Restructuring Australia: Regionalism, republicanism and reform of the nation-state
1 Jan 2004
The Australian system of government is now over a century old. The country has changed out of all recognition; does the structure of government need change also? Restructuring Australia provides accessible accounts of current debate on three key issues: regionalism, republicanism and reform of the nation-state. Leading commentators from across the political spectrum ask the fundamental questions: what do Australians want and need from their system of government and what role will structural reform play in delivering this vision in the twenty-first century? The first section of the book examines whether Australia, as a nation, has the right territorial structure of government. Should we have more or fewer or different States? Or is Australia's current federal constitutional structure still appropriate despite the modern shape of Australian regionalism? The second theme is the role Australians want for their official head-of-state: who should be head-of-state, what relationship should they have with the Australian people, and what process should be involved? The final section considers where Australia's structure of government stands in relation to the outside world. It analyses how Australia's structure of government is performing in light of worldwide changes in the role of the nation-state, and asks how structural reforms might help the Australian nation-state to operate in a globalising world. Contributors: Tony Abbott, Geoffrey Blainey, David Flint, Brian Galligan, Ian Gray, Linda Hancock, Reuben Humphries, Chris Hurford, Mark McKenna, Allan Patience, Charles Sampford, Cheryl Saunders, Jim Soorley, George Winterton, Klaas Woldring.