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Post-war political economics and the growth of Australian university research, c.1945-1965

Post-war political economics and the growth of Australian university research, c.1945-1965 PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to consider the national and international political-economic environment in which Australian university research grew. It considers the implications of the growing significance of knowledge to the government and capital, looking past institutional developments to also historicise the systems that fed and were fed by the universities.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on the extensive archival research in the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial on the formation and funding of a wide range of research programmes in the immediate post-war period after the Second World War. These include the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, the NHMRC, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Australian Pacific Territories Research Council, the Commonwealth Office of Education, the Universities Commission and the Murray review. This research was conducted under the Margaret George Award for emerging scholars for a project entitled “Knowledge, Nation and Democracy in Post-War Australia”.FindingsAfter the Second World War, the Australian Government invested heavily in research: funding that continued to expand in subsequent decades. In the USA, similar government expenditure affected the trajectory of capitalist democracy for the remainder of the twentieth century, leading to a “military-industrial complex”. The outcome in Australia looked quite different, though still connected to the structure and character of Australian political economics.Originality/valueThe discussion of the spectacular growth of universities after the Second World War ordinarily rests on the growth in enrolments. This paper draws on a very large literature review as well as primary research to offer new insights into the connections between research and post-war political and economic development, which also explain university growth. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Education Review Emerald Publishing

Post-war political economics and the growth of Australian university research, c.1945-1965

History of Education Review , Volume 46 (1): 18 – Jun 5, 2017

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0819-8691
DOI
10.1108/HER-10-2015-0023
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to consider the national and international political-economic environment in which Australian university research grew. It considers the implications of the growing significance of knowledge to the government and capital, looking past institutional developments to also historicise the systems that fed and were fed by the universities.Design/methodology/approachThe paper is based on the extensive archival research in the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Memorial on the formation and funding of a wide range of research programmes in the immediate post-war period after the Second World War. These include the Australian Atomic Energy Commission, the NHMRC, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Australian Pacific Territories Research Council, the Commonwealth Office of Education, the Universities Commission and the Murray review. This research was conducted under the Margaret George Award for emerging scholars for a project entitled “Knowledge, Nation and Democracy in Post-War Australia”.FindingsAfter the Second World War, the Australian Government invested heavily in research: funding that continued to expand in subsequent decades. In the USA, similar government expenditure affected the trajectory of capitalist democracy for the remainder of the twentieth century, leading to a “military-industrial complex”. The outcome in Australia looked quite different, though still connected to the structure and character of Australian political economics.Originality/valueThe discussion of the spectacular growth of universities after the Second World War ordinarily rests on the growth in enrolments. This paper draws on a very large literature review as well as primary research to offer new insights into the connections between research and post-war political and economic development, which also explain university growth.

Journal

History of Education ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 5, 2017

References