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Peter Beilharz

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Australian Laborism, Social Democracy, and Social Justice into the 1990s

From the outside, the experience of the Australian labor movement has always seemed different. Since its inception, Australian labor has been happy to promote the image of its own exceptionalism. From its earlier strengths, through its tepid, near-British postwar period, and the real excitement — and disappointment — provided by the Whitlam years, the Australian Labour Party (ALP) arrived in the 1980s as a force that has been exceptional. Where the New Right has taken distinctly traditional forms across the Atlantic, the Hawke and Keating ALP Governments managed the apparently impossible, coalescing into something like a laborist Thatcherism.

Australia — history, Australia — politics, labor parties, social democracy, labor and politics, liberalism

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 23, Nos. 1-2 (1996): 338-351

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