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The determinants of public policy : with reference to environmental impact assessment policy in Australia

Formby, John R.

Description

This thesis seeks a better understanding of the determinants of public policy. An approach is proposed which recognises that society is an interconnected whole, and which therefore seeks to explain policy in terms of the overall context in which it takes place. Several broad propositions derived from such an approach are suggested which the thesis seeks to verify. Part One, based on the literature, defines an inclusive framework of categories of policy-influential variables, and...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorFormby, John R.
dc.date.accessioned2017-05-29T23:34:56Z
dc.date.available2017-05-29T23:34:56Z
dc.date.copyright1984
dc.identifier.otherb1546820
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/117078
dc.description.abstractThis thesis seeks a better understanding of the determinants of public policy. An approach is proposed which recognises that society is an interconnected whole, and which therefore seeks to explain policy in terms of the overall context in which it takes place. Several broad propositions derived from such an approach are suggested which the thesis seeks to verify. Part One, based on the literature, defines an inclusive framework of categories of policy-influential variables, and examines the influence on public policy of each of these categories. It concludes by summarising a pattern of influential variables which, it is argued, is broadly similar in Western industrial countries, and plays a major part in explaining the nature and continuity of such societies and the characteristic policies which they pursue. Part Two, using the framework defined in Part One, tests and refines the preceding analysis by examining some cases of environmental impact assessment (EIA) and public policy in Australia. The Common­wealth government's overall implementation of its EIA legislation is reviewed, followed by case studies of policy determinants in relation to the planning and EIA of the formerly proposed new urban development of Monarto in South Australia, and Australia's uranium mining and export policy and the Ranger Inquiry. The final chapter draws on both Parts One and Two to examine the propositions advanced in Part One. In terms of these propositions it is concluded that an understanding of the effects of the factors often described as forming the environment of policy making, although sometimes neglected in favour of more proximate policy influences, is essential in explaining public policy, and that such adopted of the kind used in this thesis, which seeks explanation among the patterns of interaction between many variables. It is shown that a predominant pattern of relationships between major policy-influential variables exists which is important in determining the character of Australian society and its policies. The components of this pattern are described, and they are shown to have mutually reinforcing tendencies which lead to strong resistance to change which runs counter to their prevailing characteristics. These conclusions are applied to explain the course of EIA policy in Australia. factors do not merely set broad limits on policy, but have more immediate and specific effects on particular policies. The wide range of variables which affect public policy and their highly interrelated nature is demonstrated, and it is therefore conclu­ded that in explaining the determinants of public policy partial or monodisciplinary analysis should be avoided, and an approach should be adopted of the kind used in this thesis, which seeks explanation among the patterns of interaction between many variables. It is shown that a predominant pattern of relationships between major policy-influential variables exists which is important in determining the character of Australian society and its policies. The components of this pattern are described, and they are shown to have mutually reinforcing tendencies which lead to strong resistance to change which runs counter to their prevailing characteristics. These conclusions are applied to explain the course of EIA policy in Australia.
dc.format.extentxi, 498 leaves
dc.language.isoen
dc.subject.lcshPolicy sciences
dc.subject.lcshEnvironmental impact analysis Australia
dc.subject.lcshEnvironmental policy Australia
dc.titleThe determinants of public policy : with reference to environmental impact assessment policy in Australia
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.supervisorSmith, Tom
dcterms.valid1984
local.description.notesThis thesis has been made available through exception 200AB to the Copyright Act.
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued1984
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d724005aceb6
dc.date.updated2017-05-19T09:15:27Z
local.identifier.proquestYes
local.mintdoimint
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