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Rosa Mulé, Factional Alliances, Trade Union Bargaining Power and Social Policy in Australia," Party Politics, 8 (May 2002), 259-278.

First Paragraph:
It may appear that research on income inequality is intimately connected with policies to redistribute income, yet the bulk of scholarly work focuses on market forces, especially international trade and technological progress (Davis, 1999; OECD, 1997; Ray, 2000). In this view, the trend towards rising income inequality in the Western world over the past 20 years is attributable to fierce competition from low-wage, newly industrialized countries.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Trends in real social security spending and average real benefit levels. Australia 1968&endash;89 (annual average percentage changes)
Figure 1. Trends in unemployment rate, real GDP growth and consumer price index. Australia 1980&endash;90
Table 2. Factional distribution of 1986, 1988 and 1994 national conferences. Australian Labor Party
Figure 2. The preferences of government and trade unions

Last Paragraph:
The argument developed throughout this article has indicated that the capacity of the ALP to shape social policy was not merely a function of external pressures but also the outcome of strategic considerations. These considerations seemed to be connected to governance within the ALP and to the changing balance of power between trade unions and the ALP. The ability to identify and explain the capacity of national governments to shape social policy in the face of international competitiveness is at the heart of current research in public policy (Scharpf and Schmidt, 2000). While international competition may set new and complex parameters within which party leaders interact, agency choice is crucial for our explanations of policy changes.