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John Wanna

Former Sir John Bunting Chair in Public Administration and Deputy Dean (Research)


Faculty: Expert contributors

Canberra, ACT, Australia

Areas of expertise

  • Public budgeting
  • Public policy

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John Wanna is the former Sir John Bunting Chair of Public Administration at the Australian National University and Deputy Dean (Research) at ANZSOG. He held the position since 2004 until his retirement in 2019.

He is now the author of over 50 books (authored, co-authored, edited, co-edited) and over 70 articles and chapters. He has written three very successful text books – Public Policy in Australia, Public Sector Management in Australia, and Policy in Action. His main research outputs have focused on public finance, including a trilogy of international studies into government budgeting (Controlling Public Expenditure (2003), The Reality of Budgetary Reform (2010), and The Global Financial Crisis and its Budget Impacts (2015)). He has also published many monographs on Australian public finance, including Managing Public Expenditure (2000) and From Accounting to Accountability (2001). He has worked on major comparative government projects; including the Future of Governance publications (2000-2003); and Comparing Westminster (2009). He has published a major study of an Australian parliament, entitled The Ayes Have It. He is editor of the ANZSOG-ANU Press monograph series, which has over 50 titles in circulation ranging from thematic studies to topical issues in governance, problematic areas of management, and advisory manuals for public servants. The series has over two million downloads.

In addition to his scholarly output, Prof Wanna is a regular political commentator on TV (ABC, SBS, Sky, Channels 9 and 7) and the print media (The Australian, The Courier-Mail, The Saturday Paper, the Australian Financial Review, and The Conversation). He regularly appears as an Australian politics expert on other media outlets (Bloomberg, the New York Times, the Daily Mail, AFP, Reuters, Fairfax media). He regularly makes public presentations and talks to practitioner and academic audiences.

Selected publications

Wanna, J., Johnson, C. & Lee, H., (eds) (2015) Abbott’s Gambit: The 2013 Australian Federal Election. Canberra: ANU Press.
Wanna, J., Lee, H. and Yates, S. (eds) (2015) Managing Under Austerity, Delivering Under Pressure. Canberra: ANU Press.
Wanna, J. (2015) Political Chronicles Commonwealth of Australia July to December 2014. Australian Journal of Politics and History, 61(2): 278-329.
Wanna, J. (2014) Regional Political Leadership. In R. A. W. Rhodes & P. ‘t Hart (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Political Leadership. Oxford: OUP, p. 564-579.
Wanna, J. (2014) Governance and Public Policy. In Katherine Barnes & Peter Spearritt (eds), Drivers of Change for the Australian Labour Market to 2030 (Proceedings of an expert scenario forum), Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, Canberra, Australia, p. 89-98.
Wanna, J. (2014) The Tribalisation of Australian Politics Continues: out with the old “Fueding Cliques” and in with the new “Partisan Gang”. Australian Journal of Politics and History, 60(2): 279-284.
Wanna, J. (2014) Administrative History as Biography. In G. Davis and R.A.W. Rhodes (eds), The Craft of Governing: The Contribution of Patrick Weller to Australian political science. Crows Nest: Allen & Unwin, p. 144-161.
Wanna, J. (2014) Australia’s Future as a Westminster Democracy: Threats to combat, stark choices to make. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 73(1): 19-28.
Wanna, J. (2014) A most peculiar implosion – The Australian Federal Election September 2013: A Case of a fractured Government that inflicted defeat upon itself. Representation, 50(2): 271-281.
Wanna, J., Boston, J., Lipski, V. & Pritchard, J. (eds) (2014) Future-Proofing the State: Managing Risks, Responding to Crises and Building Resilience. Canberra: ANU Press.
Podger, A., Ma, J., Chan, H., Wanna, J. & Su, T. (2013) Recalibrating a Dynamic Balance: Local Autonomy within National Policy Frameworks Able to Adjust to Changing Circumstances. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 72(3): 189-200.
Lindquist, E., Vincent, S. & Wanna, J. (eds) (2013) Putting Citizens First: Engagement in Policy and Service Delivery for the 21st Century. Canberra: ANU Press.
Wanna, J (2013) Utter Despondency over Labor’s Leadership Woes: Turkeys Waiting for Christmas. Australian Journal of Politics and History, 59(4): 618-625.
Wanna, J (2013) Critiquing Performance Management Regimes and their Links to Budgetary Decision-making and Resource Allocation. Public Administration and Policy, 16(2): 5-16.