Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies

Research Supported by the Clark Center

Kate Farhall, Andrea Carson, Scott Wright, Andrew Gibbons and William Lukamto (2019). 'Political Elites' Use of Fake News Discourse Across Communications Platforms.' International Journal of Communication. 
“Fake news” has become a global term since Donald Trump’s election as President of the United States. President Trump adopted what we describe as a “discourse of fake news” to attack and discredit news media and political rivals, which is suggested to have been reproduced by politicians in other national contexts. This article investigates whether Australian politicians adopt a fake news discourse. To do so, data are gathered over six months after Trump’s election from four political communications fora : parliamentary debates, social media (Facebook and Twitter), press, and politicians’ websites. We find fake news discourse is predominantly the domain of conservatives. Frequent users employ fake news discourse to delegitimize primarily the media, but also political opponents. Australian politicians’ use of fake news discourse is rare, but it is amplified by news media. Concerningly, it is seldom contested. We argue this has negative consequences for public debate and trust in media and political institutions.

Andrea Carson, Andrew Gibbons and Aaron Martin (2019). ‘Did the minority Gillard government keep its promises? A study of promissory representation in Australia.’ Australian Journal of Political Science. DOI:
When the Gillard government formed a minority government in 2010 many commentators argued that the government would be unable to fulfil its mandate. Despite this, the Gillard government was able to pass a record amount of legislation – comparable to previous majority-led governments – suggesting the government was effective at negotiating legislative passage. Less understood is whether the minority Gillard government was able to keep its election promises given the constraints of minority government. This is an important empirical and normative question. In their most basic form elections are designed to allow the public to hold politicians and political parties to account for their past performance. Central to this is whether parties have fulfilled the promises they made at the previous election. But how do parties express election promises to citizens and are they likely to fulfil these promises? Does minority government status make a difference? We examine these questions in the first contemporary Australian study of promise fulfilment, examining promises made and promise fulfilment of the Gillard minority government (2010–2013). We adopt the methods of the Comparative Party Pledges Project (CPPP). Consistent with the international literature, we find that the Gillard government fulfilled most of its election promises suggesting minority government status did not have a large effect on promise fulfilment.

2019. “The New Zealand Policy Agendas Project,” in Frank A. Baumgartner, Christian Breunig, and Emiliano Grossman (eds.), The Comparative Agendas Data Project Book (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

2019. “The Australian Policy Agendas Project,” (with Keith Dowding and Aaron Martin), in Frank A. Baumgartner, Christian Breunig, and Emiliano Grossman (eds.), The Comparative Agendas Data Project Book (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

2017. “Dialogue:  Clarified and Reconsidered” (with Rainer Knopff, Dennis Baker, and Dave Snow), 54(2) Osgoode Hall Law Review 609-644.

Rhonda L. Evans and Sean Fern. 2015.  “From Applications to Appeals: A Political Science Perspective on the New Zealand Supreme Court’s Docket.”  In The Supreme Court of New Zealand 2004-2013, eds. Mary-Rose Russell and Matthew Barber.  Wellington:  Thomson Reuters, pp. 33-60.  This book offers a critical review of the New Zealand Supreme Court’s first decade in operation. It contains a variety of perspectives on and approaches to examining the Court’s contribution to New Zealand law from its creation on 1 January 2004 until the end of 2013.  Chapters focus on the areas of law in which key decisions have been made. Other contributions include a barrister’s perspective on the Court’s performance, two chapters using empirical analyses to consider the decisions of the Court both in applications for leave to appeal and in substantive appeals, and a complete list of the accessible outputs of the Court, the latter being previously unavailable from a single source. To purchase a copy, visit Thomson Reuters.   

Terri E. Givens and Rhonda Evans Case. 2014. Legislating Equality: The Politics of Antidiscrimination Policy in Europe. Oxford University Press. 

Rhonda Evans Case. 2013. "Comparative Judicial Studies at the 2012 World Congress of Political Science." Law & Courts Newsletter 23(1): 19-32

Robert Shaffer.  2013.  “Judicial Oversight in the Comparative Context: Biodiversity Protection in the US, Australia, and Canada.” 43(2) Environmental Law Reporter

Don Graham.  2013.  Michael Wilding and the Fiction of Instant Experience: Stories, Novels, and Memoirs, 1963-2012 Amherst, NY:  Teneo Press.  This is the most recent book published by Don Graham, J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. Wilding’s many contributions to Australian literature have been overlooked in recent years. With this book, Graham seeks to restore Wilding to the forefront of Australia literature and help to revive Australian literary studies.  His interest in Wilding grew out of his participation in 1991 in a faculty exchange program that the Clark Center’s founding director, John Higley, organized between the University of Texas and the University of Sydney. To order a copy, visit Teneo Press Online

Jeffrey D. McCausland, Douglas T. Stuart, William Tow, Michael Wesley, eds.  2007. The Other Special Relationship: The United States and Australia at the Start of the 21st Century.  Carlisle, Pennsylvania:  Strategic Studies Institute.  This volume summarizes the major findings of participants at a conference that examined relations between the U.S and Australia and evaluated the importance of two events in determining London and Canberra’s relations with Washington. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 (9/11) represent the first turning point. The British and Australian governments reacted similarly to these attacks—immediately identifying 9/11 as a transformative moment in international relations. But the Australian Prime Minister’s presence in Washington, DC, during the 9/11 terrorist attacks intensified the personal impact of the events, and within a few days his government had invoked the ANZUS Treaty to offer its full support to the United States. The second “big event” dominating both U.S.-UK relations and U.S.-Australia relations has been America’s management of the Global War on Terror and, in particular, its leadership of the ongoing operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. To obtain a free PDF copy, visit the Strategic Studies Institute

Celeste Lipow MacLeod.  2006.  Multiethnic Australia: Its History and Future.  Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co. After once striving to keep its population white and predominantly British, Australia changed course. Since 1947 it has peacefully absorbed six million immigrants from some 240 countries, places and ethnic regions, with growing numbers coming from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The book blends past and present to show why the change happened, the conflicts it caused and the benefits it brought.  To purchase a copy, visit McFarland Publishers.

Arthur Emerson, The Almost Magic Pudding: A Brief History and Overview of Australian Materials at the Library of Congress.  Written by an Australia/New Zealand Specialist at the Library of Congress, this paper was presented at an annual meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Studies Association of North America (ANZSANA) in Georgetown.