Arts Design & Architecture

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 10 of 2189

  • (1999) Blount, Simon
    Thesis
    This thesis inquires into the political influences upon the recent tax reform process in Australia. An analysis of interest groups, public opinion and voting in relation to tax issues is carried out, using statistical analyses of behavioural evidence taken from the National Tax Summit, public opinion polls 1982-1998, and the 1990, 1993 and 1996 federal elections. The direction of tax reform in Australia is also compared with that of other OECD nations, using data collected by the OECD. The analysis of interest groups compares incremental pluralist, corporatist and rational predictions of the way in which interest groups are thought to influence tax policy. The investigation of public opinion uses evidence from opinion polls to test a number of competing hypotheses drawn from the theory of tax aversion, which proposes that individuals are not averse to all forms of taxation equally, but are rather averse to some aspects of taxation more than others. The inquiry into voting in relation to taxation issues investigates a number of complementary proposals: that voters are as influenced by permanent change microeconomic issues as they are by cyclical change macroeconomic issues, that voters were particularly influenced by the issue of the GST in 1993, and that voters' attitudes towards this issue displayed a measure of self interest, as well as partisanship. Finally, a comparative analysis indicates whether the attempted tax reforms in Australia are taking place within the context of OECD countries relying less upon income taxes, and more upon broad based indirect taxes. The main findings of the thesis are that the reforms of the National Tax Summit were neither incrementalist, nor pluralist in nature, falsifying the most important interest group theory of tax policy making. Nor was one hypothesis of tax aversion more successful than any other in describing voter opinion about tax reform, although the overall impression is that voters rationally oppose higher burdens of taxation. It is clear that Australian voters are more heavily influenced by issues of change in the micro economy than by issues of change in the macro economy. However, although the GST was an important issue in the 1993 election, this election cannot be described as a referendum on this issue. Finally, it is apparent that the proposals for tax reform in Australia are taking place within the context of tax convergence among comparable OECD nations in the direction of reduced reliance upon income taxes and narrowly based indirect taxes, and increased reliance upon broad based indirect taxes. In the conclusion, I suggest that over the period studied by this thesis, the influence of interest groups, public opinion and voters has declined, and the influence of other tax reforming nations has probably increased as taxation policy has moved from the politics of consensus to the politics of conviction.



  • (1991) Short, Stephanie
    Thesis
    This thesis investigates theoretical and empirical developments in the sociology of medical knowledge in the period between 1951 and 1990. The problems addressed are twofold. First, how have medical sociologists problematised medical knowledge and secondly, what makes medical knowledge impervious to sociological scrutiny? The theoretical perspective adopted in this study is a critical sociology of knowledge that draws insights from feminist critical theory and from the ideas of Michel Foucault. The study develops an analytical framework based on a heuristic distinction between sociological studies of medical practice, medical education and medical research. The method of investigation comprises analysis of relevant theoretical studies followed by in-depth analysis of five empirical case studies of medical practice, education and research. The first conclusion reached is that sociological studies of medical practice tend to investigate the application of medical knowledge; that studies of medical education focus on examining the transmission of medical knowledge; and that studies of medical research examine the production of medical knowledge. The study revealed that the content of medical scientific knowledge was excluded from sociological scrutiny in the studies of medical practice and education considered here, due to the positivist assumption that medical scientific knowledge of biophysical reality is universal and objective in nature, and hence not suitable as a topic for sociological enquiry. In contrast, sociological studies of medical research examine the limits and validity of medical scientific knowledge. The second conclusion reached is that there is a considerable degree of internal differentiation within the sociological studies of medical practice, education and research. Sociologists are interested in studying aspects of medical knowledge which are subject to medical disagreement. Also, sociologists are inclined to study aspects of medical knowledge in which there is an apparent distance or disjuncture between the cultures of patients and doctors. Government interest in scrutinising or regulating a medical problem also focuses sociologists attention on some medical problems rather than others. Conversely, medical knowledge tends to remain impervious to sociological scrutiny if it is not subject to either medical disagreement, cultural disjuncture or government scrutiny.

  • (1998) Motalebi-Esfidvajani, Ghasem
    Thesis


  • (1992) Chandler, Paul Allan
    Thesis