Professor Dennis Grube

Research lead in political decision-making

Dennis C. Grube is Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Cambridge and research lead in political decision-making at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.


Dennis’ research interests include political decision-making, administrative leadership, institutional memory, and the role of political rhetoric in public policy.  Recent books include his monograph ‘Megaphone Bureaucracy‘, published by Princeton University Press in 2019, and a 2021 book Comparing the traditions of cabinet government across five countries (written with co-authors Professor Patrick Weller and Professor Rod Rhodes and published by Oxford University Press). His latest book,  Why Governments Get It Wrong?, is now out in paperback. 


Dennis teaches on the MPhil in Public Policy and leads a course on rhetorical leadership for the MPhil in Politics and International Studies

Key Publications


Grube, D.C. Why Governments Get It Wrong: And How They Can Get it Right (Pan Macmillan: 2022).

Weller, P., Grube, D.C. and Rhodes, R.A.W. (2021) Comparing Cabinets: Dilemmas of Collective Government (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Corbett, J., Grube, D.C., Lovell, H. and Scott, R.J. Institutional Memory as Storytelling (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Grube, D.C. Megaphone Bureaucracy: Speaking Truth to Power in the Age of the New Normal (Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2019).

Grube, D.C. Prime Ministers and Rhetorical Governance (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan 2013).

Grube, D.C. At the Margins of Victorian Britain: Politics, Morality and Britishness in the Nineteenth Century (London: I.B. Tauris 2013).

Articles and Book Chapters

Grube, D.C. and Killick, A. (2021) ‘Groupthink, Polythink and the Challenges of Decision-making in Cabinet Government’, Parliamentary Affairs. DOI:

Grube, D.C. (2020) ‘Not-Minister? Australia’s Bespoke System of Government’ in J.M. Lewis and Tiernan, A. (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Australian Politics. Oxford University Press.

Grube, D.C. (2020) ‘Constructivist Approaches to the Study of Political Executives’ in R.B. Andeweg, R. Elgie, L. Helms, J. Kaarbo and F. Müller-Rommel (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Political Executives. Oxford University Press, pp. 150-166.

Grube, D.C. (2017) ‘Transforming a Transactional Debate: Leadership and the Rhetorical Road to Brexit’, Social Alternatives, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp. 12-17.

Corbett, J., Grube, D.C., Lovell, H. and Scott, R. (2017) ‘Singular Memory or Institutional Memories? Towards a Dynamic Approach’, Governance, 31(3): 555-573.

Marsh, I; Crowley, K., Grube, D.C and Eccleston, R. (2017) ‘Delivering Public Services: Locality, Learning, and Reciprocity in Place Based Practice’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 76, No. 4, pp. 443-456.

Grube, D.C. and van Acker, E. (2017) ‘Rhetorically Defining a Social Institution: How Leaders Have Framed Same-Sex Marriage’, Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 52, No. 2, pp. 183-198.

Grimmer, M. and Grube, D.C. (2017) ‘Political Branding: A Consumer Perspective on Australian Political Parties’, Party Politics, available in online first, DOI: 10.1177/1354068817710585

Grube, D.C. (2017) ‘Civil Servants, Political History and the Interpretation of Traditions’, The Historical Journal, Vol. 60, No. 1, pp. 173-196.

Grube, D.C. (2017) ‘Rules, Prudence and Public Value: Public Servants and Social Media in Comparative Perspective’, Government and Opposition, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 75-99.

Grube, D.C. and Howard, C. (2016) ‘Promiscuously Partisan? Public Service Impartiality and Responsiveness in Westminster Systems.’ Governance, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 517-533.

Grube, D.C. and Howard, C. (2016) ‘Is the Westminster System Broken Beyond Repair?’, Governance, Vol. 29, No. 4, pp. 467-481.

Grube, D.C. (2016) ‘Sticky Words? Towards a Theory of Rhetorical Path Dependency’, Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 51, No. 3, pp. 530-545 (Winner 2017 Mayer Prize for Outstanding Article of the year, Australian Political Studies Association).

Grube, D.C. (2015) ‘Back to the Future: Rediscovering the Lost Arts of the Victorian Mandarin’, Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 69, No. 3, pp. 708-728.

Grube, D.C. (2015) ‘Responsibility to be Enthusiastic?  Public Servants and the Public Face of “Promiscuous Partisanship”‘, Governance, Vol. 28, No. 3, pp. 305-320.

Widmaier, W. and D.C. Grube. (2015) ‘Presidents, Prime Ministers and Policy Rhetoric: The “Credibility Gaps” of Woodrow Wilson and Kevin Rudd in the League of Nations and Climate Change Debates’, Political Studies, Vol. 63, No. 2, pp. 336-352.

Grube, D.C. (2014) ‘An Invidious Position? The Public Dance of the Promiscuous Partisan’, The Political Quarterly, Vol. 85, No. 4, pp. 420-427.

Grube, D.C. (2014) ‘Rhetorical Path Dependency’, in R. Walter and J. Uhr (eds) Australian Political Rhetoric, (Canberra: ANU Press).

Grube, D.C. (2014) ‘Administrative Learning or Political Blaming? Public Servants, Parliamentary Committees and the Drama of Public Accountability’, Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 49, No. 2, pp. 221-236. (Winner 2015 Mayer Prize for Outstanding Article of the year, Australian Political Studies Association).

Grube, D.C. (2013) ‘In Search of Society? The Limitations of Citizen-centred Governance’, The Political Quarterly, Vol. 84, No. 3, pp. 371-379.

Grube, D.C. (2013) ‘Public Voices from Anonymous Corridors: The Public Face of the Public Service in a Westminster System’, Canadian Public Administration, Vol. 56, No. 1, pp.  3-25.

Grube, D.C. (2012) ‘Prime Ministers and Political Narratives for Policy Change: Towards a Heuristic’, Policy and Politics, Vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 569-586.

Grube, D.C. (2012) ‘A Very Public Search for Public Value: “Rhetorical Secretaries” in Westminster Jurisdictions’, Public Administration, Vol. 90, No. 2, pp. 445-465.

Grube, D.C. (2011) ‘How can Britishness be re-made?’, The Political Quarterly, Vol. 82, No. 4, pp. 628-635.

Grube, D.C. (2011) ‘What the Secretary Said Next: “Public Rhetorical Leadership” in the Australian Public Service’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, Vol. 70, No. 2, pp. 115-130.

Grube, D.C. (2011) ‘Speech Cycle? “Election-defining rhetoric” in Westminster democracies’, Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 46, No. 1, pp. 35-52.

Grube, D.C. (2010) ‘The Rhetorical Framing of Policy Intervention’, Australian Journal of Political Science, Vol. 45, No.4, pp. 559-578.

Grube, D.C. (2007) ‘Religion, Power and Parliament: Rothschild and Bradlaugh Revisited’, History, Vol. 92, No. 1, pp. 21-38.

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