Stephen Mills reviews 'Handbook of Political Party Funding' edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau

Stephen Mills reviews 'Handbook of Political Party Funding' edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau

Handbook of Political Party Funding

edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau

Edward Elgar, $357 hb, 553 pp, 9781785367960

At its best, political science research is empirical, systematic, comparative, and provides cogent and durable explanations – not just descriptions – of political behaviour wherever it is observed. What a pity then that the Handbook of Political Party Funding, for all its strengths in these areas, also exemplifies one of the pathologies of contemporary academic research and publishing. With its self-referential concerns and methods, its jargon, and its forbidding price, this book is largely inaccessible to anyone outside the circle of professional researchers.

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Published in ABR Online Exclusives
Stephen Mills

Stephen Mills

Stephen Mills is honorary senior lecturer at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Sydney. He has written widely on Australian politics and election campaigns, including The Professionals: Strategy, Money and the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia (2014). He served in the office of Prime Minister Bob Hawke as speechwriter (1986–91).

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