4 November 2016

Each fortnight on the Policy File we round-up some essential weekend policy reading from around the web. This week we look at a possible Brexit change of course, Duterte’s swing to China, and what it means for Xi Jinping to be named the ‘core’ of Chinese leadership.

Overnight Britain’s Brexit vote took a sharp turn after the British High Court ruled that the decision to leave the European Union by triggering Article 50 can only be made with the approval of parliament, giving new hope to those who want to remain within Europe or dilute a so-called ‘hard Brexit’. At the Wall Street Journal Wiktor Szary takes a look at what the ruling means, while Jane Merrick at CNN says that Brexit is still going to happen, but the 48 per cent of Britons that voted against it now have a voice. The Independent, meanwhile, reports that polls now show a slim majority of voters in the country want the UK to remain in the EU. Also worth a listen is our Policy Forum Pod from June on this issue with great analysis from Jürgen Bröhmer, Clem Macintyre and Lawrence Pratchett.

During his trip to China last month, Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte announced his country’s ‘separation’ from the United States. On New Mandala, Shahar Hameiri warns that Duterte’s strategic shift is a political gamble which could easily backfire. At The Asia Times, Xuan Loc Doan argues that Duterte’s embrace of China has blown any gains the Philippines won through its victory in the Hague ruling on the South China Sea. On Policy Forum, Stephen Nagy takes a look at how Duterte’s subsequent visit to Japan put Tokyo in a difficult diplomatic position.

A meeting of the most senior members of the Chinese Communist Party has officially designated President Xi Jinping “the core” of Chinese leadership. At BBC’s China Blog, Stephen McDonell argues that the new title could mean less tolerance for diverse views within the Party, while on Policy Forum, Jinghan Zeng explains how this could affect China’s leadership succession system. At The Huffington Post, Cheng Li and Zachary Balin argue that the norms of collective leadership will prevent Xi from becoming a political ‘strongman’.

On Policy Forum Kris Hartley looks at what the world-wide wave of authoritarian politics means for academic freedom, and argues that academics of all disciplines have a crucial role to play in engaging in public debate and making dictators uncomfortable. Meanwhile Paul Harris and Björn Dressel offer some suggestions for how to evaluate the impact that public policy schools have on society.

With the US election just days away, Matthew Yglesias on Vox argues that mainstream media has utterly failed to explain the policy implications of a Trump or Clinton Presidency. Writing for The National Interest, Doug Bandow questions whether global support for a Clinton win might in fact be a reason to vote for Trump.

Speaking of the Donald, on Policy Forum Michael Clarke and Anthony Ricketts suggest that the answers to the Trump phenomenon can be found in two long-standing American traditions, while Henry Giroux argues that his presence in the political landscape is putting democracy on trial.

As France demolishes a migrant camp in Calais and as Western countries rush to close their borders against immigration, The Nation’s Michelle Chen questions why ten of the world’s poorest countries host half the world’s refugees. On The New York Times, Waleed Aly looks at Australia’s indifference to reports of torture in its refugee camps, while at DevPolicy Blog, Robin Davies looks at the impact of Australia’s migration policies on regional development.

The cost of organised crime in Southeast Asia has been estimated to be well over $100 billion per year. At The Diplomat, Jeremy Douglas argues that we can no longer ignore the links between crime and development in Southeast Asia. At NPR, Shankar Vedantam reviews the terrible legacy from policymakers latching onto the seductive fix of the “broken windows” theory of crime and policing.

Want more for your weekend? You can catch up with our Policy Forum podcast series via iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud. If you like what you hear, please give us a review on iTunes and help us get the word out.

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