It is often asserted that the ruling elite in Western capitalist economies now consists of liberal intellectuals and their media sympathisers. By contrast this book looks at the real elite in Australian and New Zealand society and shows that there is still a ruling class based upon economic dominance. From an analysis of corporate and public records, interviews, and other primary and secondary data, it develops a picture of networks of power that are changing but are as real as any network in the past.
'This is an insightful, lively and up-to-date analysis of the mechanisms of power in Australia and New Zealand. Georgina Murray's investigation of the ruling class in these countries is a landmark study that no one can afford to ignore.' John Scott, University of Essex, UK 'This is a thorough analysis of the development and status of the ruling classes and their networks in Australia and New Zealand. The book is an important contribution to the international research literature within new economic sociology.' Sigmund GrÃ¸nmo, University of Bergen, Norway 'Georgina Murray has done us a great service with her carefully-researched mapping of top power-holders in Australia and New Zealand. As well as corporate elites and board interlocks, she studies business-financed think-tanks, and gives new insights into gender patterns at elite levels of power. This is an important study; its findings are deeply disturbing for democracy in Australia and New Zealand.'' Raewyn Connell, University of Sydney, Australia and author of Ruling Class Ruling Culture 'Georgina Murray has done some real investigating, including interviews with scores of company directors in Australia and New Zealand…This book gives us important new material to debate.' Socialist Alternative '…a wealth of data on companies, their directors, their earnings, their social networks and their attitudes…The result is a useful collage of analysis and information that will be a reference point for political economic researchers for years to come.' Journal of Australian Political Economy
Contents: What ruling class?; The history of the Australian and New Zealand ruling classes; What do the Australian and New Zealand ruling classes look like today?; Australian networks of power; The New Zealand interlocks of power; Think tanks, corporate collectivity and the reproduction of ruling ideas; Gender and the ruling classes; Back to the future; Bibliography; Index.