Current Research Students
‘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.
Lisette began her candidature as a Ph.D. student in 2012, after completing her Honours year in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. She is currently researching Climate Change Adaptations Plans (CCAP) in Australian communities with a view to explaining the variations in CCAPs across Australia. Climate change adaptation planning is taking place at the local government level across the country. Lisette’s research question seeks to ask whether the variation in risk identification and appropriate action to deal with climate change in CCAPs is due to differences in vulnerability to impacts, or if it is related to differences in stakeholder power in the deliberative process. Lisette is also currently working as a research assistant on a project that considers climate adaptation planning in Australia in terms of ‘justice’.
Throughout her undergraduate degree, Lisette took a particular interest in Environmental Politics and Environmental Justice. In 2011, she completed Honours in Government and International Relations. Her research was a case study comparison of Macquarie University and the University of Sydney. It sought to explain the reasons for difference of implementation of environmentally sustainable policies between the institutions. The research culminated in the presentation of a model that explained why Macquarie’s implementation was comparatively wider than the implementation at the University of Sydney.
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.
Michael completed his Bachelor of Arts in political science and Masters of International Relations at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Stints at the New Zealand Ministry of Health and New Zealand Treasury gave Michael the opportunity to advise senior Ministers including the Minister of Finance and Prime Minister in several policy areas including economic development, tourism, health and fiscal management. Since moving to Australia in late 2009, Michael has worked as a tutor and research assistant at the University, undertook an internship and the Lowy Institute for International Policy and currently works as a senior policy officer at The Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
Michael’s research examines how the G20 is constructing its legitimacy. It looks at how international institutions have been studied and how the literature on international legitimacy, a topic well covered in domestic politics, has been applied at the international level. It argues that legitimacy is something the G20 has sought and has set about achieving through a series of institutional innovations, a remarkable achievement considering its relatively short existence.
Staying Alive As A Pawn In The 'New Great Game' - A comparative study of the foreign policy approaches of Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan from 2000 to 2015, including a focus on the role of Middle Powers in Central Asia
Born in Sakhalin in the former Soviet Union, Alex initially trained at Baltic Naval Academy in Kaliningrad, Russia. Following his first career as super-container ship captain, Alex landed on Australian shores in 2005. Since then he has completed a BA in International Relations and a Master in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney. His major research interests are geopolitics and the post-Communist transition of countries of the former Soviet Union. His Master's dissertation explored the human rights issues of Russian-speaking minorities in the Baltic States. Between completing his MA and starting PhD, he has been working as a volunteer Project Manager for Kanga Schools, a Sydney-based private charity that is involved in education projects in Sierra Leone.
The PhD thesis will examine the foreign policy approaches of three Central Asian states – Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan – in the post-Communist era, a time when competition between outside powers for influence in Central Asia has led to the region’s geopolitics being described as ‘The New Great Game’. It explores how the three Central Asian nations have sought to use Middle Powers as allies and intermediaries in order to balance the geopolitical pressures exerted by the superpowers and to promote each of the three countries’ own interests. This thesis also tests the hypothesis that each of the selected three nations’ success in achieving their foreign policy goals has been, and continues to be, directly related to the extent to which they have progressed in their transformation from autocratic one-party Communist states to more open and pluralistic entities.
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.
‘Regional Cultures of Conflict and Peace’
Gorana holds a Master of International Studies degree from the University of Sydney, where she graduated in 2010 and was awarded the Hedley Bull Prize for Postgraduate Coursework. Gorana graduated summa cum laude from the University of Zagreb in 2008 and holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree in Macroeconomics. Her undergraduate degree was partially completed at the National University of Singapore where she was an exchange student.
In between undergraduate and postgraduate studies, Gorana worked for the United Nations Development Programme in her home country – Croatia. In recent times she has worked as a part-time producer and journalist for SBS Radio in Sydney.
Gorana has also been affiliated with the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney since 2011, and has tutored for US politics and foreign policy courses at the USSC, as well as the Department of Government and International Relations. In 2012, she was awarded the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Dean’s Citation for Excellence in Tutorials. Gorana has been awarded the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Teaching Fellowship for the academic year of 2013.
Her doctoral thesis lays out theoretical model for qualitative analysis of dynamics of ethnonationalist mobilization and regional spread of conflicts. her argument is that spatial and temporal determinants of ethnonationalist mobilization can be used as the predictors of likelihood of regional conflicts. Applying comparative case study method the thesis investigates patterns of political liberalization and ethnonationalist mobilization across territories of former Yugoslavia and Soviet Union from 1980s to 2000s. In doing so, she aims to explain why occurrence and spread of internationalized ethnic conflicts in these two regions vastly differed. Her research is complementary to, and in close interaction with, an ARC-funded project “Political Institutions, War, and Peace: Global and Regional Dynamics” which aims to explore the role of political institutions in regional conflict dynamics.
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 thesis reviews and evaluates the Korean Government’s response to the Haiti earthquake using a new framework which is proposed by Allan McConnell. McConnell's approach may be a very useful methodology for evaluators as well as other stakeholders because it helps deal systematically with degrees of success and failure and contains political dimension as well as interpretation or perception. By evaluating impartially or objectively the Korean Government response to the Haiti earthquake with a new framework, the thesis will find: what is the problem of the evaluation criteria of crisis management?; what is the degree of success and/or failure in process, decision and politic dimensions in the Korean Government’s response to the Haiti earthquake?; Are there contradictions between different forms of success or failure in the Korea Government policy?
‘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.
Before coming to the University of Sydney in 2012, Catherine graduated from the University of New South Wales with a Bachelor of International Studies, majoring in both International Relations and Globalisation studies, in 2011. During her time at UNSW she also had the opportunity to study an Undergraduate Certificate in Humanities and Social Sciences at the Universiteit van Amsterdam in 2010-2011. It was in The Netherlands that her interest in nuclear weapons proliferation was sparked and she returned to Australia wanting to further her knowledge of this subject through a postgraduate research degree.
Catherine chose the University of Sydney to further her studies because of the strength of its Arts and Social Sciences Faculty and its great research centres. Her Master’s thesis is researching the Iranian nuclear program and the international response. She is particularly looking at the domestic political motivations for Iran’s nuclear program and if the world’s current approach of sanctions, the ‘stick’, is effective in satisfying this nuclear motivation. She aims to provide some policy recommendations for the best approach to ensure Iran’s nuclear program does not become a threat to regional and international stability, particularly looking at the potential benefits of the development of an Iranian latent nuclear capability.
While her main research interest is Iranian nuclear proliferation she is also interested in Australia’s engagement with Asia and has balanced her study with participation as a Junior Policy Associate in the China Studies Centre and extra-curricular Indonesian language study.
‘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.
‘Chinese ideational leadership in foreign policy and “harmonious world” concept in the early twenty-first century’
Ms. Dinh Thi Hien Luong joined the Institute of Strategic Studies and Foreign Policy, Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, a think-tank of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Vietnam since January 2000. Her major interest and background is on Chinese foreign policy and regionalism in East Asia. She had previously been a visiting research fellow at the Institute of International and Economics Studies, Reitaku University, Japan (2007-2008). She has a B.A. in international relations from Institute of International Relations, Vietnam and an International Master Degree in regional integration from Universiti Malaya and Universidad Autonoma de Madrid. She has written many articles and book reviews with special focus on the roles of regional major state actors.
Ideational leadership has increasingly been considered as important factors in shaping a state's foreign policy and behaviors. It refers to the importance of ideational factor that can generate the essentials needed for leader(s) to project their the power and legitimacy. Chinese ideational factors are arguably rooted in traditional culture and ancient thoughts. As China’s strength has steadily been on an upward trajectory, the questions of what ambitions China attempts to achieve in its global strategy, what kind of power the Chinese leaders believe to be conducive to the accomplishment of their goals, and ultimately how China behaves herself to the rest of the world have aroused growing attention from scholars and policy-makers worldwide. The first purpose of this study is to evaluate the influence of the Chinese ancient thoughts on the ideational framework of foreign policy. Secondly, this research aims to investigate the origins and implications of the ‘harmonious world’ concept in Chinese foreign policy in the 2002-2012 period under Hu Jintao's leadership. The key question of the research is “to what extent Chinese ancient thoughts can influence Chinese leaders in shaping China’s foreign policy?”
Johnson is in his final year of PhD candidature in the Department of Government and International Relations. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from California State University, Chico and Master of Arts in International Affairs (specializing in Comparative and Regional Studies: Asia) from the School of International Service at American University, Washington D.C. He has published in The Encyclopedia of Power, ed. Keith Dowding (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2011). In addition to his postgraduate research, he tutored for GOVT 2445 (American Politics and Foreign Policy) in 2010 and 2011, and will tutor the same course in Semester I 2013. His research interests include: U.S. Foreign Policy; East Asian security. His current research is on state-society relations in the politics of NATO enlargement ratification. It explores the Clinton administration’s mobilization of relevant societal groups in building public support for the first round of NATO enlargement of the post-Cold War era.
In addition to his academic interests, Johnson is a life-long fan of his beloved hometown baseball and football teams, the San Francisco Giants and Forty-Niners.
Gabrielle completed a Masters in Environmental Policy and Regulation at the London School of Economics & Political Science in 2011. Prior to that Gabrielle gained a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Adelaide and spent a number of years working in the financial sector at a range of international and local banks. In addition, she has worked at a hedge fund as part of a start-up business in carbon markets. Gabrielle spent several years studying and working overseas and then returned to Sydney, joining the PhD program at University of Sydney in the middle of 2012. Her PhD thesis is focused on environmental politics. In particular, she is looking at the role of emotions and agency in precipitating political participation in a range of environmental issues. In this context she will examine the strategies of environmental activists for mobilising citizens and the impact these strategies have in both enabling and constraining political action.
‘Rethinking Contemporary Populism: Populism as a political style’
Benjamin Moffitt is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Government & International Relations and the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights at the University of Sydney. He holds a number of scholarships and awards, including an Australian Postgraduate Award, University of Sydney Merit Award, University of Sydney Teaching Fellowship, and the 2010 Best Postgraduate Paper by the Australian Political Studies Association. He was also a visiting research fellow at the WZB (Berlin Social Science Research Centre) in Jan-Feb 2011.
Benjamin holds a BA (Honours) in Sociology and Communication & Cultural Studies from the University of Wollongong, where in 2008 he graduated with First-Class Honours, and was awarded both the University Medal and the Chancellor Robert Hope Memorial Prize. His Honours thesis focused on the intersection of political theory and national identity in the Cronulla Riots.
Populism remains a slippery concept in political science. Against dominant conceptions of populism as ideology, discourse, logic or strategy, Benjamin’s thesis puts forward a new understanding of populism as a ‘political style’. This new conception seeks to contextualise populism within the stylised milieu of contemporary politics by focusing on its performative and aesthetic features, and reflecting on the increasing blurring of populist ‘style’ and ‘content’ in these media-saturated times. It argues that we must move from thinking of populism as a ‘thing’, towards thinking of it as a style that is performed, embodied and enacted.
Drawing on illustrative cases from Europe, North America, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific, the thesis moves beyond specific regional understandings of populism, and towards a general understanding of the phenomenon.
As a result, the research works across political theory, political sociology and political communications, and provokes new debates about how we conceptualise populism, how we understand populism’s relationship to ‘mainstream’ politics, and how we can analyse populism’s sometimes paradoxical relationship to democracy.
Christopher Neff is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Government and International Relations. He holds a B.A. in Political Science from James Madison University in Virginia (’99) and a Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of Sydney, (’07). His research is the first doctoral study on the “politics of shark attacks,” examining why there are different policy responses to shark bites in Australia, South Africa and the U.S.
Christopher’s academic work has been published in the journals Environmental Studies and Sciences (2013) with Dr. Robert Hueter, the Journal of Homosexuality (2013) with colleague Luke Edgell, Marine Policy (2012) with Dr. Jean Yang and in Coastal Management (2012). In 2013 he presented at the Australian Public Policy Network in Brisbane and in 20122 at the Australian Political Studies Conference in Hobart. In 2011, he presented his research at two scientific conferences: the International Marine Conservation Congress in Victoria, Canada and the International Congress for Conservation Biology.
His research has also been noted in Time magazine, New Scientist magazine, the Washington Post, USA Today, Australia Geographic, BBC radio, the Guardian and the Sydney Morning Herald. In May 2012, Christopher gave a ‘TED Talk’ on his research for TED’s Global Talent Search salon at TEDx Sydney and in August 2012 he appeared in the Shark Week documentary ‘How Jaws Changed the World.’
Previously, Christopher was the first full-time lobbyist for the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on openly gay military service in the U.S.
‘Land Rich, Dirt Poor? Indigenous land, policy failure and policy change during the Howard era’
Diana lectures in politics and public policy at Macquarie University, and has worked in a number of policy-related positions, including in the Australian Public Service. Her research has focused on public policy theory, the politics of evaluation, evidence-based policy and the impact of intergovernmental relations on policy formulation and implementation. She has a BA(Hons) in History from the University of Sydney, and Master of Politics and Public Policy from Macquarie University.
Diana’s PhD research examines the shifting politics of Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory, with a particular focus on the amendments to the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act passed by the Howard Government in 2006 and 2007. The thesis concentrates on the changing constructions of Aboriginal land and ownership , and considers the role of the politics of evaluation in driving the policy changes.
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.
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.
‘The Politics of Holocaust Remembrance in Post Communist Lithuania and Russia’
Kyra completed a Bachelor of International and Global Studies (Honours) in 2012, majoring in Government & IR and history.
Her thesis focuses on the politics of Holocaust remembrance in post communist Lithuania and Russia, through the lenses of memory, identity and geopolitics. This research essentially asks, "How does the politics of Holocaust memorialization impact or shape the development of post communist identity, politics and regional relationships in Lithuania and Russia?"
She is a PhD candidate and research assistant at the University of Sydney. Her research interests revolve around transparency in governance, especially as it relates to electoral management bodies (EMBs) and their dynamics with civil society. At the Electoral Integrity Project, she will work on developing an index to assess the levels of transparency in diverse EMBs and the degree to which these bodies reflect both domestic and international legislature.
Prior to joining the EIP, she worked as a research team leader for the Harvard Law and International Development Society where she researched the impact of Freedom of Information Legislation in National Security issues at the global level.
She has served as the regional coordinator to non-partisan voter registration campaigns targeting Latino voters in the US, efforts which resulted in the registration of over 68,000 Latinos to vote and reaching out to over 250,000 people through GOTV efforts.
She has also performed research and field work for civic engagement organizations in countries like Peru, Kosovo, and Cambodia. She earned a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy with a focus on Public International Law and Political Systems and Theories at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (cum laude).
Guy did his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History at the University of NSW before going to work in the communications and finance industry in Australia and Asia. He subsequently completed a Masters in Business Information Technology at UTS and the a Masters in International Studies at the University of Sydney.
Guy is now doing a Masters of Philosophy in the School of Government and International Relations. His research is focusing on the European Union, democratic theory, institutionalism, and the role of cultural identity in the EU’s so-called “democratic deficit”.
‘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.
‘South Korea as a new category middle power in an emerging world order’
Andrew received a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Sydney. His Honours thesis looked at late 19th century US-Korea diplomatic history. He interned at the Sydney Centre for International Law, and contributed as a junior author for the Australian International Law Journal. Andrew also worked as an assistant to Barristers at Marbury and Owen Dixon Chambers. Volunteer work at Public Interest Law Clearing House and Marrickville Legal Centre.
Andrew’s thesis investigates South Korea as an emerging middle power in a new global architecture characterized by power diffusion and seismic shifts in economic and geopolitical structures. Using South Korea as a case study, the thesis seeks to expand on our limited understanding of the middle power concept in international relations theory.
'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.