Australia is one of the world’s oldest liberal democracies. It is a pioneer in election laws such as the secret ballot, women’s suffrage and compulsory voting. Constitutionally, its system is an amalgam of features from the United Kingdom and the United States. This combination makes Australia an ideal model for the study of electoral contests, political institutions, the challenges of policy making in a federal system, and how this history has shaped Australia’s approach to the world.
Once described as a ‘worker’s paradise’, Australia is known for its high standard of living, and internationally, played an active role in developing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international treaties that followed. It is also an important example of the successes and challenges of putting multiculturalism into practice.
Australia continues to face the same challenges as other comparable countries in coming to terms with its past – and present – treatment of Indigenous peoples. Australian politics also speaks to broader issues around the country’s historical alliances, its place in the Asia-Pacific, and confronting the challenges of climate change.
The School is home to world class researchers of Australian politics with special attention to Australian institutions and actors, political behaviour, and political change over time. We offer cutting-edge approaches to critically assess how power operates in Australian society and to understand the global context of the Australian experience.
Our staff includes leading scholars and commentators on Australian politics who have published widely and feature prominently in media and public debate. We use diverse approaches to research Australian politics using innovative methods and are proud to have trained students and graduates who work across Australian and international governments, NGOs and corporations.
|Australia in the world||Australian elections||Australian environmental policies and issues||Australian international relations|
|Australian political actors and institutions||Australian political history||Australian political parties||Australian political traditions and ideologies|
|Australian public policy||Australian social movements||Indigenous-settler relations in Australia||Policy agendas in Australia|
|Political behaviour, public opinion and voting in Australia||Politics and the media in Australia|
Geographic regions of research
Our research projects
Australian welfare policy, 1950 to 2007: Continuity and disruption
This project aims to analyse Australian welfare policy from the end of the Chifley government in 1949 to the end of the Howard government in 2007.
Sworn to no master: A corporate and political history of Australian newspapers, 1941-2021
The Coral Thomas Fellowship, State Library of New South Wales, supporting new research into the history of Australian newspaper companies.
Unfit to print: A history and analysis of press power in Australia
This project is focused on creating a history of newspaper influence on Australian politics.
Australia’s relationship with the European Union: from tensions to new paradigms
This project assesses relations between Australia and the EU and the opportunity for this engagement to further develop around a range of policies and forums.