BA (Melbourne), EdD/Ph.D (Harvard)


Dr Michael Pusey, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of New South Wales

Michael Pusey was educated in England, France, and at the University of Melbourne and Harvard University. He has worked as high school teacher, a senior public servant and a consultant to governments on education and public service reform. He is the author of five books including The Dynamics of Bureaucracy, John Wiley and Son, 1976, and Jürgen Habermas, Tavistock & Ellis Horwood, London and NY, 1987.

His book Economic Rationalism in Canberra (Cambridge University Press, 1991) first coined the term ‘economic rationalism’ and from 1989 launched a national debate on the social and economic costs of free market economic reform and economic restructuring. This was followed by The Experience of Middle Australia, Cambridge, (2003), that examines the impact of economic restructuring on incomes, jobs, families, communities, politics and Australian culture. 

His work has occasioned some 3,600 scholarly citations, 300 radio and TV interviews and citations in the metropolitan press, several citations in Hansard and many solicited submissions to Parliament. He was listed in 2004 by the Sydney Morning Herald as one of Australia’s top 100 public intellectuals in 2004.

He has researched, taught and published in the fields of Sociological Theory, Economic Sociology, Economic Reform, Public Policy, Media, and Quality of Life. He is now largely retired from research and concentrated on the mentoring of early career academics.

  • M Pusey (1991) Economic rationalism in Canberra: A nation-building state changes its mind, Cambridge University Press.
  • M Pusey (2003) The experience of middle Australia: The dark side of economic reform, Cambridge University Press.
  • M Pusey (2002) Jurgen habermas, Routledge.
  • RA Cummins, R Eckersley, J Pallant, J Van Vugt, J Shelley, M Pusey (2001) Australian unity wellbeing index, Melbourne: Australian Centre on Quality of Life, Deakin University.
  • M Pusey (1993) Reclaiming the Middle Ground...From New Right Economic Rationalism, Public Sector Research Centre, University of New South Wales
  • M Pusey (1976) The dynamics of bureaucracy: A case analysis in education, Sydney; New York: Wiley.
  • PK Jones, M Pusey (2010) Political communication and ‘media system’: The Australian canary, in Media, Culture & Society, 32 (3), 451-471.
  • M Pusey (1996) Economic rationalism and the contest for civil society, in Thesis Eleven, 44 (1), 69-86.
  • M Pusey (1992) What’s wrong with economic rationalism, in The Trouble with Economic Rationalism, D Horne (ed.) 63-69.
  • M Pusey, N Turnbull (2005) Have Australians Embraced Economic Reform?, In Australian Social Attitudes: The First Report, Shaun Wilson, Gabrielle Meagher, Rachel Gibson, et al. (eds.). Sydney,