Associate Professor Michael Barr

Full Academic Status

College of Business, Government and Law

place Law & Commerce (390)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Michael Barr was awarded his PhD in History by the University of Queensland in 1998 for his thesis on the development of Lee Kuan Yew's political thought. He received a national award from the Asian Studies Association of Australia for his dissertation and then won a Queensland University of Technology Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, which he used to continue his research on Singapore politics while writing a book on the 'Asian values' debate. He subsequently accepted an ARC postdoctoral research fellowship, which he took at Queensland University. The second fellowship was dedicated to continuing his research on Singapore. In 2007 he joined Flinders University as a lecturer in International Relations and became the director of several degree programmes and majors. He has been an Associate Professor since 2014.

From 2012-2017 he was Editor-in-Chief of Asian Studies Review, flagship journal of the Asian Studies Association of Australia and now he is Associate Editor of that journal. Articles accepted and managed under his editorship appeared from 2013-2018.

He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2018.

Michael has written 5 books and co-edited 2 volumes of collected essays, along with dozens of journal articles and individual book chapters - mainly on Singapore politics and history. He is a regular commentator on Singaporean and Asian affairs, and his commentary and op-eds have appear in many media outlets including the BBC, ABC (TV, radio and online), Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Australian Financial Review, CNN (online), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Straits Times (Singapore), Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore), Washington Post and The New York Times.

A link to Michael Barr's Google Public Profile of publications and citations can be found here.


BA (Newcastle)

BA (Hons) (University of Queensland)

PhD in History (University of Queensland)

Honours, awards and grants

2018 Elected a Fellow, Australian Academy of the Humanities.

2009 Research Partner, IRASEC (Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia, Bangkok, Thailand.) IRASEC is one of the research centres of the French Foreign Ministry that is under a joint tutelage with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).

2002 Awarded an ARC Discovery Grant

2001 Awarded an ARC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

1999 Awarded a QUT Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

1999 Winner of the 1999 ASAA Presidents’ Prize for the ‘most outstanding Australian thesis on Asia in 1998’

1998 Included in the UQ Postgraduate Dean’s Commendation List for Outstanding PhD Theses, 1998

Key responsibilities

Deputy Editor, Asian Studies Review

Teaching interests
Asian history and society; Asian political economy; the cultural politics of religion and ethnicity, especially in Asia; religious and ethnic nationalism; genocide.
Supervisory interests
Malaysia, politics and history
Singapore history, politics and society
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Gender and national identity in Malaysia (1), Indonesian Foreign Policy (1), Singapore-Australia Security Relationship (1)
Associate supervisor: Indonesian Foreign Policy (1)
Principal supervisor: Singapore politics (1), Ethnicity, religion, politics in Singapore (1), Security Studies, Aceh and Patani (1)
Associate supervisor: Ethnicity, religion, politics in Malaysia (2)
Expert for media contact
International Relations
Singapore and Malaysia
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expert
Media expertise
  • Asia
  • International Relations
  • Muslims
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Singapore and Malaysia