The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia

By Ian McAllister; Steve Dowrick et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 20
Environmental Policy and
Politics
Elim Papadakis

Several factors affect how new policy ideas progress onto the political agenda. These include intellectual breakthroughs in research, which in turn change perceptions of issues; and the willingness by or pressure on political organisations and the media to articulate new ideas. When such organisations as political parties, interest groups and social movements latch onto new concepts from expert communities, often claiming them as their own, there is scope for significant shifts in the research agenda across many disciplines, including the social sciences. Above all, if political organisations are able to influence debate, through media coverage and, subsequently, through public opinion, there is likely to be an increase in research capacity.

There are certainly time lags between some of these stages of development.Take the impact of one of the most influential works in the recent history of the environmental movement, Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson (1962). Its influence was immediate in some respects but delayed in others. Silent Spring was a landmark scientific study written by a marine biologist who had previously worked for the United States government, and a passionate attempt to change perceptions about the chemical industry (and industry in general) from that of a benign force in promoting progress and prosperity to that of arrogance, characteristic of neglectful and exploitative attitudes to nature. Though the work attracted huge publicity across the world, its impact on mainstream media perceptions in Australia was delayed by several years, as was the effect on policies over the use of DDT (Papadakis 1996:74–5).

There are many examples of innovations, breakthroughs or discoveries that were 'ahead of their time', yet formed the basis years later for environmental movements in Australia. These include acknowledgement of the significance of the difference in lifestyles of European settlers and the Indigenous population; creation of myths about the Australian bush by poets and artists, and the connection between these ideas and the notions of nationalism, egalitarianism and patriotism; the practice of organised lobbying by associations of preservationists and conservationists; adaptation of a model from the US for the preservation of wilderness and national parks; innovations in ideas about tourism and environmental protection; and the concept of preservation for future generations. Yet it was not until several decades later, from the 1960s, that leading political

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The Cambridge Handbook of the Social Sciences in Australia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Figures and Tables vii
  • Contributors x
  • Preface and Acknowledgements xviii
  • Introduction 1
  • References 13
  • Part 1 - Economics 15
  • Chapter 1 - Privatisation 17
  • References 27
  • Chapter 2 - Competition Policy and Regulation 31
  • References 40
  • Chapter 3 - Economics and the Environment 45
  • References 57
  • Chapter 4 - Health Economics 60
  • References 70
  • Chapter 5 - Immigration 74
  • References 87
  • Chapter 6 - Labour Market and Industrial Relations 94
  • References 113
  • Chapter 7 - Income Distribution and Redistribution 118
  • References 134
  • Chapter 8 - Taxation 138
  • References 148
  • Chapter 9 - Innovation 153
  • References 165
  • Chapter 10 - International Trade and Industry Policies 168
  • References 180
  • Chapter 11 - The Macro Economy 186
  • Notes 199
  • References 200
  • Chapter 12 - Money and Banking 203
  • References 216
  • Part 2 - Political Science 221
  • Chapter 13 - Political Theory 223
  • References 231
  • Chapter 14 - Federalism and the Constitution 234
  • References 246
  • Chapter 15 - Legislative Institutions 249
  • References 260
  • Chapter 16 - Political Parties and Electoral Behaviour 266
  • References 283
  • Chapter 17 - Electoral Systems 287
  • References 302
  • Chapter 18 - Gender Politics 305
  • References 319
  • Chapter 19 - Interest Groups and Social Movements 323
  • References 339
  • Chapter 20 - Environmental Policy and Politics 345
  • References 355
  • Chapter 21 - International Relations 358
  • Notes 368
  • References 369
  • Chapter 22 - Political Economy 374
  • References 391
  • Chapter 23 - Public Policy and Public Administration 406
  • References 422
  • Part 3 - Sociology 431
  • Chapter 24 - Patterns of Social Inequality 433
  • References 457
  • Chapter 25 - Families and Households 462
  • References 477
  • Chapter 26 - Gender Perspectives 480
  • References 493
  • Chapter 27 - Work and Employment 499
  • Notes 511
  • References 512
  • Chapter 28 - Crime and Deviance 518
  • References 531
  • Chapter 29 - Health and Illness 536
  • References 552
  • Chapter 30 - Population 554
  • References 569
  • Chapter 31 - Race, Ethnicity and Immigration 573
  • Notes 585
  • References 586
  • Chapter 32 - Urban and Regional Sociology 590
  • Reference 598
  • Chapter 33 - Rural Sociology 604
  • Reference 619
  • Chapter 34 - Religion and Spirituality 626
  • Reference 632
  • Chapter 35 - Cultural Studies, Australian Studies and Cultural Sociology 638
  • References 651
  • Chapter 36 - Sociological Theory 654
  • References 664
  • Chapter 37 - Social Policy and Social Welfare 666
  • References 674
  • Author Index 678
  • Subject Index 696
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