Whitlam Institute

Publications

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Whitlam Oration: The Information That Democracy Needs

In his Oration, Bret Walker SC spoke to “the need to require our elected representatives and especially their executive delegates in the Ministry and Cabinet, to allow us sufficient information to check them, test them, and remind them of their representative capacity…this irreducible need for information about government is not to be seen through an individualist prism: it is not a personal right, but rather an imperative of a representative, parliamentary democracy.”

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Neoliberal Government and its Implications for Public Office and the Welfare State

While there is a great deal to consider in each of these papers the underlying message is the need not simply to be diligent in affirming and preserving the proven strengths of our key democratic institutions but to be looking at this time to institutional development that aligns with our expectations of an open, fair and genuinely democratic society.

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Managing Ourselves in a Chinese World: Australian Foreign Policy in an Age of Disruption

Offering a unique perspective as a diplomat, academic and Australia's first Ambassador to the People's Republic of China, Dr FitzGerald called on Australia to be confident in pursuing a foreign policy that is independent and also which has a keen eye to our own national interests, and that is principled and consistent both domestically and abroad. 

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"The Things Which Must Be Done…"

The Hon Bob Debus AM explores how lessons from the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and beyond have been neglected or ignored. It is the “practical things” that Debus focuses on. “Practical things” that we must not equate with minimal reforms, but see as the actions upon which reform is built and meaningful change is realised.

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Smoke and Thalidomide

Dr Edward Nik-Khah's Smoke and Thalidomide is an enthralling examination of the power of economists - and their constructed institutions - in the mobilisation of the US pharmaceutical industry in the 1970s, and their continued influence in how the industry controls our knowledge about drugs today.

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Gough Whitlam’s Vision of Social Democracy

In Gough Whitlam’s Vision of Social Democracy: Parliament and Party, the Honourable Dr Barry Jones AC, takes you on a political expedition spanning several decades from the Whitlam years to present, exploring the international shift away from Social Democracy in the late 1970s through the modern ‘growth as consumption’ economic mindset that has resulted in investment in research, environmental protection or heritage being seen in negative terms.

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Neoliberalism and the Crisis of Public Institutions

It is well-nigh impossible to understand contemporary Australia without an appreciation of the origins of neoliberalism, its emergence as the dominant political philosophy of the last thirty years and its institutional impact. These are matters of public interest that go well beyond any one political tradition.  

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