Miriam Cosic

Miriam Cosic

is a journalist and critic, and a former literary editor of the Australian.


About Miriam Cosic

Miriam Cosic is a journalist and critic, and a former literary editor of the Australian. Born in Melbourne, she now lives in Sydney and is the author of Only Child (1999) and Right to Die: An Examination of the Euthanasia Debate (2003).


Articles about Miriam Cosic

Articles by Miriam Cosic

Exhortations to the Resistance

If we take institutional arrangements for granted, do we notice when they cease to work? Here I mean arrangement such as regular elections, democratic legislatures, independent law courts and a free press, which together form the bedrock of democratic politics. All can continue to function as they ought, while failing to deliver what they should. A hollowed-out version of democracy risks lulling us into a false sense of security about its institutions. Democracy could fail while remaining intact.

In the Company of Cowards by Michael Mori Cover

Undue process: In the Company of Cowards by Michael Mori

Two lessons may be learned from American military lawyer Michael Mori’s account of his defence of David Hicks. Neither of the lessons is new, but each requires constant reaffirmation. The first is that power corrupts. Despite its high-flown rhetoric about freedom and the ideals of the Founding Fathers, the United States refuses to join some of the most potentially powerful international instruments of justice, including the International Criminal Court... The second lesson is that in contemporary liberal democracies, things are rarely done because they have intrinsic organisational or ethical merit. Rather, it is strategic usefulness that rules.

Dare to know! The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters

All of this – the contradictions, the about-faces, the progressions and regressions, the many and varied strands of argument and implementation – is the legacy of the Enlightenment. Which makes the title of historian Anthony Pagden’s latest book, The Enlightenment and Why It Still Matters, puzzling. How can it not matter?

Far from the tree by Andrew Solomon cover

Anatomy of difference: Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon

In Far from the Tree, Andrew Solomon forensically examines families in which children turn out to be not what their parents had fondly expected. The title is a twist on the proverb, ‘The apple never falls far from the tree’. His question is: But what happens when they do?