Pragmatic federalism and Australia's new national health agencies

Amanda Smullen

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    This article examines the recent creation of Commonwealth semi-autonomous regulatory health agencies in the context of Australia's pragmatic federal tradition. These (soft) regulatory agencies are novel to Australia's historically fragmented federal health system, though they follow an apparent trend towards Commonwealth performance regulation of traditionally state/territory jurisdictional policies and functions. Following academic literature on the EU, the analysis here seeks to link notions of Australian pragmatic federalism with different types of multi-level governance. The Australian federal experience has long been plagued by the rival logics of Westminster and Federal institutions and it is argued that their amalgamation presents a continuum along which (pragmatic) intergovernmental arrangements can be characterized. This notion of a continuum is further conceptualized through the distinctions between performance regimes for (top down) accountability and performance regimes for learning. Key questions are how can Australia's pragmatic federalism be characterized? And is there evidence of a deepening of Australia's pragmatic federal traditions through the creation of these new regulatory agencies?
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    EventPublic Policy Network Conference 2014 - Canberra, Australia
    Duration: 1 Jan 2014 → …


    ConferencePublic Policy Network Conference 2014
    Period1/01/14 → …


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