Dr John Butcher

Dr John Butcher

Position: Visiting Fellow
School and/or Centres: Australia and New Zealand School of Government

Email: john.butcher@anu.edu.au

Phone: +61 2 6125 2464

Location: 1.110, GJ Yeend Wing (Crawford Building #132A)


BA (UBC, Geography) MA (UBC, Geography) Graduate Diploma in Public Administration (Flinders) PhD (Political Science, ANU)

Dr John Butcher is an ANU visitor with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government based within the School of Politics and International Relations. While at the ANU his work is focussed on gaining practical insights into the working relationships between government entities and non-state actors, principally in the not-for-profit sector. This work is an extension of his PhD dissertation (ANU 2014) which examines Australian and international experience of formal cross-sector framework agreements between governments and the not-for-profit or ‘Third’ sector. In 2015 Dr Butcher co-convened, in partnership with Prof David Gilchrist, Director of the Curtin Not-for-profit initiative, a one-day workshop entitled ‘Cross-Sector Working for Complex Problems: Beyond the rhetoric’. The workshop brought together policy researchers, makers and practitioners from academia, government and the not-for-profit sector to address challenges in policy and public administration emerging at the interface between government, the not-for-profit sector and business. The collected papers from the workshop have been curated into a book ‘The Three Sector Solution: Delivering public policy in collaboration with not-for-profits and business’ published in 2016 by the ANU Press. From 2016 through 2018 Dr Butcher will lead a research project investigating the determinants for success when working across sector boundaries. Funded by ANZSOG and the Curtin Not-for-profit initiative, the research will entail comparative case studies of existing cross-sector initiatives in Australia and New Zealand with a view to extracting lessons about best practice and potential pitfalls.

John’s research is principally concerned with the relationship between the state and civil society, in particular the emergence of policy settings favouring the outsourcing of service delivery to external not-for-profit service providers. John is interested in both the political framing of policy in this space and the operational dimensions of policy implementation. He is also interested in addressing practical issues of organisational and cultural adaptations necessary in the public and the not-for-profit sectors to accommodate the new modus operandi of service delivery as well as the challenges posed by new funding modalities such as person-centred funding and strategies for mobilising private sector investment in social outcomes such as social benefit bonds. John also has a keen interest in Australian politics and has written occasional opinion pieces for the Canberra Times.

Peer-Reviewed Papers John Butcher, ‘New Zealand’s Relationship Accord: A case study in the politics of cross-sector rapprochement’, Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal, Vol. 7, No.2, 2015. John Butcher, ‘Squaring the virtuous circle: Exploring the potential of the 'Five Cs', Australian Journal of Public Administration (pre-published online: 30 Jan 2015). John Butcher, 'The Third Sector and Government in Australia: Not-for-profit Reform under Labor (2007-2013)', Australian Journal of Political Science (pre-published online: 15 Jan 2015). John Butcher  with Bronwen Dalton, ‘Cross-sector partnership and human services in Australian states and territories: Reflections on a mutable relationship’, Policy and Society, Volume 33, Issue 2, June 2014, Pages 141–153. John Butcher  with John Casey and Bronwen Dalton, ‘An Australian National Compact – Something old, something new?, Nonprofit Policy Forum (special edition), September/October 2012. John Butcher, ‘An Australian Compact with the Third Sector: Challenges and Prospects’, Third Sector Review, Volume 17, No. 1, pp. 35-58, 2011. John Butcher with Benoît Freyens, ‘Competition and Collaboration in the Contracting of Family Relationship Centres’, The Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 15–33, 2010. John Butcher, ‘Government, the Third Sector and the Rise of Social Capital’, Third Sector Review, Volume 12, No.1 2006. John Butcher, ‘The Commonwealth-State Disability Agreement: A Case Study in New Federalism?’ The Australian Quarterly, Spring 1991, Vol 63, No 3.   Press Articles John Butcher, ‘NFP Policy in a Time Warp’, Pro Bono News, 24 September 2015. John Butcher with David Gilchrist, ‘Prerequisites for Cross-Sector Working’, Pro Bono News, 25 August 2015. John Butcher,  ‘Australian civil society and the C20: now isn’t the time to be polite’, The Conversation, June 18, 2014. John Butcher,  ‘Sitting through Senate committee hearing a kind of Kabuki on the Hill’, Canberra Times/SMH online, 26 May, 2014. John Butcher, ‘Make or break? The peril of political promises’, The Canberra Times, 5 May, 2014. John Butcher,  ‘Regulation Bonfire Offers Little Warmth for Not for Profit Sector’, Pro Bono News, 27 March, 2014. John Butcher,  ‘Not for Profit Reform “Back to the Future?”’, Pro Bono News, February 13, 2014. John Butcher,  ‘Compacts with the third sector’, Opinion, Public Sector Today, Edition 35, Jul-Sep 2013. John Butcher,  ‘Is Rudd another Trudeau?’, Opinion, The Canberra Times, Monday 14 June 2010, page 9. John Butcher,  ‘Charting a new direction’, Opinion, The Canberra Times, 15 June 2009. John Butcher,  ‘Nation-building renaissance? The job's not finished yet’, Government: Public Sector Informant, The Canberra Times, 5 June 2007. John Butcher,  with John Wanna, ‘Another serve of humble pie, perhaps?’, The Courier Mail, 16 August 2007 John Butcher,  ‘Finding the 'E' in e-Government’, The Canberra Times, 1 November 2005.   Books John Butcher with John Wanna and Benoît Freyens, Policy In Action: The challenge of service delivery, UNSW Press (2010). John Butcher, (ed.) Australia Under Construction: Nation-building past, present and future, ANU E Press and Australia and New Zealand School of Government, April 2008.   Chapters John Butcher, ‘The National Compact: civilising the relationship between government and the not-for-profit sector in Australia’, chapter in Government-Nonprofit Relations in Times of Recession, Edited by Rachel Laforest, McGill University Press, 2013. John Butcher, ‘Epilogue: ‘The job is never done’’, in (Wilson and Cooke eds.) Steady Hands Needed: Reflections on the role of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Australia 1979-1999, ANU E Press and Australia and New Zealand School of Government, August 2008, pp 83-93. John Butcher, ‘The unfinished business of nation-building’, in (Butcher ed.), Australia Under Construction: Nation-building past, present and future, ANU E Press and Australia and New Zealand School of Government, April 2008, pp 7-16.

Updated:  21 February 2019/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications