Amanda Smullen's picture

Amanda Smullen

Senior Lecturer, Policy and Governance


B.Arts (Hons. Melb.), PhD in Public Policy & Administration (Erasmus, The Netherlands)

Contact details

Phone: +61 2 6125 8266

Room: Crawford A 2.154

Amanda’s research is focussed upon public administration and management in multi-level and comparative contexts. She has researched reform cultures and the spread of public management reform ideas and practices, in particular semi-autonomous public agencies (whether executive agencies, regulatory agencies or statutory authorities). More recently, her research has included a focus upon: Australian intergovernmental routines about performance in healthcare, how public agencies become institutions, agency accountability, Australian Federalism, and trust in public bodies and regulatory regimes. Theories of multi-level governance, formal and informal institutions, organizational cultures, pragmatism, professions, and rhetoric have featured in her work.

Current projects

Smullen, Amanda and Fawcett, Paul. 2018, Calibrating Public Sector Governance. A survey of arm’s length agencies in the Australian Commonwealth Public Sector. Canberra: ANU.

Calibrating Public Sector Governance_. Is an international collaboration between 10 different universities based in 7 different countries, examining the correspondence between formal organizational governance designs and the strategic environment of Australian agencies wherein Senior managers must function. Funded by The Netherlands Organization by Scientific Research (NWO) led by Prof Thomas Schillemans, Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Related articles:

Time, Policy and Reputation in Australian Public Administration. An examination of the role of timing and sequence in explaining practices and constraints to building reputation of Australian agencies and semi-autonomous bodies in different periods. Funded by the Public Administration Trust Fund. Australian Journal of Public Administration. Related chapter:

Pragmatic Federalism. From the blame game to learning. An examination of the role of cross jurisdictional interaction and routines to share and examine performance in the realms of curative/hospital care and somatic care. This study examines routines of performance collection and dialogue at both cross jurisdictional level but also in 3 Australian states. It seeks to understand the conditions and constraints to learning. Funded by the College of Asia & the Pacific, ANU.

Editorial board positions

International Journal of Public Sector Management

Teaching Public Administration

Research interests

  • Trans-nationalisation and institutions, and relatedly coordination
  • Multi-level governance and federalism
  • Comparative public administration and management, in particular the governance of semi-autonomous agencies and statutory authorities
  • Performance measurement and health/mental health care
  • Policy/Management ideas of reform and argumentation (rhetoric).


Since 2019 Dr Smullen is a Senior Fellow, ANU Educational Fellowship Scheme, internationally recognized by the Higher Education Fellowship Scheme for quality in teaching and learning pedagogy. Dr Smullen contributes to accreditation processes of the Masters of Public Administration (MPA) at Crawford School of Public Policy, among other assessment and teaching contributions across the ANU.

Current courses

  • Public Sector Ethics
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Public Policy & Professional Internship.

Other teaching contributions

  • Pre-Sessional Program (International students)
  • Case Studies in Decision Making
  • Comparative Public Sector Management (2012-2019)
  • Research Project (POGO 8035) (2012-2019).

Amanda also regularly supervises and examines PhD students. She has a particular interest in supervising students wishing to study and compare public organizations or regulators (agencies), for example their cultures, history, governance and accountability. She also supervises PhD students focussing on institutional continuity and change, on intergovernmental relations and federalism, and about health and mental health structures and policies.

Current Phd projects include:

PhD Supervisor (Chair) (2014-ongoing, part-time): Accountable and secretive? Accountability the Australian Intelligence Community. Richard Bolto, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU

PhD Supervisor (panel member) (2015-completed 2019): Isi Unikowski. New wheels for Deakin’s Chariot: Structure and Agency in Australian Intergovernmental Management. Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU.

PhD Supervisor (Chair) (2019-ongoing): Jodette Kotz. Non-integration of health care in Australia. Players and power. Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU.

PhD Supervisor (Chair) (2019 – ongoing): Jacob Kamateros. Concurrent Federalism: Power and Politics. Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU.

Recent (key) conference papers

Smullen, A. & Clutton, C. (2019). The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s ongoing adaptation for success. Presented at Guardians of Public Value workshop, 22-24 September, 2019, Utrecht School of Governance, The Netherlands.

Van Thiel, S. & Smullen, A. (2019). Principals and agents, or principals and stewards? Australian agencies’ perceptions of arm’s length government instruments. Presented at European Group of Public Administration, 11-13 September 2019, Belfast, Queens University, Ireland.

Overman, S.; Schillemans, T.; Laegreid, P.; Fawcett; P.; Fredriksson, M.; Maggetti, M.; Papadopoulos, Y.; Rubecksen, L.; Hellebo Rykkja; Salomonsen, H.; Smullen, A.; Wood, M. (2018). Comparing Governance, Agencies and Accountability in Seven Countries.

Smullen, A. (2017). Exploring variety in Australian intergovernmental council processes to develop national health performance regimes. Originally presented at Australian Political Studies Association conference, UNSW, Sydney.

Updated:  5 February 2023/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team