The crisis of policy failure or the moral crisis of an idea: Colonial politics in contemporary Australia and New Zealand

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Abstract

When analysing Indigenous public policy, crisis is best seen as the moral crisis of an enduring idea rather than the crisis of sporadic and unconnected instances of policy failure. In Australia and New Zealand, states use manufactured crises of Indigenous personal deficiencies to justify colonial authority. A justification which may be countered by positioning colonialism itself as the point of crisis. From this perspective, the crisis in Indigenous public policy is not resolved by the state becoming better at policy-making or more attentive to the egalitarian distribution of public resources. Instead, it is in the non-colonial possibilities of Indigenous self-determination that paths beyond crisis may lie. In practical terms, by ensuring spaces of independent Indigenous authority alongside spaces of distinctive culturally framed participation in the public life of the state. The potential for such arrangements in Australia is discussed with reference to a proposed First Nations’ Voice to Parliament and possible treaties between First Nations and the state. For New Zealand, their potential is discussed with reference to te Tiriti o Waitangi’s affirmation of independent Māori authority (rangatiratanga) and substantive state citizenship.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalPolitical Science
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jul 2022

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