Polarisation, Partisanship and Noel Pearson’s Quest for the Radical Centre

26 Pages Posted: 22 May 2014 Last revised: 24 Oct 2014

See all articles by Katherine Curchin

Katherine Curchin

Australian National University (ANU)

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

The Aboriginal lawyer and social reformer Noel Pearson is one of Australia’s most prominent and influential public intellectuals. This paper examines an aspect of his political thought which has received little scholarly attention: the ‘quest for a radical centre’’. It is argued that the ‘radical centre’ is best understood as an ethic of partisanship rather than a position on the ideological spectrum. At the core of this ethic is the willingness to compromise with adversaries. Pearson’s presentation of himself as a centrist is explored in light of his strategic pursuit of Indigenous welfare reform, and especially his contribution to the public debate over the introduction of the Northern Territory Emergency Response Intervention by the Howard Government in 2007.

Keywords: Noel Pearson, radical centre, partisanship, Northern Territory Emergency Response Intervention

Suggested Citation

Curchin, Katherine, Polarisation, Partisanship and Noel Pearson’s Quest for the Radical Centre (2014). The Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, University of Sydney Paper​, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2440196 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2440196

Katherine Curchin (Contact Author)

Australian National University (ANU) ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Downloads
50
Abstract Views
514
PlumX Metrics