Law, evolution and the organic state

intellectual sources of industrial arbitration in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Recent scholarship has demonstrated the importance of the ‘new liberalism’ in the development of industrial arbitration in Australia. While some of this scholarship has focused on the influence of T.H. Green’s critique of contract, little attention has been paid to the evolutionary background to the new liberal reforms and to conceptions of the state in late nineteenth- and early twentieth century jurisprudence. This article situates the debates over industrial arbitration within the context of British and Australian political and legal thought of the period, covering themes including British idealism, evolutionary theory, historical jurisprudence and theories of group personality. While in Britain there was some resistance to the extension of state power in the form of pluralist political thought, the overwhelming trend in the Australian case was towards state regulation of industrial affairs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-539
Number of pages15
JournalHistory Australia
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • industrial arbitration
  • new liberalism
  • idealism
  • evolution
  • the state
  • Industrial arbitration

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