#PLT110 – Australian Politics in a Global Context

Wow! It’s been a while! I finished a whole other subject before commencing this one last week. I will add back-dated posts anon, in case anyone is interested.

Before I add my first offering in this new subject I’m studying with Macquarie University, I have to say that I am excited! I’m surrounded by a huge amount of readings for this unit, and all I can think of is how much I wish I didn’t have to sleep every day. I’m dying to sink my teeth into this subject, I’m so politically engaged, it’s scary. This one is definitely appealing to my appetite.

So, the first question we’ve been asked for Week 2 has to do with Australian politics after Federation. I have eagerly read through so many papers and chapters of texts so far, I have finally reached the stage where I have submitted my first answer to the first question (out of 10) for this week, which was:

What were the key issues in Australian politics during this period?

As I complete my answers to the remaining 9 questions, I will endeavour to keep posting my responses to this blog. It should be noted that we are recommended to write answers that are approximately 100 words in length. So, here is my answer, which is, of course, longer:

In his book, The end of certainty : power, politics and business in Australia, Paul Kelly provides a description of post-federation Australian history he calls the ‘Australian Settlement’ (2008, pp. 1-2). Referring to the work of a number of economists and historians, including Hancock, Eggleston, Shann and Glezner, Kelly consolidated and fashioned this background information for what he deemed to be the key developments of Australia’s post-federation history into a coherent paradigm which has received wide significance. Kelly’s book comprises the laws and institutions which could be classified as “…White Australia, industry protection, industrial arbitration and conciliation, state paternalism and imperial benevolence” (Hall et al. 2004, p. 82). According to Kelly, this framework was sanctioned by the major parties and enjoyed wide support across class and religious boundaries.

Stokes (2004) argues that Kelly’s classifications should be revised (p. 19), and offers a total of “…nine clusters of political ideas and policies: White Australia; Terra Nullius; State Secularism; Masculinism; Australian Democracy; State Developmentalism; Arbitration; Welfare Minimalism; Imperial Nationalism” (pp. 19-20). Stokes (2004) dissects Kelly’s findings and comes to the conclusion that if Australians were to alter their interpretation of an Australian settlement, a deeper understanding of Australia’s post-federation politics can be obtained (p. 20).


Kelly, P. 2008. The end of certainty : power, politics and business in Australia, New edn., Crows Nest, N.S.W., Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Allen & Unwin.

Stokes, G. 2004. The ‘Australian settlement’ and Australian political thought. Australian Journal of Political Science, 39, 5-22.

Hall, R., Boreham, P. & Stokes, G. 2004. The Politics of Australian society : political issues for the new century, Frenchs Forest, N.S.W., Frenchs Forest, N.S.W. : Pearson Education


About Maha @ Uni

Studying online, and want to keep a record of my progress and experiences...
This entry was posted in #PLT110, Australian Government, Australian History, Australian Politics, Australian Settlement, Beginnings, Post-Federation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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