Research Program

Wednesday Links

  1. What Joe Biden can offer Vladimir Putin.
  2. Here’s an idea for Liberals: propaganda.
  3. Does tech need a new narrative?
  4. Are we really experiencing a summer of love?
  5. The economy is rigged.
  6. How long we’ve ignored climate change.
  7. Those who will lose most from a global carbon tax.
  8. Six new dreamers share their stories.
  9. Setting the Biden-Putin summit bar low.
  10. Why do we need a National Commission on the pandemic?
Research Program

Tuesday Links

  1. QAnon and the Australian Pentecostalist conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
  2. A new book on QAnon by two experts on extreme radicalisation.
  3. The battle over the coronavirus Lab Leak theory.
  4. We live in Donald Trump’s world.
  5. Mission protocol.
  6. The price of no consequences for Trump.
  7. John Gray: China’s COVID cover-up?
  8. The madness of Naomi Wolf.
  9. The new Garbage album No Gods No Masters.
  10. The new Charles Murray book.
Research Program

Thursday Links

  1. The oligarchs who turn democracy into something else.
  2. The dark, democratising power of the social-media stock market.
  3. Make Vladimir Putin boring again.
  4. As the Arctic heats up, can its peace be preserved?
  5. Is cancelling student debt regressive?
  6. Crisis response in a changing climate.
  7. What to watch for in the Biden-Putin Summit.
  8. The United States’ strategic competition with China.
  9. NATO should finally take its values seriously.
  10. Joe Biden may have saved TikTok to let it die another day.
Research Program

Wednesday Links

  1. The secret IRS files.
  2. Global corporate tax rates.
  3. Paying taxes is for poor people.
  4. Imposing Standards: a new book on global tax.
  5. Everything is overcomplicated.
  6. Why we need to tax wealth more effectively.
  7. Should gambling be functionally separate from professional sports leagues?
  8. Why is Merrick Garland defending Donald Trump?
  9. Why Donald Trump doesn’t need Facebook.
  10. Why a successful Global Britain matters to the US.
Research Program

Tuesday Links

  1. The coronavirus is changing, and so are our tests.
  2. Who will read Niall Ferguson’s Doom?
  3. Fringe groups.
  4. Why are writers fleeing Substack for Ghost?
  5. Where is our Spotify for books?
  6. Skirting UFO taboos.
  7. The “green hero” and ExxonMobil’s shareholder coup.
  8. What to expect from the 2021 G7 Summit.
  9. George Romero’s ‘lost’ film.
  10. The less-educated in democracies and anti-science.
Research Program

Monday Links

  1. Chaos in the Andes.
  2. Our 250-year fight for multiracial democracy.
  3. An alt-rock queen returns to take back her crown.
  4. Maybe you have to be disagreeable to convert.
  5. Stephen Biddle’s new book Nonstate Warfare.
  6. Jim Morrison’s dark and vivid mind.
  7. Joe Manchin and democracy reform.
  8. The democratic argument for tax simplification.
  9. How abusers exploit smart toys and trackers.
  10. China has triggered a Bitcoin mining exodus.
Research Program

Friday Links

  1. The post-COVID future of Australian universities.
  2. The uncompromising art of Australia’s Richard Bell.
  3. The age of reopening anxiety.
  4. Ransomware and cryptocurrencies.
  5. The Capitol Rioters won.
  6. Big government is back, baby!
  7. Countering Russian and other state-sponsored propaganda.
  8. A very calm guide to the Lab Leak theory.
  9. Donald Trump’s blog lasted one month.
  10. Long-run impacts of COVID-19 on extreme poverty.
Research Program

Thursday Links

  1. Battling over big business.
  2. The overthrow of American democracy begins in Texas.
  3. What to know about the Quad.
  4. Naomi Osaka’s mental illness treatment.
  5. The return of the West.
  6. How the Capitol Riot Commission died.
  7. Infrastructure dollars and resilience.
  8. What is Mabo Day and why is it significant?
  9. Jim Crow, the GOP, and voting rights.
  10. Quincy Jones is still burning the light.
Research Program

Wednesday Links

  1. The Pied Piper of SPACs.
  2. Peter Singer on veganism.
  3. Trump’s Republicans want a coup.
  4. The World Health Organisation has identified four COVID-19 variants of concern.
  5. Stop the inflation moral panic.
  6. Three chess masters speak on their strategies.
  7. The true costs of the Tulsa Race Massacre, 100 years later.
  8. What’s happening to democracy in Africa?
  9. Meme stocks and crypto are the same trade.
  10. What can we expect from the Pentagon’s UFO report?
Research Program

AIPEN 12th Workshop Talk

The Australian International Political Economic Network is holding its 12th Workshop at The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia on the 15th and 16th July 2021. AIPEN and UQ have kindly provided me with a travel bursary to attend the 12th Workshop: my thanks to Associate Professor Shahar Hameiri, Ms. Monica Di Leo, and Ms. Olivia Formby for their help. Here is the abstract of my proposed talk:

The Political Economy of Media Debates on COVID-19’s Origins

Dr Alex Burns, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, The University of Melbourne.

Since its emergence in China’s city Wuhan in late 2019, the COVID-19 virus has caused an international pandemic, a major public health emergency, and has had significant economic impacts. Two rival explanatory hypotheses developed regarding COVID-19’s origins: (1) zoonotic disease transfer from animals to humans, likely involving bats, and (2) a ‘lab leak’ theory involving a possible accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The World Health Organisation promoted the zoonotic disease transfer hypothesis: this became the dominant explanation during COVID-19’s initial global outbreak in 2020. However, Trump Administration officials in the United States promoted the ‘lab leak’ theory in the geopolitical context of a trade war with China. The ‘lab leak’ theory – initially dismissed as fringe conspiratorial thinking – gained further media coverage in 2021 after long-form investigative journalism profiles by Nicholson Baker (New York Magazine) and Nicholas Wade (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists). These profiles led to renewed debate in the media about scientific research funding; the promises and dangers of virology research; the history of laboratory accidents; and the difficulties of international governance and verification. This presentation investigates the political economy of this media debate on COVID-19’s origins, and it also provides a contemporary update to the influential propaganda model developed by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky (Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media).