For the last few months I’ve been working on a book about the politics of the global financial crisis in Australia and lessons for the future, and I’m pleased to say it has been scheduled for publication and release by MUP on 1 July this year. It’s called Glory Daze: how a world-beating nation got so down on itself.
My aim is to explain how Australia became the toast of the global economy, what Australians feel about it, and why it matters for the future. It tries to work out what it is about our politics and our country which leads to a lack of national self-confidence despite the stunning success of Labor’s economic policies, and the role they played in avoiding recession and mass joblessness during the GFC.
It finds in a lethal combination of right-wing hyper-partisanship and self-serving incentives in our democracy the root causes of that deficit of national self-esteem. Not everyone will agree with all of it, but I hope the book provides a unique and useful perspective on economics and national identity. Because I believe that if Australians don’t choose a future less consumed by the poisonous politics of recent years we will squander our tremendous national advantages and momentum, and compromise our ability to tackle the socio-economic challenges of the coming decades as successfully as we have navigated those just past.
I really enjoyed reflecting on all this as I wrote the book. I want to thank everyone who helped out, and I look forward to carrying on the discussion via Chifley Research Centre forums and elsewhere, when it comes out later in the year. Here is a link to the publisher’s press release if you’re interested in a bit more information.