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Increasing interest in higher education reform

In the recent Federal budget, the Australian government controversially proposed a change in the indexed rate of HELP debt, alongside fee deregulation and the lowering of government subsidies. This has signalled a seismic shift in government thinking and the structure of Australia’s tertiary education sector.

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It’s all about the gas.

Jessica Stone explores the fascinating, political role of natural gas in the context of economic sanctions against Russia.

Lessons learnt from the EU crisis: looking forward

This article was featured as part of ESSA’s annual Equilibrium publication.

The EU crisis has been painful for EU citizens and policy-makers alike. However, it’s not necessarily all bad news. With a long-term outlook, it is possible that the Eurozone could be stronger for the crisis. More specifically, the crisis has exposed the need for stricter adherence to Eurozone membership requirements and ongoing policy management focused on maintaining economic growth.

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To be economically free, or not to be? That is the question.

Based in Canada, the Fraser Institute is often referred to as a “think tank”, and follows the motto “if it matters, measure it”. Initial efforts towards the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) project began in 1989, with a meeting between Milton and Rose Friedman, and Michael Walker (founder of The Fraser Institute). The project is aimed at “clearly defining and measuring the consistency of institutions and policies with economic freedom for a large set of countries and territories”.

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What’s the story with Palestine?

Palestine is an interesting economic case, particularly given the ongoing conflict with Israel, its disputed sovereignty and the Gaza-strip barrier at the Egypt/Israel border. Since the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Salam Fayyad developed the 2007 Economic Strategy, there have been substantial achievements in institutional building, and short-term growth between 2007 and 2010 in the Palestinian Territories (i.e. the Gaza Strip and the West Bank). However, today there are still a number of major issues with the economy relating to dwindling growth levels, unemployment, barriers to trade, reliance on unreliable aid and sectorial inequalities.

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Syria: the economic costs behind a civil war

The Syrian civil war officially began with demonstrations as part of the Arab Spring protest movement in March 2011. Forces opposed to the government, such as the Free Syrian Army, have been seeking to oust the Ba’ath Government and defend the violence against opposition protesters. According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have died in this conflict.

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The rise of China & the decline of the US: Debunking the myth

The global financial crisis reignited the debate of continued US hegemony, particularly when countries like China are experiencing long periods of strong economic growth. Interestingly, the Global Language Monitor found that the “Rise of China” is the “most read-about news story of the 21st century,” even surpassing the September 11 terrorist attacks, the Iraq War, the election of Barack Obama, and the British royal wedding. After all, China’s economy is growing at 9%, while the US “reels from economic recession, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and massive budget deficits.” (Beckley, 2011)

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Carbon Leakage 101

What happens when an emissions intensive economy like Australia imposes a carbon tax? Jessica Stone discusses the phenomenon of ‘carbon leakage.’

Small country, so what’s the big deal?

This past Tuesday (March 19th), the German-led Eurozone finance ministers and International Monetary Fund (IMF) offered Cyprus a €10 billion bail-out package. The catch is, this plan requires Cyprus to raise approximately €5.8 billion (almost one-third of Cyprus’ GDP) as its share of the bailout, by Monday (March 25th). Cyprus is a small player in the Eurozone, and in a lot of trouble – could the costs of keeping Cyprus in the Eurozone outweigh the benefits?

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All Eyes on Japan as New Asia-Pacific Trading Bloc Takes Shape

It is expected that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will announce Japan’s entry into Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade talks in the next few days. The TPP economies already account for 30 per cent of global output and 20 per cent of the world’s exports of goods and services. The addition of Japan would make that 40 per cent of global output and add significant heft to the agreement.

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