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Melbourne Asia Review is an initiative of the Asia Institute. Any inquiries about Melbourne Asia Review should be directed to the Managing Editor, Cathy Harper.

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Edition 4, 2020

Islam and contemporary politics

COVID-19 Analysis
Suicide, under-employment and poverty: the gendered impacts of COVID-19 in Japan

The socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 have been significant in Japan and have particularly affected the lives of women.

  • Associate Professor Nana Oishi

Muslim communities in Australia and the ‘mainstreaming’ of outer-group suspicion and apprehension

Muslims tend to be characterised as the least desirable group of migrants and continue to be viewed with suspicion and apprehension.

Indonesia’s ‘new despotism’

The government of President Joko Widodo is manipulating the law to repress its opponents and undermine democracy.

Japan’s most consequential, lucky, and divisive post-WW2 leader

The legacy of Shinzo Abe is far ranging and includes transformative foreign and domestic policy.

From ‘human nature’ to ‘sex’: sexualising ‘xing’ and reimagining sex in Chinese

The Chinese character ‘xing’ (性 ) has had varied usage and multiple meanings across time.

COVID-19 Analysis

COVID-19 in the Middle East: A perfect storm

COVID-19 will exacerbate the Middle East's manifold problems that predated the pandemic.

The 2019 Australian federal election on WeChat Official Accounts: Right-wing dominance and disinformation

The WOAs studied were saturated with content supporting the Coalition, which evolved into rampant disinformation.

COVID-19 Analysis

COVID-19 lockdown in Chinese villages: Radical measures positively received

New research indicates COVID-19 restrictions were largely accepted by Chinese villagers and satisfaction with the government's response is high.

COVID-19 Analysis

Why Australian universities are reliant on international students and international students are so vulnerable

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a crisis for international students and Australia’s public universities.

The future of ‘Ghost Island’ and the enduring legacy of late President Lee Teng-hui

What Taiwan’s democracy means today is deeply connected to the actions of the late President Lee Teng-hui.

Australia’s South Korea problem

South Korea is Australia's fourth largest trading partner, but the foreign policy community continues to focus on North Korea.

Book Review

‘The Golden Country: Australia’s Changing Identity’ by Tim Watts

Australians need to reimagine traditional Australian identity to build a new, egalitarian one.

Edition 4, 2020

Islam and contemporary politics

Next Steps in the Study of Islam and Politics: From ‘Islam’ to ‘Muslims’

How Muslims are politically engaged as ‘Muslims’ from several different perspectives all at once is the question of current research focused on Islam and politics.

Maintaining pluralism in authoritarian systems: Lessons from Turkey and beyond

WEBINAR: How the political opposition in Turkey has survived under an authoritarian system, and how it differs from other authoritarian contexts.

How religion, geography and demography shape Pakistan’s state, society and politics

Pakistan’s politics is shaped by weak political institutions and a strident relationship between government and military. But religion and other factors also play a significant role.

Australia’s Muslims strongly reject an association between Islam and violent extremism

Overcoming prejudices concerning Islam and Muslims must involve acknowledgement of an ethical, progressive and peaceful Islam that teaches respectful coexistence with non-Muslims.

The sophisticated Islamic civilisations of Western Sub-Saharan Africa between the 13th and 19th centuries

The rich and sophisticated history of Islam in West Africa challenges colonialists’ narratives.

‘Curly-Haired Kid to Killer’: Australian newspaper coverage of the Christchurch terrorist attacks

Analysing the quality and effect of media coverage of the murder of 51 Muslims in Christchurch.

Death penalty for apostasy: Selected Sunni and Shi’a scholars’ views in favour of abolition

A change of religion is a personal matter and should not lead to any form of punishment, let alone the death penalty.

How progressive, cosmopolitan and social justice-oriented Islam can help overcome sectarianism

There is a critical mass of well-informed Muslims for whom Sunni and Shi’i Islam are not fundamental to how they view themselves as Muslims.

Politicising blasphemy in Indonesia: How Islamic alliances are established

Conservative Muslim groups in an increasingly Islamic Indonesian society are attempting to establish alliances with opportunist politicians.

Indonesian vigilantes are voicing a conservative Islam, but they are not becoming terrorists (terjemahan Bahasa Indonesia)

Members of Islamic street gangs mostly have no religious credentials, and don't aim to establish an Islamic state.

New forms of oppositional politics in Erdoğan’s Turkey

Turkey’s transformation into authoritarianism has been radical, but the political contest is far from over.

Book Review

GODROADS: Modalities of Conversion in India. Editors: Peter Berger, Sarbeswar Sahoo

The book offers an alternative script for the Indian conversion experience, one that conceptualises conversion as a heterogenous experience rather than a single and individualised event.