Research streams and clusters

The two main streams of research in our department cover modern history, and politics and international relations. In addition, our academics work in several research clusters.

Research clusters focus on topics ranging from global governance to biographic and oral history.

Research in Modern History

This stream covers the fields of Australian, Aboriginal, European and world history. Research strengths in the discipline include the history of gender and sexuality; biographic and oral histories; the history of ideas in everyday life; and public and popular history.

Research in Politics and International Relations

This stream covers the broad fields of Australian, comparative and international politics, political (including international) theory, foreign policy and public policy.

Specific research projects include: US foreign policy; nationalism and the state; secessionism; Europe and Eurasian national and international politics; Middle East and North African politics; North/South relations, the history of ideas; religion and politics; environmental politics; regionalism in the Southwest Pacific; the politics of Indigenous identity; the politics of sexuality, and the politics of the family.

Historians in this cluster investigate how individuals have experienced, challenged and even produced social, political and cultural change. In particular, we are interested in how historical circumstances produce ways of feeling, being and seeing the world, how these subjectivities made it possible to both make and resist change, and how the study of personal, familial and intimate life can differently explain the cause and effect of these historical transformations. We both investigate and unsettle the relationship between the individual and the social, the emotional and the cultural, the familial and the political, and even question whether Western conceptions of the autonomous self should be employed to tell stories about Europe's historical others.

Modern History staff in this research concentration include: Leigh BoucherMatthew BaileySean BrawleyTanya EvansKate FullagarMark HearnAlison HollandRobert ReynoldsShirleene Robinson.

Historians in this cluster investigate how ideas have worked in everyday life, from the public sphere to popular culture. We trace not only how ideas circulated in these realms but also how everyday practices altered and even constituted them. Our localised histories of 'big' ideas challenge understandings of their origins, trajectories, and effects.

Modern History staff in this research concentration include: Kate FullagarLeigh BoucherMark HearnMichelle ArrowAlison HollandNicholas Scott BakerMatthew Baile.

Historians in this cluster investigate the ways that history is understood in public life and popular culture, including analyses of historical fiction, film and television and the work of community groups. These historians produce original analyses of these forms of history, but they also work in partnership with community groups and media organizations to create history in a variety of forms and to communicate history to diverse audiences.

Historians in this cluster include: Michelle ArrowMatthew BaileyDavid ChristianTanya EvansMark HearnShirleene Robinson.

Historians in this cluster explore the ways gender and sexuality have impacted on individual and collective experiences and the ways that individuals, groups and societies have understood, negotiated and challenged these concepts. Research in this field locates gender and sexuality as forces of historical change. Researchers are interested in the emergence and transformation of gender identities and gender movements, sexual subcultures and intimate life, as well as the way societies respond to these challenges and changes.

Historians in this cluster include: Michelle ArrowNicholas BakerTanya EvansAlison HollandClare MonagleRobert ReynoldsShirleene RobinsonLeigh Boucher.

This research cluster examines the phenomena of nationalism, supranationalism, and the state, and interactions between them.  Since its formation in March 2014, the cluster has produced 3 books, 11 academic journal articles, 6 book chapters, 2 encyclopaedia entries, and five PhD completions. Several other scholarly works are under review or nearing completion. Members of the cluster have also presented at conferences, organized discussion fora, and engaged with national and international media.

Regional and national specializations include Russia and the former Soviet Space, the former Yugoslavia, the European Union, Germany, Turkey, the United States, and Africa. Themes and issues explored include international security, secession, image and prestige, revenge as political motivation, nationalism and emotion, anthems, democratization, and regional conflict.

In Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as in the UK and Spain, discourses emphasizing national and sub-national identities and interests came to dominate public spaces and new conflicts have erupted. The project of a supranational European polity embedded in the EU has come under increasing strain. Many challenges also confront the project of democracy in Africa. The adjoining states of Zimbabwe and South Africa were the last in Africa to come to majority rule and independence, and each has been governed by a hegemonic party since those transitions. New political parties and social formations now challenge the hegemons. African nations are different in their history and capacity but their fortunes are also linked through ideology, economics and dependency on international capital.

Members include: Sasa PavkovicSteve Wood, Geoffrey Hawker, Lloyd CoxConor Keane, Glenn Diesen.

This research cluster caters for staff and HDR students from Politics and International Relations and other departments interested in the intersections of politics, religion, secularism and related themes. Through fortnightly reading groups and occasional longer workshops and seminars, cluster members discuss emerging work from a range of disciplines that relate to the theme of politics and religion and share methodological approaches.

Recent international guests hosted by the cluster have included Professors Michael Minkenberg (Berlin) and Manon Tremblay (Ottawa), both now engaged in collaborative work with Macquarie cluster members. Cluster member Sean Durbin was recently awarded the annual PhD thesis prize by the Australian Political Studies Association for his work on Christian Zionism. Cluster leaders Marion Maddox and Ian Tregenza both hold ARC grants.

Members of this research cluster work on a variety of topics related to the theme of transnational, regional and global governance.

Current projects include regionalism and sub-regionalism, governance of energy innovation, issues in international political economy and postcolonial theory, nuclear proliferation and South Asian security, militarism and gender representations, and culture and politics in the Middle East.

A joint workshop between the Global and Transnational Governance and the Politics and Religion clusters on the topic of Conservative Religion and Neoliberalism, supported by a Faculty grant, is planned for 2015. Cluster leader Stephanie Lawson holds an ARC grant on regional politics in the Southwest Pacific.