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Reference Section

Further reading


Introducing Democracy: 80 Questions and Answers by David Beetham and Kevin Boyle, Polity Press in association with UNESCO Publishing, Cambridge 1995, is a question and answer book, with simple and profound questions being answered in a paragraph or two. Models of Democracy, 2nd edn, by David Held, Stanford University Press, California 1996, deals with the historical development of the ideas underlying democracy in its various forms and the meanings that are given to democracy today. Anthony Arblaster in Democracy, 2nd edn, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1994, wants to democratise society further. MI Finley draws lessons from Athenian democracy in Democracy Ancient and Modern, The Hogarth Press, London 1985.

Australian political system

There are numerous guides to the Australian political system written as introductory texts for tertiary students. The most stimulating are Graham Maddox, Australian Democracy in Theory and Practice, 3rd edn, Longman Australia, Melbourne 1996; and Hugh Emy and Owen E Hughes, Australian Politics: Realities in Conflict, 2nd edn, Macmillan, Melbourne 1991. Richard Lucy, The Australian Form of Government: Models in Dispute, 2nd edn, Macmillan, Melbourne 1993, provides a provocative examination of the ‘Washminster’ problem.

Commonwealth and States

The changes in the political system of the Commonwealth and the States can be followed in WG McMinn, A Constitutional History of Australia, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1979. John Hirst deals with The Strange Birth of Colonial Democracy: New South Wales 1848–1884, Allen & Unwin, Sydney 1988. Audrey Oldfield, Woman Suffrage in Australia: A Gift or a Struggle?, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne 1992, examines the reasons for Australian leadership in this field. Kathleen Dermody, A Nation At Last: The Story of Federation, AGPS, Canberra 1997, is a short, well-illustrated account produced by Australian Government Publishing Service. JA La Nauze, The Making of the Australian Constitution, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne 1972, is the authoritative treatment. Helen Irving (ed), A Woman’s Constitution?: Gender and History in the Australian Commonwealth, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney 1996, contains a revealing chapter by Pat Grimshaw on white women’s suffrage and the exclusion of Aboriginal people from the vote. How the constitution has been interpreted is the subject of Brian Galligan, Politics of the High Court, University of Queensland Press, St Lucia 1987.

Twentieth-century Australia

The nation’s twentieth-century history is examined in volumes 4 and 5 of the Oxford History of Australia: Stuart Macintyre, vol 4, 1901–1942: The Succeeding Age, Oxford University Press, Melbourne 1986; and Geoffrey Bolton, vol 5, 1942–1988: The Middle Way, 2nd edn, Oxford University Press, Melbourne 1996. The history of migration and the ethnic composition of the population is comprehensively dealt with by James Jupp (ed), The Australian People: An Encyclopedia of the Nation, Its People and Their Origins, Angus & Robertson, Sydney 1988. Richard Broome’s Aboriginal Australians: Black Responses to White Dominance 1788–1994, Allen & Unwin, Sydney 1994, is the best short history.


Justin Fleming, Barbarism to Verdict, Angus & Robertson, Sydney 1994, is a light-hearted look at the development of common law in England and Australia. Bruce Kercher’s An Unruly Child: A History of Law in Australia, Allen & Unwin, Sydney 1995, is an innovative and accessible treatment. In his book Rights, Macmillan, Basingstoke 1994, Peter Jones provides an introduction to this subject. The business of ensuring that human rights are observed is treated in AH Robertson and JG Merrills, Human Rights in the World: An Introduction to the Study of the International Protection of Human Rights, 3rd edn, Manchester University Press, Manchester 1989.


The best thing to read on Australia is still the book of that name by WK Hancock, published by Ernest Benn, London 1930.

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