Scholars win top prize from Australia

Scholars win top prize from Australia
Monday 20 November 2017

Two scholars of The Australian National University have won a major award from the Institute of Public Administration Australia for an essay based on their public policy research.

Professor Darren Halpin and Emeritus Professor John Warhurstreceived the Sam Richardson Award for the most influential paper in the Australian Journal of Public Administration in 2016.

Their “Commercial Lobbying in Australia: Exploring the Federal Lobby Register” paper analyses commercial lobbyists who engage with the Federal Government.

“Influence peddling in Canberra is a perennial issue, often stoked by high profile scandals,” Professor Halpin explained.

“In our article we presented data on the diversity of the commercial lobbying landscape, and explained the consequences that the change of government has on the hiring practices of large partisan firms.

“We ended by mapping out a research program in this important area. So there is still plenty to do.”

The School of Politics and International Relations-based scholars formed part of their essay on their Australian Research Council Discovery project, “Organised Interests in Australian Public Policy,” of which Professor Halpin is the Chief Investigator.

Professor Warhurst noted that his first article on commercial lobbying was published more than 30 years ago.

“I see this award as one culmination of three decades of research,” he says.

“But there are many further avenues to explore in the study of the influence industry.”

They received their award from Institute national president and former senior public servant, Professor Peter Shergold, at the Institute’s annual dinner in Canberra on 14 November.


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