Our researchers work on Australian foreign policy, human rights and democratisation, global energy politics, international trade, global dynamics of security and insecurity, gender politics and security.


Academic researchers

Researchers with academic status

Research students 

  • Pierre Ahoure
  • Hannah Bastock
  • Jesse Barker Gale
  • Darryl Burrowes
  • Tets Kimura
  • Michael Martin
  • Stephen Rickmann
  • Zachary Rogers
  • Edwin Tambunan
  • David Willis

Current research projects

Don DeBats: Discovering the Fundamental Metrics of Political Behaviour: African-Americans and their White Neighbours in an Era of Revolutionary Change

Newly freed from slavery, African-Americans first voted in the 1870s; remarkably, their names and individual political choices still survive in the records of one American state. Using innovative software to track voters and map social networks, Don's current research project will reveal the dynamics of black and white voting in this era of revolutionary change. This research is supported by the Australian Research Council. It combines the contemporary interest in "the social logic of politics" with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methodologies to the study of past political engagement, using unique individual level political records from 19thcentury America.

Don DeBats: The Social Logic of Past Politics – Individual Voting Records, Social Networks, and Neighbourhoods in Two 19th Century US Cities

This project is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities of the United States and hosted by the University of Virginia. It focuses on 19th century Alexandria (Virginia), a commercial town based on slave labour, and Newport (Kentucky), an industrial town resting on immigrant labour. Professor DeBats’ research will use these contrasting 19th century modalities and a rich archive of individual voting records to gain new insights into the place and status of political life in the political economies of America’s emerging urban future. This three-year project will lead to a database and a website as well as scholarly publications on voting records and social networks.

Tanya Lyons

Is Editor in Chief of the Australasian Review of African Studies, and provides leadership in developing and creating the scholarship on African Studies in the region (see www.afsaap.org.au).

In conjunction with Dr. John Idriss Lahai (visiting scholar) she is co-editing the volume African Frontiers: Insurgency, Governance and Peacebuilding in Post-Colonial States- forthcoming - Ashgate PLUS Series, ISBN-978-1-4724-6008-0.

Evan Smith: UK National/Border Security in the 1970s-80s

This project explores how the UK's counter-terrorism concerns led to stricter border control initiatives in the 1970s. The desire to detect potential terrorists led to the profiling of certain groups of foreign visitors and migrants based on nationality and ethnicity, and thus, discriminatory actions and potential human rights abuses. This research is based on recently opened archival materials from the National Archives in London, which show how the border security system became an integral part of counter-terrorism initiatives with special powers granted to staff to combat terrorism. This research explores how the border control system became a 'state of exception' in the fight against 'international terrorism', which placed specific groups of 'outsiders' under suspicion. This research has been funded by the David Phillips Travelling Fellowship, awarded by the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

Past projects

Tanya Lyons published New Engagement: Contemporary Australian Foreign Policy Toward Africa, edited by David Mickler and Tanya Lyons (Melbourne University Press, 2013); and South Sudanese Diaspora in Australia and New Zealand: Reconciling the past with the present, edited by Jay Marlowe, Anne Harris and Tanya Lyons (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013). In these two volumes Dr Lyons has written chapters on The role of education in Australia's relations with the countries of AfricaLocating Australian engagement with Africa and Evaluating Australia's new engagement with Africa (with Mickler); South Sudanese Diaspora in Global Contexts and Sudanese Diaspora: Reconciling the past with the present (with Marlowe and Harris).