Governing Social Protection in the Long Term: Social Policy and Employment Relations in Australia and New Zealand

Increasingly over time, social policy cannot be understood in isolation from its connection to the world of work and employment. Drawing on his 2020 book of the same title, Gaby Ramia will present on the concept of social protection and its application through time in a comparative analysis of Australia and New Zealand. He demonstrates that, while the “wage-earners’ welfare state” framework was an accurate portrayal of the traditional welfare state in both countries, it fell short of being an authoritative account of social protection, because it constructed the employment relations system as largely static. Allowing employment relations to be dynamic affects understandings of similarity and difference between the two countries, both in history and in more recent policy developments. It also has implications for contemporary social policy debates.

Gaby Ramia is Professor of Policy and Society in the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney. He is currently research Co-Leader in two initiatives: the NSW Public Policy Institute’s ‘Smart and Working’ Theme, and the new Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies ‘Work, Education and Welfare’ Theme. Gaby’s research has been funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through its Discovery and Linkage grants programs. These have included projects on: social and governance networks and employment services; international student housing precarity; social security in China; international education governance and the welfare of international students. His latest book, which forms the main basis for this presentation, is available in either hard copy or in full-text (for free) online.



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