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The idea of the 'Australian settlement' has been normalized since its popularization by Paul Kelly into the Keating years. This essay responds further to existing discussion of the idea, including attempts to develop it by expanding its descriptive and analytic criteria. It argues for the pluralization of the idea of settlement, rather than for attempts to develop the 'Australian settlement' by adding further exhaustive detail. The real challenge, beyond the controversy, is the adequate specification of the conditions of Australian modernity. Here the idea and institution of arbitration remains central. Copyright © 2008 SAGE Publications.
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