Economic Rationalism in Canberra: A Nation-Building State Changes Its Mind

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Cambridge University Press, 1991 - Biography & Autobiography - 310 pages
Throughout the world since the 1970s, state and public sector reform has been driven by a conservative agenda emphasising notions of 'streamlining' and 'rationalisation'; Australia has been no exception. Michael Pusey undertakes a detailed analysis of top bureaucrats in Canberra who have been responsible for this recasting of national policy. He concludes that economist rationalist view dominate each of the key ministries, and have altered the traditional balance between the economy, the state and society. The book also discusses the social significance of economic rationalisation and public sector reform from a theoretical perspective, contributing to contemporary understanding of modernisation, public morality and citizenship in the new global order.
 

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Contents

Preface
vii
Canberra in the balance
1
The politics of meaning and the meaning of politics
13
Method and purpose
23
Images of contemporary Australia
29
Problems and obstacles
33
Windows and images
37
Conclusion
43
Intellectuals and vertical structural integration
126
Rationalisation and lateral structural integration
134
the formal restructuring of Bastille Day 1987
146
Conclusion
153
Rationalisation and modernity what has happened to the states deliberative capacity?
159
the earlier normative context of reform
160
What has happened to the states deliberative capacities?
169
The demoralisation of the career service
182

Profiles of Canberras political administrators
45
Social backgrounds
47
Political orientations
56
Enter the economic rationalists
59
Government and administration under Hawke
64
Technocrats?
67
Conclusion
74
The inner triangle
76
The central agencies
81
The marketoriented departments
90
The program and service departments
97
Conclusion
106
The instrumentation of state power
111
The state changing its mind or reforming the top of the Public Service
113
The depoliticisation of the politicisation of an apolitical career service
188
Crisis of the state or crisis of modernity?
195
Integrity under stress the Lucky Country enters the world economy
208
Relative autonomy of the state?
211
Responding to vulnerability up the creek or down the Murray?
218
Vulnerability culture and identity
224
evaluations and choices
234
Methods and procedures
245
Major economic trends 197588
258
Major events 197590
260
Notes and References
263
Index
301
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