Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/113425
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Type: Journal article
Title: The Australian Right in the “Asian Century”: Inequality and the Implications for Social Democracy
Author: Johnson, C.
Citation: Journal of Contemporary Asia, 2018; 48(4):1-27
Publisher: Journal of Contemporary Asia
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 0047-2336
1752-7554
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Carol Johnson
Abstract: This article is part of a special issue analysing conservative governments in the Asia Pacific. It 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 and 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 so-called “Asian Century”. Conservative Australian governments have reasserted traditional Anglocentric national identity and used competition from key Asian countries to further justify market-driven policies, reduced welfare benefits and reduced Australian industrial relations standards. The social democratic 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.
Keywords: Australian right; Asia; Globalisation; Inequality; Social democracy; Australian Labor Party
Rights: © 2018 Journal of Contemporary Asia
RMID: 0030082559
DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2018.1441894
Grant ID: http://purl.org/au-research/grants/arc/DP140100168
Appears in Collections:Politics publications

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