Institutional Legacy

The second component, mapping and assessing the institutional legacy, was operationalised through a longitudinal study of women's policy machinery and of women’s government and non-government services. It built on surveys conducted by Marian Sawer in 1989 (federal and state policy units); 1998 (federal and intergovernmental); and more recently of federal units only. New surveys were conducted at federal, state and territory levels, at inter-governmental levels (including ministerial councils and officials meetings) and regional levels (APEC).

This survey served to plot the location (access) and resources of Australian women's policy machinery over time, as well as policy transfer mediated by intergovernmental bodies. It began with the hypothesis that institutionalisation within government does not survive the loss of visible social movement activity outside, even where political opportunity structures remain otherwise relatively favourable. This hypothesis was largely supported, but some types of government machinery were found to be more durable than others.

Merrindahl Andrew was the member of the project team with responsibility for developing the study of women’s institutions and has published a number of journal articles and book chapters drawing on this data. She and Mitchell Whitelaw also developed a stunning visualization of this complex data, called The Institutional Harvest. This display shows Australian women's agencies and services over the period 1970-2013 revealing the growth and diversity of the organisations emerging from the Australian women's movement. Organisations can be viewed by type, location or sector (whether government or non-government) to see overall patterns. Alternatively, a year can be selected to see the names of all organisations active at that time in a particular jurisdiction. 

Where does this fit in the project as a whole? See Project Structure

Updated:  3 January 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications