Australia moves to the right

Another article in the special collection edited by Priya Chacko and Kanishka Jayasuriya. to be titled “Crisis, Populism and Right-wing Politics in Asia,” has been published.

The University of Adelaide’s Carol Johnson has authored a paper that assesses the rise of neoliberalised politics in Australia. Her contribution is: “The Australian Right in the ‘Asian Century’: Inequality and Implications for Social Democracy” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2018.1441894).

The abstract for the paper states:

This article analyses the policy discourse of Australian right-wing governments, exploring how such governments have combined neo-liberal economic policies with social conservatism, populism, cultural nationalism and forms of authoritarianism. It also examines the resulting response of social democratic political parties. As a predominantly Western country situated in the Asia-Pacific region, Australian experience offers interesting insights into the domestic politics of right-wing governments facing the changing geo-political and geo-economic imperatives of the “Asian Century.” Conservative Australian governments have reasserted traditional Anglo-centric national identity and used competition from key Asian countries to further justify market-driven policies, reduced welfare benefits and reduced industrial relations standards. The social democratic Australian Labor Party has responded to right-wing government policy by placing an increased emphasis on challenging social and economic inequality. However, Labor’s own plans for equitable economic growth potentially underestimate the challenges posed by the intermeshing of the Australian and Asian economies and provide insights into the dilemmas that a changing geo-economics poses for Western social democracy more broadly. Meanwhile Australian conservatism is facing not just challenges from its social democratic opponent but also from far-right populist forces critical of globalisation.

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