Neoliberalism, Harm, and the COVID-19 Crisis

Author: David Moody

Moody, David, 2023 Neoliberalism, Harm, and the COVID-19 Crisis, Flinders University, College of Business, Government and Law

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This thesis examines the extent to which neoliberalism left the Australian population vulnerable to harm during the COVID-19 Crisis from 2020 until 2021. In its examination, the thesis attempts to prove that the Australian neoliberal public policy agenda was responsible for inequitable and avoidable harm to the Australian population throughout the Crisis. To makes its argument, this thesis uses a mixed methods approach comprising a literature review and a comparative analysis of the COVID-19 policy responses in Australia and Vietnam. This thesis finds that the Vietnamese population was less at risk of harm than people in the Australian context, however, the findings suggest that during the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian population were not vulnerabalised to harm as expected in the foreshadowing implicit in the findings from the study period prior to COVID-19. This thesis proposes that Australia’s relative success at mitigating vulnerability to the financial harm of the COVID-19 Crisis can be attributed to a temporary recession of neoliberalism in the agenda setting.

Keywords: Australia, Vietnam, Neoliberalism, Harm

Subject: Policy and Administration thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2023
School: College of Business, Government and Law
Supervisor: Valarie Sands