IGPA Research Seminar Series

Australian Parliamentary Committees and their Publics in Era of 'New Politics'

Thu 6 October 2016Adrian Kay, Carolyn Hendriks and Sue Regan / 4:00pm - 5:00pmSeminar Room 2, Building 24, University of Canberra


Today the political and technological landscape of our parliamentary institutions is highly volatile.  In Australia, as in many western liberal democracies, we are in an era of ‘new politics’ characterised by declining membership in political parties, increasing populist politics, and changing patterns in where and how people participate in politics. This paper examines how parliamentary committees – the core deliberative institutions of parliaments – are adapting to engage with the public in the era of ‘new politics’. Parliamentary committees represent an important site of policy and executive scrutiny, but also public input. How are contemporary parliamentary committees engaging the public in their deliberations, and what opportunities and challenges do they face as citizens preferences for political participation changes? Drawing on empirical research from several Australian parliaments, the paper identifies the main participatory approaches currently being undertaken to engage the public in committees. The research also explores the form and extent of participatory innovation currently being undertaken in parliamentary committees. Drivers and barriers to participatory innovation in committees are discussed, and recommendations for deeper more inclusive forms of public engagement are proposed.

Adrian Kay will present at this seminar based on a joint project with Carolyn Hendriks and Sue Regan at the Crawford School, which has been funded by the ANU Research School of Asia and the Pacific.


Adrian Kay is Director of National Professional Development and Professor of Government at the Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU. He has previously held academic appointments in the UK and at Griffith University, Queensland. Prior to an academic career, Adrian was a member of the UK government’s European Fast Stream for several years and spent a year working for the European Commission in Brussels. His major research interests lie at the intersection of international and comparative public policy, with a particular empirical focus on transnational health policy-making and the social determinants of health. Adrian is currently Co-Editor of the Australian Journal of Public Administration and, in 2015-16, President of the Australian Political Studies Association.

This event is free to attend and no registration is required. You are welcome to forward this invitation to any interested guests.

The IGPA Research Seminar Series is convened by Dr Paul Fawcett.

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