Research activity per year

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Personal profile


We need to adapt our political systems to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. My research contributes to this collective reimagining of orders and regimes by exploring the intersections between comparative politics, public policy, and international relations scholarship. I draw inspiration from communities who have constructed institutional forms to manage the dilemmas inherent to coloniality and climate change. I seek to challenge simplistic narratives about the form, function and desirability of supposedly best practice political models and their relationship to ideas about progress. I do so by employing an interpretive approach that foregrounds actors and their intersubjective beliefs.

My most recent book project is: Statehood à la Carte in the Caribbean and the Pacific: Secession, Regionalism, and Postcolonial Politics (2023, Oxford University Press). Previous books include International Organisations and Small States (2021, Bristol University Press) with Pat Weller and Yi-Chong Xu; Institutional Memory as Storytelling (2020, Cambridge University Press Elements) with Dennis Grube, Heather Lovell and Rodney Scott; The Art and Craft of Comparison (2019, Cambridge University Press) with John Boswell and Rod Rhodes; Democracy in Small States (2018, Oxford University Press) with Wouter Veenendaal; Australia’s Foreign Aid Dilemma (2017, Routledge); and Being Political: Leadership and Democracy in the Pacific Islands (2015, University of Hawaii Press).

I have published more than 60 journal articles, book chapters and commentaries since 2012, including in World DevelopmentComparative Political StudiesJournal of European Public PolicyEuropean Journal of Political ResearchGovernancePublic Administration, and Review of International Studies. I have also co-edited two volumes: with Brij V. Lal Political Life Writing in the Pacific: Reflections on Practice (2015, Australian National University Press) and with Doug Munro Bearing Witness: Essays in Honour of Brij V. Lal (2017, Australian National University Press). 

I hold or have held research grants from the ESRC; British Academy; Australian Research Council; the Australian and New Zealand School of Government; and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

I hold honorary appointments at the University of Southampton, the University of Malta, and Griffith University. I serve as Co-Director of the Resiliant and Sustainable Islands Initiative (RESI); editor of the University of Hawaii Press Topics in the Contemporary Pacific book series; and  associate editor of the Australian Journal of Public Administration.  

I completed my PhD at The Australian National University in 2012. After an 18-month Postdoctoral Fellowship at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program I took up a Research Fellowship at Griffith University on a joint appointment with the Centre for Governance and Public Policy and the Griffith Asia Institute. In 2016 I moved to the University of Southampton, UK, where I was promoted to Professor and Deputy Head (Research) of the School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences. I joined the faculty at Monash in Janurary 2023 as the Head of the School of Social Sciences. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or