Professor Ian McAllister

ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • Comparative Government And Politics 160603
  • Australian Government And Politics 160601

Research interests

Elections, voting and party systems.


Ian McAllister is Distinguished Professor of Political Science at The Australian National University, and from 1997 until 2004 was Director of the Research School of Social Sciences at the ANU.

He has previously held chairs at the University of New South Wales and the University of Manchester and has held other academic appointments at The Queen's University of Belfast and the University of Strathclyde.

He was President of the British Politics Group 2001-2002, edited the Australian Journal of Political Science from 2004 to 2010, and was chair of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems project from 2003 to 2008. He is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Researcher's projects

Ian McAllister’s current research mainly covers two areas, Australian politics and comparative political behaviour.

Ian McAllister’s work on Australian politics involves co-directing the Australian Election Study, a national survey of political opinion conducted after each federal election since 1987, all funded by the Australian Research Council. In addition, he has co-directed national surveys after the 1999 Republic and the 2023 Voice to Parliament referendums. He is currently working on two books on Australian politics. The first book examines long term change in Australian electoral behaviour from the 1960s to the present day. This book examines the potential for new political cleavages, and their implications for the party system. Second, he is co-authoring a book on Australian referendums examining how voters behave in a referendum context and how this compares with referendum voting behaviour around the world.

Ian McAllister’s work on comparative political behaviour covers a range of areas, but he is particularly interested in how cultural conflicts are displacing economic inequality as drivers of voting behaviour. This research focusses on the electoral implications of generational conflict and the emergence of education as a new political cleavage. He is also interested in the changing impact of political leaders on political behaviour through the increasing personalization of politics. He is currently working on a co-authored book on Russian voting behaviour since the collapse of communism in 1989.


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Updated:  18 July 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers