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Department of Government and International Relations

Shape the conversation, change the world
Examining politics and international relations using critical and multidisciplinary perspectives.

In a time of revolutions, economic turmoil and terrorism, everyone has a stake in how disputes are resolved and co-operation is improved. We understand and explain politics and international relations as well as the forces that shape and drive political, economic and social change. 

Our internationally recognised academics engage with the big issues the world faces today, dealing with everything from Trump to the implications of Brexit, terrorism, the war in Syria, climate change, nuclear proliferation, the global refugee crisis and the global financial crisis.

Study area

Study area_

Politics, policy and international studies

Address some of society's biggest global challenges

Gain an understanding of how political and economic relations between governments and other international actors are structured and maintained.

Our research

Our department offers teaching and internationally recognised research in all major fields of the discipline, including: 

  • International relations: The role and functions of international organisations, such as the World Bank and United Nations, as well as the challenges of globalisation, international security, conflict and terrorism.
  • Public policy: In the Australian and global contexts, including environmental, economic and foreign policy, as well as public-sector management and policy analysis. 
  • Political theory: Classical and applied ideas of democracy, environmentalism and human rights.
  • Comparative politics: Substantial research into authoritarianism, democratisation and complex processes of regime change, especially in the post-communist world and Southeast Asia. Publications have also compared the politics and institutions of Anglo-American states and Westminster democracies, such as the role of the core executive and processes of civic engagement. 
  • Australian politics: Research into the media, elections and political parties.

Our centres 

Our department contributes to these centres: 

Our people

  • Professor Peter Curson
  • Dr David Clune OAM
  • Dr Damian Grace
  • Professor Antony Green
  • Dr Michael Hogan
  • Dr Bob Howard
  • Dr Diarmuid Maguire


For a full listing of our upcoming events, please visit the What's On Calendar.

Our colloquium series aims to showcase recent research by members of the department, visiting scholars and our community.

More information about upcoming colloquiums will be available soon. 

The Best and Brightest Ceremony recognises the achievements of recent honours graduates. The 2018 ceremony was held on 24 May. View the 2018 Best and Brightest program (pdf, 1.2MB) here. 

Department Chair

Professor Colin Wight

School of Social and Political Sciences

  • +61 2 9351 2650 

Steven Weng

Headshot of Steven Weng
Government and International Relations student
“The culture here encourages robust intellectual discussion and debate. The academics who teach you at Sydney influence the political conversation at the national and international levels."
Download our undergraduate course guide (pdf, 4.8MB)

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