Political theory plays a central role in the School’s intellectual life by providing a conceptual vocabulary that is shared across diverse areas of research. Political theory has long been integral to studies of politics and international relations. It helps clarify and appraise arguments, to reflect on modes of reasoning, and to attain a better understanding of the historical reasons for the ways we think and do politics today.

An emerging strength is visual politics, with Professor Roland Bleiker leading the new Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences’ Visual Politics Program, which draws in over 50 scholars from across the University.

The School boasts an established research cluster in the history of political thought, which hosts regular workshops in conjunction with the University of Queensland Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. Research in this area employs contextual methods of intellectual history to understand political thought from the past and shed light on its enduring influence. Special areas of strength in the history of political thought are early modern European political and international thought, and the emergence of modern political economic thought.

The School also has strengths in modern political theory where the work of twentieth century thinkers from Hannah Arendt and John Rawls to Michel Foucault and Jürgen Habermas are engaged to examine pressing problems of contemporary political and social life in national and internal contexts.

  • International Intellectual History
  • Early modern political thought
  • Origins of political economy
  • Contemporary political theory
  • Political rhetoric
  • Hate speech
  • Indigenous politics
  • Culture and World Order
  • Feminist Theory
  • Critical theory
  • Aesthetics and Emotions




I'll Have the Magic One Please (Jasmine McCracken)