Justice and politics in major economic reforms

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Australia is struggling to reach political agreement on major economic reforms like tax policy and climate change mitigation. Like many advanced liberal democracies, our politics is dominated by those who would stand to lose from otherwise socially desirable reforms. In some cases, we should let transitional losses and gains lie, but in others it seems only fair that transitional policies be enacted (e.g. to provide, exemptions, compensation or adjustment assistance to losers). But what principles should societies like ours use to determine how to deal with transitional winners and losers from major reforms? And what kinds of institutions would we need to facilitate such ‘just transitions’?

About Fergus Green:
Fergus is a climate policy consultant and a researcher at the London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE). Previously (2014-2015), Fergus was a Policy Analyst and Research Advisor to Professor Nicholas Stern at the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, where his work focused on international climate cooperation, China, and topics relating to climate change mitigation. He has also taught Global Energy & Climate Policy in the Centre for International Studies & Diplomacy at SOAS (2013–14). Fergus is currently undertaking a PhD in the LSE Department of Government, focusing on transitional justice and politics in major economic policy reforms. He is also an Associate of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at the University of Melbourne.

Fergus Green, 2012 John Monash Scholar
MRes / PhD candidate in Political Science, London School of Economics & Political Science

About The Change Agenda:
The inaugural John Monash Scholars’ Symposium, The Change Agenda: Leadership and Direction for Australia’s Future, was held in Oxford on 1 April 2016. The UK and Europe based John Monash Scholars used short bite size presentations to inform a conversation on global trends, and provoke discussion about appropriate responses to them. Each area of discussion, Drivers of Change, Our Human Response, Harnessing Technology, and Leading the Region,  included 5-6 presentations, was chaired by an eminent Australian and took questions from the floor.