The Securitisation of Misogynistic Violence in Australia

Why are incels increasingly becoming a security threat to Australia? Tomkinson, Harper and Attwell explore how securitisation of incels has not only emerged from media and public discourse but also actively creates them. The authors define the crimes committed by incels as acts of violent extremism which in turn have produced successful policy responses in Australia. This raises the question of inadequate securitisation efforts and how the concept can be problematic. It is argued that the best policy response is to antagonise the incels before further radicalisation can occur. It reinforces the political will to tackle the threat and can be prevented if states allocate more resources to the effort by securitising misogynistic violence. The study concludes that government policy should respond to incels in the same manner in which other acts of violent extremism are dealt with.

Australian Journal of Political Science, February 2020

China’s Approach to the Global Commons

The global commons are those areas in the world, which are universally accessible as they do not fall under the sovereignty or jurisdiction of any country. Predictably, the lack of authority leads to states vying for and approaching such areas, in accordance to their national interests. China’s expanding global influence and international activism can have an increasing impact on the global economy, environment and international security. They have actively been pursuing strategic policies in the high seas and outer space regimes, demonstrating an uncommon approach to the global commons. In examination of official statements and expert positions of China, Carla Freeman finds that their approach towards global issues, whether legal revisionism, fundamental support or assertive actions, is dependent on Beijing’s assessment of how it relates to its national interests and goals.

The China Quarterly, March 2020

White Privilege in South Africa

Earlier this year, South Africa experienced a string of protests by students, displaying anti-white sentiments. What garnered national attention was the ‘fuck white people’ slogans that appeared on t-shirts and walls. Swartz and Nyamnjoe study the extent to which these opinions are shared, by whom and what should be done to the propagators. In assessment of the South African Social Attitudes Survey, it was found that 26% of respondents expressed the social cohesion argument, simply stating that propagators of this slogan should be informed that they are hampering efforts towards peaceful coexistence between different race groups. While 39% believed this slogan must be refrained, only 2% expressed praise for drawing attention to white privilege in South Africa. The authors concluded that the ‘fuck white people’ phenomenon can be defined as a case of productive provocation. Although it is a sensitive matter, it managed to garner attention from citizens and stimulated engagement

with the realities of white privilege and oppression. Simultaneously, it raised crucial questions and criticism, about protest language and how moral productivity is provoked.

Politikon, January 2020

The Place of Minorities in Indonesia

In recent times, the world has experienced a resurgence of popular nationalism from the US and India to Poland and Hungary. Certainly it raises concerns about the application of the democratic principle of political equality within majoritarian ideologies. In heterogeneous countries such as Indonesia where the centrality of Islam overshadowes minoroties, it can be especially troubling. This study poses relevant questions about the future of multicultural democracies through an examination of the place of minorities in Indonesia. The authors find that internal migration, the creation of new provinces and skin-color racism are factors that influence majority-minority relations in Indonesia. However not all minorities face intolerance, as some communities such as the Sindhis, are largely ignored or labelled as local foreigners. This interestingly liberates them from experiencing xenophobia, even though they consider Indonesia as their home.

Asian Journal of Social Science, May 2020

Determining Value Consistent Voting

Why do citizens tend to vote against their basic political beliefs? The author, Lukas Lauener questions whether vote decisions align with individuals’ political preferences. Using a multilevel regression analysis, Lauener finds that in examination of value consistent voting, around 25% disregarded their political beliefs when voting. But why is this the case? Three theoretical approaches were tested, political sophistication, identification and ambivalence. As a result it was found that political sophistication and identification produces value consistent voting due to an interaction between an individual’s level of education and the preferred party’s vote recommendation. Hence, the more indecisive or inconclusive people are about politics, the more likely it is for them to vote against their beliefs. Whereas the more educated they are, the more heuristic they are about how they vote.

Swiss Political Science Review, June 2020

Factors Boosting COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories

Do psychological, situational and political factors combine to boost COVID-19 conspiracy theory beliefs? In examination of emerging pandemic discourse, specifically the boost in conspiracy theories, Joanne Miller attempts to identify factors that mitigate and amplify such beliefs. She argues that people who are more resilient are less likely to believe in conspiracy

theories whereas people who have been predisposed to explaining events as a result of conspiracy, are more likely to believe in them due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic. Miller finds that this effect is particularly evident with Republicans, who are strongly politically motivated to endorse such theories. Psychologically, conspiratorial thinkers are more likely to endorse COVID-19 conspiracy theories than others. On the political side, conspiracy theories can help bolster their political worldviews, such as in the case of Republicans. In terms of situational factors, events that give rise to uncertainty may lead to the belief in conspiracy theories. Miller concludes with the notion that in order to mitigate such beliefs, the provision of information and tools to enhance resilience must be enhanced to dilute partisan-motivated reasoning, in the face of extreme uncertainty.

Canadian Journal of Political Science, June 2020