Democracy in a Divided Australia
Paperback, 290 Pages
Release Date: September 29th, 2018
“A brilliant book. If you want to understand why Australia is more polarised than ever, and what to do about it, read Democracy in a Divided Australia.
Its aim is to build a more cohesive country, where tribalism gives way to the soaring human desire for greater freedom to decide what happens in our communities, families and personal lives.”
- Janet Albrechtsen, Columnist, The Australian
Australia has a new political, cultural, and economic elite. The class divides of yesteryear have been replaced new divisions between Inners and Outers. This divide is ripping apart our political parties, national debate, and social fabric.
Inners are highly educated inner-city progressive cosmopolitans who value change, diversity, and self-actualisation. Inners, despite being a minority, dominate politics on both sides, the bureaucracy, universities, civil society, corporates, and the media. They have created a society ruled by educated elites – that is, ruled by themselves.
Outers are the instinctive traditionalists who value stability, safety, and unity. Outers are politically, culturally, and economically marginalised in today’s graduate-dominated knowledge society era. Their voice is muzzled in public debate, driving disillusionment with the major parties, and record levels of frustration, disengagement, and pessimism.
In an era of global political upheaval, Democracy in a Divided Australia is the first empirically grounded investigation of Australia’s political tribes, the capture of policymaking by a new elite, and charting of a path forward in a divided nation built on the five pillars of Liberal Populism: Egalitarianism, Localism, Freedom, Dignity and Unity.
“Matthew Lesh has expertly chronicled the rising influence and increasing detachment of Australia’s policymaking elite from those they seek to govern. Democracy in a Divided Australia should be compulsory reading in political science courses at our universities.”
- Senator James Paterson
"Democracy in a Divided Australia is a fascinating and persuasive work. Matthew Lesh uses a wide array of evidence to show how Australia’s new divides are challenging our democracy, unity and wellbeing. The issues identified are very real and troubling." - The Hon Dr David Kemp, former federal minister & author of Electoral Behaviour in Australia: a Study of Three Decades (1978).