Policy narratives in historical transition: A case study in contemporary history

James Walter, Carolyn Holbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Discontent about contemporary politics in Australia has been accompanied by a history in which the 1980s and 1990s are represented as a ‘golden era’ of policy reform. Yet as champions of the era now concede, its prescriptions are failing. This should encourage contemporary historians to debate the evidence of achievement and reasons for decline. This article takes two instances of the era’s reform initiatives – in higher education and the provision of employment services – to develop a more nuanced analysis of the reform narrative and of the history it supposedly encapsulates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-236
Number of pages16
JournalAustralian Historical Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018

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