Minority activism : trends informing political participation across Australian communities

Scott, David Malcolm Robert (2009) Minority activism : trends informing political participation across Australian communities. Professional Doctorate thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


In the late 1990’s, intense and vigorous debate surrounded the impact of minority communities on Australia’s mainstream society. The rise of far-right populism took the stage with the introduction to the political landscape of Pauline Hanson and her One Nation party, whilst John Howard’s Liberal-National Coalition Government took the fore on debate over immigration issues corresponding with an influx of irregular arrivals. In 2001, following the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States of America and subsequent attacks on western targets globally, many of these issues continued to be debated through the security posturing that followed. In recent years, much effort has been afforded to countering the threat of terrorism from home grown assailants. The Government has introduced stringent legislative responses whilst researchers have studied social movements and trends within Australian communities, particularly with respect to minorities. In 2008, the Scanlon Foundation, in association with Monash University and various government entities, released its findings into its survey approach to mapping social cohesion in Australia. It identified a number of spheres of exploration which it believed were essential to measuring cohesiveness of Australian communities generally including, economic, political and socio-cultural factors (Markus and Dharmalingam, 2008). This doctoral project report will explore the political sphere as identified in the Mapping Social Cohesion project and apply it to identified minority ethnic communities. The Scanlon Foundation project identified political participation as one of a number of true indicators of social cohesion. This project acknowledges that democracy in Australia is represented predominantly by two political entities representing a vast majority of constituents under a compulsory voting regime. This essay will identify the levels of political activism achieved by minority ethnic communities and access to democratic participation within the Australian political structure. It will define a ten year period from 1999 to 2009, identifying trends and issues within minority communities that have proactively and reactively promoted engagement in achieving a political voice, framed within a mainstream-dominated political system. It will research social movements and other influential factors over that period to enrich existing knowledge in relation to political participation rates across Australian communities.

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ID Code: 41033
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Professional Doctorate)
Supervisor: Bean, Clive
Keywords: human rights, immigration, multiculturalism, political activism, political participation, security policy, social cohesion, social justice, social movements, social policy, social marginalisation
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 29 Mar 2011 04:34
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2011 00:35

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