'The Professionals' wins Henry Mayer book prize
Thanks to the Australian Political Studies Association, 'The Professionals' has been awarded the Henry Mayer Book Prize for Australian Politics 2015. The Prize, awarded biennially, recognises the best book on Australian politics (including political history) published during the previous two years. The award was announced at APSA's annual conference at the University of Canberra in September 2015.
Henry Mayer was a giant in Australian political studies. Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney 1969-84, Mayer essentialy founded and pioneered the study of Australian elections and of media communications. His edited book Labor to Power: Australia's 1972 Election (Angus and Robertson 1973) was the first national election study published in this country - a landmark event. The Professionals follows in its wake, so it's a deep honour to have my work recognised in this way.
- Stephen Mills, October 2015
See details of the Award at the APSA website
See publication details of The Professional at the Black Inc website
See Henry Mayer's biography in the Australian Dictionary of Biography
“It seems clear that the 'professional' tag refers not to the political skills and popularity of the leaders, or to the relative efficacy of the parties’ policies or ideologies, but to the capabilities of the rival parties’ organisations, particularly in the context of elections. ‘Professional’ describes, with positive and negative connotations, both the Liberal Party and the ALP, in government and in opposition. But what is a professional party organisation? And who within in might be characterised as a professional? How and why has that organisation, or the individuals within it, become professional? And what impact does this professionalisation process have on the parties’ campaign activities, their structures and their overall role in the political system?”
This is an excerpt from ‘Parties and Campaigns’, chapter 10 of Contemporary Australian Political Party Organisations, edited by Narelle Miragliotta, Anika Gauja and Rodney Smith. To be published by Monash University Press later in 2015 ...
"The Professionals" tells the story of how Australian election campaigns and political parties have changed, from the pre-television era through to the social media/ micro-targeted campaigns of today. Who drives this change? The campaign professionals in the party head offices.
The book, based on my PhD research, is published by Black Inc. For more details: