Does Australia have a policy laboratory? Insights from education policy.

Today, at the World Congress of Political Science, I'll be sharing findings from my five-year study examining how federalism directly and indirectly influences policy making in the schooling portfolio.

I’ll be focusing in particular the extent to which governments could innovate in this policy area, which in Australia is characterised by extensive, complex and growing overlap in state and federal roles.

I’ll show that, yes, evidence from this study does suggest the presence of a policy laboratory.

I’ll also point out how this has changed over time, and identify some of the enabling and constraining factors. I’ll conclude with insights on how we can enhance policy experimentation, learning, and “smart” practice to improve policy outcomes.

Here are the slides, and here is my speech.