Griffith Review is designed to foster and inform public debate and to provide a bridge between the expertise of specialists and the curiosity of readers. We wish to give writers the space to explore issues at greater length, with more time for reflection than is possible under the relentless pressure of daily events. Our aim is to provide the opportunity for established and emerging writers, thinkers and artists to tease out complexity and contradiction and propose new ways of thinking and seeing. Check out our writers' guidelines for further information.

Future editions

Griffith Review 57: Perils of Populism
Edited by Julianne Schultz

Submissions are now closed
Deadline for pitches: 17 February 2017
Published 31 July 2017

The world is in the grip of profound political and social change. Leaders are rising to power who promise to respond to the voice of the people – people who are aggrieved and resentful, feeling the sting of inequality and the uncertainty of a new economic order.

As the global economy continues to change, disruption and reaction become inevitable. As trust is further eroded, the desire to lash out is understandable.

The populist response to the times is essentially emotional – promising to alleviate the symptoms of distress, while encouraging others to fester. If betrayal and disillusion are inevitable, they remain some way off – an accommodating new order will take time to be established.

Making sense of why we are in this populist moment – what it feels like, where it might lead, and what we can learn from the past – is the ambition of this edition. Its range is wide – political, economic, social, personal, environmental, cultural.

How and why the institutions created after the Second World War are failing merits further examination. Were they inadequate and self-serving in the first place – or did they lose touch with those they were established to protect? Or, rather, have individuals and organisations with their own agendas sensed an opportunity to actively undermine them?

Economics has been the lingua franca of policy for so long we have forgotten that the numbers alone do not tell the full story or provide all the answers. The bedrock of most of the institutions that have shaped the modern world was drawn from the Enlightenment, yet these ideas and values have been undermined, ignored, dismissed and debased for decades. Now we are paying the price.

The political end-point of populism may well be a confederacy of global oligarchs, a police state or fascism. Along the way we can expect to see a rise in xenophobia, exclusion, disrespect for institutions and truth, limits on checks and balances, and an increase in fear.

Previous populist governments have imploded in response to resistance, creating more resilient institutions, a more robust and responsive mode of engagement and a new order that works for more of the people more of the time. In the teeth of the populist moment, does this potential alternative suggest itself?

Queensland suffered the longest and deepest experience of the politics of populism in Australia. Joh Bjelke-Petersen’s state government (1968-87) was a textbook model – don’t you worry about that. There may have been economic growth, but social institutions were put under strain, the rule of law was challenged, people of conscience belittled and made to feel powerless, the media muzzled. Yet resistance flowered.

This edition will feature several writers who won the Griffith Review Queensland Writers Fellowships, and will explore the nuances of populism then and now – building a conscience, confronting sexual abuse, addressing climate-change deniers, navigating an obstructive bureaucracy, coming face-to-face with religious cults and discovering the enduring kindness of strangers.

We are seeking writers keen to explore with originality and insight the sources and perils of contemporary populism: economic, social, educational, media, political, religious and even language – the human and social dimensions up close and personal.

This is a global phenomenon – populist sentiment is alive and flourishing in both the richest and poorest countries in the world. This edition of Griffith Review will bring new perspectives and insights to this troubling phenomenon.

Griffith Review 58: Storied Lives – The Novella Project V
Edited by Julianne Schultz

Submissions are now closed
Length: 10,000–25,000 words
Deadline for submissions: 12 June 2017
Total contributor budget: $25,000
Winners announced: 31 July 2017
Published 30 October 2017

Every life offers a unique story – but some lives stand out so distinctly they leave their mark on the world. How do some people make such a difference – and trigger change both at large and close to home?

Griffith Review 58 Lives: Storied Lives – The Novella Project V focuses on people who have effected a change in the world. Insights from the lives of others – real and imagined, personal, political, scientific, cultural – are the key to empathy and understanding.

In a major development, Griffith Review 58 is open not only to fiction, but to works of long-form, creative non-fiction that explore the personal tales of those whose exploits have made a difference. We are looking for novellas, memoir, biography and reportage, from family stories that resonate down the generations, to individuals who forged breakthroughs, battled the odds and continue to shape and define the world. We are looking for narratives of those who intersected decisively with their times and left a trace that a beautifully written story can map.

The lives may be big or small, imagined or real. Those we select for publication will be exemplary instances, with writing that embodies a coalescence of individuals and their times. We are particularly interested in stories about experiences that continue to inform the present day (even if from the deep past) – stories that sing on the page, that go beyond the bones of a life to a bigger picture.


An Editorial Board has been established for the Griffith Review, to provide peer review of those essays submitted for inclusion in the journal by academics who need such endorsement of their work for Australian Research Council and other academic purposes. The Board comprises a group of standing members and an expert panel.

The expert panel supplements the core Board membership for the review of articles related to the panel member’s field of expertise, in such specialist areas as history, political science, law, anthropology, sociology, international relations, environment and other areas as required.

 Membership of the Editorial Board currently includes:

 Standing Members

Professor Julianne Schultz, Griffith Review Editor

Professor Marilyn McMeniman

John Curtin Distinguished Professor Anna Haebich, Curtin University and Adjunct Professor, Griffith University

 Expert Panel Members

Professor AJ Brown, Griffith University

Professor Ann Curthoys, University of Sydney

Professor Glynn Davis, Vice Chancellor, University of Melbourne

Hon Dr Geoff Gallop, University of Sydney

Emeritus Professor John Hay, University of Queensland

Professor Ian Howard, College of Fine Arts, University of NSW

Professor Marcia Langton, University of Melbourne

Emeritus Professor Ian Lowe, Griffith University

Professor Peter Spearritt, University of Queensland

Senior Research Fellow Peter Sutton, University of Adelaide & South Australian Museum

Dr Norman Swan, ABC Science Unit

Professor Michael Wesley, ANU

Professor Pat Hoffie, Griffith University

This list will be supplemented by other specialist area experts, as required.

An output in Griffith Review may be either a B1 Book Chapter or a C1 Journal Article, however:

  • For an output to be considered as a B1 Book Chapter, the output must meet all the HERDC criteria for a Book Chapter but unfortunately the Department changed the 2012 Specifications and if a Book or Book Chapter only has an online version, then it cannot be included in HERDC;

  • For an output to be considered as a C1 Journal article, the output must meet all the specific criteria for a Journal article including the criteria that it has to be peer-reviewed.

HERDC’s ‘research’ definition states that outputs need to demonstrate ‘substantial scholarly activity … in a format which allows a reader to trace sources of the work, including through citations and footnotes’. Potential contributors seeking peer review are asked to email Griffith Review at to request it at the time of submission of their article. In order to meet publishing deadlines, any request for a peer review should be submitted four months prior to the scheduled publication date.