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The Fix: Putting in the boot

In this new Interpreter feature, we’re inviting short observations about issues or resources that might otherwise be missed.

Alicia Christin Gerald/Unsplash
Alicia Christin Gerald/Unsplash

We’ll be asking contributors to put together their own short collected observations like this one in the weeks ahead – and as always, if you’ve got an idea to pitch for The Interpreter, drop a line via the About page.

Two very different books are currently sitting on my desk. Patrick Skene’s new book Celestial Footy: The Story of Chinese Heritage Aussie Rules traces the little-known histories and stories of football players of Chinese heritage and their contribution to the game of Australian Rules Football. The book is approachable, and knowledge of AFL is not essential to engage with the stories.

Book cover for Celestial Footy

The second book on my reading list is Lobbying the Autocrat: The Dynamics of Policy Advocacy in Nondemocracies, edited by Max Grömping and Jessica Teets. Having recently released a podcast on the Lowy Institute Conversations where I chatted to the editors about the larger themes of the book – how lobbying by civil society organisations works in an authoritarian context – I am now reading some of the lesser known cases such as Montenegro.

I have finished listening to Martin Wolf’s four-part podcast series with the Financial Times on saving democratic capitalism where he interviews Ann Appelbaum, Larry Diamond and Hillary Clinton. Despite the optimism some might have, the challenges ahead of us are enormous and at least in my view will require constant action and resources dedicated to counter the potential impacts of AI and ideologues.

Who doesn’t love a little bit of James Bond-like action in their lives? Hamilton is a Swedish spy-thriller series that follows the missions of Agent Hamilton working for the Swedish Secret Service starting with cyber and terrorist attacks in Stockholm. Completely entertaining and there are two seasons to binge on.

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