Politics and International Relations

A key issue in Politics and International Relations is the study of power. Where does power come from, who has it and how does it impact the distribution of resources? Politics is also very concerned with ‘values’ such as freedom, democracy, equality and security. What do such ideas really mean, and how can we achieve them in practice?

Teaching program

Studying Politics provides the opportunity to develop important capabilities and skills which can be applied in many other areas of study and work. These include the capacity to make connections between events and ideas, analysis and logical thinking, critical detachment and perspective, and the ability to present knowledge, ideas and arguments in a clear and logical manner. At Monash four broad areas of politics are particularly well represented, with each offering a range of units for study:

Political and Social Theory

Political theorists aim to interpret and to explain the public institutions, shared or contested rules and the ideas about order and conflict that are features of any organised social life.

Political theories provide cognitive frameworks or conceptual lenses that help us to make sense of our political world. Understanding the sorts of theories and their contents is important to the professional conduct of academic research and inquiry. But it is perhaps all the more important to making sense of the ways in which people live within or act to change political society at the local, national or international level.

Australian Government and Politics

Australia is one of the world’s oldest liberal democracies. It is an ideal model for the study of electoral contests, the role of the legislature, the way in which a Westminster system of parliamentary governance works and the difficulties that confront governments as they try to make national policy in a federal system.

Monash University also participates in the competitive Victorian Parliamentary Internship program that allows 3rd year students to study in the Victorian Parliament. Apply here for the Victorian Parliamentary Internship [Word doc].

International Relations

International Relations is a sub-set of Politics. It explores such matters as war and peace, global economic management, international rules & organisations, foreign policy, the evolution of ethics in a global context, dealing with ‘failed’ and ‘rogue’ states, terrorism and the responses to it. Thus International Relations looks both at specific issues in some detail as well as the ‘big-picture’ of how the global political system works and is developing.

International Development Practice

International Development Practice is for students who want to make a difference in the world by participating in and leading meaningful transformation. This area of study focuses on understanding and addressing the political, economic, cultural and ecological challenges that can lead to extreme poverty, poor health, fragile governance, inequality and environmental vulnerability.

Monash University is a leader in development research, with specialists from across the university teaching in this program.


Undergraduate studies

Graduate studies

Graduate research

Politics and International Relations graduate research is part of the Social and Political Sciences Graduate Research program.


Monash University Politics staff includes some of the leading scholars and commentators on Australian and International politics who have published widely in the field and can be heard or read across Australia’s media when major events occur.

Our researchers have published on a broad variety of topics, including Australia's trade and investment relationships with foreign nations, the evolution of political networks, security and peace, international relations, foreign policy and more.

Our researchers also participate in Monash Gender, Peace & Security, a group of community engaged scholars who seek to use research to inform scholarly debate, policy development and implementation, and public understanding about the gendered politics of armed conflict and the search for peace.


Our academics in Politics and International Relations enjoy strong national and international profiles and pursue global interests. View all staff.

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