Bradley Bowden

Adjunct Fellow

Dr Bradley Bowden's career has revolved around the study and passionate defense of the Australian way of life and Western Civilisation. After studying Classics and European history at the University of Queensland in the early 1970s, he spent 9 years as a seafarer before completing a PhD on labour history at the University of Wollongong in 1991.

Bowden’s long years as a seafarer left him with an abiding respect for working people. Employed continuously by Griffith University from 1995 until 2020, when he retired as a full-time Professor, Bowden’s interests increasingly focused on the positive role of entrepreneurship and free market capitalism. Serving as Chair of the Management History Division of the (American) Academy of Management in 2016-17, Bowden became the foremost critic of postmodernist influence in business and management studies.

He was twice awarded the John F Mee Award by the Academy of Management for Outstanding Contributions to Management History.His current research focuses on the ways in which encroaching state power threatens the democratic and social achievements of Western Civilisation.

At the IPA he is the lead contributor and special adviser to the "How Australia Was Made" project.

They Led The Way
25 March 2024

They Led The Way

The vision of education and rights for women outlined by Mary Wollstonecraft was taken up with enthusiasm in Australia’s colonial democracy, writes IPA Adjunct Fellow Brad Bowden. Since time immemorial, most of Europe’s population had lived in country cottages and rural hamlets. By 1841, this rural mode of existence was in retreat across north-western Europe as industrialisation took hold. In
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Big State, Big Problems
16 November 2022

Big State, Big Problems

Government responses to COVID widened the chasm between productive workers and their ‘professional’ overlords, argues historian and IPA Adjunct Fellow Bradley Bowden. The arbitrary actions of Big Government during the COVID-19 lockdowns highlighted a wider problem: the ever-growing reach of the modern State. I advanced the original argument in ‘The Rise and Rise of the Modern State’ (IPA Review, Summer
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The Rise and Rise of the Modern State
17 July 2022

The Rise and Rise of the Modern State

Freedom itself is under threat as the ever-growing State damages liberalism and individualism, argues historian and IPA Adjunct Fellow, Bradley Bowden. The success of modern liberal-democracies has been built upon three pillars: democracy, economic and political liberalism, and an embrace of an energy-intensive economy, Many assume democracy is the key element of the three, as millions laid down their lives
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The Measure Of Liberty
30 June 2022

The Measure Of Liberty

If Australians knew more of how political and economic liberty defeated pessimism and poverty, they’d be more prepared to fight for it now, write IPA Adjunct Fellow Brad Bowden and IPA Executive Director Scott Hargreaves. Australians today are part of a modern and industrialised world that emerged during the ‘long century’ of the Enlightenment; an era of transformative change that
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Abolition Was Exceptional
30 November 2021

Abolition Was Exceptional

Claims that slavery built the West are not supported by evidence, and are confounded by Abolition, argues historian and IPA Adjunct Fellow, Bradley Bowden. We should hardly be surprised American conservatives reacted with outrage to The 1619 Project launched by The New York Times in August 2019, as it turned on its head their commitment to ‘exceptionalism’, the notion that
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Unions’ Last Stand
21 October 2020

Unions’ Last Stand

This article from the Spring 2020 edition of the IPA Review is written by labour and management historian, Bradley Bowden. Many myths purport to explain union decline in Australia; myth entrenched in labour history and industrial relations scholarship, as well as the union movement more generally. We are told union decline primarily results from attacks by conservative governments “bent on
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A Capital Idea: Modern Management in a Free Society
13 December 2018

A Capital Idea: Modern Management in a Free Society

Benefits for workers are the real success of modern management in free market societies, writes Professor Bradley Bowden  (originally published in the October 2018 IPA Review). Management, as a discipline and an occupation, has become a ubiquitous feature of the modern world. Among university students, business and management is now the most commonly studied degree. For those of us who work, a manager
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How to Kick Postmodernism
1 December 2018

How to Kick Postmodernism

A better understanding of postmodernism will help us counter this enigmatic enemy of liberal democracy, writes Professor Brad Bowden. Our society, along with other Western liberal democracies, is suffering a crisis of purpose and intellectual understanding. Work and wealth creation are no longer seen—as they were by every preceding generation—as key social touchstones; the glue that directs economic activity in
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