Australian politics


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.

Research fields

Australia in the worldAustralian electionsAustralian environmental policies and issuesAustralian international relations
Australian political actors and institutionsAustralian political historyAustralian political partiesAustralian political traditions and ideologies
Australian public policyAustralian social movementsIndigenous-settler relations in AustraliaPolicy agendas in Australia
Political behaviour, public opinion and voting in AustraliaPolitics and the media in Australia  

Geographic regions of research