Reader in Politics, Australian National University

Rick writes about exploitation, oppression and resistance and is an activist.

He was radicalised during the tail end of the mass student movement. In the mid 1970s, Rick completed an economics degree, with majors in politics and economics at the University of Sydney. Then, while a Commonwealth public servant, he became involved in socialist, union and social movement politics, before doing an honours year in politics at Macquarie University. He returned to the public service in Canberra in 1979 for several yeas, initially as a member of the elite Administrative Trainee Scheme. After completing a PhD on the economic ideas of the Australian labour movement, back at the University of Sydney, Rick resumed work as a public service economist in Canberra. His first appointment at the ANU was in 1987.

Rick’s publications have dealt with labour movement economic thought and class in Australia, German, Austrian and Australian politics and political economy, Marxist theory—particularly the work of Henryk Grossman—and the nature of the Australian Labor Party. These research interests are reflected in the courses he teaches. His published work demonstrates a powerful combination of political commitment and scholarship.

In 2003, at the height of the campaign against the invasion of Iraq, Rick was the convenor of the umbrella anti-war organisation in Canberra. His 2007 Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism won the international Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Prize ‘for a book which exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition’. He is still involved in activist politics.

Experience

  • 2006–present
    Reader in Politics , Australian National University
  • 1995–2005
    Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Australian National University

Education

  • 1986 
    University of Sydney, PhD
  • 1979 
    Macquarie University, BA (Hons) in Politics
  • 1977 
    University of Sydney, BEc

Publications

  • 2010
    Labor's conflict: big business, workers and the politics of class, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, with Tom Bramble
  • 2009
    Economic crisis, Henryk Grossman and the responsibility of socialists, Historical materialism 17 (2) pp. 3-34
  • 2009
    Xenophobic racism and class during the Howard years, Marxist interventions 1, pp. 54-82
  • 2009
    Jüdischer Antizionismus in der sozialistischen Bewegung Galiziens, PaRDeS, Zeitschrift der Vereinigung für jüdische Studien e.V. 15, pp. 124-145
  • 2007
    Henryk Grossman and the recovery of Marxism, University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago
  • 2005
    Class and struggle in Australia, editor and contributor, Pearson, Sydney

Honours

2007 Deutscher Prize, for Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism, 'the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition’
2003 ACT Trades and Labour Council May Day Award for ‘advancing… conditions of ACT workers'