Dr Rodrigo Praino

Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy

College of Business, Government and Law

place Social Sciences South (327)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Dr Rodrigo Praino is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy. He holds a PhD in Political Science, and has been the receipient of several prestigious fellowships, scholrships and awards.

Rodrigo’s research has three main foci, and revolves around three interconnected branches. The first is dedicated to measuring and analysing issues related to inequality in the USA, Australia and other countries, with particular interest in how states shape social policy in order to address issues related to health, education and income disparities among the population. The second is focused on analysing the career paths of policymakers, with particular attention to anything that determines their political behaviour and resulting policy outcomes. The third has to do with how the previous two issues intersect with personal features and result in outcomes that differ according to gender, ethnicity, ancestry, age and other features.

Dr Praino is currently working on a number of research projects, involving several active international collaborations. Among these are an Australian study of income inequality, a study with American collaborators on the political consequences of scandals involving policymakers, a study with Canadian collaborators on the effects of policymakers’ physical appearance, a study with Italian collaborators on Italian-American politics and policy, and a study on child poverty in Malaysia, financed by UNICEF and the Malaysian government.

Rodrigo’s research has been published by some of the top peer-reviewed academic journals in the Social Sciences. It has also featured in some major international media outlets, including the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, the Times of India, the Discovery Channel and the Pew Research Centre.

  • Phd in Political Science
  • MA in Political Science
  • MA in Social Sciences (International Relations and Policies)
  • BA in Social Sciences (International and Diplomatic Relations)
Honours, awards and grants
  • 2018 South Australian Young Tall Poppy Science Award recipient
  • J. William Fulbright Scholarship recipient
  • Governor Abraham Ribicoff Fellowship recipient
  • Everett Ladd Fellowship in American Politics recipient
Key responsibilities

Director, Graduate Program in Public Administration

Research expertise
Policy and administration
Political science
Research interests
  • Poverty and income inequality in Australia, the United States and other OECD countries. Research on poverty and income inequality (collaborator: Gerry Redmond, Flinders University)
  • The political effects of scandals. Investigations into how scandals affecting policymakers determine their political behaviour and resulting policy outcomes (collaborator: Vincent G. Moscardelli, University of Connecticut)
  • Physical appearance, policy outcomes, and electoral success. Analysis on how the physical appearance of policymakers—interpreted as perceived attractiveness and perceived competence—influence their political behaviour and the political behaviour of voters. (collaborator: Daniel Stockemer, University of Ottawa)
  • Ethnic politics: the Italians in the United States. Inquiry into how the ethnic and ancestry background of individuals and the daily patterns of behaviour typical of bicultural competent individuals affect their political behaviour (collaborator: Ottorino Cappelli, Università degli Studi di Napoli "L'Orientale" and City University of New York)
  • UNICEF Malaysia - Child poverty and disparities. Study of income based disparities and non-income based disparities of child poverty and deprivation in Malaysia based on Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis (MODA) technique (collaborators: Gerry Redmond, Noore Alam Siddiquee and Mohd Zin Mohamed)
Topic coordinator
POAD9058 Research Design
POLI3010 Advanced Perspectives on Public Policy
POAD9015 Economics and Public Policy
POAD9037 Public Financial Management
Supervisory interests
American politics and political science
Elections and election campaigns
Politics, voting and political behaviour/public opinion
Public policy
Higher degree by research supervision
Associate supervisor: climate change policy (1)
Expert for media contact
United States of America
American politics
European politics
Italian politics
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713