Democracy in a Divided Australia2018-10-09T15:02:52+00:00

Australia is divided between Inners and Outers.

Inners are inner-city progressive cosmopolitans who value change, diversity, and self-actualisation. They are a minority but dominate the upper echelons of Australian society. Outers are instinctive traditionalists who value stability, safety, and unity. These divides are driving Australia’s political turmoil. In an era of global political upheaval, Democracy in a Divided Australia is the first empirically grounded investigation of Australia’s political tribes, the capture of policymaking by a new elite, and charting of a path forward in a divided nation.

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Inner-Outer Quiz

A great pleasure to talk about my upcoming book, Democracy in a Divided Australia, on Sky News Australia last night on Gary Hardgrave's show. Take the quiz:

Posted by Matthew Lesh on Friday, 21 September 2018
Hargreaves, Sky News, 22 September 2018

Last night I discussed my upcoming book, Democracy in a Divided Australia, with Stan Grant on Matter of Fact, ABC News

Posted by Matthew Lesh on Tuesday, 11 September 2018
Matter of Fact with Stan Grant, ABC News, 11 September 2018

Last night I was interviewed by Chris Kenny about Democracy in a Divided Australia on Sky News.

Posted by Matthew Lesh on Sunday, 30 September 2018
Kenny on Sunday, Sky News, 30 September 2018
A brilliant book. If you want to understand why Australia is more polarised than ever, and what to do about it,  read Democracy in a Divided Australia.

Its aim is to build a more cohesive country, where tribalism gives way to the soaring human desire for greater freedom to decide what happens in our communities, families and personal lives.

Janet Albrechtsen, Columnist, The Australian

New political fault lines have opened up in our world, Brexit and Trump have shaken up politics as usual. Now Matthew Lesh surveys our terrain, the divide between those outside and those inside and the political earthquake to come.

Stan Grant, ABC Chief Asia Correspondent
Matthew Lesh has expertly chronicled the rising influence and increasing detachment of Australia’s policymaking elite from those they seek to govern. Democracy in a Divided Australia should be compulsory reading in political science courses at our universities.
James Paterson, Senator for Victoria
Democracy in a Divided Australia is a fascinating and persuasive work. Matthew Lesh uses a wide array of evidence to show how Australia’s new divides are challenging our democracy, unity and wellbeing. The issues identified are very real and troubling.
The Hon Dr David Kemp, Former Federal Minister & author of Electoral Behaviour in Australia: a Study of Three Decades (1978)

Lesh dissects the division sitting at the heart of so many Australian’s lived experience. Critically, Lesh doesn’t just trawl through the data and identify the problem. Instead, he maps out a liberal solution anchored in firm immortal principles that can bridge our polity’s divide and a shared, common future for project Australia.

Tim Wilson MP, Federal Liberal Member for Goldstein

The new book by an IPA fellow that is head-scratchingly nuanced… The book, Democracy in a Divided Australia, is highly referenced with plenty of data and quantitative analysis. The notes and bibliography combined make up 73 pages. Though it looks like a PhD thesis, to Lesh’s credit, the 210 pages of text are very accessible read.

Irfan Yusuf, Crikey News

Matthew Lesh

Matthew Lesh is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. He regularly appears on television and radio, and his writing has appeared in The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Canberra Times, Herald Sun, Australian Financial Review, ABC News and The Huffington Post.

Matthew graduated with First Class Honours from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts (Degree with Honours), and subsequently completed a Masters in Public Policy and Administration at the London School of Economics where he received the Peter Self Prize for Best Overall Result.

Matthew has also worked for state and federal parliamentarians, in digital communications, and founded a mobile application development start-up.