Tim Anderson (political economist)

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Tim Anderson (born 30 April 1953)[1] is an Australian political economist and author. He is a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney and the author of several books on independent development and anti-imperialism. In 1979, he was convicted and imprisoned for an alleged Ananda Marga bomb plot, but was pardoned in 1985 after an inquiry.[2] In a linked case in 1990 he was convicted for ordering the 1978 Sydney Hilton Hotel bombing and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, but was acquitted on appeal in 1991.[2] He subsequently became active in prisoners' rights and civil liberties groups, and has been involved with international solidarity and civil rights campaigns. He has worked as an academic since the early 1990s.

Academic history[edit]

Anderson obtained a BA in economics from Murdoch University in 1983, a BA (Hons) from Macquarie University in 1986, and a PhD from Macquarie University in 1997. He was a lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney from 1994 to 1999 and has been a senior lecturer at the University of Sydney since 1998.[3][4] He has published several books and twenty-five of his published academic works have 10 or more citations, according to Google Scholar.[5] The most highly cited are to do with deregulation, Melanesian land and livelihoods, method in political economy, Timor Leste and Cuban health cooperation. By 2018, his book The Dirty War on Syria (2016) had been published in ten languages [6]

International and civil rights campaigns[edit]

Anderson has a history of supporting civil liberties and prisoners’ rights in Australia. He was a founding member of Sydney-based group Justice Action in the 1990s[citation needed]. That group grew out of the 1989-1991 campaign group 'Campaign Exposing the Frame-Up of Tim Anderson' (CEFTA), whose newsletter 'Framed' was taken over by Justice Action and ran until 2004 [7]. He was later Secretary of the NSW Council of Civil Liberties over 1998-1999 [8][original research?] Prisoners rights were a theme of his writing in the 1980s and 1990s, as reflected in his book 1989 book Inside Outlaws and part of his 1992 book Take Two, along with a number of published papers and interviews.[9][10][11]

He has campaigned in support of East Timor, Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Palestine and Syria. Between 2008 and 2014 Anderson made a series of short documentaries on the Cuban training of Timorese doctors,[12][13][14] and the work of Cuban doctors in the Pacific.[15] In February 2017 Cuba awarded him their Friendship Medal "as an acknowledgement of his unconditional solidarity towards Cuba and its revolution".[16]

He has been a critic of uninvited foreign intervention in Syria[17][18] including the use of foreign funded groups, like the White Helmets, to call for humanitarian intervention in Syria.[19][20] He has described allegations the Syrian government was responsible for chemical attacks as a “hoax”, contradicted by independent evidence[21][22] and Assad as a “mild-mannered eye doctor”.[23][24]

In academic writing Anderson stresses the principle of self-determination of peoples, in international law and the twin covenants of human rights.[25] Similarly, he calls his book on the Syrian conflict, a 'defence of the right of the Syrian people to determine their own society and political system ... consistent with international law'.[26] The Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies [1], established by Anderson and other academics in 2016, compiles resources on struggles of indigenous and formerly colonised peoples for self-determination.[27]

He has visited Syria many times during the war,[23] and attracted criticism for visiting in late 2013, while the Assad government was accused of conducting bombing of civilians and hospitals, schools and civilian infrastructure in opposition-held areas of Syria.[28] In April 2017 he co-hosted a two-day conference on Syria at the University of Sydney, described in the mainstream media as a "pro-Assad conference".[27][29] In September 2017, he travelled to Pyongyang and pledged solidarity with the North Korean people against aggression from the West.[30] He also attracted controversy in April 2017 for using a series of Anzac Day social media posts to allege the Australian air force was committing murder in Syria.[24]. Later the same year, after another visit to Syria, he published a detailed research paper on this incident.[31]

Ananda Marga bombing allegations[edit]

In 1979, Anderson was convicted along with Ross Dunn and Paul Alister to 16 years imprisonment for a supposed Ananda Marga plot to bomb the house of Robert Cameron. After almost seven years in prison the three were pardoned and paid a sum in compensation following an inquiry into the convictions in 1985.[32] However, in a linked case, he was re-arrested in 1989. In 1990, Anderson was convicted for three counts of murder for supposedly planning the Sydney Hilton Hotel bombing, for which Evan Pederick had been jailed the previous year. Anderson was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment, but was acquitted on appeal in 1991.[33] In directing an acquittal NSW Chief Justice Murray Gleeson said: "The trial of the appellant miscarried principally because of an error which resulted in large part from the failure of the prosecuting authorities adequately to check aspects of the Jayewardene theory. This was compounded by what I regard as an inappropriate and unfair attempt by the Crown to persuade the jury to draw inferences of fact, and accept argumentative suggestions, that were not properly open on the evidence. I do not consider that in those circumstances the Crown should be given a further opportunity to patch up its case against the appellant. It has already made one attempt too many to do that, and I believe that, if that attempt had never been made, there is a strong likelihood that the appellant would have been acquitted.".[34][35][36]

The two failed prosecutions against Tim Anderson and his friends are cited examples of Australian miscarriages of justice, for example in Kerry Carrington's (Ed) 1991 book Travesty! Miscarriages of Justice [37][38] and in other law texts [39] including notes on compensation practice.[40][41]


Anderson has written several books, including:[42] [43]


  1. ^ "Tim Anderson v. Australia, Communication No. 1367/2005". University of Minnesota, from United Nations Human Rights Committee. 2006-11-15. 
  2. ^ a b [Julia Rabar, Australian terrorism born in the Sydney Hilton bombing, HeraldSun, December 20, 2012
  3. ^ Dr Tim Anderson, University of Sydney, retrieved 2017-02-24 
  4. ^ Tim Anderson, The Conversation, retrieved 2017-02-24 
  5. ^ Google Scholar, Tim Anderson, at May 2017, online: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=XROAWsoAAAAJ&hl=en
  6. ^ http://sydney.edu.au/arts/political_economy/staff/profiles/t.anderson.php
  7. ^ National Library of Australia '1989-2004, English, Periodical, Journal, magazine, other edition: Framed / Campaign Exposing the Frame-up of Tim Anderson, https://trove.nla.gov.au/work/6767912?selectedversion=NBD7678509
  8. ^ http://www.nswccl.org.au; see also Green left Weekly, 1999, Campaigning against NSW truancy law, https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/campaigning-against-nsw-truancy-law; Australian parliament, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Joint/Former_Committees/acc/completed_inquiries/1999-02/street_legal/report/c02; HRCA, 1999, http://www.hrca.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/sport_and_human_rights.pdf
  9. ^ Rob Graham, 1992, Tim Anderson speaks on the prison system, Green left Weekly, 25 November, https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/tim-anderson-speaks-prison-system
  10. ^ Tim Anderson, 1996, 'The loophole in victims' compensation', http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/AltLawJl/1996/54.pdf
  11. ^ Tim Anderson, 1995, 'Victims' Rights or Human Rights?', Current Issues in Criminal Justice, Sydney University Institute of Criminology, Vol 6 No 3, March
  12. ^ 'The Doctors of Tomorrow', 2008, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RzhcSV4J6cg
  13. ^ 'The First Group', 2010, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZx6_mZyd54
  14. ^ 'Timor's New Doctors', 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nzz0v2gtJ38
  15. ^ 'Not really Europeans', 2013, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVYWV7Ss780
  16. ^ 'Australian Activist Receives Cuba's Friendship Medal', http://radiohc.cu/en/noticias/nacionales/121474-australian-activist-receives-cuba's-friendship-medal
  17. ^ Tim Anderson in The Conversation, ‘The malignant consensus on Syria’, 2012, http://theconversation.com/the-malignant-consensus-on-syria-9565
  18. ^ ‘The war on Syria has never been a civil war’, http://english.khamenei.ir/news/3954/The-war-on-Syria-has-never-been-a-civil-war-Tim-Anderson
  19. ^ SBS, 'Look a bit more closely': White Helmets Oscar win under fire, 12 May 2017, http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/02/28/look-bit-more-closely-white-helmets-oscar-win-under-fire
  20. ^ Olivia Solon How Syria's White Helmets became victims of an online propaganda machine, The Guardian, 18 December 2017
  21. ^ Chapter 9 of Anderson's 2016 book The Dirty War on Syria compiles the evidence on the August 2013 East Ghouta incident
  22. ^ Assad path ‘kept open by boffins’, The Australian, April 16, 2018
  23. ^ a b University of Sydney investigates tutor’s online attack on a News Corp reporter, The Guardian 12 April 2017
  24. ^ a b Michael Koziol Sydney University lecturer used Anzac Day to accuse Australian soldiers of murder, Sydney Morning Herald 28 April 2017
  25. ^ T Anderson, 2002, 'The political economy of human rights', Journal of Australian Political Economy, December, No 50; and T Anderson, 2003, 'Self-determination after independence: East Timor and the World Bank', Portuguese Studies Review 11 (1), 169-185
  26. ^ Tim Anderson 2016, The Dirty War on Syria, Global Research, Montreal, page 10
  27. ^ a b Michael Koziol, 'Syria hoax': Sydney University at centre of pro-Assad push, Sydney Morning Herald, 11 April 11 2017
  28. ^ 'Academic with a murky past stirs fresh controversy with trip to Damascus', http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/academic-with-a-murky-past-stirs-fresh-controversy-with-trip-to-damascus/news-story/49f89c147ed2f8626ad0c7121fdc6805
  29. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/foreign-affairs/sydney-academic-to-host-twoday-proassad-conference/news-story/0984cbf56ac4c64f76e515c8d6e5b37c; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/sydney-uni-academic-tim-anderson-defends-assad-attacks-trump-and-obama/news-story/dd2b20b97d6fe4c8afb6f7ab1ba11d55
  30. ^ Sydney University’s Tim Anderson praises North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during ‘solidarity visit’, Daily Telegraph, 4 September 2017
  31. ^ Tim Anderson, 2017, SYRIA: US War Crime in Jabal Al Tharda, Deir Ezzor and the Implausible Denials, 21st Century Wire, December 17, http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/12/17/syria-us-war-crime-jabal-al-tharda-deir-ezzor-implausible-denials/; also https://www.globalresearch.ca/implausible-denials-the-crime-at-jabal-al-tharda-us-led-air-raid-on-behalf-of-isis-daesh-against-syrian-forces/5623056
  32. ^ "Maleny man's Hilton bombing memories". Sunshine Coast Daily. 2008-05-25. 
  33. ^ Deb Foskey (2006-03-07). "ACT Legislative Assembly Hansard". ACT Legislative Assembly. 
  34. ^ R v Anderson (1991) 53 A Crim R 421. See also Tim Anderson's book, Take Two
  35. ^ Take Two, 1992, Chapter 27, http://lorikeet.and.com.au/t2/B3-CCA[permanent dead link]. htm
  36. ^ Jane Mussett and Steve Bolt 'The Tim Anderson Decision: the Chief Justice Cites the System', 16 Legal Services Bulletin 126 (1991) http://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/alterlj16&div=39&id=&page=
  37. ^ http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/UWALawRw/1992/30.pdf
  38. ^ http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2641121
  39. ^ Russell Hogg, 'Who Bombed Tim Anderson', http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/PolemicUSyd/1991/12.pdf'[permanent dead link]
  40. ^ Justice Michael Kirby, 1993, Remedying Miscarriages in the Criminal Justice System, https://www.michaelkirby.com.au/images/stories/speeches/1990s/vol28/993-Cth_Law_Conf_-_Remedying_Miscarriages_in_the_Criminal_Justice_System.pdf
  41. ^ Adrian Hoel, 2008, Compensation for wrongful conviction, http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/current%20series/tandi/341-360/tandi356.html
  42. ^ "Results for author:"Anderson, Tim, 1953-". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 2017-02-24. 
  43. ^ "The Dirty War on Syria: Professor Anderson Reveals the "Unspoken Truth"". Global Research. 2016-06-06. 
  44. ^ http://oktoberforlaget.se/produkt/det-smutsiga-kriget-mot-syrien-tim-anderson/
  45. ^ https://www.amazon.es/guerra-sucia-contra-Siria-resistencia-ebook/dp/B07D6943MG
  46. ^ https://www.amazon.it/sporca-guerra-contro-Siria-Washington-ebook/dp/B076PC232W
  47. ^ https://www.forlagid.is/vara/stridid-gegn-syrlandi/
  48. ^ Liepsen Verlag (Marburgh), https://www.amazon.de/Schmutzige-Krieg-gegen-Syrien-Washington/dp/3981270398; online: https://dirty-war-on-syria.blogspot.com
  49. ^ http://www.irna.ir/fa/News/82778386
  50. ^ http://www.btcsahinpasic.ba/knjiga/634/nečasni-rat-protiv-sirije
  51. ^ Damascus Centre for Research and Studies, http://www.dcrs.sy/, http://www.syriatimes.sy/index.php/don-t-miss/23334-dcrs-hosts-prof-tim-anderson
  52. ^ http://sydney.edu.au/arts/political_economy/staff/profiles/t.anderson.php
  53. ^ https://www.scribd.com/document/348195706/Countering-War-Propaganda-of-the-dirty-war-on-Syria