Professor Darren R. Halpin

B.App.Sci (Hons), PhD
Professor of Political Science
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
T: 02 6125 4825

Areas of expertise

  • Australian Government And Politics 160601
  • Comparative Government And Politics 160603
  • Public Policy 160510

Research interests

I am a political scientist who researches and writes about organised interests (interest groups, thinks tanks, corporations and lobbyists) and political representation, and the connections between the two. I explore these themes in work on Australia, the US, United Kingdom and comparatively. 

My first book Groups, Democracy and Representation: Between Promise and Practice (2010, Manchester University Press), probed what we should expect groups to contribute to democratic representation. My follow up book The Organization of Political Interest Groups: Designing Advocacy (2014, Routledge), pioneers an organisational social science perspective on interest groups, spanning group formation through to policy influence.

My new book, with Anthony J. Nownes, The New Entrepreneurial Advocacy: Silicon Valley Elites in American Politics, comes out with Oxford University Press cam out in March 2021.

My work has attracted competitive funding from the Australian Research Council, UK Economic and Social Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust and the British Academy.




I arrived at the ANU in 2012. Prior to this appointment I held tenured positions in both the United Kingdom and Denmark. I have held visiting positions internationally, including at Helsinki, Stanford, and Aberdeen universities.

Until 2022, I was co-editor of the international journal Interest Groups and Advocacy. I am Foundation Editor of a book series of the same name (Palgrave, UK). I co-founded and until 2022 co-convened the Political Organisations and Participation section of the Australian Political Studies Association.

With international colleagues, I founded and co-direct the Policy Advocacy Lab which connects academic research about policy advocacy to policy practitioners and advocacy organisation leaders.

I speak to public, industry, and academic audiences, as well as to national media. I am often invited to provide input to the boards and senior management of interest groups.

At the Australian National University, I teach undergraduate and graduate classes in interest groups and political lobbying, and convene the Research Internship program for high performing Social Science undergraduates. I have held multiple leadership positions at the ANU, including as Head of Department in both Sociology and Political Science, and as Interim Director of the Research School of Social Sciences. I currently serve as Associate Dean (Research) in the College of Arts and Social Sciences.

More information, including access to publications and other material, can be found on my personal website,


Researcher's projects

See my website. Link below.

Available student projects

I welcome applications from potential research students interested in topics aligned with my research interests and expertise.


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Updated:  25 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers