John Cain Lecture – 2018

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Labor’s 1980s and the Future of Australian Social Democracy

The annual John Cain Lecture in 2018 was be Presented by ANU historian Professor Frank Bongiorno

Should we celebrate Labor’s 1980s? Frank Bongiorno identified the achievements of that era, which are considerable, at Federal level and in Victoria after election of the Cain Government, and then explored roads not taken including some policy failures of the period. Australia’s next Labor cabinet will probably will be filled with eighties children.  What lessons should they take from the Labor decade, at a time when social democracy is under pressure internationally from the rise of right-wing populism, chauvinistic nationalism and the political strongman – the very antithesis of social democratic politics?

Download Bongiorno’s speech here: ProfFrankBongiornoLecture2018

Frank Bongiorno, Professor of History and Head of the School of History, ANU
Frank Bongiorno teaches History at the Australian National University and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia. He previously worked at the University of New England, Armadale and King’s College London. He is the author or editor of numerous publications on Australian history, including The People’s Party: Victorian Labor and the Radical Tradition 1875-1915 (MUP1996) and The Eighties: The Decade That Transformed Australia (Black Inc.2015)

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