Centre for the Study of Australian Politics - Essays

The Centre will publish from time to time regular essays on Australian politics from distinguished academic visitors to the School of Politics and International Relations. The essays will provide fresh perspectives on what outsiders find interesting and distinctive about the Australian way of politics, teasing out important questions about new possibilities in the research agenda for Australian politics. The idea is to get 'behind the headlines' of conventional media commentary and to think ahead about deeper problems which Australian political researchers need to address.

Political Theatre

Like most political scientists, if I were capable of doing something more interesting I would be doing it. In my case, the alternative career would probably involve music. As it happens, I can’t carry a tune in a bucket. However, that shortcoming has left me with a great fondness for musical theatre – and a profound admiration for people who are capable of creating and performing it. Imagine my delight, then, when I discovered that a surprise... Read more

Author/Editor: Frank Baber
Publication Date: September 2012
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Australian politics and the study of regional integration

One thing that makes the study of Australian politics interesting and important is that a set of Australian political institutions-the Council of Australian Governments (COAG)-sits at the heart of a functioning trans-Tasman Single Economic Market. Since signing the Australia—New Zealand Closer Economic Trade Agreement in 1983, trans-Tasman economic relations have evolved from an inclusive but conventional free trade agreement to a successful... Read more

Screening Gillard

...Was the treatment of Gillard on ‘Q&A’ typical, or an anomaly that was noticed and criticised? If it was criticised, was it just the lefty green-tinged liberals (in whose number I’d include myself), or was there wider disquiet? Or was there nothing – was this normal, okay, acceptable and accepted? Have I overstated and over-interpreted a small and insignificant episode, or was this programme as darkly revealing of one part of Australian... Read more

Responsible and accountable government in Australia

What is interesting about the Australian political system? Where to begin? To an American observer, government and politics in Australia offer innumerable instructive examples for, and points of useful comparison with, other democratic politiesRead more

Everything We Need to Know about Compulsory Voting

For someone like me who studies elections and electoral rules, the first thing that comes to mind when I hear ‘Australia’ is …compulsory voting, and Australia is the first country that comes to mind when I hear ‘compulsory voting’. For someone coming from Noth America, the idea of forcing people to vote is strange. In Canada, we have a Charter of Rights, our sole duties being to respect the rights of other citizens. Because it looks so strange,... Read more

Author/Editor: André Blais
Publication Date: November 2011
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Federalism, multilevel governance and Australia

Dr. Douglas M. Brown is Associate Professor of Political Science at St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada. He has worked in the field of intergovernmental relations for over 30 years, as a government practitioner, directing the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen’s University, and academic research and teaching. Dr. Brown is the author of numerous publications on Canadian and comparative federalism, with... Read more

Australian Politics from a Distance

As a child growing up in London, I remember going to places like Australia House on the Strand to read the Australian and the Canberra Times . This was a means of keeping in touch with Australian politics and cricket. Now, I visit the Sydney Morning Herald’s iPad application, which I greatly admire for its overall design and pretty pictures of the local bourgeoisie at play. Its politico-economic contents are another matter. That sort of change... Read more

Author/Editor: Toby Miller
Publication Date: October 2011
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Fixing the economy, destroying the polity: Australia since 1983

Many economic changes were effected in Australia after the election of the Hawke-Keating government in 1983. Both Labor and the Coalition thereafter supported a wide ranging program of economic reform. In this short paper I will argue that, without deliberate intent, this shared project has marched in step with a corruption of political life. Moreover, unchecked this is a development that threatens to destroy Australia’s hitherto robust... Read more

Author/Editor: Ian Marsh
Publication Date: October 2011
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Australian Business Politics from an Anglo-American viewpoint

Professor Michael Moran is a graduate of the universities of Lancaster and of Essex, UK. He received his PhD in Government from Essex in 1975. He taught at the University of Manchester until 2011, retiring as WJM Mackenzie Professor of Government. He is now adjunct Professor of Government and Business in the University of Manchester Business School. He has been an academic visitor to the ANU’s School of Politics and International Relations in... Read more

Author/Editor: Michael Moran
Publication Date: September 2011
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