The New Zealand Project

Bridget Williams Books
Free sample

By any measure, New Zealand must confront monumental issues in the years ahead. From the future of work to climate change, wealth inequality to new populism – these challenges are complex and even unprecedented. Yet why does New Zealand’s political discussion seem so diminished, and our political imagination unequal to the enormity of these issues? And why is this gulf particularly apparent to young New Zealanders?

These questions sit at the centre of Max Harris’s ‘New Zealand project’. This book represents, from the perspective of a brilliant young New Zealander, a vision for confronting the challenges ahead. Unashamedly idealistic, The New Zealand Project arrives at a time of global upheaval that demands new conversations about our shared future.

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About the author

Max Harris is currently an Examination Fellow at All Souls College in Oxford. He completed a Master of Public Policy and Bachelor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford while on a New Zealand Rhodes Scholarship from 2012–2014, and a Law/Arts conjoint degree (with Honours in Law) at the University of Auckland from 2006–2010. Harris worked at the Supreme Court of New Zealand as a clerk for Chief Justice Elias in 2011–2012. He has also completed short stints of work at the South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet (in early 2008, as a speechwriting intern), the law firm Russell McVeagh (in late 2008–2009), the Australian National University in Canberra (as a summer scholar, in late 2009–2010), the American Civil Liberties Union in New York (late 2010–2011), and Helen Clark’s Executive Office at the United Nations Development Programme (in July–August 2014).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Bridget Williams Books
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Published on
Apr 11, 2017
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Pages
332
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ISBN
9780947492595
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / Political Ideologies / General
Political Science / World / Australian & Oceanian
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Migration, demographic changes and new cultural references are re-shaping New Zealand. It is fast becoming a hub where Pacific and Tasman currents meet. As a result New Zealand is changing, responding to surging tides of people and ideas.

Isolated by ocean, New Zealand's ecosystem is particularly vulnerable to introduced species. The constant arrival of new flora and fauna, via humans, wind and sea, means the biodiversity is constantly changing. Humans too have been washing up on New Zealand's shores for centuries, leading to constant shifts in demographics, culture and economics, building on strong Maori and Pakeha traditions. Auckland is now one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. As a result, New Zealand is adjusting and evolving to create a new twenty-first century identity at the crossroads of the Pacific.

Griffith REVIEW 43: Pacific Highways, co-edited by Julianne Schultz and acclaimed New Zealand author Lloyd Jones, examines the shifting tides in New Zealand through a heady mix of essay, memoir, fiction and poetry by some of New Zealand's most exciting and innovative writers. Pacific Highways explores New Zealand's position as a hub between the Pacific, Tasman and Southern oceans, and examines the exchange of people and culture, points of resistance and overlap.

How New Zealand adapts to recent profound changes and moves forward is a matter of urgent consideration. The country's economic model is generating escalating environmental and cultural strains, but also presents great opportunities. A recent worldwide survey found the NZ education system is one of the worst at overcoming economic and social disadvantage. Auckland is home to more than a third of the (increasingly diverse) population, presenting challenges and opportunities for the whole country. Christchurch is finding inspiring new ways of reinvention. Pacific Highways asks what can be learnt, and what lessons does New Zealand offer the world?

New Zealand celebrates its unique cultural heritage, but with multiculturalism comes questions of identity, which many of the writers in Pacific Highways explore. Who decides who is a 'New Zealander'? How are Chinese immigrants accepted? Who are you if you are brought up with the strict codes and behavioural norms of your parents' country but live in another? Does immigration offer the capacity for reinvention?

New Zealand is an island nation, and oceans and rivers imbue Pacific identities. They run paths through major cities and offer courseways for stories. From migrating eels to tasty sea grapes, castaway sailors to volcanic rafts, waterways flow through the essays and stories of Pacific Highways.

Pacific Highways also celebrates the art and literature of New Zealand looking at the country's wealth of artistic and literary talent in critical essays, and includes short stories and poetry by many of New Zealand's best writers, from many backgrounds.

Pacific Highways, with support from the New Zealand Book Council and Creative New Zealand, is a profound overview of a complex Pacific nation with a polyphony of voices. It will challenge what you thought you knew, and inspire you to think again.

For centuries, the Feast of Fools has been condemned and occasionally celebrated as a disorderly, even transgressive Christian festival, in which reveling clergy elected a burlesque Lord of Misrule, presided over the divine office wearing animal masks or women's clothes, sang obscene songs, swung censers that gave off foul-smelling smoke, played dice at the altar, and otherwise parodied the liturgy of the church. Afterward, they would take to the streets, howling, issuing mock indulgences, hurling manure at bystanders, and staging scurrilous plays. The problem with this popular account—intriguing as it may be— is that it is wrong.In Sacred Folly, Max Harris rewrites the history of the Feast of Fools, showing that it developed in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries as an elaborate and orderly liturgy for the day of the Circumcision (1 January)—serving as a dignified alternative to rowdy secular New Year festivities. The intent of the feast was not mockery but thanksgiving for the incarnation of Christ. Prescribed role reversals, in which the lower clergy presided over divine office, recalled Mary's joyous affirmation that God "has put down the mighty from their seat and exalted the humble." The "fools" represented those chosen by God for their lowly status.The feast, never widespread, was largely confined to cathedrals and collegiate churches in northern France. In the fifteenth century, high-ranking clergy who relied on rumor rather than firsthand knowledge attacked and eventually suppressed the feast. Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century historians repeatedly misread records of the feast; their erroneous accounts formed a shaky foundation for subsequent understanding of the medieval ritual. By returning to the primary documents, Harris reconstructs a Feast of Fools that is all the more remarkable for being sanctified rather than sacrilegious.
Late in life, William F. Buckley made a confession to Corey Robin. Capitalism is "boring," said the founding father of the American right. "Devoting your life to it," as conservatives do, "is horrifying if only because it's so repetitious. It's like sex." With this unlikely conversation began Robin's decade-long foray into the conservative mind. What is conservatism, and what's truly at stake for its proponents? If capitalism bores them, what excites them? Tracing conservatism back to its roots in the reaction against the French Revolution, Robin argues that the right is fundamentally inspired by a hostility to emancipating the lower orders. Some conservatives endorse the free market, others oppose it. Some criticize the state, others celebrate it. Underlying these differences is the impulse to defend power and privilege against movements demanding freedom and equality. Despite their opposition to these movements, conservatives favor a dynamic conception of politics and society--one that involves self-transformation, violence, and war. They are also highly adaptive to new challenges and circumstances. This partiality to violence and capacity for reinvention has been critical to their success. Written by a keen, highly regarded observer of the contemporary political scene, The Reactionary Mind ranges widely, from Edmund Burke to Antonin Scalia, from John C. Calhoun to Ayn Rand. It advances the notion that all rightwing ideologies, from the eighteenth century through today, are historical improvisations on a theme: the felt experience of having power, seeing it threatened, and trying to win it back.
Although gossip is disapproved of across the world s societies, it is a prominent feature of sociality, whose role in the construction of society and culture cannot be overestimated. In particular, gossip is central to the enactment of politics: through it people transform difference into inequality and enact or challenge power structures. Based on the author s intimate ethnographic knowledge of Nukulaelae Atoll, Tuvalu, this work uses an analysis of gossip as political action to develop a holistic understanding of a number of disparate themes, including conflict, power, agency, morality, emotion, locality, belief, and gender. It brings together two methodological traditions the microscopic analysis of unelicited interaction and the macroscopic interpretation of social practice that are rarely wedded successfully.

Drawing on a broad range of theoretical resources, Niko Besnier approaches gossip from several angles. A detailed analysis of how Nukulaelae s people structure their gossip interactions demonstrates that this structure reflects and contributes to the atoll s political ideology, which wavers between a staunch egalitarianism and a need for hierarchy. His discussion then turns to narratives of specific events in which gossip played an important role in either enacting egalitarianism or reinforcing inequality. Embedding gossip in a broad range of communicative practices enables Besnier to develop a nuanced analysis of how gossip operates, demonstrating how it allows some to gain power while others suffer because of it. Throughout, he is particularly attentive to the ways in which anthropologists themselves are the subject and object of gossip, making his work a notable contribution to reflexive social science.

Written in an engaging and accessible style, Gossip and the Everyday Production of Politics will appeal to students and scholars of political, legal, linguistic, and psychological anthropology; social science methodology; communication, conflict, gender, and globalization studies; and Pacific Islands studies.

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