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Australia’s foreign aid dilemma
12.30–1.30pm 23 August 2017
Jack Corbett, Associate Professor, University of Southampton, UK.

The Australian aid program faces a fundamental dilemma: how, in the absence of deep popular support, should it generate the political legitimacy required to safeguard its budget and administering institutions?

A new book, Australia’s Foreign Aid Dilemma: Humanitarian Aspirations Confront Democratic Legitimacy, tells the story of the actors who have grappled with this question over 40 years. It draws on extensive interviews and archival material to uncover how ‘court politics’ shapes both aid policy and administration. The lesson for scholars and practitioners is that any holistic understanding of the development enterprise must account for the complex relationship between the aid program of individual governments and the domestic political and bureaucratic contexts in which it is embedded. If the way funding is administered shapes development outcomes, then understanding the ‘court politics’ of aid matters.

Join us for the Canberra launch of the book with author Jack Corbett.

Jack Corbett is Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Southampton, UK; Honorary Associate Professor at The Australian National University’s Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs; and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University, Australia.

He is the author of Being Political Leadership and Democracy in the Pacific Islands (2015, University of Hawaii Press); Australia’s Foreign Aid Dilemma: Humanitarian Aspirations Confront Democratic Legitimacy (2017, Routledge); and with Wouter Veenendaal, Democracy in Small States: Why It Can Persist Against the Odds (forthcoming, Oxford University Press).

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International intervention and local politics
International intervention and local politics
12.30–1.30pm 24 August 2017
Shahar Hameiri, Associate Professor, University of Queensland; Fabio Scarpello, Consultant, VJW International; and Saku Akmeemana, Principal Specialist, Governance, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

International peace and statebuilding interventions have become ubiquitous since the 1990s. Their frequent failures, however, have prompted some researchers and practitioners to move beyond focusing on interveners’ ideas and approaches to analysing how their interactions with recipients shape outcomes. The recently published book by Shahar Hameiri, Caroline Hughes and Fabio Scarpello, International Interventions and Local Politics: Fragmented States and the Politics of Scale (Cambridge University Press, 2017), critically evaluates these analyses, advancing an innovative approach, placing the politics of scale at the core of the conflicts and compromises shaping the outcomes of international interventions. Different scales — e.g. local, national and international — privilege different interests, unevenly allocating power, resources and political opportunities.

In a panel discussion, two of the book’s authors will discuss their approaches, demonstrating their utility with a case study of the Aceh Government Transformation Program. Saku Akmeemana will act as discussant, providing a policy practitioner’s perspective on the book’s findings.

Shahar Hameiri is Associate Professor of International Politics and Associate Director of the Graduate Centre in Governance and International Affairs, School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland.

Fabio Scarpello is a Consultant with VJW International and an Associate Fellow of the Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University.

Saku Akmeemana is the Principal Specialist, Governance, at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

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Sam Koim
The corrupt cannot fight corruption
12.30–1.30pm 31 August 2017
Sam Koim, Former Chairman, Investigation Task-Force Sweep, Papua New Guinea.

Corruption is a pernicious societal disease that has devastating consequences that can cripple a nation. Although corruption has become a global challenge, its scale and prevalence in any country depend on how it is being addressed. There are countries that are perceived to be less corrupt as graded by Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index, such as Finland, Denmark and New Zealand, and there are others that were once corrupt, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, that have now become the epitome of the fight against corruption.

In this seminar, Sam Koim will draw from the literature on experiences of other anti-corruption agencies, his own experience as the former head of Papua New Guinea’s anti-corruption Investigation Task-Force Sweep, and discuss how addressing police corruption is the lynchpin to combating corruption.

The presentation is part of a research paper he is working on about addressing corruption in resource rich developing countries with communal social contexts. He has designed a four-pronged approach to curb corruption effectively, focusing on PNG as a case study.

This seminar is co-hosted by the ANU Development Policy Centre, the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet) and the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia program.

Sam Koim has been one of the most significant legal investigators and policy makers in PNG in recent years. From 2011 to April 2017 he was Chairman and Principal Legal Officer of Investigation Task-Force Sweep, a national multiagency team investigating corruption, prosecuting offenders, recovering tax and proceeds of crime, and recommending administrative disciplinary actions. Prior to his appointment to the taskforce, he was Principal Legal Officer in the Department of Justice and Attorney General, Papua New Guinea.

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Updated:  25 February 2016/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  Devpolicy Admin