The Role of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences in Forming and Informing Responses to Contemporary Social Change

Modern, liberal societies face a number of overarching challenges: demographic changes; increasing inequality; unemployment and under-employment; political instability; austerity; and ecological, social, and economic unsustainability are challenging established paradigms of political-economy. Current political discourse emphasises market-based approaches to these stressors: we contend it is rather the disciplines of the social sciences, arts, and humanities that have more to say about the resolution of these externalities. In the following we seek to broaden the discourse regarding the role of these disciplines in interpreting and beginning to address social challenges. Our consideration of human values as a complement of monetary values is illustrated practically by three indicative projects conducted by the authors. In each case, we focus on the qualitative impact of these disciplines’ approaches on the participants and their environment. We suggest these activities have transformative potential through providing a platform for reflexion, collaboration, and the building of communities.

The Globalized Technological Impact on the Educational System in Taiwan

Globalization is a prominent, widespread interconnection among countries and relations across all the key human activities beyond the boundary that gradually transformed different countries into one global village. With the rapid and revolutionary development of Technologicalization, the growing modern technology plays a role as a facilitator to intensify and magnify the influential prevalence. This paper aimed at triggering the discussions on the perspectives of the Globalization and Technologicalization to explore the current educational system in Taiwan. From the perspectives of the historical development of machinery to modern tech and the ICT national policies of Singapore and United States, it is obligatory and necessary for people in Taiwan to perceive further insights and probe into the meanings and value of education system in response to the prevailing Globalized Technological Current.

The Choice between Progress and the Planet

This study explores, with a particular focus on the Australian political context, how the ethical impacts of pursuing effective climate change policy have been diluted by the singular focus on economic implications. The paper uses critical discourse analysis to examine examples of political speeches and documents. It gives an historical overview of political problems of pursuing climate policy (Australia has had five prime ministers in six years, all of them whose political incumbency has pivoted around their positions on climate change.) The paper then discusses more generally, why economics has become the dominant narrative and the arguments for considering climate change as a moral or ethical issue, hence the title “the choice between progress or the planet.”