Public policy and governance


The School’s public policy and governance research is diverse and centrally focused on understanding how public policy is made, how it is implemented, and how governance conditions at local, national, regional and international levels are changing. We are interested in understanding how ideas, individuals, interest groups and all kinds of institutions shape public policy and the world.

Many of the enduring puzzles that define public policy, and the political science discipline more broadly, are our core concerns. We conduct research on policy agenda setting, policy decision making, and policy design and implementation. We also address the numerous dynamic issues facing public administrations and public managers, in the face of constantly evolving governing conditions. Our staff analyse public policy and administration against a range of concerns about complexity, power and democracy.

In our School, the study of public policy and governance is a broad church, including: critical policy studies; international comparative policy analysis; studies of governance change; public sector reform; organisational behaviour; and street-level bureaucracy. We are highly engaged with policy practitioners through our teaching programs and our research projects.

A number of internationally leading scholars and a growing number of up and coming early- and mid-career academics comprise our public policy and governance staff. Our focus on conducting and disseminating high quality research has resulted in our staff being published in the world’s best journals and university presses, as well as being awarded journal prizes, and winning Australian Research Council Discovery and Linkage grants, as well as international grants.

Research fields

Crisis managementGovernanceIndigenous policyOrganisational behaviour
Policy agenda settingPolicy decision-makingPolicy designPolitical psychology
Public administrationPublic budgets and accountabilityPublic management and leadershipWelfare and social policy

Geographic regions of research

Australia and New ZealandCentral AsiaNorthern AmericaNorthern Europe
South-eastern AsiaSouthern EuropeWestern Europe