Australian Social Policy: The Keynesian Chapter

Australian Social Policy: The Keynesian Chapter

Australian Social Policy: The Keynesian Chapter

Australian Social Policy: The Keynesian Chapter

Excerpt

At a conference of the Australian Institute of Political Science convened in Sydney in 1939 to discuss the 'social services in Australia', the economist E R Walker challenged the Institute's use of the phrase 'the social services'. He said:

That phrase has become purely and simply a political catchword. I think a social scientist, economist or political scientist, should only use a catchword in order to expose the motives and purpose that lie behind it, and to analyse and make its meaning clear.

The related term 'social policy' might similarly be thought of as a political catchword and this book is a history of the meanings of that term and the motives and purpose behind its use in Australian economic thought from 1945 to 1960.

The need for such a history is compelling. We are currently in the midst of what Ringen has described as a 'grand debate' over the use of '"politics" to protect and promote the common interest'. Central to the grand debate is the apparent rift between the social and economic roles of government, deepening a malaise discussed in the 1970s as the fiscal crisis of the welfare state. Especially following the publication of Michael Pusey's Economic Rationalism in Canberra, it has become clear that the revival of economic liberalism in the 1980s posed a radical threat to the very idea of the state having a social or 'nation building role'. There is a sense of urgency about the need to 'bring the state back in' and effect a new integration of social and economic policy.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.