Economic reform

Event date: 26 May 2003
Type: Breakfast Seminar
Location: Macquarie Room, Quality Hotel (formerly the Southern Cross Hotel), Cnr Goulburn and Elizabeth Streets Sydney, opposite the Goulburn Street Parking Station, and a short stroll from both Central and Museum railway stations.
Time:7.30 am, Monday 26 May
RSVP:9385 2966

The Evatt Foundation is proud to present Michael Pusey talking about his new book in a public seminar that is not to be missed.

The experience of Middle Australia: The dark side of economic reform

Michael Pusey's new book puts middle Australia under the microscope, examining how quality of life is faring in the face of change and uncertainty. 400 Australians from around the country shared their experiences of work, family, and community for this book, creating a striking picture of Australian society into a new millennium. This lived experience is set against hard data so that we can truly understand the impact - good and bad - of economic restructuring on the broad Australian middle class. Meticulously researched, it mounts a moral and intellectual counter-argument to economic reform. A sequel to the best-selling Economic Rationalism in Canberra, Michael Pusey's new book promises to be equally important.

Praise for Michael Pusey's new book

"Commentators talk about Middle Australia. In this humane and scholarly book, Michael Pusey talks with Middle Australians instead, to find out what they think is happening to their world. The result is fascinating. One of the most important contributions to Australian self-understanding of recent years." - Robert Manne

"If the doctrine that 'markets know best' is an empirical thesis, not merely fundamentalist dogma, then a variety of questions at once arise. The great value of this book is that it poses some of the most important of these: in particular, the crucial question of 'how people experience the economy'. The answers are instructive, in some respects chilling, and should become a central component of public debate on the radical reconstruction of Australian society that has been imposed on the basis of principles that are far from self-justifying." - Noam Chomsky

"We should applaud Michael Pusey for reminding us that our proper study is not the bottom line but the way we live and relate with each other, and that the quest for constant growth ignores the need for harmony and balance in the finite world that we inhabit." - Elizabeth Evatt

"Middle Australia is stretched, anxious, angry. Michael Pusey is its champion. This is moral sociology at its best." - Peter Beilharz

"Ten years ago Michael Pusey's research told us how we were landed with 'market rule' without much chance to vote about it. Now in a fair sample of middle Australia he has found a landslide majority for a fairer, fully employed, less unequal and more sustainable economy than small government has ever given us. - Hugh Stretton

"Pusey's provocative and important book is a challenge to contemporary orthodoxies. Society, he warns, will bite back if we choose to build our civilisation solely around the concern of business to operate with as little constraint as possible. He deserves to be read - and heeded." - Will Hutton

About Michael Pusey

Michael Pusey is professor of sociology at the University of New South Wales and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (FASSA). Michael Pusey has worked at Harvard University as a senior teaching fellow and later as a high school teacher, a senior public servant, and as a consultant to several governments on education and public service reform. He is the author of six books including Dynamics of Bureaucracy (1975), Control and Knowledge (1980) and Jurgen Habermas (1987). His work on 'economic rationalism' and the impacts of economic change on Australian society has produced over 100 radio and television interviews and a similar number of articles and references in the metropolitan press. Michael Pusey's book Economic Rationalism in Canberra (Cambridge University Press, 1991) first coined the term 'economic rationalism' and ignited the continuing debate over the social and economic costs of neo-liberal, 'free market', economic 'reform' and restructuring in Australia.


Breakfast will be served from 7.30 am, the seminar will commence promptly at 8.00 am and finish on the dot of 9.00 am.


Please RSVP to the Evatt Foundation by:

  • Mail: Evatt Foundation
    University of NSW
    Sydney, NSW, 2052
  • Telephone: 9385 2966
  • Fax: 9385 2967