My name is Shaun Ratcliff. I am a lecturer in Political science at the United States Studies Centre, at the University Sydney. I have just completed a thesis for my PhD in political science at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
My research interests are focused on US, Australian and comparative politics, examining political parties, voter and candidate policy preferences, and public policy outcomes.
I teach politics, political psychology and the use of quantitative research methods in the social sciences. I have a background working in politics and government relations, and in the past I have done some political and statistical consulting for various groups, and teach Data Analysis in R through the Australian Consortium for Social & Political Research Inc (information on the course can be found here).
About this site
This website is a place where I can talk about my research, politics, data visualisation and anything else that takes my interest; although my posting habits can best be described as erratic.
My research, and this blog, is about understanding and explaining politics itself, and why voters and political parties behave the way they do, and how this might influence policy outcomes.
Why does the study of voting, political party positions on issues, and public policy outcomes matter? I come to this topic with a prior belief. I believe that politics is important, that there are real differences between the major political parties that contest elections in Australia and most other representative democracies, and that politics and its effects on a country and its citizens matter.