This book is framed by four over-arching narratives of inquiry. While all four are firmly anchored in Australia’s political milieu – and as such are of considerable interest to a range of actors therein (scholars and students, the media, the political class) – they will also be of interest to a global audience. First, ideation. More specifically, what is the nature of populist politics in Australia, why does it consistently resonate with particular electoral demographics, what is the basis of its appeal over and above electoral cycles, and how should we position it in relation to more familiar concepts such as democracy, nationalism and progressive-conservative politics?
Second, election. Despite the disparaging tone that the mainstream media can sometimes adopt when discussing electoral outcomes for right-populism and Hanson in particular, why does right-populism consistently resonate with particular electoral demographics, characterized by various criteria – geographic, social class, gender? How does populism play out in electoral cycles, and how do mainstream political partiescapitalize on it for political gain?
Third, policy and politics. Much to the disappointment of many, right-populism in Australia generally and PHONP in particular has been influential in policy formulation across a range of domains. These include Indigenous policy and reconciliation, immigration and international relations, industry policy, and the politics of gender. Taking a broader perspective, how does the resurgence of right-populism in Australia today differ from two decades ago, and is the polity, generally speaking, shifting to the right?
Fourth, Australia’s right-populism from a comparative international perspective. More specifically, what are the similarities and differences between right-populism in Australia on the one hand and in Europe and the US on the other, and are we justified in concluding, however tentatively, that the rise of right-populism is similar across these polities?