This program focuses on the complex framework of politics, actors and processes that make public policy. Policies are embodiments of different approaches to problems that reflect different political agendas, assumptions about the nature of politics and the public sector, as well as disputes over and between the sources of political power. The program examines the role of politicians, public servants, community participants and others involved in developing and implementing public policies and their capacity to do so. It offers important insights about the practical strategies and the design and delivery of programs and services.
Other Program Staff
- Dr Tracey Arklay
- Dr Cosmo Howard
- Adjunct Research Fellow Jenny Menzies
- Associate Professor Anne Tiernan
1986 Cabinet Overview
Centre Researcher Dr Tracey Arklay and Deputy Director, Policy Innovation Hub and Centre Adjunct Jennifer Menzies considered more than 2000 submissions to Cabinet in their review of the 1986 Queensland Cabinet Minutes, released on 1 January by the Queensland State Archives
The researchers focused on governance arrangements and policy highlights during the last full year of the Bjelke-Petersen government. On reading the full Cabinet record for 1986 it shows "a Queensland which was a reluctant moderniser and a Cabinet with a limited number of economic interests and an absence of strategy,” they write in their overview. Their review steps back into an era when Queensland’s National Party Government was at its most powerful; a year where emphasis was placed on the state's coal and sugar industries but where a new focus on investment in the tourism industry was also emerging. Although Australia’s economy was struggling, this reality did not seem to be a priority and Arklay and Menzies noted that no strategies were considered by Cabinet to address the downturn at a state level.
To see the full overview of the researchers finding here.
Dr Elizabeth van Acker's current project is a book which examines marriage policies and the conflicts surrounding values in Australia, the UK and the US. Marriage is both a public and a private institution, however there is no political consensus about which values are important to marriage and little agreement about how governments should deal with it. There are disagreements about whether it is the duty of the state to create social policies which enable people to make genuine choices about their relationships. Marriage and Values in Public Policy: Conflicts in the UK, the US and Australia examines the difficulties for governments in articulating values because the divisions between pro-marriage values as the nuclear/natural/moral family and anti-marriage values as unnatural/immoral are crumbling. It is not simply about differences between the left and the right or progressive and conservative values: there are cross-cutting currents.
Dr Tracey Arklay is the Convenor of the Queensland Chapter of the Electoral Regulation Research Network (ERRN). Established in 2012 ERRN’s aim is to foster exchange and discussion among academics, electoral commissions and other interested groups on research relating to electoral regulation. Comparative research is encouraged. One of my goals is to encourage debate and discussion of current research relating to electoral regulation. In 2017 one subject is the change from Optional Preferential Voting to Compulsory voting in Queensland and what that might mean for the next Queensland election.
Dr Cosmo Howard visited Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government co-convening Walking Away from Westminster? Public Service Trajectories in Comparative Perspective. The workshop, sponsored by Griffith's Centre for Governance and Public Policy and the University of Tasmania's (UTAS) Institute for the Study of Social Change (ISSC), drew together academics from Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, including Professor Patrick Weller. Cosmo led discussions around how reforms are reshaping traditionally conceived Westminster conventions. They have a special issue of an international journal underway.
- US Presidential Election: Issues in Perspective: Dr Liz van Acker discusses the roll of gender in the upcoming Presidential election. 20 October 2016. Watch the YouTube clip here.
- 2016: ‘Federal election: Malcolm Turnbull is lacking leadership on same-sex marriage’, The Brisbane Times, 22 June. (and posted Sydney Morning Herald 22 June 2016) - Dr Liz van Acker
- 2016: ‘Marriage equality: A non-issue for the 2016 Australian election campaign?’, Machinery of Government Blog, 6 June. Dr Liz van Acker
- 2016: IRSPM Conference, Hong Kong, April 2016. Dr Liz van Acker, Dr Tracey Arklay and Ms Tracee McPate.
- 2016: ‘It’s the numbers, stupid!” Women in the Queensland Parliament’, . Machinery of Government Blog, 9 March. Dr Liz van Acker with with Ainslie Meiklejohn.
- 2015: Machinery of Government Blog: Reviewing Queensland Emergency Management Operation - Relationships Matter, 29 October 2015 - Dr Tracey Arklay (first published in the Policy Space Blog, University of Canberra.
- 2015: Machinery of Government Blog: Mind the Gap - Let's Talk about Merit, 18 August - Dr Liz Van Acker
- 2015: Machinery of Government Blog: Imagination and Courage - A Reform Agenda for the next 100 years, 26 July - Professor Anne Tiernan
- 2015: Machiney of Government Blog: The Ayes Have It! Explaining the Motion of Surgery Waiting Times in Queensland Parliament, 21 May, Dr Tracey Arklay
- 2015: Machinery of Government Blog: Gearing up for COAG - Dr Tracey Arklay - 17 April.
- Political Studies Association UK - Let the 'Squatter of Downing Street' Be - Adjunct Jenny Menzies - 15 April 2015
- 2015: Machinery of Government Blog: Order in the House! Welcome to the 55th Parliament - Dr Tracey Arklay - 23 March.
- 2015: Machinery of Government Blog: Wasted Votes in Queensland Election 2015: Mistake, Apathy or something more serious? - 12 February , Dr Tracey Arklay.
- 2015: Machinery of Government Blog: Mediocre Implementation = Ineffective Outcomes: The ‘Stronger Relationships’ Trial - 12 February, Dr Liz van Acker.
- 2015: Cambridge University Press Blog: Investing in Couple Relationship Education in the UK: A Gender Perspective - 11 February, Dr Liz van Acker.
- 2015: Machinery of Government Blog: Queenslanders now have to prove their identity to vote: But Why? - 15 January 2015 - Dr Tracey Arklay