Populism and Discontent: Comparing the United States and Australia

The next Senate’s next occasional lecture is to be presented by Professor Simon Jackman, CEO of the United State Studies Centre at the University of Sydney. Below is an outline of what Professor Jackman will be speaking about.

Elections in Australia and the United States during 2016 have been
interpreted as reflecting a surge in populist sentiment and discontent with
democratic institutions and outcomes. However, careful analysis of the
election results and some accompanying survey data in both the United
States and Australia indicates that, although dissatisfaction with major
political parties and processes of government has been increasing for some
time, it is far from universal and is strongly segmented by class and region.
The political expression of this dissatisfaction in the 2016 elections followed
each country’s electoral rules and procedures (e.g. compulsory preferential
voting in Australia and the Electoral College in the United States), which
play a critical mediating role in the translation of dissatisfaction into election
outcomes and policy. Professor Jackman will conclude with an analysis of
Australian reactions to the election of Mr Trump and of Mr Trump’s foreign
policy and its implications for the US-Australia relationship.

The lecture will be held in the Main Committee Room of Parliament House at 12.15 on Friday 17 February.

For those ACT ASPG members who are able to attend the lecture, it is a great chance to share a cuppa at the Queen’s Terrace Cafe afterwards to discuss, debrief, debate.


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