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Labour-centred Politics and Judicial Institutionalisation: The Lineaments of an Early Proto-Regulatory State Model in Australia

Bayari, Celal (2014): Labour-centred Politics and Judicial Institutionalisation: The Lineaments of an Early Proto-Regulatory State Model in Australia. Published in: Discourses on Global Studies , Vol. 1, No. 4 (14 September 2014): pp. 42-60.

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Abstract

Australia, since the early 1980s, has been a leading advocate and practitioner of the neo-liberal economic model, also known as the Anglo-Saxon (or Anglo-American) model due to its geographical origins in the UK and the US, and its subsequent ascendancy in Australia, New Zealand and Canada, prior to its global hegemony (Bayari 2012a). A major component of this model has been the deregulatory market policies that have come to dominate all aspects of life. There are prior discussions of Australia’s deregulation dogmas and practices that this paper does not cover (Bayari 2012c, Bayari 2012d). Interestingly, Australia was a pioneer of a proto-regulatory economic model at the turn of the twentieth century. The emergence of the federal state in Australia in 1901 led to a level of hitherto unseen level of intervention in the market. Australia, like Canada, the US and New Zealand inherited the political, legal and other institutions of the UK. However, the Australian state followed a different path by regulating capital and labour relationship through the enforcement of compulsory conciliation and arbitration (Bayari 2012b). This proto-regulatory state model of the Antipodes preceded the post-Second World War regulatory state in the West by decades. The 1941-1949 Labor governments, under John Curtin and Ben Chifley, created new institutions for welfare, and health care provision, and attempted to create a new society, such as in terns of defining the content of citizenship, and creating the notion of entitlement to non-market wage, while the governments of the period from thereafter until 1972 can be characterised as calculatingly inert.

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