Associate Professor 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).
Associate Professor in Political Science, School of Politics and I.R.; Director, Australian Centre for Federalism
ANU 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
  • Poverty, Inclusivity And Wellbeing 440405
  • Australian Government And Politics 440801

Research interests

Comparative Politics and Government (Regime Types) and Comparative Social Policy (Implementation and Design of Social Protection (CCTs), Federalism and the Welfare State, Subnational Governance and Decentralization, Local and Urban Politics. She has a Regional Expertise in Latin American (Brazil and Argentina). She has also worked on Australia, Canada, and Nepal.


Tracy Beck Fenwick is the Director, of the Australian Centre for Federalism (SPIR) and an Associate Professor in the School of Politics in the College of Arts and Social Sciences,  Tracy is an expert in comparative federalism and social policy implementation. She has previously held visiting appointments at the University of British Columbia, McGill University, Universidad de San Martin (Argentina), Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), and at the Fundacão Getulio Vargas (FGV-SP). Tracy was 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.

Tracy has worked as a consultant and advisor on federalism and social protection policy to the World Bank, UNICEF, national governments and NGOs. 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. She edited "Beyond Autonomy: Practical and Theoretical Challenges to 21st Century Federalism" with Andrew Banfield (2021) and published 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 Publius (2021); Policy and Society (2018); Policy Studies (2017); Global Social Policy (2013), the Journal of Politics in Latin America (2010), and in the Latin American Research Review (2009). 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 Research and Writing in Political Science, Politics in Latin America, and Power Sharing: Federalism in Comparative Perspective.

Researcher's projects

I work on comparative federalism, intergovernmental relations, and the politics of the welfare state. I have researched Social Protection Policies (CCTs) for over ten years. I am also interested in local and urban politics in federal countries. Most recently, I research policy responses of COVID-19 in federal countries and fiscal equalization in Canada and Australia.

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

Current student projects



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

Vania Budianto. "Streching the Safety Net: Indonesia's Social Protection System. (CAP)

Past student projects


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


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"

Owen McNamara "Cultivating Populism in Argentina" (Antropology)


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



Return to top

Updated:  29 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers