Many years ago, the late Kim Beazley Senior complained that his Australian Labor Party, which had once contained the cream of the working class, now consisted of the dregs of the middle class. These people represented neither the mass of the party nor the majority of voters.
Jenny Stewart My adult son has recently suggested that he might like to become an academic. I am doing my best to dissuade him. The reason? He would be joining a profession that has lost its way. I am not alone in this feeling – surveys of academics regularly show that most would not want […]
Wendy Jarvie In 2004 the Australian Government Department of Education Science and Training (DEST) opened an education office in Santiago, Chile. The initiative turned out to be highly successful. In terms of students enrolled the region grew from 7,000 to 34,000 over 5 years – and was the fastest growing of all regions over the […]
Public Servants and Aboriginal Communities Wendy Jarvie Closing the Gap is the current Commonwealth and State government strategy for improving indigenous outcomes in Australia. Its focus is on reducing the marked disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, in opportunity and outcomes, including in health, education, infrastructure, employment and justice. Money, energy, time and government commitment […]
By Mark Drummond There is wide acknowledgement that the economic growth Australia has achieved in recent years through China’s huge demand for our commodity exports has masked significant structural deficiencies in the Australian economy. The ongoing drought and recent car manufacturing plant closures in Victoria and South Australia further highlight the relentless realities of Australia’s […]
John Power There is a fair measure of guilt underlying this brief piece. For a political scientist to admit that he has been finding more and more satisfaction in novels, and less and-less in contemporary writings in his own discipline, clearly calls for some justification, if not outright expiation.. At the very least, it is […]
Brian Martin Over the past few decades, research into expert performance – in fields such as chess, music, sport and science – has challenged conventional ideas. The traditional view is that stellar performance depends on natural talent. Researchers have found, to the contrary, that even the greatest performers require years of practice. Genetics may have […]
Richard Langereis Leaving aside its meanings in relation to love and lovemaking, passion has for a long time had a pretty bad press, mostly being represented as an inability to control strong emotions – sometimes leading to rage and even mania. Passion gets a better press these days – often being lauded as an essential […]
Kath Mackie Given the increasing sophistication and diversity of theories on public policy, it seems reasonable to ask why policy failures continue to occur. Some recent examples of federal environment policymaking offer fertile case studies to explore this question.
Jenny Stewart and Hussein Abbass What do we do when we create a public policy? One way of thinking about this issue is to say that when we create a public policy, we are creating a type of system – that is, a set of organisational linkages through which we hope to effect desired or […]
Grant Duncan Let’s start with how we measure happiness. I don’t believe we should interpret social surveys literally, but there are some interesting results all the same. The countries with the highest average happiness results tend to be among the most affluent ones, so we shouldn’t buy into the idea that the people of the […]
In the 21st century, we need the collective power of government as never before. The trouble is, governments, no matter how hard they try, find it difficult to structure and apply this power in effective ways.
One of the underlying problems is that those outside government don’t really know what’s going on. This makes it tough to work out better ways of working. Those who know can’t tell, and those who are allowed to tell, don’t know. There is a vast gap between the lived experience of practitioners and the academic world of commentary and debate.