Dr Rick Kuhn

Bec (Syd), BA (Hons) (Macq), PhD (Sydney)
Honorary Associate Professor in Sociology
College Arts & Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy 160609
  • Australian Government And Politics 160601
  • Jewish Studies 220404
  • Political Science 1606
  • History Of Economic Thought 140101
  • Economic Theory Not Elsewhere Classified 140199
  • Social Change 160805
  • Social Theory 160806
  • Race And Ethnic Relations 160803

Research interests

Rick's publications have dealt with labour movement economic thought and class in Australia, German, Austrian and Australian politics and political economy, Marxist theory-particularly the work of Henryk Grossman- as well as the nature of the Australian Labor Party and racism in Australia. These research interests are reflected in the courses he teaches. His published work demonstrates a powerful combination of political commitment and scholarship, and he has continued to be involved in activist politics.
In 2003, during the height of the campaign against the war on Iraq, Rick was the convenor of the umbrella anti-war organisation in Canberra. His 2007 Henryk Grossman and the Recovery of Marxism won the international Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Prize 'for a book which exemplifies the best and most innovative new writing in or about the Marxist tradition'.


Rick completed an economics degree, with majors in politics and economics, at the University of Sydney in the mid 1970s. He was radicalised in the tail end of the mass student movement. Then, while a Commonwealth public servant, he became active in socialist, union and social movement politics, before doing an honours year in politics at Macquarie University. He returned to the public service in Canberra in 1979, initially as a member of the elite Administrative Trainee Scheme. After completing a PhD on the economic ideas of the Australian labour movement, back at the University of Sydney, Rick resumed work as a public service economist in Canberra. His first appointment at the ANU was in 1987. He retired as a reader in Political Science in 2013 and is currently an honorary associate professor in Sociology.

Researcher's projects

Henryk Grossman's Marxism, notably the translation, editing, annotation and writing of introductions for four volumes of Henryk Grossman's work to appear in the Historical Materialism Book Series, published by Brill
Continuity and change in the Australian Labor Party
Economic crisis
Racism in Australia


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Updated:  01 December 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers