Emeritus Professor Marian Sawer

Emeritus Professor; ANU Public Policy Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

Democratic theory and practice, electoral administration, gender politics and policy, social liberalism, intersection of social movements and the state.


Former Head of the Political Science Program, RSSS, ANU and Leader, Democratic Audit of Australia. Was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1994 'for services to women and to political science' and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1996. Leader Parliamentary Reform stream, 20/20 Summit 2008. Awarded the Australian Political Studies Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

Member of the International Political Science Association Executive and Co-Editor, International Political Science Review 2012–2021.

Program Co-Chair, World Congress of Political Science, Poznan 2016. Member, Local Organising Committee, World Congress of Political Science, Brisbane 2018. Judge, IPSA Wilma Rule Award 2006–

Chair, Social Sciences Editorial Board, ANU Press 2010–15, member 2016–

Member, Editorial Boards of Australian Journal of Politics and History, Australian Journal of Political Science, Australasian Parliamentary Review, Democratic Theory, European Political Science Review, International Political Science Review. 

Member, Gender Statistics Advisory Group, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2010–

Research Affiliate, Global Institute for Women's Leadership (ANU)

For impact see: Google scholar

Researcher's projects

Gender Mainstreaming: The Role of Specialised Parliamentary Bodies http://politicsir.cass.anu.edu.au/research/projects/gender-research/gender-focused-parliamentary-institutions-research-network

Electoral Regulation (with Electoral Regulation Research Network and Democratic Audit of Australia)

Edward Elgar Handbook of Feminist Governance (with Lee Ann Banaszak, Penn State University, Jacqui True, Monash University and Johanna Kantola, Tampere University), February 2023.  https://www.elgaronline.com/edcollbook/book/9781800374812/9781800374812.xml

A Parliamentary Code of Conduct (with Blair Williams and the Global Institute of Women's Leadership) https://giwl.anu.edu.au/events/parliament-gendered-workplace-towards-new-code-conduct. Book published by  Palgrave on what four Westminster parliaments are doing about misconduct (with Maria Maley): https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-031-48328-8

Australian federal election series (with Anika Gauja and Jill Sheppard), auspiced by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, 2021–30. Current volume, Watershed: The Australian Federal Election 2022, ANU Press, 2023. https://press.anu.edu.au/publications/watershed


Current student projects


Melissa Hitchman, 'Women with a Misson: A Study of Australian Diplomacy' (2023–

Renee O'Shanassy, 'Gendered claims making and contestation within the UN system: The impact of accelerated digital mediation' (2023–

Blair Williams, 'Treading the tight-rope: A comparative study of first women Prime Ministers, gender performativity and the media' (awarded 2020, Gender Institute prize for best PhD, 2019; Thelma Hunter Gender and Politics PhD Prize, 2022)

Monica Costa, ‘Gender responsive budgeting in Timor-Leste and women's economic empowerment’ (co-supervised with Professor Rhonda Sharp, UNISA, awarded 2015, published Routledge 2018)

Kirsty McLaren, 'Social movements and the state in sub-Saharan Africa: Social movement identities in Liberia and Uganda' '

Veronica Oxman, ‘Policies towards gender violence. National approaches in Australia, Argentina and Chile (2002–2012)’

Tulika Saxena, ‘Assessing the impact of the Indian Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act 2005’ (awarded 2016)


Nugraheni Pancaningtyas, ‘The impact of new electoral legislation on women’s parliamentary representation in Bantul District and Yogyakarta City, Indonesia’ (co-supervised with Professor Kathy Robinson, CAP, awarded 2016)


Past student projects

Merrindahl Andrew, 'Women's movement activism on work and income' (awarded 2009).

Peter Brent, 'Enrolling the People: The Development of Modern Electoral Institutions' (awarded 2009).

Norm Kelly, 'Voters, Candidates, Parties: Issues of Equity and Access in Australian Electoral Democracy' (awarded 2009, published as Directions in Australian Electoral Reform, ANU Press, 2012).

Wahidah Siregah, 'Gaining representation in parliament: A study of the Indonesian national, provincial and local parliaments in 2004' (awarded 2008).

Verity Archer, 'In search of the Australian dole bludger: Constructing discourses of welfare, 1974-83' (awarded 2006, APSA prize for best politics PhD thesis, 2007).

Sandra Grey, ‘Changing frames: The discursive influence of the women’s movement in Australia and New Zealand’(awarded 2004, Graduate School Dean’s Prize, 2004).



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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