Menu Close
Professor of Social Policy, RMIT University

Rob Watts is Professor of Social Policy at RMIT University.His qualifications include I a B. Arts (Hons 1) degree (1970), a M. Arts (1974), a Diploma of Education (1977) all from LaTrobe University, and a Ph.D (University of Melbourne). He teaches policy studies, politics, the history of ideas, and applied human rights at RMIT University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. He has produced a substantial and distinguished body of high-quality scholarship and research since the 1980s. He has been awarded some $849,000.00 in ARC and other competitive grants for public policy research and human rights advocacy. He is the author of over twenty two sole-authored, joint-authored and edited books, along with some forty-five sole and joint-authored chapters in books published by academic and trade presses like Routledge, Macmillan, Sage, Oxford University Press, Allen and Unwin, and Penguin. Recent books include The Precarious Generation: A political economy of young people (with J. Bessant and R. Farthing) (2018) and Criminalizing Dissent: the liberal state and the problem of legitimacy (2020). He has published around sixty three sole and joint-authored articles in an unusually wide cross-section of leading social science journals in Australia including: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology, Australian Journal of Social Issues, Australian Journal of Social Work, Journal of Australian Studies, Historical Studies, Thesis Eleven, Labour History, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, Journal of Australian Political Economy, Just Policy Australian Journal of Politics and History, Melbourne Studies in Education, Australian Journal of Public Administration and Alternative Law Journal. His conference papers highlight his willingness to take his research into academic conferences and community settings. Evidence of his interest in producing work in the public interest is found in a body of work which outlines new policy design principles and solutions to some major contemporary problems like unemployment, inequality, generational inequity, and global warming. This is evident in many of the chapters he has contributed to edited books and to a large number of academic conference papers and presentations to community groups. This work has explored policy ideas like basic income, a Green Job Guarantee, or advocacy on behalf of developing a culture of human rights in Australia. He was a founding member of the Greens Party in Victoria This commitment also saw him play a key role in establishing Just Policy, a new Australian policy journal in 1995 and in 2008 he established the Australian Center for Human Rights Education (ACHRE) at RMIT.


  • –present
    Professor of Social Policy, RMIT University


  • 1984 
    University of Melbourne, Ph.D (History)