(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)

After the devastation of WWII, Western governments acted to improve equity and fairness in their countries. Now social change rarely rates a political mention. What happened towards the end of 20th century that slowly destroyed the political status of societies? 

I offered some answers to this question 25 years ago when I wrote and delivered the 1995 ABC Boyer lecture "A Truly Civil Society".

Back then, the Boyers were the broadcaster's valued annual contribution to public debates, and my invitation to deliver them on national radio was an unexpected honour. I used them to explore my concerns about how Australia and many other democratic societies were risking losing many of the social gains of the post-war decades.