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Type: Theses
Title: Manufacturing the future?: a critical analysis of policy responses to deindustrialisation in South Australia
Author: Dean, Mark Bernard
Issue Date: 2018
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences
Abstract: This thesis investigates the policy responses of federal, state and local governments to manufacturing deindustrialisation in Australia. Automotive manufacturing has provided a foundation for development and innovation in modern, industrial economies, including in Australia. The thesis asks why Australia is at risk of losing this capability, focusing analysis specifically on the impact of neoliberal economic ideas on policies developed in the present era of globalisation in response to deindustrialisation in South Australia, a local-state economy highly dependent on the automotive industry. The thesis answers this question by addressing the nature of Australia’s, and South Australia’s, engagement with global change. It provides a radical political economy and institutional examination of Australian governments’ policy responses to automotive manufacturing deindustrialisation in South Australia, finding at all levels, policy responses that have been profoundly influenced by neoliberalism. The thesis frames the research from a theoretical point of view that although neoliberalism’s ideological grounding prescribes a minimal role for the state in the economy, in reality state intervention has been central to the ‘actually existing’ neoliberal policy approach of governments. Governments at the federal level and in South Australia have implemented policies influenced by neoliberal economic ideas that have actively promoted market-based economic restructuring. However, this research also demonstrates that the impact of neoliberal ideas at federal, state and local levels has been shaped by a range of endogenous factors that are specific to the local political economy of each jurisdiction. The thesis begins by examining the central role of the state at federal and local-state levels historically in Australia and South Australia in the post-war boom period, demonstrating how Fordist-Keynesian intervention produced a set of foundational political, social and economic institutions that underpinned industrialisation at each level. It then analyses the policy responses of governments to post-boom deindustrialisation and demonstrates how the embedded institutional framework underpinning industrial development has been eroded, with governments at every level influenced by the increasing dominance of neoliberal policy approaches. However, the thesis argues that it is the dominance of a neoliberal framework at the federal level in Australia that has greatly constrained policy options for governments at state and local levels. The thesis makes an original research contribution in its analysis of the contemporary period of South Australian political economy under the Rann and Weatherill Labor Governments’ social-democratic state interventions. The policy responses of these governments provide examples of the emergence of ‘actually existing’ neoliberalism at the state level. This has resulted in specific local responses to manufacturing decline and economic crisis. This analysis is extended to the local regional level through an investigation of policy responses to the decline of the automotive industry in the City of Playford in Adelaide, South Australia’s urban north. In summary, the thesis concludes that the neoliberal policy responses of governments in Australia and South Australia to deindustrialisation have exacerbated its negative economic and social impacts. Opportunities for alternative responses at each level have been greatly reduced, though not eliminated completely. The impact of neoliberalism on state intervention has further entrenched manufacturing industry’s decline in South Australia, producing challenging social and economic implications for the region, and also the nation.
Advisor: Broomhill, Raymond
Spoehr, John Douglas
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2018.
Keywords: industrialisation
industry policy
political economy
South Australia
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.25909/5b3c6a7c3837e
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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