Dr Zareh Ghazarian, Lecturer in Politics and International Relations from the School of Social Sciences, delivered the Senate Occasional Lecture in Parliament House, Canberra on 17 March, 2017.
The lecture marked the 40th anniversary of the election of the Australian Democrats to the national parliament. It drew on Dr Ghazarian’s research on minor parties as well as findings from his most recent book, The Making of a Party System: Minor Parties in the Australian Senate.
The lecture considered the rise of minor parties in the Australian Senate, especially since the 1980s, and constructed a novel framework for analysis.
As Dr Ghazarian explained, “minor parties winning Senate contests in recent years are advancing a specific policy agenda with links to broad social movements, whereas earlier minor parties arose as a result of fragmentation in a major party with the view to be either watchdogs on, or frustrate, the major parties”.
The lecture also highlighted how the Australian Democrats revitalised the role of the Senate in Australian politics and government.
A recording of the lecture can be found on the Australian Parliament House website.
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