Fear not, Papa is here

Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 21 November 2017


Seminar Room 1.04, Coombs Extension Building (8), Fellows Road, ANU


Chris Houston, Imelda Deinla, Jon Altman, Virginia Marshall


School of Regulation and Global Goverance (RegNet)
02 6125 0647

This event was the second part of a four part series: Governance and the power of fear. It is available as an audio podcast.

Fear is a common currency of authoritarian political power and is being wielded by a growing cadre of international leaders, including Putin, Duterte, Erdoğan and Trump.

There is also the less confronting but just as insidious political sibling of paternalism, which cloaks the denial of political, economic and social agency by disadvantaged peoples in the respectability of ‘meaning well’.

This panel examined how fear is being exploited by both authoritarianism and paternalism.

Blogs from the speakers are now available:

Chris Houston and Imelda Deinla will explore the use of fear and its ramifications in the context of two contemporary authoritarian political leaders, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, and President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines. Jon Altman and Virginia Marshall will address the reliance on the fear of social dysfunction as a justification for paternalism in the context of indigenous policy, citing recent examples such as the intervention, welfare spending controls and the role of prominent individuals with strong paternalistic tendencies in agenda setting.

About the speakers

Chris Houston is an anthropologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Macquarie University. He is an internationally recognised expert on Turkey’s social and political movements, particularly the intersections between nationalism, Islam and the pursuit of Kurdish independence. He is also interested in how the organisation of space and architecture are connected with these political issues. He has published widely, including three books, and has appeared on major media outlets.

Imelda Deinla is a Research Fellow at RegNet. She is the Director of a multi-year project on pluralist justice, women and peace building in Mindanao in the Philippines being funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She is interested in how justice institutions respond to local justice issues and the reform processes during and after the peace settlement for greater autonomy in Mindanao. Imelda worked for many years as a corporate and litigation lawyer in the Philippines and was involved in research, advocacy, and litigation involving violence against women and children.

Jon Altman has a background in economics and anthropology and is a research Professor at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University, and an Emeritus Professor at RegNet. Jon’s research engages with questions of social justice and human rights for minority groups globally. More particularly, he looks at issues of appropriate economic development and associated policy for Indigenous Australia; hybrid economy theory and practice; and the economic engagement of Indigenous people with Australian and global capitalism.

Virginia Marshall is the Australian National University’s inaugural Indigenous Postdoctoral Fellow with RegNet and Fenner School. She is the first Aboriginal woman to gain a PhD in Law from Macquarie University and Principal Solicitor of Triple BL Legal. She is the winner of the 2015 Stanner Award for her doctoral thesis, published by Aboriginal Studies Press, ‘Overturning aqua nullius’ and launched by the Hon Michael Kirby in 2017. Virginia is the leading legal scholar on Aboriginal water rights in Australia.

Updated:  10 August 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, RegNet/Page Contact:  Director, RegNet