Department of Sociology

Dr Ben Spies-Butcher

Benjamin Spies-ButcherSenior Lecturer

Office: W6A/840
Phone: (61 2) 9850 4074
Fax No: (61 2) 9850 6897

Ben Spies-Butcher lectures in Economy and Society in the Department of Sociology. Ben completed his PhD in Economics at the University of Sydney while working in the non-government sector on issues of human rights. His research focuses on the economics and politics of social and environmental policy, and political participation. He teaches courses on economic sociology and political sociology at undergraduate and post-graduate level. He is also a Research Associate at the Retirement Policy and Research Centre at the University of Auckland, a member of the Policy Advisory Group for COTA NSW and a board member of Shelter NSW.


Publications -

2012 Market Society: Theory, History, Practice, Melbourne, Cambridge University Press, with D. Cahill and J. Paton.
2009 The Concept of Social Capital: Understanding its economic origins and political implications in Australia, VDM Verlag Dr. Muller, Saarbruecken.

Book Chapters
2014 'Welfare reform', in L. Orchard and C. Miller (eds), Australian Public Policy: The Challenges in Turbulent Times, London, Policy Press, 81-96.
2012 'Voting behaviour', in R. Smith, A. Vromen and I. Cook (eds), Contemporary Politics in Australia: Theories, Issues and Debates, Melbourne, Cambridge University Press, 43-47
2012 'Markets with equity? Lessons from Australia's Third Way response to neoliberalism', in D. Cahill, F. Stilwell and B. Edwards (eds), Neoliberalism: Beyond the Free Market, London, Edward Elgar, 204-227.
2011 'Social Capital', in F. Stilwell and G. Agyrous (eds), Economics as a Social Science: Readings in Political Economy, 3rd edition, Sydney, Tilde University Press, 43-47.
2010 'Getting Value for Public Money', in M. Davis and M. Lyons (eds), More Than Luck: Ideas Australia needs now, Centre for Policy Development: Sydney, 267-279, with A. Stebbing.
2003 'Social Capital', Stilwell & Argyrous (eds), Economics as a Social Sciences: readings in political economy, 2nd edition, Sydney, Pluto Press.

Journal Articles
2015 (in press). 'The decline of a home owning society? Asset-based welfare, retirement and intergenerational equity in Australia", Housing Studies, with A. Stebbing
2015, 'Climate change and the welfare state? Exploring Australian attitudes to climate and social policy', Journal of Sociology, firstview: 1-18, w A. Stebbing.
2014, 'Markets, universalism and equity: Medicare's dual role in the Australian welfare state', Journal of Australian Political Economy, 73, 18-40. 
2014, 'Marketisation and the dual welfare state: Neoliberalism and inequality in Australia', Economic and Labour Relations Review, 25(2), 185-201.
2013 ''Wage-earners' welfare after economic reform: refurbishing, retrenching or hollowing out social protection in Australia and New Zealand', Social Policy and Administration, 47(6), 623-646, with S. Wilson, A. Stebbing and S. St John.
2012, 'From defeat to landslide loss: a seat level model of the 2011 NSW election', Australian Journal of Political Science, 47(2), 285-293, with S. Wilson.
2011, 'Population ageing and tax reform in a dual welfare state', The Economics and Labour Relations Review, 22(3): 45-64, with A. Stebbing.
2011, 'When labour makes a difference: Union mobilization and the 2007 federal election in Australia', British Journal of Industrial Relations, 49(S2): s306-s331, with S. Wilson.
2010, 'Suburban affairs: Groups and political communities across Sydney', Australian Journal of Political Science, 45(3), 437-455, with A. Vromen.
2010, 'Universal welfare by 'other means'? Social tax expenditures and the Australian dual welfare state', Journal of Social Policy, 39(4), 585-606, with A. Stebbing.
2009, 'From recession to Green Economy', Journal of Australian Political Economy, 63, 108-125, with F. Stilwell.
2009, 'Pragmatist and neo-classical policy paradigms in public services: which is the better template for program design', Australian Journal of Public Administration, 68(3), 239-255, with I. Marsh.
2009, 'Targets and taxes: Explaining the welfare orientations of the Australian public', Social Policy and Administration, 43(5), 508-525, with S. Wilson and A. Stebbing.
2008, 'Restocking the economic toolkit: changes to social policy and the ability of the state to manage the economy', Journal of Australian Political Economy, 61, 267-295, June.
2007, 'The New South Wales Election of 24 March 2007: Explaining the Re-election of an Unpopular Government', Australian Journal of Political Science, 42(4).
2007, 'Did WorkChoices impact on the NSW election results?' Digest article coauthored with Shaun Wilson, Australian Review of Public Affairs, May.
2004, 'Election 2004: Is free university education affordable?', Digest article, Australian Review of Public Affairs, September.
2003, 'Social Capital in Economics: Why social capital does not mean the end of ideology', The Drawing Board, 3(3).
2002, 'The Rational Choice Origins of Social Capital', Australian journal of Social Issues, 37(2).

2013 'Housing, tax and neoliberalism: Growing inequality in Australia', Reflections, Intersections and Aspirations, Proceedings of the Australian Sociological Association Conference, Monash University, with A. Stebbing.
2010 'The Politics of Climate Change and Social Policy in Australia', Public Causes, Private Lives, Proceedings of The Australian Sociological Association Conference, Sydney, with A. Stebbing.
2009 Reforming Australia's Hidden Welfare State: Tax expenditures as welfare for the rich', Occasional Paper no.6, Centre for Policy Development, Sydney, with A. Stebbing.
2009 'A third way success? Markets and health insurance in Australia', L. Chester, M. Johnson and P. Kriesler (eds), Heterodox Economics' Visions, Proceedings of Eighth Australian Society of Heterodox
Economists Conference, Refereed Papers, Society of Heterodox Economists: Sydney, 302-318.
2009 'The 'upside-down welfare' of the superannuation tax concessions', L. Chester, M. Johnson and P. Kriesler (eds), Heterodox Economics' Visions, Proceedings of Eighth Australian Society of Heterodox Economists Conference, Refereed Papers, Society of Heterodox Economists: Sydney, 319-332, with A. Stebbing.
2008 'Suburban affairs: Political communities across Sydney', The Australian Political Science Association Conference Proceedings, University of Queensland, Brisbane, July, with A. Vromen and I. Marsh.
2005 'Social Capital and Civic Neoliberalism: Why the Australian Right has used the politics of recognition', Politics of Recognition Conference Proceedings, Deakin University, 2005.