CIVIL SOCIETY AFTER COVID: On re-building a virtuous civic culture

Peter Kurti
17 June 2020 | AP10
CIVIL SOCIETY AFTER COVID: On re-building a virtuous civic culture

Australia faces an unprecedented economic and social challenge. In addition to economic recovery, the equally crucial work of civic repair is required as part of the social transition out of the Covid-19 pandemic. A strong civic culture will be integral to rebuilding prosperity.

Classical liberalism appropriately affords great importance to the liberty of the individual. However, that liberty finds its fullest expression in a society characterised by a spirit of reciprocity and respect for the wellbeing of others. Community, informed by recognition and acceptance of mutual obligation, lies at the heart of civil society, a key mediating component of the compact between state and citizen.

Governments can help uphold the principles underlying civil society – which include trust, commitment, cooperation, and obligation – by ensuring adequate levels of funding to support charities and not-for-profit community organisations through the economic crisis. These organisations, committed to general pursuit of the common good, already provide essential services across various sectors of the Australian economy; they warrant government support for their activities in this critical role.

As the country pursues a return to prosperity, restoration of a virtuous civic culture must be a priority for governments so that all institutions of civil society may once again perform effectively the essential roles upon which the wellbeing of so many Australians depends.

Latest Publications

RATIONALISING REGULATION: Helping the economy recover from the corona crisis
Gene Tunny, Ben Scott
23 September 2020 | AP14

Australia’s anachronistic, inconsistent, and excessive regulatory landscape is an area of immense potential for growth-enhancing economic reforms. The regulatory constraints outlined in this paper are impeding business growth and their removal or adjustment would yield large economic benefits. The relaxation of a range of restrictions to respond to the pandemic—e.g. around supermarket delivery times and the availability of liquor for…

READ MORE
Cancelled! How ideological cleansing threatens Australia
Peter Kurti
17 August 2020 | AP13

‘Cancel culture’ campaigns in Australia are intended to erase elements of our history and to deny the record of those who helped found this country. The impulse to impose a revised interpretation of the past poses a danger that threatens to corrode civility, destroy civic trust, and fuel community discord. The drive to eradicate offensive words, images, and opinions from…

READ MORE
Industrial Relations in a Post-COVID World
Judith Sloan
13 August 2020 | AP12

The economic shocks of COVID-19 and the associated government responses have rendered aspects of our industrial relations regulations unworkable and/or perverse. While the system of regulation was initially a federated role in which the states played significant roles, the federal jurisdiction is now dominant. Apart from Western Australia, all other states have referred their industrial relations powers to the Commonwealth.…

READ MORE
It’s The Economy, Stupid: Economic participation only way to Close the Gap
Nyunggai Warren Mundine
14 July 2020 | AP11

The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians exists for one reason — too many Indigenous people do not participate in the real economy. The key areas of economic participation are having a job and setting up a business. Both depend on commerce and private enterprise. The answer is the same as before: economic participation. This paper assesses where Indigenous policy…

READ MORE
The 12-Week Window: Coronavirus crisis Australia didn’t have to have
Salvatore Babones
02 June 2020 | AP9

The coronavirus crisis was ‘the crisis that Australia didn’t have to have’. This paper lays out a detailed weekly timeline of the crucial first twelve weeks of the crisis, which were Australia’s window of opportunity for fighting the virus at the border instead of in the community. Had Australia treated the virus as border security threat, it could have quarantined…

READ MORE