Beyond the Two Party System: Political Representation, Economic Competitiveness and Australian Politics
The demands placed on western governments have increased exponentially in recent years, but the fundamental structure of most of these governments - the two party system - has not. Governments are now not only required to be competitive in the global economy, the societies they represent have changed, becoming culturally and ethnically diverse. Is the two party regime able to accommodate the multiple interests of a diverse society and address the policy demands of economic competitiveness? Can it foster real political participation? Ian Marsh's challenging book suggests not, and outlines the ways in which politics might change to meet these new demands and achieve genuine participatory democracy. Looking at Australia within a broad theoretical framework, the book argues that government can play a key role in building a collaborative and competitive society. The book has a broad historical sweep, exploring the nature of citizenship from the beginnings of the liberal-egalitarian project of Alfred Deakin to the present, proposing a new definition of citizenship for the future. Ian Marsh argues that political earning will be central to the development of this new citizen. He suggest ways in which people might learn politics so that they, and not only the leadership elite, have genuine input. The book also shows that interest groups and issue movements have challenged the claims to representativeness and policy making held by the government. It proposes a new structure of policy making better able to accommodate these groups.
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i Interrelationship of central concepts
Competitiveness and the Structure of Politics
The Formation Structure and Impact of the Two Party Regime
A Pluralised Polity? The Rise of Interest Groups and Issue
Political Parties Representation and the Electorate
The Challenge of Competitiveness
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