Revisiting the 2001 election: using historical research methods in Australian political science

The 2001 election proved to be an important landmark in Australian political history, even though there was no change of government. The rescue at sea of an overcrowded vessel of refugees by the Norwegian commercial freighter the MV Tampa has become an important image of the Howard government and, more broadly, refugee politics since the 1980s. Indeed, the Tampa was an important turning point for Australian refugee policy, highlighting the importance of historical events for those studying contemporary public policy and political dilemmas. However, it was not the only significant event to shape that election, even though it is popularly remembered this way. This seminar explores both the events of the 2001 election themselves, and the challenges of attempting to reconstruct and reinterpret the very recent past. Further, it explores how traditional historical methods can be used in political science contexts. Finally, how can political historians and political scientists increase dialogue between the two disciplines and what might be the advantages?

Marija Taflaga is a post-doctoral researcher at the Australian National University. Her primary research focus is on conservative political parties in comparative context. Marija’s research interests also include comparative Westminster parliaments and oppositions, the career paths political elites, and Australian political history. Marija has undertaken research fellowships at the Australian Parliamentary Library and the Australian Museum of Democracy, Old Parliament House. She has also worked in the Australian Parliamentary Press Gallery as a researcher at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.


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Date & time

Wed 02 May 2018, 4.15–5.30pm


McDonald Room, Menzies Library, Fellows Road, ACTON ACT 2601


Marija Taflaga, School of Politics and International Relations, ANU

Event series


School of History


Dr Benjamin Jones


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