Dr Christopher Walker

Head of School
BHA (Hons) UNSW, MPP SYD, PhD UNSW, Grad Cert University Learning and Teaching UNSW
School of Social Sciences


+61 (2) 9385 3571
+61 (2) 9385 1040
Room 134, Morven Brown
Kensington Campus
Fields: Policy and Administration, Political Science, Australian Government and Politics
Tags: Public Services Policy Advice and Analysis, Economic Framework


Chris is the Head of the School of Social Sciences.  Chris's research interests are in the areas of policy analysis, regulatory reform and compliance. His PhD examined regulatory reform in the Australian trucking sector. Chris has worked in senior executive and policy positions in numerous public sector agencies including Health, Road Transport, Rail Safety and Cabinet Office and has extensive experience in policy development, intergovernmental relations and micro-economic and regulatory reform.

Areas of research interest include the role of regulation as a policy tool of governments, regulation of the Australian heavy vehicle industry, intergovernmental relations, federalism, regulatory reform, public sector management and public sector reform. Chris has a keen interest and extensive experience in road transport regulation, compliance and enforcement systems, as well as health policy and health sector reform. Chris regularly interacts with and provides advice to government agencies involved in road transport in Australia and internationally.  This has included Sweden, South Africa and the Netherlands.

Chris also has an interest in learning and teaching matters.  This includes the use of case studies in teaching and understanding factors that influence student plagiarism.

Chris is an adjunct of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government and teaches in their Executive Masters of Public Administration and is a leader for in-house workshops for public sector agencies on policy analysis and policy practice.  Chris has delivered policy workshops for pubic sector agencies in Brisbane, Darwin, Adelaide and Sydney. He has also conducted a residential workshop on policy analysis and policy practice for senior public servants of the British Virgin Islands. 

Research Areas

Regulatory development and regualtory reform, compliance and enforcement, policy development, university learning and teaching, public sector management and public sector reform

Current Research Projects

Policy Transfer from Australian to Sweden. An examination of innovative road transport compliance programs. 

This project has involved consultation and engagment with road transport agencies and stakeholders in Australia (Transport Certification Australia) and Sweden (Trafikverket and Transportstyrelsen) to examine the process of engagement that results in policy transfer between countries.  The project considers the examination and transfer of  the Australian Intelligent Access Program (IAP), a regulatory compliance program that targets the commercial trucking industry that has been trialled for three years and is being considered for adoption in Sweden.

 Comparative Policy Transfer

This project is undertaking a comparative analysis of two case studies where Australian regulatory models that operate in the road transport sector have been adopted and modified for implementation in other countries.  One case concerns the transfer of voluntary compliance and accreditation program that was transferred to South Africa and the second case concerns the transfer of a compliance program based on vehicle satellite tracking and monitoring (IAP) to Sweden.  The work aims to identify underlying factors that influence and shape policy transfer by examining each case.  Preliminary work will be presented at the International Public Policy Conference, Singapore, June 2017.

Digital Social Services in Australia – how ready are we? (with Dr Sihobhan O'Sullivan, School of Social Sciences, UNSW)

Social services are becoming increasingly digitalised across the OECD. Digitalisation is also increasingly informing Australian employment assistance practices. Centrelink is already heavily reliant on call centres. And private service delivery agencies are increasingly digitalising their processes. This project aims to examin international trends in digitalisation of social services as predictors for Australia, observe trends of social services usage in Australia, and interview policy makers and public servants on digitalisation of social services.  This project aims to examine the extent to which Australian Internet and telephone infrastructure will be able to cope with increased service digitalisation and consider the social policy consequences of infrastructure capacity and constraints. Preliminary work will be presented at the International Public Policy Conference, Singapore, June 2017.


Postgraduate Research Supervision

Areas of Supervision
Public policy and regulation, industry self-regulation, transport regulation

Current Postgraduate Research Supervision

  • Fabio Jimenez, (Joint Supervisor): An examination of voluntary carbon neutrality programs: the experience of Costa Rica. Professional Doctorate, Public Policy & Governance.


Teaching areas
Policy Analysis, Management and Policy in Organisations, Policy Case Studies

Affiliation and Memberships

Australian Institute of Public Administration

Australian Political Studies Association

Adjunct, Australia and New Zealand School of Government.


    Book Chapters

    Journal articles

    • Walker CK, 2018, 'Policy transfer in a corporatist context: Agents, adjustments and continued innovation', Public Policy and Administration, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0952076718754617
    • Walker CK, 2016, 'Neoliberalism and the reform of regulation policy in the Australian trucking sector: policy innovation or a repeat of known pitfalls?', Policy Studies, vol. 37, pp. 72 - 92, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01442872.2015.1108402
    • Adams D;Colebatch HK;Walker CK, 2015, 'Learning about Learning: Discovering the Work of Policy', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 74, pp. 101 - 111, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12119
    • Walker C;White M, 2014, 'Police, design, plan and manage: developing a framework for integrating staff roles and institutional policies into a plagiarism prevention strategy', Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 36, pp. 674 - 687, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1360080X.2014.957895
    • Walker CK, 2014, 'Organizational Learning: The Role of Third Party Auditors in Building Compliance and Enforcement Capability', International Journal of Auditing, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijau.12026
    • Walker C, 2012, 'Improving safety in the Australian trucking industry: The benefits of voluntary accreditation programs', Road and Transport Research, vol. 21, pp. 15 - 23
    • Walker CK, 2009, 'Teaching policy theory and its application to practice using long structured case studies: An approach that deeply engages undergraduate students', International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, vol. 20, pp. 214 - 225

    Edited Books


Teaching areas
Policy analysis, Management and policy in organisations, Evidence based policy, Policy case studies.

Current teaching
SLSP5001 Policy Analysis
SLSP5004 Policy and Organizations

Affiliations and membership

Institute of Public Administration Australia

Related news