Institutional regimes in transport: case studies of rail and road in NSW and Queensland 1850-2000

The basic stance of the thesis is that the analysis of institutional arrangements and their regimes provides an appropriate framework for understanding and explaining the trajectories of long historical processes of economic change. The thesis is situated within the ontological institutional turn in economic geography discourse. The institutional perspective is used to shed light on five key questions about land transport policy in NSW and Queensland from 1850 to 2000. What are the main themes of change in institutional arrangements in the management and delivery of land transport by government road and rail agencies? What were the drivers of key changes? How have the different politico-administrative settings of NSW and Queensland shaped similarities and difference? What factors contribute to an understanding of these differences? And, finally, what have been the outcomes for infrastructure governance, service delivery and spatial economic development in regions and cities? Two States were selected as case studies to enable the impact of different geographies to be considered. The thesis finds that these similarities and differences are a result of the emergence of ideas that capture advocacy within policy networks which themselves are part of the institutional structure. The speed and extent of the implementation of these ideas depends on the relative strength of individual actors as agents of policy change. The actual nature of the implementation processes is modified by the relative strength of the policy arena and of the key institutions within it. Hence, institutional architectures, even if they come from the wellspring of global trends, can differ markedly as they are modified by the “local” through the advocacy of interest groups. The overwhelming evidence from the case studies is that geography in its historical context is the critical variable in explaining different responses and outcomes in the road and rail trajectories of NSW and Queensland.


  • English

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  • Pagination: 1 file

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  • Accession Number: 01528122
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jun 12 2014 10:00AM