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date: 07 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter charts the evolution of Australian political parties and analyses the characteristics of Australian partisan politics, which are constantly evolving to balance the pragmatism of electoral politics with demands for effective representation and participation. The chapter highlights what is both similar and distinctive about Australian parties in comparative perspective, explores the influence of ideas from other political systems, and reflects on how Australian political culture, institutions, and parties have evolved in symbiosis. It examines changes in the nature of the party system and within parties as organizations, and contemplates the future of political parties as actors in Australian politics. As political parties worldwide continue to face rising levels of public disaffection with formal political institutions and rapidly changing technologies, the evolutionary trajectory of parties in Australia is becoming increasingly complex.

Keywords: Australia, political parties, party change, organization, representation, participation, party history

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