This book would not have been completed without the love and support of so many people.
I thank my wife Margherita. She has created a wonderful home environment within which to work and write. Most of all, I acknowledge her support and love over the last 22 years. Grazie mille Margherita.
I doubt that this book would have ever been completed without the help of Belinda Spagnoletti. She worked at the Centre for International Risk at the University of South Australia (UniSA) during the time I was writing it. She helped me to get the manuscript into publishable shape. In addition, I modified some of the language in the text as a consequence of our lengthy conversations together. We argued a lot, but the manuscript is better for it. Bel, I cannot thank you enough for your help and insightful comments on the text.
Daniel Feher is a great friend too. He is an immensely interesting person, and a fountain of knowledge on so many subjects. He is especially erudite on the concept of political risk. I have enjoyed many long conversations with him about various aspects of this idea. Our next project together will give us an opportunity, in good Oakeshottian fashion, to keep the conversation going.
Geordan Graetz has recently completed his doctorate at the University of Queensland. He is an expert on uranium mining and community engagement. Geordan is a great friend and colleague. We have been discussing the performance of the global mining sector for the past six years. This book has benefited greatly from these discussions. I look forward to seeing him begin a successful career in the years to come.
Angela Scarino is the Director of the Research Centre for Languages and Culture at UniSA. When I started at the university in 1999, Angela was my first Head of School. She soon became a terrific friend and colleague. I thank her for her support over the last 16 or so years.
The quality of this manuscript has been enhanced by the editing skills of Judith Timoney. Judith is a professional editor in the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at UniSA. It is wonderful to have had her help towards the end of this project. She was meticulous in her attention to detail. She also gave me an insight into the world of professional editing. I thank her so much for her contribution to the manuscript.
Finally, I want to thank the two external reviewers for their comments. Their insights helped to improve the manuscript considerably.
The book is dedicated to Natalie and Brian Burgess. I would not be where I am today without their love. Brian taught me a trade as a watchmaker when I dropped out of school in the early 1970s. He also taught me how to saw wood, build stuff and be a part-time handyman. He is an extraordinarily gifted individual. It is wonderful here to acknowledge his part in my life. His wife Natalie has been immensely influential as well. She has listened to me, guided me and cared for me for all these years. She is such a wonderful friend.
I have known Natalie and Brian since 1971. It is strange to think that they are still in my life after all these years. Not many marriages last 44 years, let alone friendships. This is testament to the fact that they are such fine people. Their two favourite subjects are politics and religion. So it is even more astonishing that we are still talking! This is especially the case given my Irish heritage. I am sure they will not mind me saying so here, but we have very robust discussions. But that does not matter as much as sitting around their lounge room, chatting about the big issues of the day. They are the most engaged people I know. The wonderful thing about handing the manuscript to Edward Elgar is to thank them for their part in my life’s journey. It is a gift I can never repay. But I know that it does not matter.