Enhancing knowledge of governance in Australia and internationally

Griffith’s Centre for Governance and Public Policy is an outstanding intellectual environment for world-class research engaging international scholars and government and policy communities. We examine and critique the capacity, accountability and sustainability of the public service and government, providing insights into improved management structures. By working closely with governmental and non-governmental partners, we are making a tangible mark on governance research. Our outstanding scholarship has seen the Centre awarded numerous grants, including more than 40 ARC Discovery/DECRA grants between 2000-2017, and publication of more than 100 books in the past decade.

Image credit: Election Day at Davis research station, 2019 © Greg Stone /Australian Antarctic Division

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Congratulations to Dr Lee Morgenbesser, who was recently awarded the 2019 Vice Chancellor's Research Excellence Award (Early Career Researcher).  Lee's five years as an early career researcher have been incredibly fulfilling and this award is fantastic recognition of his contribution to research in the political science field.

Lee is currently finishing his book on The Rise of Sophisticated Authoritarianism in Southeast Asia (New York: Cambridge University Press, accepted).

Lee is a member of the Centre for Governance and Public Policy - People, Elections and Parties research program.  You can see what Lee and his colleagues are doing in this field below.

People, Elections and Parties Research Program


On 10 July, our partner school, School fo Government and International Relations co-hosted with the International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law, and DamnFineMedia, a panel event on 'The Future of Corruption: The Fitzgerald Report 30 Years on'. Using Fitzgerald era Queensland as the launch point for discussion, the event sought to explore where we go to now in our pursuit of stamping out corrupt practices, particularly in public life. The expert panel, featuring the Centre’s public integrity and anti-corruption program leader Professor AJ Brown, Monash University’s Margaret Simons, the Grattan Institute’s Kate Griffiths, LNP member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien and author, Nigel Powell, took the time to mull over the steps taken so far to develop integrity and accountability frameworks as well consider what must be done to implement and progress these now and into the future. The panel was moderated by ABC RN Big Idea’s presenter, Paul Barclay, and was recorded for use in the program.

Professor Ciaran O’Faircheallaigh recently spent a week in Santiago, Chile, at the invitation of Professor Claudio Fuentes of the Universidad Diego Portales, to discuss recognition of Indigenous rights in Australia and Canada. Some 12 per cent of Chile’s Indigenous population identifies are Indigenous, with the Mapuche people of southern Chile the largest Indigenous group at some 1.7 million people. Chile has historically done little to provide recognition to its Indigenous peoples, and during the Pinochet regime in particular Indigenous lands were made available for large-scale exploitation by industrial interests. In recent years a number of formal steps have been taken to provide recognition, including Chile’s 2008 signing of International Labor Organisation Convention 169 on Tribal and Indigenous Peoples. However practical action to ensure that formal recognition translates into greater Indigenous control over development on Indigenous lands has been slow in coming. There is considerable interest in Chile in what Australia and Canada have done in this regard.

In addition to meeting with researchers and conducting interviews, Ciaran delivered a public lecture at the Centre for Intercultural and Indigenous Studies, Universidad Diego Portales, on the theme ‘Indigenous peoples rights and extractivism: the Australian and Canadian experience’ (available in Enlgish and Spanish at  https://bit.ly/2wO4mB3 ). He also had the opportunity to address and engage with representatives of Chile’s business community at a lunch hosted by the Chilean business organisation ICARE.  The 60 attendees displayed a wide range of attitudes towards recognition of Indigenous rights. Some expressed outright hostility, while others accepted the need for recognition, and focused on the practical steps business can take to develop a more productive engagement with Chile’s Indigenous peoples.

Ciaran plans to pay a longer visit to Chile as party of a sabbatical in the second half of 2020, and to have the opportunity to undertake field research with Mapuche and Atacama peoples dealing with mining and forestry activity on their ancestral lands.


Professor AJ Brown recently gave a keynote address to the 7th Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) Symposium, co-hosted this year by the World Justice Project and focussing on Fighting Corruption: A New Perspective.

Professor Brown, in his role as Board member for Transparency International spoke on 'Corruption in 2030: What will it look like and how will we have beaten it?'.  

Please see Professor Brown's powerpoint presentation here.

Watch the presentation here


On a recent visit to the Macmillan Center at Yale University, Duncan McDonnell discussed the rise of radical right populist parties and the electoral impact of the phenomenon at the European level. In light of the upcoming European elections there has been a lot of debate about the challenge that mainstream parties may face if radical right-wing forces manage to form a large group in the European Parliament. McDonnell's presentation drew on his forthcoming book with Annika Werner on this topic: International Populism: The Radical Right in the European Parliament.

Whilst in the United States, Duncan also presented at the New School in New York about his study on populist language with Stefano Ondelli from the University of Trieste, Italy.

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Working closely with Griffith Athena Swan, the Gender Equality Research Network comprises outstanding early to mid-career research scholars in the Arts, Education and Law, and Griffith Business School disciplines.

Research degrees

Find out about our PhD and research degree opportunities with the Centre for Governance and Public Policy.

Seminar series

The Centre for Governance and Public Policy hosts visiting scholars from across Australia and the world for its seminar series, with current issues addressed and dissected.

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