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Parable of Value 3: The Adelaide Festival of Ideas

This is a chapter about public value, a concept not to be confused with value-for-money. Douglas Muecke once wrote, ‘getting to grips with irony [has] something in common with gathering the mist; there is plenty to take hold of, if only one could’.73 Public value is similarly evident and evasive, real and intangible. In line with the overall thrust of this book, we discuss it here as something that can be contextually assessed but not objectively measured. Guiding questions are more use than a numerical methodology. Who is (or are) the public(s)? What do they value? And what sort of pressure does the concept of public value come under in the modern neoliberal economic order and its demented twin, an insurgent political populism?

If you take Wikipedia’s word for it, public value is a recent concept. Coined by Mark H. Moore, Hauser Professor for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University, it was seen as the equivalent of shareholder value for public management.74 This is an interesting illustration of the current obsession with the novelty of buzz-words, because the idea, if not its precise use in policy discourse, goes back much further than the 1990s. It has been a live issue in republican thinking since Periclean Athens, and predates the invention of the public corporation by some centuries. Its reappearance as a new idea is, to put a positive spin on it, a sign of pushback against the current economic model that frames every human activity as a form of private market exchange. This model has delivered all the benefit it has to bestow. Arguments about public value are a way of picking up the pieces, even if they suffer from amnesia about intellectual history.

Public activities often seek public money. Any time this is spent somewhere, it might arguably have been better spent somewhere else. This is how the South Australian Government attempted to resolve these issues in 2017:

Public value is an approach to public sector management that puts citizens at the centre of policy, service design and delivery. It … is built around a strategic triangle, comprising three essential areas of consideration when developing and delivering policy and services. Public value is created when the three elements of the strategic triangle are aligned:

1. Public value – what is the outcome and who is it for?

2. Legitimacy and support – who do you need to engage to build a satisfactory authorising environment.

3. Operational capability – how will the outcomes be delivered? What is the cost and what resources are required?75

This is fairly representative of current government views in Australia and is an adequate set of principles as long as ‘alignment’ is recognised as a matter of judgment and not a technocratic fit. It invites discussion (which is good) and is consequently hard to ‘operationalise’ in a mechanical manner (which would be bad). Over the last 30 years, attempts to map public value have occurred largely through economic impact studies that aspire to put a dollar value on an opera or a car race. These wore out their welcome with Treasuries around the land. They were projections (which is to say fictions) that could only be assessed for their effects after the money was spent. Those effects were hard to separate from other economic ‘noise’, while the promise of generating new money for the economy was hard to separate from money that would have been spent on something else anyway. In 2008, the Formula 1 Grand Prix went abruptly from making a profit for Victoria to making a substantial loss because of a change in assessment methods. Economic impact studies could no longer hide the fact that public funding for the race was a political choice. The race is not economically rational – and yet it goes on. For economics is only ever part of the value story.

For Laboratory Adelaide, this is not a scandal, just a recognition of the reality. We have explored an economic contingency evaluation method that asks ‘users’ and ‘non-users’ of the Adelaide Festival what they are willing to pay for it from their taxes. We have sent interviewers to Festival events and to suburban shopping centres to ask the same set of questions. Unsurprisingly, the event-goers put a high dollar value on the Festival. Given the Festival’s centrality to Adelaide’s sense of identity, it was not much more surprising that the non-user dollar figure, though lower, was still very positive. Both sets of numbers were gratifying to our industry partners. Also unsurprisingly the State Treasury did not change their allocation for the Festival to the higher figure we had estimated. We came up with numbers that could be validly used in arguments about the Festival’s budget, but not ones that compelled consent.

A dollar value is only ever a partial measure of public value. Art and ideas also create value in themselves, so how can we talk about that in a serious way? Let us to turn to our third parable of value: the oldest ideas festival in Australia, the Adelaide Festival of Ideas (AFOI). As a format it was new in 1999, something hard to believe two decades later, now the air is thick with ‘thought leaders’ flying to one thinkathon or another. In 2001, author Robert Phiddian, associated with the AFOI since its inception, described the first event thus:

It was a dark and stormy night … Well, it was dark, and it had been raining all day, and it did look pretty bleak outside. It was Thursday 8th of July 1999, when guests, organisers, and the usual suspects gathered to launch the first Adelaide Festival of Ideas … In less than a year, we had put together an interesting programme of thinkers from physics to sociology, from politics to theology. Miraculously, everyone who accepted an invitation had arrived. Now all we had to worry about was whether those on an open invitation, the intelligent public of Adelaide, would show up … Gerard Henderson … grizzled veteran of the Sydney Institute and many other public lectures, forums, round tables, etc. was heard to express doubt about whether anyone would turn up … His experience in Sydney was that 30 or 40 constituted a crowd for an intellectual discussion… The next morning dawned bright and fair. We wandered towards the first session in Bonython Hall, but with quickening step as we realised we were in a growing crowd that seemed to have the same goal. By the time we got there – ten minutes before the hour – we had to sit half way up the hall … The numbers built over the weekend … The intelligent public of Adelaide – the one that has always supported the Festival, Writers’ Week, and the city’s proud history of civic debate and experiment – had found another opportunity to get together to think, listen, and talk.76

Who were these people? Where did they come from? What did they want? What were they willing to give? How had they found the event? What did they value about it?

Publics and Benefits

The AFOI is not a profit-driven event. This is often the case in culture, and a central reason why it should never be regarded as simply another industry. The principal funders of cultural activity in Australia are not governments, corporations or philanthropists. First come the artists, then the volunteers and supporters, finally the benefactors. The gift economy, where art and ideas circulate gratis, dwarfs the money economy where culture turns a buck. This is not in itself an argument for increased public funding. But it is an assertion that there is a public benefit that occurs in, and through, activities that exceeds the way those activities are publically supported. Value in culture is less monetisable than in spheres such as banking or even healthcare.

For the AFOI, indirect funders include all its comparatively poorly-paid professional staff, from executive producers to event managers, and its large volunteer labour force, from the program advisory committee to helpers on the doors. The main source of capital is goodwill. People involved in the AFOI believe they are doing ‘a good thing’ for Adelaide, not running a business. The event’s purpose is understood as the development of public understanding rather than the dissemination of ‘new knowledge’ or the provision of ‘mere entertainment’. Value is delivered over time, as the growth of a civic culture of insight, one with a history as well as a present and a future. The element of time is poorly recognised in policy debates about public value, focused as they are on econometric definitions of return.77 The living past of the AFOI reflects Adelaide’s traditional profile as ‘a paradise of dissent’ that goes back to the European foundation of the city in the 1830s and 1840s. South Australia was set up as the only ‘free’ (i.e. free of transported British convicts) Australian colony, and was particularly open to Protestant groups from Britain and Germany. It had a library before it had a settlement in the famous ‘trunk of books’ that was sent out with the first white settlers.78 While this colonial heritage is a mixed blessing, one advantage is the expectation born of the Protestant exegetical tradition that public debate is both a right and a duty. The AFOI would have played out differently in other places, as the story of the Chicago Humanities Festival (established 1990) and of the comparatively short-lived Sydney Festival of Dangerous Ideas (2009–16) show.

At the outset, the AFOI’s funding came from the state government (initially with few strings attached), supplemented by universities, public interest bodies, and individuals. It has always maintained that the bulk of sessions have to be free so people come as citizens rather than consumers. This cost structure means that it cannot attract the star speakers who command substantial speakers’ fees. But it encourages the management to ‘future talent-pick’, which is arguably more important (and fun). Free access allows people to be promiscuous in their choices, and adventurous in ranging across subject matters. They may have travelled in for a ‘last chance to hear’ a grand old figure like the ecologist James Lovelock, or for the brand recognition of national media personalities like Annabel Crabb and Phillip Adams. But they stay for an eloquent academic or entrepreneur they haven’t heard of. It is this sort of communal associative behaviour that contributes so substantially to informed public debate. These benefits are not easily separated from those provided by other, related, cultural events, and they cannot be reduced to a counting of bed-nights and increased restaurant turnover. In a fractious world riven by ugly populisms, the benefits of such social cohesion are, nevertheless, very real.

A few numbers do help communicate the nature of the event. In 2013, the AFOI was attended by 16,000 individuals, amounting to 36,000 attendances at separate sessions across three days, with one-to-four venues operating at any one time. In a city of a million people, this is not as popular as the football, but it is a substantial result for a government outlay of only $250,000. It is fair to say that the AFOI attracts mostly middle-class, older, educated attendees; it is enthusiastic about diversity, but does not appeal to people from all walks of life, as no event does. The politics of its publics are broadly progressive, with a sprinkling of social activists among what author Judith Brett has dubbed ‘the moral middle class’.79 The speakers, too, engage as citizens rather than service providers, often declining a fee or coming for modest remuneration.

Institutional history is a crucial part of this value story. The AFOI started under the auspices of the long-established Adelaide Festival of Arts, and as a sister event to the-then biennial Writers’ Week literary festival. For 14 years (eight festivals) its core funding came from the state government. This did not grow with inflation, but allowed the event to remain committed to its original mission and aims. There are few company headquarters in Adelaide and thus limited avenues for corporate support, so private sponsorship has enhanced rather than transformed the event. Since 2010 the Festival has been administratively peripatetic, first attached to the Department of Premier and Cabinet (good resources, highly bureaucratic), next to the Film Festival (which helped put on a fine Festival in 2013 then failed to protect its funding). Loss of government support meant that the AFOI missed a year in 2015, then came back in 2016 as an independent event. It presented in 2018 again as an independent event. Why bother? Who benefits from such a hard-fought scramble for resources to put on three days of talk every two years? Yet while living without a dominant funder makes life complicated, it is in several ways a better existence. Corporations and government alike are becoming obsessive about controlling any message they are a party to supporting. Consequently, freedom of discussion is a rare and valuable thing.

The AFOI builds public value in a way that demands careful analysis. Indeed, calling it public value as if it is a sort of commodity can be a distraction. Even for the Festival’s fairly homogenous audience, it is better to talk of publics with different experiences of values rather than a single public with just one. There is no more than accidental overlap between the audience attracted by a cosmologist like Paul Davies and one by a controversialist like Naomi Klein or Malaysian leader Anwar Ibrahim. In his seminal book Publics and Counterpublics, Michael Warner proposes that publics are ‘hailed into being by discourse’80 – in other words, by communities of interest in particular topics and modes of conversation. These are not social classes or clubs, which people belong to by birth or formal affiliation. They exist only by dint of attendance at events of common interest. The element of voluntary intellectual association is crucial to the health of liberal democracies.81 That looks a grand claim for such a small urban event, but similar gatherings attract the authorities’ attention (and ire) in Teheran, Beijing, Moscow and Ankara. A crucial part of the value produced occurs in the engagement around the event and its ideas. Those who attend the AFOI form loose coalitions whose basis is not commercial or focused on the consumption of a service. The Festival cannot be reduced to a market exchange between a producer and a paying customer. An ‘Explainer’ about public value put out by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) shows how hard it is for those in government to fully comprehend this creative role of publics:

Like many academic concepts, the meaning of public value is contested – but we think the main difference is really about how the value is consumed. Private value [is] consumed individually … Public value [is] consumed collectively.82

The AFOI may consume small sums of money, but it doesn’t ‘consume’ public value – it builds it. The value of the event is co-created by attendees, and lives on in memories and social formations. A mark of this co-creation is the way that publics have unfailingly found the AFOI even when its marketing has been late or minimal. The scale of attendance is influenced more by the weather than the size of the budget, and the event has always ‘worked’. Can you determine whether this ‘working’ represents a return on investment for funders and those who have contributed their labour at ‘below market rate’? On the surface, this question is amenable to algorithmic computation. In practice, it is a matter for judgment. The money and effort spent biennially on the AFOI could have been spent on ‘saving jobs’ or ‘funding cancer research’. But in terms of getting an informed and engaged citizenry, it’s a defensible expenditure. There is a level of justification no metric can reliably relay because different sorts of value, though they need to be politically comparable, cannot be made methodologically commensurable. The point of choice, of value judgment, cannot be measured away, and we would be better off avoiding the false consciousness involved in that quest.

‘The Marketplace of Ideas’: Beware the Hand of the Dead (Metaphor)!

The AFOI got in early to a boom in public discussion and evangelisation about ideas that washed over the first decades of the twenty-first century like a mud tide. If there has not been a proportional rise in wisdom across the Western world – and who could claim there has? – part of the reason lies in the extent to which the circulation of public value has been subordinated to the language and logic of the market. In an otherwise perceptive book on foreign policy making, David Drezner uses the phrase ‘marketplace of ideas’ nearly 200 times.83 In New York, at the centre of US media, the fact that he does so without irony is forgivable – but not accurate. In the realm of metaphors, it is the ‘dead’ ones that do most ideological damage. The ‘marketplace of ideas’ is an expression that slides under the horizon of critical consciousness.

It’s like the constant patter about creative industries, a pervasive and partial metaphor for arts and culture in policy discourse. The metaphors become habituated ways of thinking, ones that silently order the world, but bring with them hidden costs.

It should be remembered that ideas do not literally engage in a Darwinian struggle for survival that automatically achieves equilibrium.84 There is a marketplace for books, but ideas themselves circulate immaterially. The value they provide is only partly private, and they do not have the characteristics of real property. Consequently, they do not reliably act either like commodities, services or capital. Neither individuals nor corporations can own them. A closer metaphor for their circulation might be ‘ecologies’, a term that is often now deployed for arts and culture. When things are going well, they endow a public sphere of polite and rational deliberation. Stefan Collini has eloquently described how the marketplace as all-purpose policy trope is killing British higher education policy.85 Naomi Goulder has aptly summarised his message as ‘recognis[ing] the value of cooperative enquiry and creativity – and a H[igher] E[ducation] system in which these values remain enshrined’.86 Collini’s knockdown argument against the remaking of the university sector as a set of market relationships goes like this: were you, in 1980, looking at the relative reputations of British universities and British business, would you draw the conclusion that the former should spend the next few decades remaking itself in the image of the latter? Universities still vestigially remain communities of scholars striving for knowledge and wisdom, not bunches of consumers seeking top return for their education dollar. These values apply likewise to the public discussion of ideas. For those involved in making the AFOI ‘work’, the value of cooperative enquiry captures their communal sense of purpose better than a competitive desire to increase turnover and be the dominant ideas event in the southern hemisphere.

This puts the AFOI very much on one side of a binary distinction Drezner draws between public intellectuals and thought leaders. His main proposition is that these are the two types of ‘producers’ populating the marketplace of ideas. The former are traditional writers and scholars, holding forth on a range of issues in a way that highlights their complexities and consequences. Their main role is critique, and they often leave issues more intractable than when they picked them up. The latter are thinkers with a Big Idea to sell, a single solution to a Big Problem. Their main roles are prophesy and evangelism, so they are comfortable with the status of celebrity that modern media platforms have extended to them. They spruik patented ideas like ‘creative cities’ or ‘digital disruption’ – lots of sudden and clearly mapped change. Drezner points out that circumstances today favour thought leaders over public intellectuals. For the AFOI, the quickest path to exposure and money would be to program a raft of futurists. There is always an appetite for vivid predictions, one unslaked by persistent disappointment. Given its commitment to informed civic discussion, however, the AFOI cannot do this with a clear conscience.

A reductive economic view would see speakers at ideas events as trader-entertainers. Certainly, successful public talkers are entertaining, with public intellectuals tending to wry humour or charismatic gloom, and thought leaders to sermonic fervour. There is theatre and rhetoric in public ideas, not just sober propositional content. The trouble is that cogent critical opinion is seldom designed for easy consumption or frictionless results. Those making the case for the difficult retrenchments necessary to address climate change, for example, do not offer instant answers, so run the risk of being drowned out by glib techno-utopian solutions or reactionary denial. It is a fair criticism to say that public intellectuals are prone to ‘virtue signalling’. They provide few easy solutions to difficult problems, in contrast to the thought leaders, who provide too many. This can be exhilarating for audiences, but sometimes dangerous for public value. Michael Sessions points to the risk for public intellectuals of entanglement in the postmodern patronage system, dubbed philanthrocapitalism.87 This involves selling something in the marketplace of ideas (thus accepting the metaphor) and appealing to rich and powerful patrons to make that vision a reality. This is not a new strategy. Voltaire’s commitment to robust debate was briefly muffled by his sojourn at the court of Frederick the Great in the 1750s. But it is increasingly pervasive today, as the rich become super-rich and seek vindication, apologia or redemption for growing global inequality. Individual philanthropists who have made their fortunes in recent decades show great faith in technological innovation particularly, often the basis of their own financial success. They prefer technical solutions to complex issues over democratic discussion about them. They trust that the market can be left to deliver equity (if you carry a hammer, every problem looks like a nail). Thought leaders seized of the importance of their missions shape their ideas to the pockets of their potential sponsors.

The obvious contrast to a socially associative event like the AFOI is the ‘ideas business’ of TEDx. TEDx started as a commercial concern, charging for entry, and it has always tended to glossy entrepreneurial packages rather than earnest worrying at perennial questions. Charismatic 20-minute monologues on resolving the world’s disorders are the perfect product for the marketplace of ideas. But in the end, it is the oversimplification of TEDx talks – their commitment to glib solution and their dissolution of complication – that should give us pause. Too many of them are exercises in banal futurism, the sort of cunning prophesy that makes no real contribution to human understanding, though the most successful ones (those over 10 million watches, if you sort TEDx talks by popularity) are predominantly inspirational talks about leadership. This promise of instant results cannot begin to grapple with difficult issues. Rich and layered dialogue, not jejune formulations, is the only way, for example, to achieve reconciliation between Aboriginal peoples and Australia’s successive waves of immigrant settlers. Intellectual leadership requires the patience to resist easy solutions, even in the face of urgent need. This shows up the trouble with thought leaders: they too often overreach when their Big Idea is taken beyond its orbit of relevance.

For two decades the AFOI has been building public value without having anything particularly shiny to sell. It has resisted philanthrocapitalism, or chased it only half-heartedly. Public value, open dialogue, good causes, and public intellectuals; these are its loyalties. Its main genres have been the lecture, the interview and the panel; discussions more than solutions; complexity and wonder more than simplicity and technical fix. The AFOI strongly suggests that marketplace-like competition is a poor way to understand how ideas and culture best flourish. It reduces a wide range of phenomena to a small number of causal factors. It assumes that any successful event must want to grow endlessly. Yet the current business plan of the Festival does not scale up. It has a civic ‘bite’ that belongs in a particular place with natural limitations. The experience of the AFOI cannot be abstracted and decanted into an index or an international speaking franchise. The journey of this medium-sized festival tells a parable of value for a specific public. It is not a dollar value, but it is value nonetheless. Over time, that value grows but perhaps scandalously the AFOI has no ambition to grow as an event. Those running it already think it ‘fit for purpose’.

Since the Global Financial Crisis of 2007–08, there has been growing questioning of market models of value both from within economics and without. Meanwhile, beware the undead metaphor, the pervasive zombie metaphor of the market. At the moment it may feel like the only way of conceiving of culture’s value is via more ‘agility’ in pursuit of ‘customer opportunity’. But, as John Quiggin and many others argue, the neoclassical economics of Pareto-optimal efficiency is in collapse.88 So much of what is valuable in the circulation of ideas is intangible, cooperative and creative. The benefits look more like a gift than a transaction.

Public value is the result of mindful persuasion. It can be evidenced, experienced and witnessed, discussed and disputed. In a world with limited resources – the only sort of world we will ever have – different instances of value have to be ranked when it comes to handing out public money. But the ranking will always be a political choice, in the richest and best sense of that phrase. It will be a judgment with social consequences, and as such open to revision. In one generation, it seems good to put up a statue to Captain Cook or Lachlan Macquarie; in another it seems good to take them down. These revaluations can be understood historically and descriptively, but to ascribe them to a rise and fall in a marketplace of value is a tautology produced by ideological idiocy.

Box 6 Long-term Value: The South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau and the State Library of South Australia, by Heather Robinson

The State Library of South Australia [SLSA] is the keeper of the state’s official public memory. This is an inescapably political role that often courts conflict among differing perceptions of value. Public memories are made from documents and artefacts collected over time, preserved in perpetuity and activated when curiosity or a need arises. Their value is then realised, sometimes decades after an item’s collection. Their use and engagement may have been unknowable for much of their existence. They may have laid forgotten in the stacks, their place obscured by inaccessibility, changing tastes, or political priorities. Only the most vigilant archivists may have seen them, awaiting the confluence of time, interest and in some cases, technology, for their value to become apparent.

The records of the South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau (SARCIB) were donated to the library in 1919, as evidence of the fate of South Australian soldiers serving in World War I. A file was opened each time a family member enquired about a missing soldier. They may not have heard from them or the war department for months, or had received heartbreakingly ambiguous or truncated statements regarding their state of health or deaths. To address such queries, the Red Cross established information bureaux in most Australian capital cities, coordinating through a central office in Melbourne with British and European offices. Staffed by volunteers, the bureau in Adelaide was located in the newly constructed Verco Buildings, diagonally opposite the State Library of South Australia. Throughout the war, the library continued to operate with a staff reduced by conscription, budget cuts and casualties. Members of staff and the Board raised funds, and promoted patriotic books, maps and publications on the countries at war.

Sir Josiah Symon KC, one of the library’s prominent benefactors and a leading lawyer, was appointed Chair of the SARCIB General Committee. Symon had been influential in persuading members of the legal profession to ‘enlist’ as Volunteer Searchers for bureaux around the country, as ‘their trained minds and experience in investigation will be of great advantage in investigating and dealing with the enquiries’. This ‘small core group’ worked alongside clerical volunteers who would compile dossiers for every enquiry, noting each step taken and any details gathered in the search. Once cross-checked with other available documentation, new information would be forwarded to the enquirer.

Between December 1915 and the end of the war, SARCIB compiled 8,000 files responding to enquiries by members of the public. In 1920, when the bureau closed its doors, Symon instigated the final transfer of the collection to the State Library of South Australia. No other Australian bureau kept their files. Perhaps Symon, in his patriotic fervor, recognised how the dossiers encapsulated the experience of the soldiers, the camaraderie between those who witnessed their passing and the prolonged anguish of the families. of that war, kept in the belief that one day they might be required as a window on a community in a time of crisis. Collectively, the packets were a record of South Australia’s experience

In 2012, a conversation between Andrew Piper, a SLSA project leader, and an interstate colleague turned to their respective institutions’ plans to commemorate the centenary of World War I. Piper recalled a box full of Red Cross files that were searchable only through antiquated microfiche. Over the years, archivists had attempted to interpret the complex series of regimental numbers and codes. However, with little demand since the war’s end, they lacked an institutional priority to do more than preserve and protect them. Calling in favours from staff and a team of volunteers, Piper steered a three-year digitisation project, creating a database and website that made publically available the documents of official correspondence about soldiers’ whereabouts or their final moments.

The South Australian Red Cross Information Bureau website was launched with an exhibition by the SLSA in February 2016, linking the SARCIB information with related documents at the National Archives of Australia, the War Memorial and TROVE via technologies unimaginable at the time the documents were first compiled. The resource filled critical gaps for surviving family members. On viewing the documents for the first time, Mr Winter spoke of his grandfather, who never shared his experience of the war with his family:

It’s great future generations of my family, and others, get a sense of what these guys did and what was happening back home … I knew he was in it but that was it.

In August 2016, the State Theatre Company of South Australia presented Red Cross Letters, a live performance based on stories drawn from selected SARCIB packets. The production toured South Australian regional and urban centres and included sessions featuring SLSA representatives speaking about their role in reactivating the documents.

In 2017, in recognition of this project, the SLSA was awarded a Red Cross Humanitarian Partner Award. This online portal to the collection is accessible worldwide, a testament to South Australia’s experience of war for generations to come. It attracts around 1,000 visitors per month.


‘What I never knew about my war hero grandfather: State Library’s South Australia Red Cross Information Bureau Collection’, Adelaide Now, 22 February, 2016; see

73D.C. Muecke, The Compass of Irony (London: Methuen, 1969), 3.

74Wikipedia, ‘Public Value’:

75South Australian Department of Premier and Cabinet, Public Value: Putting Citizens at the Centre of Policy, Service Design and Delivery, 3:

76Robert Phiddian, ‘Parklands of the Mind’, Adelaide Review, June 2001.

77See Eleonora Belfiore, ‘”Impact”, “Value” and “Bad Economics”: Making Sense of the Problem of Value in the Arts and Humanities’, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 14.1 (2015), 95–110:; Eleonora Belfiore and Anna Upchurch, Humanities in the Twenty-First Century : Beyond Utility and Markets (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).

78Carl Bridge, A Trunk Full of Books: History of the State Library of South Australia and Its Forerunners (Adelaide: Wakefield Press in association with the State Library of South Australia, 1986).

79Judith Brett, The Australian Liberals and the Moral Middle Class: From Alfred Deakin to John Howard (Port Melbourne, Vic: Cambridge University Press, 2003).

80Michael Warner, Publics and Counterpublics (New York: Zone, 2002).

81This reworks material pursued at much greater length in Robert Phiddian, ‘The Publics of the Adelaide Festival of Ideas’, University of Toronto Quarterly, 85.4 (2016), 93–108.

82ANZOG, ‘Public Admin Explainer: What is Public Value?’, 10 April 2017:

83Daniel Drezner, The Ideas Industry: How Pessimists, Partisans, and Plutocrats Are Transforming the Marketplace of Ideas (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 2017). A search of the Kindle edition provides 199 matches for ‘marketplace’ of which only five are for usages other than ‘marketplace of ideas’ or ‘marketplace for foreign policy ideas’.

84David Sessions ‘The Rise of the Thought Leader’, The New Republic, 28 June 2017, makes this important critique of the market metaphor in his otherwise admiring piece on Drezner’s book.

85Stefan Collini, Speaking of Universities (London and New York: Verso, 2017). 86 Naomi Goulder, ‘Books in Brief: Speaking of Universities by Stefan Collini’:

87Sessions (2017); the word is not his and has been around for at least a decade (‘The Birth of Philanthrocapitalism’, The Economist, 23 February 2006).

88For entry points to a rich literature, see Thomas Piketty and Arthur Goldhammer, Capital in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014); John Quiggin, Zombie Economics: How Dead Ideas Still Walk among Us (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010); Richard M. Bookstaber, The End of Theory: Financial Crises, the Failure of Economics, and the Sweep of Human Interaction (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2017); John Lanchester, Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay (London: Penguin, 2010).

What Matters?

   by Julian Meyrick, Robert Phiddian and Tully Barnett