South Australia's quiet multiculturalism: Elite perspectives of the policy success of immigrant multiculturalism from 2007 to 2017

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Abstract

Despite the long-standing connection between South Australia and the national development of immigrant multiculturalism, epitomised through the role of Premier Don Dunstan, recent policy developments have not yet been studied at the state level. This article evaluates the development and ‘policy success’ of multiculturalism in South Australia from 2007 to 2017, a period characterised by the so-called ‘backlash against multiculturalism’ in many liberal democracies. The study is based on interviews with policymakers and policy stakeholders, triangulated against policy documentation and other grey literature. Overall, policy efforts by successive state governments can be characterised as ‘quiet multiculturalism’, in that they have become entrenched as the political norm. Multiculturalism tends not to be politically contentious, leaving policymakers to implement policies without much fanfare. At the same time though, there is a risk of fragility. Deeper structural barriers to equal opportunity may be overlooked due to an attitude that existing policies promoting ‘access and equity’ are sufficient or can be scaled down.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian Journal of Public Administration
Early online date13 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • multiculturalism
  • South Australia
  • policy success

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