nations in Crisis
by Jared Diamond
Adding a psychological dimension to the in-depth history, geography, biology, and anthropology that mark all of Diamond's books, Upheaval reveals factors influencing how both whole nations and individual people can respond to big challenges. The result is a book epic in scope, but also his most personal book yet. Available On Amazon
Global Commons, Domestic Decisions: The Comparative Politics of Climate Change
by Kathryn Harrison et al
Comparative case studies and analyses of the influence of domestic politics on countries' climate change policies and Kyoto ratification decisions. Climate change represents a “tragedy of the commons” on a global scale, requiring the cooperation of nations that do not necessarily put the Earth's well-being above their own national interests. And yet international efforts to address global warming have met with some success; the Kyoto Protocol, in which industrialized countries committed to reducing their collective emissions, took effect in 2005 (although without the participation of the United States). Available On Amazon