Future-Proofing the State

Future-Proofing the State

Managing Risks, Responding to Crises and Building Resilience

Edited by: Jonathan Boston, John Wanna orcid, Vic Lipski, Justin Pritchard

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This book focuses on the challenges facing governments and communities in preparing for and responding to major crises — especially the hard to predict yet unavoidable natural disasters ranging from earthquakes and tsunamis to floods and bushfires, as well as pandemics and global economic crises.

Future-proofing the state and our societies involves decision-makers developing capacities to learn from recent ‘disaster’ experiences in order to be better placed to anticipate and prepare for foreseeable challenges. To undertake such futureproofing means taking long-term (and often recurring) problems seriously, managing risks appropriately, investing in preparedness, prevention and mitigation, reducing future vulnerability, building resilience in communities and institutions, and cultivating astute leadership. In the past we have often heard calls for ‘better future-proofing’ in the aftermath of disasters, but then neglected the imperatives of the message.

Future-Proofing the State is organised around four key themes: how can we better predict and manage the future; how can we transform the short-term thinking shaped by our political cycles into more effective long-term planning; how can we build learning into our preparations for future policies and management; and how can we successfully build trust and community resilience to meet future challenges more adequately?


ISBN (print):
ISBN (online):
Publication date:
May 2014
ANU Press
Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)
The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG)
Science: Environmental Sciences; Social Sciences: Social Policy & Administration

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Future-Proofing the State »

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Part 1: Governing for the Future

  1. Governing for the Future while Meeting the Challenges of Today (PDF, 192KB) – Jonathan Boston doi
  2. The Role of Government in Future-Proofing Society (PDF, 114KB) – The Right Honourable John Key doi
  3. Foreseeable Shocks and the Critical Challenges Facing Humanity in the Twenty-First Century (PDF, 100KB) – Pierre-Alain Schieb doi
  4. Governments Fit for the Future: Lessons in building resilience (PDF, 172KB) – The Honourable Jocelyne Bourgon doi
  5. Governing for the Future: What governments can do (PDF, 130KB) – Peter Ho (Hak Ean) doi
  6. Do Governments Suffer from Political Myopia: What is the problem and what can be done about it? (PDF, 112KB) – Robyn Kruk and the Honourable Sir Michael Cullen doi
  7. Policy Disasters Waiting to Happen: When predictable disasters flow from government decisions (PDF, 132KB) – Peter Mumford doi
  8. Building and Maintaining Trust in Public Institutions: Is this possible? (PDF, 426KB) – Murray Petrie doi

Part 2: Managing Risks and Building Resilience

  1. Lessons for Government in Minimising Risk: What can the public service learn from the private sector? (PDF, 128KB) – Bridget Hutter doi
  2. Risk Responses, Emergency Management and Community Resilience in the Aftermath of the Recent Victorian Natural Disasters (PDF, 102KB) – Neil Comrie doi
  3. Understanding Resilience and Reducing Future Vulnerabilities in Social-Ecological Systems (PDF, 161KB) – Brian Walker doi
  4. Improving Resilience through Environmental Scanning in Western Australia (PDF, 144KB) – Nicole Eastough doi
  5. Environmental Scanning Processes in Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads (PDF, 95KB) – Adam Rogers doi
  6. Resilience in its Historical and Contemporary Contexts (PDF, 125KB) – David Kirk doi

Part 3: Managing Crises

  1. Managing Crises Long Term: The challenges of preparedness and response (PDF, 171KB) – Paul ’t Hart doi
  2. The Public Service in the Aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis: Future-proof or future shock? (PDF, 94KB) – The Honourable Bill English doi

Part 4: Disaster Recovery

  1. Disaster Recovery: The particular governance challenges generated by large-scale natural disasters (PDF, 208KB) – Bruce Glavovic doi
  2. Missing the Opportunity to Promote Community Resilience? The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry (PDF, 135KB) – Jim McGowan doi
  3. The Role of Post-Disaster Institutions in Recovery and Resilience: A comparative study of three recent disasters (PDF, 183KB) – James Smart doi
  4. Governing the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, 2010–2011: The debate over institutional design (PDF, 186KB) – Rachel Brookie doi
  5. Seismic Shifts: The Canterbury earthquakes and public sector innovation (PDF, 124KB) – John Ombler and Sally Washington doi
  6. Examining the Public Sector’s Responses to the Canterbury Earthquakes (PDF, 154KB) – Lyn Provost, Henry Broughton and Andrea Neame doi

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