Dr Adrian Pabst appointed visiting fellow for 2018

The distinguished political philosopher Dr Adrian Pabst has been appointed the Sir Peter Lawler Visiting Fellow at the PM Glynn Institute for 2018.

Dr Pabst studied economics and politics at the University of Cambridge, the London School of Economics and Sciences Po, Paris, before gaining a PhD in political philosophy from Cambridge (2006). In 2007 he joined the University of Nottingham, where he held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship, and in September 2009 he joined the University of Kent where he is currently Reader in Politics.

As the Sir Peter Lawler Visiting Fellow, he will work on a book about the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the labour movement from John Curtin to Bill Shorten. The focus will be on the influence of Catholic social teaching and distributism, and on how these traditions can help to shape ALP politics and policy today.

 “The book will explore the possibilities that Catholic social teaching and distributism hold for the ALP in the twenty-first century,” Dr Pabst said.

“At a time when the consensus on market liberalism and social progressivism is in question, it examines how these traditions offer both a narrative and a set of policy ideas, which can help the ALP to win power and govern in the national interest.”

“One key line of inquiry the book will pursue is whether social Catholicism can marry economic interests with cultural concerns, especially among working-class voters who are still the ALP’s bedrock electoral support.”

Dr Pabst’s book will be the second in the PM Glynn Monograph Series. It follows on from the first book in the series, Abbott’s Right: the conservative tradition from Menzies to Abbott, published in 2017 by the Institute’s first visiting fellow, Damien Freeman.

The series consists of short studies examining sometimes overlooked strands of thought in the major political traditions in Australia, with a view to bringing them back into focus as a resource for public policymaking and the practice of politics.

The 2018 Visiting Fellowship has been named for Sir Peter Lawler OBE GCPO, who died last year. Sir Peter was one of the foremost public servants of his generation, a lifetime supporter of the ALP, and a committed Catholic who served as Australia’s Ambassador to Ireland and the Holy See.

Dr Pabst will make several trips to Australia for research purposes, and will participate in a range of activities to support the Institute.  His first visit will be in April, during which time Dr Jesse Norman MP will deliver the second PM Glynn Lecture on Religion, Law and Public Life on “Edmund Burke and Adam Smith: Rediscovering the Moral Basis of a Commercial Society”, at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney on 9 April.

Dr Pabst and Dr Norman will both participate in a conference jointly presented by the PM Glynn Institute and the Institute for Ethics and Society at the University of Notre Dame Australia, titled “Perspectives on Burke’s Political Thought: Conservatism, Libertarianism, Distributism and the Radical Centre”.  Other speakers will include Professor Gregory Melleuish, Professor of History and Politics at the University of Wollongong.

Dr Pabst will also deliver the 2018 Religion and Global Society Lecture for the Institute for Ethics and Society on 19 April.

Dr Michael Casey, director of the PM Glynn Institute, said, “We are delighted to welcome Adrian to the Institute.

“His work addresses not only the failures and contradictions of contemporary politics, but also highlights the resources that we already have to re-evaluate where we are going as a society and to chart a better course.”

“As a scholar who has thought and written about the modern labour tradition in English-speaking countries, he is immensely well placed to examine the part that Catholic social teaching has played in the Australian labour movement.

“I have no doubt that the book he produces for the PM Glynn Monograph Series in honour of Sir Peter Lawler will be a significant contribution to re-imagining politics in Australia and how it can be practised”.

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