Transforming the Australian agricultural biosecurity framework: the role of institutional logics
Bryant, M and Higgins, V and Hernandez-Jover, M and Warman, R, Transforming the Australian agricultural biosecurity framework: the role of institutional logics, Australian Journal of Public Administration pp. 1-17. ISSN 0313-6647 (2022) [Refereed Article]
The Australian government has transformed the national biosecurity framework by shifting from a quarantine to a shared responsibility approach. This reflects a move from centralised to network-based governance. While network governance enables the development of private and public networks needed to enact a shared responsibility approach, it can sit in tension with this approach, which requires the sharing of risk and legitimacy across an array of non-government actors. Further, little is known about how the beliefs and values of individuals involved in biosecurity decision-making influence whether or how a shared responsibility approach is enacted. We use an institutional logics framework to investigate these issues and found that despite risk-shifting and scale and efficiency logics underpinning a shared responsibility approach, a bureaucracy logic has remained dominant. While a dominant bureaucracy logic can enable a shared responsibility approach by providing clear guidelines around biosecurity compliance, it can also create barriers by creating ambiguity, or increasing reliance of actors on government in the event of a biosecurity outbreak. It can also reflect shadows of hierarchy in which governments moving to network-based governance are either not ready to share power or seek to retain authority over the direction of their policy intention.