Urban Force

This piece, an interview with John Carroll by me and Scott Hargreaves, originally appeared in the IPA Review.

The growing vibrancy of Sydney and Melbourne will keep underwriting Australia’s growing prosperity well into the 21st century, provided bureaucrats don’t strangle our cities with red tape.

So says John Carroll, Emeritus Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, and author of 11 books on Australian culture. His latest, Land of the Golden Cities: Australia’s Exceptional Prosperity & the Culture That Made It, was launched by the IPA’s executive director John Roskam in Brisbane.

Editor of the IPA Review Scott Hargreaves (SH) and Research Fellow Andrew Bushnell (AB) interviewed Carroll (JC) to delve deeper into his insights about Australia’s prosperity and cultural identity.

AB: The country that famously rode the sheep’s back now rises on its special talent for vibrant metropolitanism. Why have our cities become so important, and what brought you to write Land of the Golden Cities?

JC:I’ve lived most of my life in Australia, and I like the place. This is an act of gratitude and tribute through a reflection on what makes the place tick. I’ve spent my professional life as a sociologist thinking about how people find meaning in their lives, or don’t, and what holds societies together. That converged with my grand ambition to ask what makes Australian society work, what are its key ingredients?

Continue reading