The Australian Study of Politics is the first comprehensive reference work on the history of the study of politics in Australia. It focuses on developments since WW2, exploring the historical roots of each major subfield. We conclude that Australian political science is strong where it has a long-standing engagement with the international political science community (for example, in international relations); where it regularly interacts with Australian government priorities (for example, in public administration); and where it involves the larger community (for example, public intellectuals). Our task is to explain the patchiness and late development of the profession in Australia. The challenge for Australian political science is to foster regional distinctiveness and to compete at an international level.