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The Decline of Political Leadership in Australia? Changing Recruitment and Careers of Federal Politicians


Pakulski, J and Tranter, BK, The Decline of Political Leadership in Australia? Changing Recruitment and Careers of Federal Politicians, Palgrave Macmillan, United Kingdom, pp. 144. ISBN 9781137518057 (2015) [Authored Research Book]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Jan Pakulski, Bruce Tranter and Palgrave Macmillan

DOI: doi:10.1057/9781137518064


© Jan Pakulski and Bruce Tranter, 2015. The authors of this book argue that changing recruitment patterns and career profiles of Australian federal MPs - analyzed in the context of trends towards factionalized patronage parties, opportunistic populism, party-bureaucratic careers and increasing fast tracking to the top - have reduced the parliamentary elite's quality, particularly since the 1990s. The declining quality of the Australian 'political class' is a major factor underlying the decline in public trust and confidence in federal parliamentarians. Major parties in Australia are weakened by voter-party dealignment, factional divisions, falling trust and declining membership. They gradually abandon the systematic recruitment and grooming of leaders, attempting instead to pick emerging leaders and vote winners: factional loyalists, media celebrities, and skillful party functionaries. This trend is aggravated by relentless media exposés that undermine the system of political recruitment by skewing it towards the selection of party bureaucrats, demagogues, celebrities and PR experts.

Item Details

Item Type:Authored Research Book
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Government and politics
Objective Field:Political systems
UTAS Author:Pakulski, J (Professor Jan Pakulski)
UTAS Author:Tranter, BK (Professor Bruce Tranter)
ID Code:99941
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2015-04-20
Last Modified:2017-10-16

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