Globalisation and the Politics of Persuasion and Coercion

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Conley, Tom
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Deborah Mitchell

Date
2004
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Abstract

This paper argues that an economic liberal discourse of globalisation has been pivotal to the policy-making process in Australia over the past 15 or so years. Both Labor and Coalition Governments have aimed to restrict the electoral fall-out from the process of restructuring by persuading Australians that the world economy has forced particular policy changes and made alternative economic policy choices unviable. Policy-makers act to influence conceptions of the appropriate role and responsibilities of the state through persuasion - the rhetoric they speak - and coercion - the policies they make. The pervasiveness of globalisation rhetoric in the public sphere has been essential to the governing process as a complement to and buffer for the coercive impact of economic liberal policy changes. As Australia has shifted from a protectionist to an economically liberal policy structure, the effects of globalisation have become clearer. Liberalisation has intensified pressures from the world political economy and coerced changes in all areas of policy and the economy, as well as in public perceptions about the 'limits of government'. Globalisation and economic liberalism as persuasion and coercion are the component parts of a restructured system of political and economic governance: a paradigmatic shift away from the economic protectionism of the first 80 years of Australian federalism.

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Australian Journal of Social Issues

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39

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2

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© 2004 ACOSS. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Studies in Human Society

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