History for policy: What is the value of history for the in-principle assessment of government intervention in rural Australia?

David McLean, Ian Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The case of the relevance of history to government policy analysis and development must contend with opposition from several sources, including the scepticism of many historians towards the idea of applied history. We argue that these objections have obscured the extent to which historical awareness can contribute to sound policy choices and cast light on the value of government intervention. We see particular value in the methods devised by Richard Neustadt and Ernest May to help policy makers think historically. By applying these methods to a case that raises questions about the pros and cons of government intervention, the privatisation of government railways in New South Wales, Australia, we show the potential of applying these methods to policy analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalRural Society
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

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