Publication Details

Cahill, D. 2002, 'Funding the ideological struggle', Overland, vol. 168, pp. 21-26.


Over the past twenty-five years a radical neo-liberal movement, more commonly known as the 'new right', has launched a sustained assault upon the welfare state, social justice and defenders of these institutions and ideas. In Australia, the organisational backbone of this movement is provided by think tanks such as the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS), and the Tasman Institute; and forums such as the H.R. Nicholls Society. Central to the movement's efficacy and longevity has been financial support from Australia's corporate sector and industry interest groups. Activists and scholars have produced many articles and books discussing radical neo-liberalism, but the movement has yet to be comprehensively analysed. This article is a contribution towards such a project. What follows is an examination of the relationship between the radical neo·liberal movement and Australia's ruling class; a study of the motivations for corporate funding of neo-liberal think tanks; and an analysis of what impact the movement has had on policy and public opinion.