Current Research Students
The role of Italy in Mediterranean Africa and the Horn of Africa: the geopolitical context from WWI to the present day
Gabriele holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science – International Studies from “Roma Tre University” and is now undertaking a Master by Research in International Security at the University of Sydney, deepening the role of Italy as a regional power in the Mediterranean Sea. He is currently a geopolitical analyst and a foreign correspondent from Australia and New Zealand for daily newspaper “L'Indro”, columnist for specialized journals such as “Limes”, “Geopolitica” and “Notizie Geopolitiche”, seminar organizer and author of the book "The Geopolitics of Australia in the New Millennium: The Asia-Pacific Context", published in English and Italian.
His main areas of interest are geopolitics, Australia’s international relations in the Asia-Pacific context and Italy’s role of middle power in the Mediterranean. He is based in Sydney but spends long periods in Europe every year.
Online political talks, deliberation and the policy-making process
Francesco Bailo holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Turin, a MA in Economics, Politics and International Institutions from the University of Pavia and a MSc in Public Policy and Human Development from the Graduated School of Governance of Maastricht University. He has worked in development assistance for both governmental and non-governmental agencies in Ecuador, Guatemala, Mauritius and Afghanistan. In Australia he collaborated with a governmental research centre. His website and blog is www.francescobailo.net.
Since his MSc, Francesco started to develop a deep interest in online political participation. His PhD research will perform an analysis of the contribution of online deliberation to policy-making. The focus will be on debates developing in and around web-platforms of political movements and how these debates influence the public discourse and the policy process.
The research will apply network analysis techniques to describe the characteristics of these web-platforms and then zoom in on specific regions of the network to provide a qualitative analysis of the discourse and its impacts.
‘An Enquiry into the Resurgence of Ideational Constructivism in Egypt’s Non-State Actor Relations with the Arab World’
Amro graduated from the Australian National University with a Master of Arts (with Honours) in Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies, and a Master of Diplomacy. Over the years, he has worked as a consultant to diplomatic missions, Australian government departments and international organisations.
A turning point came following the Arab uprisings that kicked off in early 2011, drawing Amro to the Middle East, particularly Egypt, where he developed a keen interest in history’s changing events, leading him to document developments on the ground regarding social movements, use of social media, activism, democratic transitions and the changing nature of public-elite relations. Amro has given guest lectures, at the invitation of universities and organisations, in Europe and the US.
Amro’s articles have been published in openDemocracy, Guardian, Jadaliyya, Sydney Morning Herald and various Middle East news sites. He been interviewed on a number of news outlets including Al-Jazeera. He blogs at www.amroali.com and tweets @_amroali
Amro’s research is seeking to analyse the resurgence of soft power on the part of non-state actors, particularly civil society, in Egypt. The primary goal is to examine the dynamics of ideas and principles originating from within Egyptian circles and being pushed into the international system, therefore shaping the preferences of Arab populations beyond Egypt’s borders. Furthermore, he is also looking at the degree that such ideational forces can nurture an enabling or disabling environment for policy-makers and elites domestically and abroad.
Rob Berry completed a Bachelor of Arts (Languages) at the University of Sydney, with majors in Government & International Relations, Italian Studies and French Studies, including an exchange at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan), before gaining a Bachelor of Arts (Honours), jointly in Government & International Relations and Italian Studies, with a thesis on the relationship between Antonio Negri's philosophy of time and political theory of the multitude.
With a research interest in radical political philosophy, Rob is currently working on a thesis which presents a reading of classical anarchist texts through the lens of the ethics of self care found in the later work of Michel Foucault, currently focusing on William Godwin's Enquiry Concerning Political Justice, under the supervision of Professor Simon Tormey and the associate supervision of Dr Alex Lefebvre.
‘The Battle of the Narratives: Australian media agendas and the Iraq War’
Judy’s studies build on a career in the Australian Public Service (Departments of Immigration, Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Finance and Administration); as a political adviser to various federal ministers (Minister Assisting the PM for the Status of Women, Prime Minister, Minister for Resources and Tourism, later the Industry Minister); and in more recent years in the private sector in government relations, organisational communication and speech writing (Commonwealth Bank, IBM and consulting). She has a Masters in Organisational Communication (CSU, 2004) and a Masters in Public Administration (John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard, 1989) and a Bachelor of Economics (ANU, 1981).
Judy’s PhD research draws on three bodies of literature: critiques of the media’s role in covering the war (including US, UK and Australian writings from journalists, academics and the memoirs of former participants); literature on agenda setting and framing (second level agenda setting); and the literature around the role of the media in a democracy. Judy’s field work will be in two phases: content analysis (mapping voices and themes in articles that appeared in the Australian and Sydney Morning Herald at critical periods before and during the war), followed by interviews with selected journalists, editors, public servants, politicians and others who participated in the debate at the time.
‘Ethnic minority identity and nationalism in Gansu province, China’
Joshua has worked in international development for over a decade, with a particular focus on China and ethnic minorities. He has worked in this capacity across Asia - including China, Vietnam and Thailand. His past roles include positions with AusAID, the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law, the International Federation of Journalists and the Fred Hollows Foundation.
He is also a qualified lawyer, with degrees in Law and Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney. In 2008, Joshua graduated from the Australian National University with a Master of Asia-Pacific Studies.
Joshua’s research will analyse the relationship between ethnic minority identity and nationalism in China’s western Gansu province, and consider the impact of that relationship on social cohesion, economic integration and cultural autonomy. His research will be undertaken in three main sites within Gansu - Dunhuang, Linxia and Xiahe – and focuses on three local ethnic populations – Tibetan, Hui and Dongxiang.
‘The Revival of the Digger: a critical discourse analysis of Prime Ministerial uses of Anzac, 1972 – 2007’
Nicholas came to the department from Macquarie University, after completing his Honours thesis The End of Security: Advanced Liberalism, Governmentality and the Hawke Government. His research interests focus upon discourse theory, Australian politics and nationalism, and this had led him to his PhD topic The Revival of the Digger: a critical discourse analysis of Prime Ministerial uses of Anzac, 1972 – 2007. The thesis seeks to trace the increasing use of Anzac by Australian Prime Ministers during this period, the way Prime Ministers have aligned the story of Anzac with their political agenda, specific polices and have used it to appeal to sections of the electorate. More recently, he has published ‘Welcome Home: reconciliation, Vietnam veterans, and the reconstruction of Anzac under the Hawke government’ which examined the reconciliation of Vietnam Veterans with the wider public under Hawke’s term in government, and the consequences this had for the state uses of Anzac. Nicholas also tutors extensively with the department, predominately in the areas of Australian politics and political theory.
George Carayannopoulos is a part-time PhD candidate in the Department of Government and International Relations. He has previously completed a Master of Public Policy (Honours) and undergraduate honours degree at the University of Sydney and was awarded the Christopher Hood and RN Spann Prizes for his work in the Master of Public Policy.
His PhD topic in public policy looks at the rise of whole of government and horizontal forms of working in the public service and seeks to understand whether public commitments to connecting government are matched by the reality of working in and across government departments.
He has in recent years presented papers at the Public Policy Network (PPN) conference on the characteristics that underpin whole of government working and the influence of leadership, organisational culture and values as well as at the Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) conference which was based on understanding shifts towards horizontal and network governance models in policy creation and service delivery.
Private governance and the resource curse in sub-Saharan Africa’
Ainsley’s PhD research examines the implications of corporate self-regulation in Africa’s largest gold producing states. She aims to determine whether private governance has led to measurable improvements in the economic and development levels of mineral dependent states. Through an application of the private governance literature she intends to bring a new approach to an old problem – that of the resource curse. Her research is focued on three of Africa’s largest gold producers; South Africa, Ghana and Tanzania.
Prior to commencing her PhD at Sydney University, Ainsley spent four years working as a corporate banker where she managed a portfolio of clients which included multinational firms operating throughout the Pacific as well mining services firms. Ongoing interactions with these firms continues to shape her views of what motivates firms to self-regulate and what impact this might have for governance in developing states.
Ainsley holds a Master of International Relations as well as Bachelor degrees in Economics and Business Administration.
Max Grömping joins the Department of Government and International Relations as a PhD postgraduate researcher for the Electoral Integrity Project (www.electoralintegrityproject.com). His research deals with the ramifications of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for democracy, in particular the use of crowdsourced citizen reporting in election observation. Some of the salient questions are: Are crowdsourced reports and online mapping a way to measure electoral malpractices? Are they a tool to mobilize public scrutiny to be put on the elections? Can they help strengthen electoral integrity?
He is furthermore interested in protest and state repression, armed conflict, as well as security governance, with a regional focus on Southeast Asia.
Having graduated in Geography, Political Science and Geoinformatics from Freie Universität Berlin, he worked as a research associate for the Collaborative Research Center SFB700 in Berlin as part of the team on Event Data on Armed Conflict and Security (EDACS). Since 2010 he has taught classes on Social Science Research Methods, International Development, and Human Security as a lecturer at the Faculty of Political Science of Thammasat University, Bangkok.
In his function as a research associate for the Strategic Nonviolence Commission under Thailand Research Fund, Max joined several collaborative research projects on the ongoing separatist insurgency in southern Thailand and contentious politics in Thailand. Being a founding member of the ICIRD Knowledge Network (www.icird.org) and the Community of East Asian Scholars (www.ceas-edu.org), he is also actively engaged in furthering scholarly exchange in the East Asia region and beyond.
Chris is in his second year of his PhD after completing a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) at the University of South Australia in 2012. Chris has a lengthy history working and volunteering on the African continent, from Kenya to The Gambia and several countries in between. His main research interests include West African politics, gender in Africa and the disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of ex-combatants. His thesis focuses on the post-conflict reintegration of female ex-combatants and those associated with fighting forces in Liberia. He seeks to explore the way that reintegration has explicitly failed women and girls and also how gender roles have been reconstructed after conflict and analyses this via contemporary and historical research on the fluidity of gender roles in the region.
Erin came to the University of Sydney after nearly ten years of working within US politics in New York and Washington DC. Her main area of interest is the intersection between domestic politics and national security issues. Erin’s PhD thesis is focused on public support for war and will test key aspects of support through a comparative study of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
‘The Impacts of Food Security Policies on State Sovereignty : A Case Study of Chinese Land Deals in the Horn of Africa’
Alice holds a Bachelor of Arts in Languages from the Université Paris 4 – La Sorbonne in Paris (2008), and a Master's degree by coursework in International Studies from the University of Sydney (2009). After an internship at the United Nations International Trade Centre in the sustainable development department in 2011, she graduated from a Master's degree by research in International Relations at the Université Paris 1 – La Sorbonne, with a thesis on international e-waste trafficking. She participated in a major international research project on transnational social movements at the 2011 World Social Forum in Senegal. Throughout her studies, she has been an independent buyer for French businesses at the International Import and Export Fair in Guangzhou, China. Alice holds an Australian Postgraduate Award and is a tutor in the Sociology department. Her research interests are in the fields of Political Sociology, International Relations, food security, global environmental politics and social movements.
Using the theoretical frameworks and academic literatures provided by International Relations theory, Political Theory and Political Sociology, this thesis aims at exploring the intricate relationships between Chinese state-owned agricultural firms present in the Horn of Africa and local stakeholders in Ethiopia and its border regions with Kenya and South Sudan. Widely known as land grabbing, the practice of buying or long term renting of land in another country is expanding internationally. This project focuses on the impacts of such food security policies on traditional notions of state sovereignty.
Bill is a Teaching Fellow and a PhD candidate at the Department of Government and International Relations whose research is primarily focused on the impact of severe militarized crises on state leadership perceptions. His main research interests lie in international security, foreign policy and decision making in crises. Following his graduation in 2004 with a BSc degree in International Economics with Honours from the Athens University of Economics and Business, Bill pursued postgraduate degrees in the U.K. and Australia in the fields of European Integration (LSE) and Strategic Studies (ANU) respectively, before completing his military service in a Reservist Officer capacity with the Greek Air-Force. In the course of his studies, he has earned prestigious scholarships from the Leventis Foundation (France) and the Australian Government (Endeavour Europe Program) and he is currently a Greek Government Scholar, following a competitive national examination in the field of international relations.
Bill’s professional experience is diverse, ranging from internships in the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to research assistant positions with the House of Lords (U.K.) and more recently the University of Sydney, where he is involved in an ARC project investigating hegemonic transitions from a historical perspective. Bill is finally an experienced Head Tutor and has delivered guest lectures and seminars on matters related to European Union affairs and energy security.
‘Is This the Way to Palestine? Contested Strategies and Visions in the Struggle to Establish an Independent Palestinian State’
After completing a Bachelor of Arts in 2009, majoring in Government and International Relations and History, in 2010, Martin completed an Honours Thesis that provided a holistic understanding of the underlying causes of suicide attacks in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. In 2011, Martin commenced his PhD thesis that is seeking to explain what makes militant organisations, such as Fateh and Hamas, make the transition from using violence to participating in the political process to achieve organisational goals. The thesis will also consider the prospects for achieving a sovereign Palestinian state and the various factors standing in the way of achieving this vexing and problematic task. The thesis will be an effort to move away from the more traditional security dominated analytical assessments of the actions of the two principal Palestinian resistance organisations by implementing Political Moderation's Inclusion-Moderation hypothesis. It is envisaged that by doing so the thesis will be able to provide a more nuanced and holistic assessment of the actions of these two organisations.
‘The Barriers and Incentives to The Ecological Modernization of the Indonesian Economy – The case of the Indonesian forestry, pulp and paper industry sector’
Philip’s thesis explores how the forestry sector and one the major upstream valued added manufacturing industries has changed over the past twenty years, the last decade of authoritarian rule and the first decade of democracy. The thesis is looking at the political economy of the sector, Indonesia’s variety of capitalism and variety of ecological modernization.
Phillip has been involved in the global forestry sector for the past 30 years. He completed a Masters research degree at UTS, and his thesis concerned ecological modernisation theory. He is based in Sydney.
Before coming to the University of Sydney to pursue a PhD, Renita worked as a Diplomat at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia since 2011. At the Foreign Affairs Ministry, she handled Indonesia’s bilateral relations with North and Central America in the political and security area. She also has a background in the non-governmental sector, having worked for international organizations, such as the United Nations, and local NGOs in Jakarta and Hong Kong.
Renita graduated in 2009 from The New School in New York with a Masters in International Affairs and a concentration in economic development. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College in New York. Her honours thesis was entitled “Evaluating Political Leadership in Indonesia’s Consolidation of Democracy: Are Leaders Leading Indonesia On?”. This thesis aimed to understand the role of political elites in Indonesia’s democratic reforms.
Renita's doctoral thesis will expand on her previous study on Indonesia’s democracy by incorporating the element of soft power. Her thesis will investigate the motivations, beliefs and perceptions surrounding the Indonesian elites' decision to promote Indonesia's soft power based on its democracy and economic achievements. This research will take a constructivist approach to the study of foreign policy analysis (FPA) by incorporating the nexus between international and domestic factors along with cognitive processes encompassing social norms, ideas and identities to create a multicasual explanation as to why the elites have formulated Indonesia's soft power in such a way.
Farah is a PhD student at Department of Government and International Relations USYD. She hold MPhil in International Relations from National Defence University, Pakistan and Masters in Political Science.
Her MPhil research was "Trans-boundary water issues between India and Pakistan". She intend to conduct her PhD research on border security in the realm of terrorism. Farah has presented her academic research in two international conference. One at "Water & Society 2013, UK" and second at "All Law Teachers Association, 2013, ANU, Australia". Her research work was published in the conference proceedings. Farah has presented a couple of her research papers at national conferences as well and has extensively spoken about water security and security & stability of a state on various forums. Recently she wrote a chapter for an edited book on "Climate Change" for Wessex Institute of Technology, UK.
Before joining USYD she was working as faculty at National University of Sciences and Technology, Pakistan. She has worked with the Strategic Plans Division, Pakistan as an International Relations analyst.
China's South China Sea Policy: The Rationale of the Shifting Behaviour
Klaus received a Bachelor of Engineering from University of Surabaya, Indonesia and a Master of Law in International Relations from Tsinghua University, Beijing. His Master's dissertation explored the causal factors of the Renewable Energy Policy in China. A mandarin speaker, Klaus' research interests lie in China's South China Sea Policy, Chinese Foreign Policy in the Southeast Asia, and Sino-US relations. He also develops interest in International Relations theory and non-traditional security issues. Alongside his doctorate study, Klaus is a Junior Policy Associate at the China Studies Centre, the University of Sydney. He is also a member of Indonesian Foreign Service and has participated in Sino-Indonesian intergovernmental meetings and ASEAN regional fora.
Klaus' research examines China's recent behaviour in the South China Sea, which is perceived as assertive or even aggressive by many western scholars. The period of good neighbourliness between China and other claimants of the South China Sea at the end of 1990s and the beginning of 21st century has suddenly turned into a period of distrust and suspicion. In the perspective of defensive realism, his research analyses the rationale of China's shifting strategy in the disputed waters. The research is supervised by Associate Professor Yuan Jingdong and Dr. Justin Hastings.
Colombina is a sociologist from the Catholic University of Chile (PUC) and a PhD candidate in the Department of Government and International Relations (USYD). Her research interests include political ecology, social movements and Latin American politics. She is currently researching Chilean environmental controversies, movements and politics, focusing on the case of the Patagonia Without Dams (Patagonia Sin Represas) campaign. She worked with the Chilean based NGO Programa Chile Sustentable, where she also co-edited the book “Conflicts over Water in Chile: Between Human Rights and Market Rules”. Colombina spent three months at the Humboldt University as a doctoral fellow in 2012 (Institute for Democracy and Human Rights Berlin Doctoral Fellowship, USYD). She is a founding member and co-director of VerDeseo, an organisation that promotes green political thinking in Chile and Latin America.
‘The Nuclear Weapons Proliferation in South Asia: Context and Dynamic.’
Since July 2011, Sharif Shuja has undertaken PHD Studies under the supervision of Dr Diarmuid Maguire.
The thesis will investigate why nuclear weapons have proliferated in India and Pakistan. It focuses mainly on the 'dynamic' of nuclear weapons proliferation, the factors that contributed to it and the process that prompted India and Pakistan's nuclear programme to take a military orientation, which culminated with the May 1998 nuclear tests. The thesis also focuses on the impact of nuclear proliferation on South Asian security. Have nuclear weapons made the region more or less secure? Did the spread of nuclear weapons to India and Pakistan deter war or provoke aggression?Sharif has done casual teaching at major universities in Melbourne and Sydney. He is a Global Terrorism Analyst at Jamestown Foundations (Washington,D.C.) and was an Honorary Research Associate with the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University (2005-2007). In 2008, he was awarded the Arts Facility Executive Dean's Award for Teaching Excellence from Victoria University for teaching there.
Sharif has written 7 book chapters; 4 monographs and 23 articles in referred journals. His writings appeared in: International Journal on World Peace; Harvard Asia Pacific Review; The American Asian Review; East Asia: An International Quarterly; Journal of International and Area Studies; Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies; Asian Thought and Society; Taiwan Defense Affairs; Issues & Studies; New Zealand Journal of East Asian Studies; Korea Observer; China Brief and Terrorism Monitor.
Ross has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Auckland. He worked for more than 25 years as a corporate tax lawyer in New Zealand and Australia, most recently as a partner in Sydney with the law firm Allens. In 2012 Ross completed a Master of International Studies at the University of Sydney. He is now undertaking a Doctor of Philosophy. The focus of his research is the influence of public preferences on Federal government policy in Australia, and in particular the role of elections as the mechanism for that influence.
Ben’s doctoral thesis focuses on Asian migrants’ political participation in Australian Local Government. He uses a comparative studies approach to examine the internal and external factors that have influenced the political engagement of the Asian Community, particularly in Australia local politics.
Ben completed his Communication degree in New Zealand. He was the President of the Asian Students Association at Unitec from 2004 to 200 and a column writer in New Zealand Chinese community media from 2007 to 2009. Through such community work experiences, he became increasingly interested in Diaspora Studies. In 2009, he completed his Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Asian Studies) at the University of Auckland and his Master in Public Policy with Honours at the University of Sydney in March 2011. Currently, he is working on several research projects, including a study of Asian candidates in Australia local elections from 1991 until 2012 in NSW, a discourse analysis of Chinese community and English language newspaper reporting on Australian Local Elections in Sydney as well as a study of Chinese migrants’ voting behaviours in Australia.
His research interests are mainly in the following areas:
- Political participation of Asian migrants in Australia;
- Australian local government: governance, representations and elections;
- Transnationalism, racism and multiculturalism; and
- Chinese Australians: history, society and identity.
‘Intergenerational Justice: merging Aborigine, Māori and Amerindian norms with western concepts into a collectivist ontology intergenerational justice’
Christine has a BA in coastal geomorphology, from Victoria University of Wellington. Having taught geography for some years she retrained in finance (Dip Bus Studies Massey University) and ran a training organisation for financial advisers & then took the role of Head of Marketing for Morningstar, a rating company.
She has an MA (Professional & Applied Ethics) with Honours from ANU. Her masters thesis established a set of principles against which to judge the ethics of climate change policies in Australia. Through the lens of those principles she conducted an analysis of Labour and Coalition climate change policies.
Our political system particularly, but also business and personal philosophies, struggle to allow for future generations: the focus is on optimising current benefits and more particularly individual good. In finding a balance between present needs and wants and the welfare of future generations. What, if anything, we owe future generations?
With the technological capacity to wreck significant long term, irremediable global changes what obligations and duties to generations of the near and distant future exist? What might they look like? And how might they be fulfilled?
Christine is looking at how intergenerational obligations and duties are manifest in societies more closely identified with environment and community than the west. Specifically she will examine how Aborigine, Māori and Amerindian norms can inform the western ontology of intergenerational justice which struggles to find a satisfactorily account.
'Is the Australian Public “rational” on foreign policy issues?'Caroline is in the second year of her PhD with Govt. & I.R. The data used in her research is aggregate opinion poll data from the Australian Electoral Study (AES) and she has a definition of 'rational' as stable, coherent and responsive. She completed her masters at Sydney University, finishing in 2004, after which she worked as a tutor, teaching assistant and sometimes lecturer in Govt. & I.R., until she felt the time was right to take on a large research project - the PhD. Courses for which she has worked as a tutor: 'Australian foreign policy and defence', 'International security', 'Australian politics', 'Government business and society' and 'American politics'. She worked for six years as a teaching assistant and occasional lecturer on: 'Politics of the world economy (masters)' and 'Asia Pacific politics (masters)'.
Caroline emigrated to Australia from the UK in 2000, but has also lived for a long period in the US and Barbados, mainly working in I.T., writing and running I.T. training courses and latterly managing graduate programs. She is married with two teenage sons, one of whom, like her, is very involved with Amnesty International. Healthy mind, healthy body: She is also a keen runner (although age is catching up with her) and general fitness enthusiast, and a very active member of her local surf club.