Cluster members
Cluster director

This cluster brings scholars together from a wide range of disciplines to collaborate with leading practitioners in order to address some of the world's most challenging public policy issues.

Tweets from Prof Will Harvey & Prof Ruth Sealy

Business, Institutions and Policy

The "Business, Institutions and Policy" research cluster is composed of academic researchers working across a wide range of departments. Members are interested in addressing a broad spectrum of public policy issues. The cluster has three major themes: business and society, political economy and economic policy, and within each theme, there are a number of research groups.

Members of the cluster work with multiple forms of organisations, from supranational to the micro-level, in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. The goal of the cluster is to address pertinent public policy challenges from a range of theoretical, conceptual and methodological perspectives.


Business and Society

The Business and society research group is interested in how organisations impact policy and how policy impacts organisations in intended and unintended ways.

The group is working on a range of projects that focus on how institutional practices change and how organisations learn.

Drawing-on a plurality of disciplinary and methodological backgrounds from the macro to the micro level, the group has particular expertise in the areas of:

  • Reputation
  • Risk
  • Regulation
  • Policy
  • Learning

Political economy

The political economy research group is interested in understanding how social and economic institutions are created, how they evolve, and how those processes shape economic behaviour and social welfare.

Examples include the emergence of property rights, the interface between state bureaucracy, trade and the decentralisation of political power, as well as the interaction between financial rewards and punishments with social norms.

Methodologically, this group employs a variety of research methodologies, including formal theoretical models, empirical methods using archival data, as well as experimental methods. 

  • Property rights
  • Reputation
  • Social norms

Economic policy

The Economic Policy research group focuses on analysing policy-related issues, employing a diverse set of approaches (theoretical/experimental/qualitative) in a rigorous and policy-relevant way for the national and global economy.

Members of the research group are currently working in the areas of:

  • Taxation
  • Tax administration
  • Public goods
  • International trade
  • Environment
  • Finance

Cluster events

Distinguished lectures

Every year we host several distinguished lectures from leading academics and practitioners from around the world. The format of the talk is a 30 minute talk on a public policy issue, 30 minutes of discussion, followed by networking drinks. The distinguished lectures are open to academics, students and members of the public.

2016 Distinguished Lectures

  • Professor Gordon Clark, University of Oxford – ‘The Public Corporation: Enemy of the Environment?’
  • Mr Edward Walker-Arnott, Herbert Smith Freehills – ‘Annual Accounts: the Law and the Practice. An unsatisfactory mess for the responsible directors’
  • Professor John Roberts, University of Sydney – ‘Transparency and the Strategic Value of Ignorance’

Media and Impact

The overarching aim of the cluster is to bring together members from across different disciplines in order to address novel, important and difficult research questions. While members will have very different frames of reference, the goal of the cluster is to encourage innovative cross-disciplinary approaches to researching challenging public policy issues.

While there are many intellectual, historical and logistical advantages of working in disciplines, such structures can also have their limitations, particularly when addressing public policy issues which are often on the agenda of many disciplines, but typically analysed in isolation from each other. Hence, this cluster focuses on activities which encourage addressing the most pressing public policy issues from a range of disciplinary perspectives.