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Australian public policyProgressive ideas in the neo-liberal ascendency$
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Chris Miller and Lionel Orchard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447312673

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447312673.001.0001

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On escaping neoliberalism: concluding reflections

On escaping neoliberalism: concluding reflections

(p.351) Twenty On escaping neoliberalism: concluding reflections
Australian public policy

Chris Miller

Lionel Orchard

Policy Press

This chapter reflects upon the persuasive powers of the global neoliberal zeitgeist in what is broadly a liberal-democratic age. The chapter points to the tensions within this relationship between liberal and democratic values at the heart of contemporary policy making and how other contributors have grappled with them in each of the key policy concerns. It summarises the key arguments as presented across different policy spheres: economics, welfare and work; Indigenous, education, health, housing and childcare; environment and culture, population, immigration and diversity, city and urban development; and our political and public institutions and the hollowing out of the public sphere. The chapter notes too the specificity of Australian neoliberalism with its roots in reforming Labor governments in pursuit of a ‘third-way’ balance between liberal and social democratic thinking. While noting the current domination of neoliberalism the chapter points more optimistically to the positive attitudes to government and social democracy waiting fresh germination. It concludes with a call for progressive perspectives, both liberal and social democratic to rediscover their voices for policies based on a vision of a more just and equitable world.

Keywords:   neoliberal zeitgeist, liberalism, social democracy, Australian ‘third-way’

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