Dr Tracy Beck Fenwick

D.Phil in Politics (University of Oxford), MA in Comparative Political Science (McGill University, Canada). BA in Latin American Studies and Economics (McGill University, Canada).
Senior University Lecturer in Political Science, School of Politics and I.R.; Director, Australian Centre for Federalism
College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Comparative Government And Politics 160603
  • Social Policy 160512
  • Policy And Administration 1605
  • Citizenship 160602
  • Political Science 1606
  • Policy And Administration Not Elsewhere Classified 160599

Research interests

Comparative Politics and Government (Regime Types) and Comparative Social/Drug Policy i.e. Implementation and Design of Poverty Alleviation Strategies (CCTs) and the Governance, Regulation, and Legalization of Cannabis, Federalism and the Welfare State, Subnational Governance and Decentralization, Local and Urban Politics. Regional Expertise Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean.


Tracy Beck Fenwick is the Director, of the Australian Centre for Federalism (SPIR) and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics in the College of Arts and Social Sciences,  She was previously a a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Latin American Studies at ANU, and a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. She completed her doctorate specializing in Comparative Politics at the University of Oxford, U.K. in 2009 (St. Anthony's College). She holds a M.A. in Comparative Politics and a B.A. in Latin American Studies and Economics from McGill University, Canada. Her research was recently published in a single-authored book: (2016) "Avoiding Governors: Federalism, Democracy, and Poverty Alleviation in Brazil and Argentina." Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.  She also recently published in Global Social Policy (2013), the Journal of Politics in Latin America (2010), and in the Latin American Research Review (2009). Tracy has been a visiting researcher at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), the Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), and at the Fundacão Getulio Vargas (FGV-SP). From 2003 to 2004, Tracy was also young professional with the Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL) based at FLACSO in Santo Domingo.  At the School of Politics and International Relations, Tracy teaches Politics in Latin America, Power Sharing: Federalism in Comparative Perspective, Introduction ot Latin American Studies, and Contemporary Brazilian Politics.

Researcher's projects

I work on federalism and the politics of public (social) policy. I have researched CCTs (ideational development, policy diffusion, and the political dimentions of their implementation and outcomes--feedback effects) for over ten years. I am also interested in local and urban politics in federal countries. Most recently I am working on the politics of legallizing cannabis in a federal context (Canada and the US) and policy responses of COVID-19.

I am interested in supervising topics on Latin America, Development and Democracy (including regime types), the Politics of Policy, Decentralization and Subnational Government, Federalism and Territorial Politics, and/or local and urban politics.

Current student projects


Bouri Song, HDR/SPIR. "Equalization and Fiscal Federalism in China"


Rafael Jacque Rodrigues. HDR/CAP. "The Politics of Deforestation Control: Public Policies, Federalism, and                                                                 Territorialites in the Brazilian Amazon.

Marian Calix Figueroa. HDR/Sociology. "Do Local NGOs make a Difference? The Case of Honduran NGOs                                                                      working in Education Projects."

Carlos Edurardo Morreo. HDR/SPIR. "Critical oil politics. Governing oil in ‘left turn’ Latin America.

Isi Unikowski. HDR/CAP. "New Wheels for Deakin's Federation? Structure and Agency in Australian                                                           Intergovernmental Management"

Past student projects


Chloe Waltho. "Continuity without Change: The Persistence of Populism in Post-Fujimori Peru"


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Updated:  27 October 2021 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers