Professor Patrick Dumont

Professor of Political Science
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

  • Political elites
  • Executive-legislative relations
  • Parties and party systems
  • Coalition theory
  • Elections, Voting Advice Applications 




Patrick Dumont studied political science at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium and the Université de Genève (PhD) in Switzerland. Before becoming Professor at the ANU in 2017, he held a position at the Université du Luxembourg. He was visiting fellow at the Jack W. Peltason Centre for the Study of Democracy University of California, Irvine during the 2014-2015 academic year. He also came as visiting fellow at the ANU in July-August 2011.

He is the co-founder of the Selection and Deselection of Political Elites (SEDEPE) international network with Keith Dowding, co-convenor of the Standing Group on Elites and Political Leadership of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) with Matthew Kerby, and chair of the Research Committee on 'Elites' of the International Political Science Association (IPSA). 

Patrick Dumont is the co-editor of the Routledge Research on Social and Political Elites book series. From 2003 to 2009, he was member of the executive board of the ABSP-CF (Political science Association – French-speaking Belgium) and from 2011 to 2017 he was a member of the editorial board of the Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée.


Researcher's projects

  • New projects from 2021 onwards:

ARC Discovery Project "Promissory Democratic Representation: Campaign Promises in Australia"; Principal Investigator with Prof. Lisa Waller (RMIT); lead Principal Investigator Prof. Robert Thomson Monash University

European Research Council project "How politicians evaluate public opinion (POLEVPOP)"; Australian team Principal Investigator with Drs Annika Werner and Marija Taflaga; lead Principal Investigator (grant awarded to) Prof. Stefaan Walgrave University of Antwerp (Belgium)

Australian Research Data Commons project "Australian and New Zealand Leaders, Elections and Democracy Data Asset"; partner; lead Principal Investigator Dr Steve McEachern Director of the Australian Data Archive at the ANU

  • Political elites:

This research interest comes under the rubric of SEDEPE, and consists in collecting individual-level data on ministerial careers in a wide number of countries, understanding the modes of selection of cabinet ministers as well as the reasons why they resign, analysing their backgrounds and career paths with appropriate methods. Several international journal articles, book chapters and two dedicated edited books have by now resulted from this line of research (The Selection of Ministers in Europe, 2008, paperback 2016; The Selection of Ministers around the World, 2015, paperback 2016).

I am also interested in other political and social elites, their careers, their interconnections, and their relations with voters, institutions and policy. The coordination of research efforts through the organisation of research activities (panels, workshops) in this field at international conferences is facilitated by the Standing Group on Elites and Political Leadership of the ECPR, the Research Committee on Elites of the IPSA; these allow for interesting exchanges and synergies that often lead to publication outputs in the Routledge Research in Political and Social Elites book series.

  • Coalition studies: 

This is a research agenda that has developed throughout the years, originally covering Western Europe where coalition governments are the rule rather than the exception. It includes the study of cabinet formation processes, cabinet composition, coalition agreements, quantitative and qualitative portfolio allocation, government duration, using a variety of game theoretical models (and interest for voting power indices) as well as combinations of quantitative and qualitative methods (for a book-length contribution, see Puzzles of Government Formation: Coalition Theory and Deviant Cases, 2011). This long-standing interest in coalition studies has led and to a number of pieces on the state of the art – some of which are currently in production. A co-edited volume on new developments on cabinet coalition research is due to 2021. 

These projects extend to the fields of party competition, decision-making in governments, cabinet internal stability, policymaking and more broadly political representation and accountability in coalition as well as in single-party government settings. At the ANU this agenda will open up to the empirical study of governments in the Asia-Pacific region, the electoral connection (electoral responsiveness and accountability, coalition coalition voting, the ‘pledges’ approach), as well as the use of experimental methods.

  •  European integration, Europeanization and Small States studies:

A line of research dedicated to European integration and the Europeanization of EU member states’ polities, policies and politics, with several journal articles, book chapters and an edited book (European Integration and Consensus Politics in the Low Countries, 2015, paperback 2016).

Country-case expertise for Belgium and Luxembourg (disseminated in international journal articles, edited volumes in the context of numerous international research projects and books/reports) has extended to an interest for the politics of under-studied, small countries, culminating with a co-edited volume on party politics in European small and micro-states due to 2021 at Routledge.

Aside from the obvious links with the preceding research agendas, as a comparative institutions scholar I am also interested in electoral systems and their consequences. In particular, I aim to carry on research projects on topics I contributed to in the past, such as compulsory voting and preferential vote systems

In addition, the development of democratic innovations and the concomitant rise of politics online have led to the burgeoning of what has been termed Voting Advice Applications. These are platforms that help citizens match their own policy preferences with those of candidates and parties. These tools raise a number of important questions for political scientists and provide them with interesting data about voters and the political supply. I was PI for the Smartvote Australia project ( in partnership with the Sydney Morning Herald/The Age for the 2019 federal elections and with the Canberra Times for the 2020 ACT Legislative Assembly election. This strand of research has led to several international journal articles, book chapters, a special issue of the Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée (2015) and a large social impact during elections campaigns judging by the number of VAA users and pieces in the media. 

Available student projects

I am available for PhD and honours students wishing to engage in comparative politics projects, especially on topics related to my research interests as stated above (and complements on my Researchgate page, see link below).

Current student projects

Past students (co)-supervision

Ben Eliasaf (Australian National University) A Comparative Mixed-Methods Investigation of the Formation and Successes of National Green Parties

Dan Schmit (University of Luxembourg) The intra-party effects of open-list design





Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  16 June 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers