Matt Qvortrup is a Visiting Professor of constitutional law at the ANU College of Law.

Described by the BBC as “the world’s leading expert on referendums,” Professor Qvortrup is also the Chair of political science at Coventry University and an authority on democracy and British and European politics.

As editor-in-chief of the Q1 journal European Political Science Review, he has written widely on the global threat to democracy and dictatorship. In addition, Professor Qvortrup has worked with brain-scientists to understand the neuroscience of political action.

A former journalist, Professor Qvortrup appears regularly on BBC World, and has written op-eds for The Guardian, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, El Mundo, and The Times.

He provides expert analysis on:

  • Referendums in democracies as well as in dictatorships – author of Referendums and Ethnic Conflict
  • British politics, especially on the Conservative Party and on Scotland
  • The Global threat to democracy
  • German politics – author of the acclaimed biography, Angela Merkel: Europe’s Most Influential Leader (5th edition 2021)
  • The politics and law on creating new states – author of I Want to Break Free: A Practical Guide to Making a New Country
  • Neuropolitics and how brain science can help us understand political action – editor of the forthcoming The Routledge Handbook of Neuropolitics

Fields of expertise



Voters rejected Voice due to fears of division: ANU study

Two-in-three Australians, 66.1 per cent, who voted ‘no’ to an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament…

28 November 2023


Democracy Sausage: Where did it all go wrong for the ‘yes’ campaign?

How important was the lack of bipartisanship to the outcome of the referendum? Could the government have done…


Why celebrity endorsements are a curse for referendums

What do IKEA, David Beckham, ABBA, Carlsberg and Stephen Hawking have in common? Not much, I admit. But…


Democracy Sausage: Dutton’s cul-de-sac

Is Peter Dutton piling pressure on the government through the Voice campaign or racing towards a political dead…


How much does the wording of the Voice to Parliament referendum question matter?

The Albanese Government has finally released the wording of the referendum question on the proposed Aboriginal and Torres…


The Voice to Parliament ‘yes’ campaign has launched. This is how to win a referendum

After a wait between referendums of 24 years, Australian voters will once again be called to the polls—this…

24 February 2023


How to create a country: a guide to making a micronation

The night was humid. The 6’2 African man was not up for small talk. “Get into the car,”…

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