Traditions of governance: interpreting the changing role of the public sector
Australia's traditions of governance tend to be pragmatic and to blend different ideologies. Its traditions are less dependent on political party ideologies, and more on competing conceptions of the significant problems and the way that they should be addressed. In this article we identify five principal traditions, namely: settler-state developmentalism; civilizing capitalism; the development of a social-liberal constitutional tradition; traditions of federalism; and the exclusiveness/ inclusiveness of the state and society. These traditions have been robust and have developed over time. We show how political actors operating from within this plurality of traditions have understood the public sector and how their understandings have led to changes in the way the public sector is structured.
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