Podcast: People power beyond the ballot box

08 November 2019

Episode summary

On this episode of Policy Forum Pod, we ask an expert panel on economics, political marketing and leadership, and citizen engagement, to tackle the troubles with political participation. From protests on the one hand, to complete disengagement on the other, our panel give their recommendations on how to get politicians to lend you their ears.

Episode notes

Trust in democracy is falling in Western countries – including Australia. On one side, we see growing protests about the government’s response to climate change, while at the other extreme people are feeling increasingly disengaged by politics. So on this week’s Policy Forum Pod, we ask, how can we make sure that the voice of citizens is heard in policy? To tackle this question, we’re joined by Associate Professor Jennifer Lees-Marshment, Associate Professor Carolyn Hendriks, and Peter Martin. The panel also discuss Scott Morrison’s clampdown on environmental protesters, and why social media has hampered rather than helped productive political dialogue. Listen here.

Pod presenters Professor Quentin Grafton and Julia Ahrens also discuss the reaction to Quentin’s call for Australia to declare a ‘water emergency’, welcome some of our new Facebook group friends, and look at some of your questions and comments.

Carolyn Hendriks is Associate Professor of Public Policy and Governance, at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy. Her work examines the democratic aspects of contemporary governance.

Jennifer Lees-Marshment is an Associate Professor in political science at The University of Auckland in New Zealand. Author/editor of 13 books, she is a world expert in political marketing with additional research interests in public input, leadership, and governance.

Peter Martin is a Visiting Fellow at ANU Crawford School of Public Policy and the Business and Economy Editor of The Conversation. A former Commonwealth Treasury official, he has worked as economics correspondent for the ABC, as economics editor of The Age, and as host of The Economists on ABC Radio National.

Quentin Grafton is Professor of Economics at Crawford School, an ANU Public Policy Fellow, and Director of the Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Policy Forum.

Julia Ahrens is a presenter on Policy Forum Pod.

Policy Forum Pod is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Subscribe on Android or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

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