Prior to joining POLIS in September 2016, Dennis was Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow with the Institute for the Study of Social Change at the University of Tasmania. In 2013 he spent six months as a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford, and was Director of Griffith University's Master of Public Administration Program from 2010-2013. Dennis retains an affiliation as Adjunct Associate Professor with the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University, and is a member of both the Australian and UK Political Studies Associations.
Dennis’ research interests focus on the study of administrative leadership, and in particular the ways in which senior civil servants contribute to public debates in countries that operate under the Westminster system of government. This interest in the ‘public face’ of the civil service builds on his earlier work on the political rhetoric of politicians in both contemporary and historical contexts.
Current Projects and Grants
The Public Face of the Public Service: The significance of public bureaucratic leadership in Westminster systems.
- A comparative project analyzing the public leadership of civil servants in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Funded through an Australian Research Council DECRA award - $AUD 358,890.
Why Does Cabinet Government Survive?
(with Professor Patrick Weller Griffith University, and Professor Rod Rhodes University of Southampton)
- A comparative project analyzing the processes of collective cabinet decision-making in the United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Funded through an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant - $AUD $239,000.
Remembering How to Lead: Building Institutional Memory of 'Leadership Learnings' in Collaborative Governance Environments
(with Assoc. Prof. Heather Lovell University of Tasmania; Assoc. Prof. Jack Corbett University of Southampton; and Dr Rodney Scott Adjunct at University of New South Wales and ANZSOG)
- A comparative project examining the creation and retention of institutional memory in collaborative governance environments in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. Funded by a competitive grant through the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) - $AUD 64,000.
Consuming Politics: how voters respond to political brands
(with Assoc. Prof. Martin Grimmer University of Tasmania)
- A project examining Australian voters’ perceptions of the ‘brands’ of Australian political parties. Funded by a University of Tasmania Cross Disciplinary Incentive Grant - $AUD 7,000.
In 2016, Dennis co-edited a special issue (with Dr Cosmo Howard) on the Westminster system of public administration in the leading journal Governance, examining the extent to which different countries can be said to be breaking away from Westminster traditions of governance.
His 2014 article - ‘Administrative Learning or Political Blaming? Public Servants, Parliamentary Committees and the Drama of Public Accountability’ - won the annual Mayer Journal Article Prize for the best article in the Australian Journal of Political Science.
Dennis has published two single-author monographs.
- Prime Ministers and Rhetorical Governance argues that there are institutionalised cyclical patterns in the rhetoric of prime ministers, restricting the options available to them when they want to change their public messages.
- At the Margins of Victorian Britain: Politics, Morality and Britishness in the Nineteenth Century, argues that certain groups in Victorian Britain were rhetorically ostracised in a way that buttressed a particular conception of British national identity.
Select Recent Articles
- Grube, D. C. and Howard, C. (2016) ‘Promiscuously Partisan? Public Service Impartiality and Responsiveness in Westminster Systems.’ Governance. doi:10.1111/gove.12224. Available in Early View.
- Grube, D. C. (2016) 'Sticky Words? Towards a Theory of Rhetorical Path Dependency', Australian Journal of Political Science. ISSN 1036-1146. Available in Early View.
- Grube, D. (2016) ‘Civil Servants, Political History and the Interpretation of Traditions’, The Historical Journal, Available in FirstView. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X15000527
- Grube, D. (2015) ‘Back to the Future: Rediscovering the Lost Arts of the Victorian Mandarin’, Parliamentary Affairs, Available in Early View, doi: 10.1093/pa/gsv052
- Grube, D. (2015) 'Rules, Prudence and Public Value: Public Servants and Social Media in Comparative Perspective', Government and Opposition, Available in Early view, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/gov.2015.21
- Grube, D. (2015) 'Responsibility to be Enthusiastic? Public Servants and the Public Face of "Promiscuous Partisanship"', Governance, vol. 28, no. 3, pp. 305-320.
- Widmaier, W. and D. Grube. (2015) 'Presidents, Prime Ministers and Policy Rhetoric: The "Credibility Gaps" of Woodrow Wilson and Kevin Rudd in the League of Nations and Climate Change Debates', Political Studies, vol. 63, no. 2, pp. 336-352.
- Grube, D. (2014) 'An Invidious Position? The Public Dance of the Promiscuous Partisan', The Political Quarterly, vol. 85, no. 4, pp. 420-427.
- Grube, D. (2014) 'Administrative Learning or Political Blaming? Public Servants, Parliamentary Committees and the Drama of Public Accountability', Australian Journal of Political Science, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 221-236.
- Grube, D. (2013) 'In Search of Society? The Limitations of Citizen-centred Governance', The Political Quarterly, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 371-379.
- Grube, D. (2013) 'Public Voices from Anonymous Corridors: The Public Face of the Public Service in a Westminster System', Canadian Public Administration, Vol. 56, No. 1, pp. 3-25.
- Grube, D. (2012) ‘Prime Ministers and Political Narratives for Policy Change: Towards a Heuristic’, Policy and Politics, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 569-586.
- Grube, D. (2012) ‘A Very Public Search for Public Value: “Rhetorical Secretaries” in Westminster Jurisdictions’, Public Administration, Vol. 90, No. 2, pp. 445-465.
Select Other Publications
- Grube, D. and Killingsworth, M. (2016) ‘Beats Going to the Dentist’, The Mercury Newspaper, June 18. http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-beats-going-to-the-dentist/news-story/a273c72ae1a6b15b7b491e04e4ea343
- Grimmer, M. and Grube, D. (2016) ‘Pollies are Learning our Lingo’, The Mercury Newspaper, May 21. http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-pollies-are-learning-our-lingo/news-story/1ad8ab735bc1331f7c707ecea2286b79
- Grube, D. (2015) ‘Can the “Real Malcolm” Survive Being PM?’, The Conversation website, 23 September. https://theconversation.com/can-the-real-malcolm-survive-being-pm-47928
- Grube, D. (2015) ‘Liberal Spill: Brutal Business Fells Leaders Who Lack the Skill Set for the Job at Hand’, The Conversation website, 15 September. https://theconversation.com/liberal-spill-brutal-business-fells-leaders-who-lack-the-skill-set-for-the-job-at-hand-47539
- Grube, D. (2015) ‘The Requirement for Civil Servants to “Promote” Government Policy has Inevitably Led to the Perception of Partisanship’, Democratic Audit UK Blog, 27 August. http://www.democraticaudit.com/?p=15620
- Grube, D. (2015) ‘Civil Servants are Taking on an Increasingly Public Role, Allowing for Perceptions of Partisanship to Emerge’, LSE British Politics and Policy Blog, 25 February. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/are-civil-servants-now-promiscuous-partisans-and-does-it-matter/
- Grube, D. (2013) ‘We Need to Start Thinking More in Terms of “Society-Centred Governance”', LSE British Politics and Policy Blog, 28 December. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/archives/37754
- Grube, D. (2013) 'The Idea of "Britain"', I.B. Tauris Blog, 1 October. http://theibtaurisblog.com/2013/10/01/the-idea-of-britain/
- Grube, D. (2012) 'Words Bite Hard on Politicians', Griffith University Blog, 29 August. http://app.griffith.edu.au/news/2012/08/29/words-bite-politicians-hard/
- Grube, D. (2011) 'Dear Prime Minister: we want stories, not lessons', The Conversation website, 19 May. http://theconversation.edu.au/dear-prime-minister-we-want-stories-not-lessons-1297
- Grube D. (2011) ‘The Machiavellian genius of Abbott’s ‘honest politician’ jibe, The Conversation website, 16 May. http://theconversation.edu.au/the-machiavellian-genius-of-abbotts-honest-politician-jibe-1283
- Grube, D. (2010) ‘Rediscovering authenticity in politics’ published on the ABC website, 14 May. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2899020.htm