Past Issues

Quarterly Essay 55
A Rightful Place: Race, recognition and a more complete commonwealth
Noel Pearson

In this notable Quarterly Essay, Noel Pearson shows how the idea of 'race' was embedded in the constitution, and the distorting effect this has had. Now there is a chance to change it – if we can agree on a way forward.

Quarterly Essay 54
Dragon's Tail: The Lucky Country after the China Boom
Andrew Charlton

In this timely Quarterly Essay, Andrew Charlton demolishes some myths about Australia’s long boom.

Quarterly Essay 53
That Sinking Feeling: Asylum Seekers and the Search for the Indonesian Solution
Paul Toohey

In Quarterly Essay 53, Paul Toohey looks at one of Tony Abbott’s signature promises: to stop the boats. Has his government succeeded? If so, at what cost?

Quarterly Essay 52
Found in Translation: In Praise of a Plural World
Linda Jaivin

This is a free-ranging essay, personal and informed, about translation in its narrowest and broadest senses, about culture, difference and communication and about looking at international relations through the prism – and occasionally prison – of culture. Jaivin pays special attention to China and the English-speaking West, Australia in particular, but also discusses French, Japanese and even the odd phrase of Maori.

Quarterly Essay 51
The Prince: Faith, Abuse and George Pell
David Marr

In Quarterly Essay 51, David Marr investigates the character and actions of George Pell: how does he wield his authority? How did he rise to prominence? How has he handled abuse claims in the past? What is the source of his authority? How deep does his political influence go?

Quarterly Essay 50
Unfinished Business: Sex, Freedom and Misogyny
Anna Goldsworthy

In the fiftieth Quarterly Essay, Anna Goldsworthy examines life for women after the gains made by feminism. From Facebook to 50 Shades of Grey, from Girls to gonzo porn, what are young women being told about work and equality, about sex and their bodies? Why do many reject the feminist label? And why does pop culture wink at us with storylines featuring submissive women? 

Quarterly Essay 49
Not Dead Yet: Labor's Post-Left Future
Mark Latham

With an election looming and criticism of the ALP now a national pastime, Mark Latham considers the future for Labor. The nation has changed, but can the party?

Quarterly Essay 48
After the Future: Australia's New Extinction Crisis
Tim Flannery

Australia is home to many animals and plants found nowhere else on earth, making Australians caretakers of a unique heritage in a land that tolerates few mistakes. Yet, in After the Future, Tim Flannery shows that this country is now on the brink of a new wave of extinctions, which threatens to leave our national parks as “marsupial ghost towns.” Why are species becoming extinct despite the tens of millions of dollars being spent to protect nature? And what more should be done?

Quarterly Essay 47
Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott
David Marr

Tony Abbott is the most successful Opposition leader of the last forty years, but he has never been popular. Now Australians want to know: what kind of man is he, and how would he perform as prime minister?

Marr shows that Abbott thrives on chaos and conflict. Part fighter and part charmer, he is deeply religious and deeply political. What happens, then, when his values clash with his need to win? This is the great puzzle of his career, but the closer he is to taking power, the more guarded he has become.


Quarterly Essay 46
Great Expectations: Government, Entitlement and an Angry Nation
Laura Tingle

Rather than relaxed and comfortable, Australians are disenchanted with politics and politicians. In Quarterly Essay 46 Laura Tingle shows that the answer goes to something deep in Australian culture: our great expectations of government.

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