6 Oct 2016


Trust in political parties has never been lower, but we have more and more of them, to the point where voters need magnifying sheets to read ballot papers. What is the relationship between party regulation and the nature of our democracy? How...


26 Jun 2014

The lead item in the Coalition women's policy for the 2013 federal election was the return of the Office for Women to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Since 2004 it had been located 20 kilometres from the heart of government, relegated to a...

Book review

18 Oct 2013

Deliberative democrats sometimes assume that existing political organisations, including NGOs or social movement organisations, are too bound up with pre-given interests or ideological frames to provide a public sphere where such deliberation can occur.



16 Jun 2013

Marian Sawer

More than 1,100 workers died in April when the Rana Plaza building housing garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh. Online activists on have since been calling for consumer action to pressure retailers such as Big W, Woolworths and Kmart to sign up...



7 May 2012

Australia is slipping in relation to comparable countries, writes Marian Sawer

HOW important is it to keep counting the number of women in public office and trying to increase their numbers? Recent controversy suggests that some people think the time for...

Research report

24 Oct 2011

This paper explores how the struggle between the political rights of property and the political rights of the people shaped the design of Australian political institutions and how this legacy continues to affect Australian democracy.

The principle of political equality, the idea...


5 Nov 2010

The 2010 federal election was the first in Australia in which a woman prime minister was campaigning for the re-election of her government. Paradoxically her party had no women’s policy, or at least did not launch one publicly, and when her new ministry was announced...


16 Aug 2010

The principle of political equality has always been central to democracy and to the way democracy was understood by the democratic reformers of mid-19 th Century Australia. The Australasian colonies were regarded as being in the vanguard of democratic innovation and at the end of...



8 Jul 2010

Judith Troeth is trying to persuade Liberals that more women in the parliamentary party means a larger pool of talent, writes Marian Sawer in Inside Story

VICTORIAN Liberal Senator Judith Troeth is a brave woman. In 2005 she was part of...



1 Jul 2010

Compared with other countries, Australia’s progress in giving women access to political power is patchy, writes Marian Sawer in Inside Story

“NATION wakes to a new dawn” was one of the headlines late last week suggesting that Australia had entered a new era when...

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