The book

Globalisation, the state and regional Australia (Sydney University Press, 2018) explains what globalisation means in our regions. Drilling down through layers of concepts, policies and politics, the book is built on a foundation of lived experience in regional Australia.

As Australian governments have ‘opened up’ the national economy, regional economies and communities have been highly exposed to global competition. The book surveys the state of regional Australia and its intersection with national policies for industry and regional development. Three case studies from one region – the Shoalhaven, south of Sydney – allow for careful consideration of what globalisation and government policies mean for local growth and wellbeing.

The dairy industry, paper manufacturing and ethanol production are iconic industries in the Shoalhaven, and their trajectories over the last 30 years are illuminating for theorists and practitioners alike. The case studies reinforce important points about the nature of globalisation, the pervasiveness and inconsistencies of neoliberal policymaking and the role of the state in building and mediating globalisation. For all the (laconic) political commitment to ‘regional development’ in Australia, policies for regional Australia remain undeveloped and often ineffective.

In presenting the impacts of globalisation on a human scale, the book shows how policies and practices in a non-urban region have intersected, interacted and responded to globalisation. The book concludes with recommendations for federal policymakers on how to make regional policy work in the era of globalisation.

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