Stephen Levine releases book on the 2017 general election

"Stardust and Substance: the New Zealand General Election of 2017", edited by Professor Stephen Levine from the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations, reflects on Jacinda Ardern’s extraordinary seven-and-a-half weeks’ campaign, defeating a National government in power for nine years.

Stephen Levine holding Stardust and Substance
Professor Stephen Levine holding a copy of the his edited volume on the 2017 election, Stardust and Substance (VUP). Photo credit: VUW Image Services.

Stardust and Substance: the New Zealand General Election of 2017, published by Victoria University Press, is the latest New Zealand election story masterfully brought together by Stephen Levine, Professor of Political Science in the School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations.

Stardust and Substance captures some of the magic of Jacinda Ardern’s extraordinary seven-and-a-half weeks’ campaign, defeating a National government in power for nine years.

The story of her sensational achievement – with ‘relentless positivity’ and a ‘Let’s do this’ attitude – is told in this book by multiple authors, including Jacinda Ardern herself; her coalition partners, Winston Peters and James Shaw; and, looking back at the 2017 race, by her adversary in the campaign, former prime minister Bill English.

The book portrays how a remarkable election looked to overseas observers in the U.S., Australia, Europe, Britain and Japan, attempting to understand ‘Jacindamania’; to 14 of New Zealand’s top cartoonists; to academic commentators, journalists and a TV news programme’s producer; and more.

You can find out more about the book, including ways to purchase, here.

Two extracts from the book are available on the website The Spinoff:

‘I remember the crunch point’: Jacinda Ardern looks back on the 2017 election

‘We chose the harder path’: Winston Peters on election 2017