Staff Directory

Assoc. Prof. Mark Chou Name: Assoc. Prof. Mark Chou
Associate Professor
+613 9953 3209
Organisational Area
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Arts (VIC)
Building 412 - Arts Precinct(34-36 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065)-Ground-RoomG.01
Biographical Information

Mark is an Associate Professor of Politics in the National School of Arts. He joined ACU in early 2013 from the University of Melbourne where he had been a McKenzie Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Trained as a political scientist and lawyer, Mark received his BA (Hons) and LLB (Hons) from the Australian National University. His PhD in Political Science and International Relations was awarded by the University of Queensland in 2010. 

Mark is the author of numerous books, includingTheorising Democide: Why and How Democracies Fail (Palgrave, 2013), Democracy Against Itself: Sustaining an Unsustainable Idea (Edinburgh, 2014), Young People, Citizenship and Political Participation: Combatting Civic Deficit? (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017), and Political Meritocracy and Populism: Cure or Curse? (Routledge, 2019).

His latest book with Rachel Busbridge, How Local Governments Govern Culture War Conflicts, came out with Cambridge UP in 2020. 

He was a founding editor of the international journal, Democratic Theory: An Interdisciplinary Journal, and is current co-editor of Palgrave's Theories, Concepts and Practices of Democracy series




Chou, Mark and Rachel Busbridge, How Local Governments Govern Culture War Conflicts (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Chou, Mark, Benjamin Moffitt, and Octavia Bryant, Political Meritocracy and Populism: Cure or Curse? (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019).

Chou, Mark, Jean-Paul Gagnon, Catherine Hartung, and Lesley Pruitt, Young People, Citizenship and Political Participation: Combatting Civic Deficit? (London: Rowman & Littlefield International, 2017).

Chou, Mark, Democracy Against Itself: Sustaining an Unsustainable Idea (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014).

Chou, Mark, Theorising Democide: Why and How Democracies Fail (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).


Journal Articles

Chou, Mark, Benjamin Moffitt, and Rachel Busbridge, "The Localist Turn in Populism Studies," Swiss Political Science Review (forthcoming 2022).

Busbridge, Rachel and Mark Chou, "Culture Wars and City Politics, Revisited: Local Councils and the Australia Day Controversy," Urban Affairs Review (Vol.58, No.1, 2022).

Chou, Mark, Lesley Pruitt, and Luke Dean, "Too Young To Run? Young Political Candidates and the 2020 Victorian Local Government Elections," Australian Journal of Political Science (Vol.56, No.4, 2021).

Chou, Mark, "Australian Local Governments and Climate Emergency Declarations: Reviewing Local Government Practice," Australian Journal of Public Administration (Vol.80, No.3, 2021).

Chou, Mark, "Populism and Localism: A New Research Agenda," Democratization (Vol.27, No.6, 2020). 

Chou, Mark and Rachel Busbridge, "Culture Wars, Local Government, and the Australia Day Controversy: Insights from Urban Politics Research," Urban Policy and Research (Vol.37, No.3, 2019).

Chou, Mark, "Different Levels of Government, Different Levels of Political Competence?," PS: Political Science and Politics (Vol.52, No.2, 2019).

Chou, Mark, "Combatting Voter Ignorance: A Vertical Model of Epistocratic Voting," Policy Studies (Vol.38, No.6, 2017).

Chou, Mark, Chengxin Pan and Avery Poole, "The Threat of Autocracy Diffusion in Consolidated Democracies? The Case of China, Singapore and Australia," Contemporary Politics (Vol.23, No.2, 2017).

Chou, Mark, "Have the Black Knights Arisen? China's and Russia's Support of Autocratic Regimes," Democratization (Vo.24, No.1, 2017).

Chou, Mark, Roland Bleiker and Nilanjana Premaratna, "Elections as Theater," PS: Political Science and Politics (Vol.49, No.1, 2016).

Chou, Mark, "The Rise of China and the Decline of Democracy in Australia?," Australian Journal of International Affairs (Vol.69, No.6, 2015).

Chou, Mark, "Democracy's Story ...Two Hundred and Fifty Years On," Australian Journal of Political Science (Vol.50, No.2, 2015).

Chou, Mark. "Projections of China's Normative Soft Power," Australian Journal of International Affairs (Vol.69, No.1, 2015).

Chou, Mark, "From Crisis to Crisis: Democracy, Crisis and the Occupy Movement," Political Studies Review (Vol.13, No.1, 2015).

Chou, Mark, "Democrats against Democracy," Cultural Politics (Vol.10, No.2, 2014).

Chou, Mark, "Democracy's not for me: the Lowy Institute Polls on Gen Y and Democracy," Australian Journal of Political Science (Vol.48, No.4, 2013).

Chou, Mark, "Sowing the Seeds of its Own Destruction: Democracy and Democide in the Weimar Republic and Beyond," Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory (Vol.133, 2012).

Chou, Mark, "Morgenthau, the Tragic: on tragedy and the transition from Scientific Man to Politics Among Nations," Telos: A Quarterly of Critical Thought (Vol.157, 2011).

Chou, Mark, "When Democracies Fail," Political Studies Review (Vol.9, No.3, 2011).

Chou, Mark and Roland Bleiker, "Dramatizing War: George Packer and the Democratic Potential of Verbatim Theater," New Political Science (Vol.32, No.4, 2010), Special Issue on Art After Empire: Creating the New Political Economy of a New Democracy.

Chou, Mark, "Democracy in an Age of Tragedy: Democracy, Tragedy and Paradox," Critical Horizons: A Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory (Vol.11, No.2, 2010).

Chou, Mark and Roland Bleiker, "The Symbiosis of Democracy and Tragedy: Lost Lessons from Ancient Greece," Millennium: Journal of International Studies (Vol.37, No.3, 2009), Special Issue on Interrogating Democracy in International Relations.


Book Chapters

Chou, Mark, "Democracy" in Roland Bleiker (ed.), Visual Global Politics (London: Routledge, 2018).

Chou, Mark and Michael Ondaatje, "Dramatic Rationalities: A Citizen's Guide to Watching Electoral Theater in the Age of Donald Trump" in Mari Fitzduff (ed.), Why Irrational Politics Appeals: Understanding the Allure of Trump (Santa Barbara: Praeger, 2017). 

Chou, Mark and Avery Poole, "Theories of World Affairs" in Emilian Kavalski (ed.), Encounters with Global Affairs: An Introduction to International Relations (London: Routledge, 2015).

Chou, Mark and Roland Bleiker, "Betrayed by Democracy: Verbatim Theater as Prefigurative Politics" in Nancy Love and Mark Mattern (eds.), Doing Democracy: Activist Art and Cultural Politics (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2013).

Bleiker, Roland and Mark Chou, "Nietzsche's Style: On Language, Knowledge and Power in International Relations" in Cerwyn Moore and Chris Farrands (eds.), International Relations Theory and Philosophy: Interpretative Dialogues (London: Routledge, 2010).


Selected Working Papers, Op-Eds and Other Publications

Chou, Mark and Michael Ondaatje, "The drama of politics: Enacting Trump's presidential self," ABC Religion & Ethics, 9 January 2017,

Chou, Mark, "Getting voters to focus on what they actually know about," Governing, 6 December 2016,

Chou, Mark and Michael Ondaatje, "Britain's 'Bregret' offers timely lessons for Australian voters this weekend," The Conversation, 30 June 2016, (republished by the NZ Herald and Yahoo News).

Chou, Mark, Roland Bleiker and Nilanjana Premaratna, "If Trump is just 'playing a part', then here's how to understand his brand of theater," Washington Post, 9 June 2016,

Chou, Mark, "Why the primaries are not the best way to choose a candidate," Huffington Post, 3 May 2016,

Chou, Mark and Michael Ondaatje, "Trump's economic war on China will backfire," The Australian Financial Review, 2 March 2016,

Ondaatje, Michael and Mark Chou, "Marco Rubio: The last man standing between Donald Trump and the nomination," Sydney Morning Herald, 24 February 2016,

Chou, Mark and Michael Ondaatje, "You're fired: Donald Trump shows rivals how it's done in entertainment politics," The Conversation, 9 February 2016, (Translated and published on Newsweek Japan).

Chou, Mark, "Our democracy can learn from China's meritocracy," The Conversation, 6 January 2016,

Chou, Mark and Octavia Bryant, "Will China promote autocracy along its New Silk Road?," Carnegie Ethics Online, 14 December 2015,

Chou, Mark, "How universities play moneyball," Chronicle Vitae, 4 December 2015,

Chou, Mark, Catherine Hartung and Jean-Paul Gagnon, "Shorten's plan to lower the voting age could help increase political engagement," The Conversation, 2 November 2015,



Democratic theory and practice

Cultural politics 

Local government and culture wars

Chinese politics


McKenzie Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Melbourne): 2011-2013

Lecturer in Politics (ACU): 2013-2014

Associate Professor of Politics (ACU): 2015 - 

Professional Memberships

Association of Political Theory (APT).

Australian Political Science Association (APSA).

International Studies Association (ISA).

International Society for Cultural History (ISCH).

The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).


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