Government and International Relations Colloquium Series

The Department of Government and International Relations Colloquium Series aims to showcase recent research by members of the Department, visiting scholars and international and interstate guests in an informal setting, conducive to lively debate. It is an open event and everyone is welcome to attend. If you would like to be informed of future events then please contact who will add your name to our email list. The Series is coordinated by .

Semester 1, 2018

Thursday 22 February 2018, 3-4:30pm
Speaker: Professor Lee Jarvis
University of East Anglia
Topic: Proscribing them, securing us?

Numerous states and international organisations maintain a list of proscribed – or banned – terrorist groups. Entry on such a list typically outlaws an organisation from a designated territory, often triggering a range of offences including around membership of, or support for, such a group. Despite widespread use, and quite significant consequences for citizenship and civil liberties, proscription remains curiously under-researched: not least vis-à-vis alternative counter-terrorism instruments.

In this presentation, Professor Jarvis will draw on his ongoing research with Tim Legrand of the Australian National University to explore the implications of this power for the politics of (national) security and identity. Focusing primarily upon the British experience, he argues proscription is: (i) integral to the imagination and shaping of contemporary political boundaries; (ii) illustrative of a more complex politics of security than that often associated with (counter-)terrorism policy; and, (iii) indicative of the importance of ritualistic behaviour in the reproduction of authority and democracy.

About the speaker: Professor Lee JarvisLee Jarvis is a Professor of International Politics at the University of East Anglia. His research on the politics of terrorism and security has been published in journals including Review of International Studies, Security Dialogue and International Political Sociology. He is author or editor of eleven books, including: Anti-terrorism, Citizenship and Security (with Michael Lister, 2015), Security: A Critical Introduction (with Jack Holland, 2015), and Counter-Radicalisation: Critical Perspectives (with Christopher Baker-Beall and Charlotte Heath-Kelly, 2015), and PI on the AHRC-funded project: British [Muslim] Values: Conflict or Convergence?
Venue: Room 426 Merewether building, H04 [map]


Thursday 1 March 2018, 1-2:30pm
Speaker: Assistant Professor Steven Oliver
Yale-NUS College, Singapore
Associate Professor Justin Hastings
University of Sydney
Topic: Market integration and governance in Somaliland and Puntland

Measuring governance (particularly changes over time) in states with low institutional capacity is often challenging due to a lack of reliable data. We propose using market price data as a proxy for governance, particularly in how markets are integrated across territory putatively controlled by the same state institutions. Using market data for food commodities from cities throughout Somalia, we look at the extent to which territorially disaggregated cities in Somaliland and Puntland are integrated with each other within regions and across regional boundaries. We find that territorially proximate cities in different regions, and where different clans predominate, sometimes have greater market integration with each other than do cities in the same regions and clan areas. We also find that Somaliland does not necessarily have more integrated markets than Puntland, despite Somaliland’s reputation for better functioning state institutions. This suggests that businesses in Somali markets engage in cross-clan, cross-regional trade, and sometimes use clan backing (rather than the local state) as a means of resolving disputes. Our findings thus have implications for understanding governance in states with weak institutions.

About the speaker: Justin HastingsJustin Hastings is Associate Professor in International Relations and Comparative Politics in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney, where he is also affiliated with the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, the China Studies Centre, the Sydney Cyber Security Network, and the Centre of International Security Studies. From 2008 to 2010, he was an Assistant Professor in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he remains affiliated with the Center for International Strategy, Technology, and Policy. He received an MA (2003) and PhD (2008) in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an AB in public and international affairs from Princeton University in 2001. Hastings' research is mostly focused on gray and black markets, rogue states, and the structure and behaviour of clandestine non-state actors, such as terrorists, maritime piracy, smugglers, organized criminals, insurgents, and nuclear weapons proliferators, primarily in Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Indian Ocean. In the department, he teaches units and supervises research students on international security issues and Asian politics.

Steven OliverSteven Oliver is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale-NUS College in Singapore. He holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at San Diego. His research interests span the subfields of international relations and comparative politics with a regional focus on East and Southeast Asia. His most recent article, “The Tortuga Disease: The Perverse Effects of Illicit Foreign Capital,” was published in 2017 in the International Studies Quarterly and he has a forthcoming article, “Explaining Elections in Singapore: Dominant Party Rule and Valence Politics,” in the Journal of East Asian Studies.

Venue: Room 427 Merewether building, H04 [map]


Thursday 22 March 2018, 1-2:30pm
Speaker: Professor Saul Newman
University of London
Topic: Pastoral power and political spirituality: Foucault and political theology

Although Michel Foucault never refers explicitly to the problematic of political theology, his genealogical analyses of the mechanisms of power in secular modernity reveal their religious origins and the way they emerge out of ecclesiastical institutions and practices. However, I will suggest that Foucault’s contribution to political theology in a sense turns the paradigm on its head and signals a radical departure from the Schmittian model. Foucault does not seek to sanctify power and authority in modernity, but rather to disrupt their functioning and consistency by identifying their hidden origins, unmasking their contingency and indeterminacy, and bringing before our gaze historical alternatives. Furthermore, Foucault introduces to the debate around political theology something that was entirely missing from it – the idea of the subject. The notion of the ‘confessing subject’ – the individual who, from earliest Christian times, has been taught to confess his secrets and thus form a truth about himself – is central to Foucault’s concerns, as are the ethical strategies through which the subject might constitute himself in alternative ways that allow a greater degree of autonomy. And while in the past, religious institutions and practices, particularly the Christian pastorate, have sought to render the subject obedient and governable, at other times, including in modernity, religious ideas have been a source of disobedience, revolt and what Foucault calls ‘counter-conducts’. It is here that I will develop the idea of ‘political spirituality’, showing how this notion can operate as a radical counter-point to political theology.

About the speaker: Professor Saul NewmanSaul Newman is Professor of Political Theory at Goldsmiths, University of London and currently a Visiting Professor at the Sydney Democracy Network. His research is in continental political thought and contemporary political theory. Mostly known for his research on postanarchism, he also works on questions of sovereignty, human rights, as well as on the thought of the nineteenth century German individualist anarchist, Max Stirner. His most recent work is on political theology and post-secular politics, and he has a new book forthcoming with Polity called

Political Theology: a Critical Introduction.

Venue: Room 498 Merewether building, H04 [map]


Thursday 12 April 2018, 1-2:30pm
Speaker: Associate Professor Gaby Ramia
University of Sydney
Dr Michelle Peterie
University of Sydney
Dr Roger Patulny
University of Wollongong
Topic: Social Networks, Governance Networks, and Unemployment

Understanding the contemporary experience of unemployment, and the governance of services designed to assist unemployed people, requires a systematically derived knowledge of networks. Social or ‘informal’ networks influence the job-chances of those seeking employment, and governance or ‘formal’ networks affect the design of employment services. Research on the role of informal networks in job search is hampered by the predominantly quantitative and technical character of the literature, and by a lack of integration of that body of scholarship with how formal networks affect services, job-chances and wellbeing. This presentation reports on an Australian Research Council Funded (ARC) study of the relationship between networks, unemployment and service delivery. It analyses qualitative data from eighty in-depth interviews with long-term unemployed clients of non-profit organisations within a national employment service-provider network, and twenty additional interviews with senior organisational leaders in the same network. The presentation covers data on: the size and quality of long-term unemployed clients’ networks; the role and relative significance of their familiar and less familiar social contacts - or ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ ties - both in-person and on social media; and the networking importance of service providing organisations. The unemployed client data is then set alongside the senior leaders data as a means to derive implications for governance and service delivery.

About the speaker: Gaby RamiaGaby Ramia is interim Head of the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Sydney. His home Department is Government and International Relations, which he joined in 2016. Prior to that he was based in the Graduate School of Government, and before that at Monash University where he was Director of the graduate program in Public Policy and Management. His research revolves around public and social policy and public administration, particularly in relation to questions of welfare. Gaby is currently leading an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Project on governance networks, social networks and the employability and wellbeing of long-term unemployed people. He has also conducted ARC funded research with collaborators on social security in China, and international education and the welfare of international students. Gaby has other, ongoing research interests on the governance of work, welfare and social protection. He has taught in a wide range of policy-related areas, including public administration, public policy, and international policy.

MichelleDr Michelle Peterie is a sociologist at the University of Sydney. She has previously worked at the University of Wollongong and the University of New England, and has done research consultancy work in the third sector. Michelle's main research area is the sociology of emotions and affect. She is particularly interested in emotional well-being in situations of inequality and injustice, and in the emotional complexities of 'care' and activism. Michelle's doctoral research - The Trauma Machine: Volunteer Experiences in Australian Immigration Detention Facilities - concerned the experiences of volunteers who support asylum seekers in Australian immigration detention centres and within the Australian community. Her current research focuses on the psycho-social aspects of long-term unemployment. Michelle is a member of the Contemporary Emotions Research Network (CERN), the Sydney Asia Pacific Migration Centre (SAPMiC), and the Australian Sociological Association (TASA). She co-convenes TASA's Emotions and Affect Thematic Group.

rogerDr Roger Patulny is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Wollongong, Australia. He is the co-founder of the Contemporary Emotions Research Network (CERN); and TASA Thematic Groupon the Sociology of Emotions and Affect (TASA-SEA); has been awarded several ARC grants (DP098810; LP140100033); and edited three special editions/sections on emotions for AJSI and Emotion Review. He is currently co editing a Routledge edited collection on Emotions in Late Modernity. His detailed profile and full publications can be found at: http://rpatulny.com

Venue: Room 498 Merewether building, H04 [map]


Thursday 26 April 2018, 1-2:30pm
Speaker: Associate Professor Charles Butcher
Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Topic: To arms or to the streets? State inclusion and religious uprisings

Why do some religious groups resist states with nonviolent means, whereas others take up arms or remain passive? Whereas previous research finds that inclusion of social groups generally decreases the probability of mobilisation, how different levels of inclusion affect regimes, elites and masses differently has not been examined. We develop a formal model of the decision by religious groups to mobilize against the regime and consider how increasing levels of state inclusion affect the propensity to participate in uprisings with violent or nonviolent tactics. We argue that moderate levels of inclusion provide public goods and create ‘safe spaces’ that increase opportunities for nonviolent mobilization while high levels of inclusion deter nonviolent uprisings by reducing the likelihood of elite defections. High levels of inclusion can provoke mass violent rebellions as dissidents switch to violent tactics which depend less on elite defections to impose costs upon a regime. We test these hypotheses on a dataset of religious groups globally from 1990-2013 and find that moderate state inclusion generally increases the probability of religious participation in nonviolent uprisings and that this effect declines as states and religious groups become more integrated. Inclusion in religious states also appears to increase the likelihood of violent uprisings by large groups. The findings are generally robust to varying data aggregation, fixed effects modelling and batteries of control variables.

About the speaker: Charles ButcherCharles Butcher is an Associate Professor of Political Science in the Department of Sociology and Political Science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. His research focuses on explaining the onset and outcomes of violent and nonviolent resistance campaigns, especially in authoritarian states. His work has been published or is forthcoming at Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Conflict Resolution, International Studies Quarterly, International Interactions, Comparative Political Studies, The Review of International Studies and The Journal of Global Security Studies.
Venue: Room 498 Merewether building, H04 [map]


Thursday 10 May 2018, 1-2:30pm
Speaker: Professor Leonie Huddy
Stony Brook University
Topic: The Social Nature of Partisan Identity

There is growing evidence that partisanship is a powerful social identity in both US and Western Europe democracies. This holds both good and bad normative news. On one hand, strong partisans are defensive, conform to party norms, and dislike partisans of competing parties. On the other, they are more politically engaged and are especially likely to get involved in election campaigns working on behalf of their party. In this experimental study, we explore the conditions under which partisan animosity can be ameliorated without undermining strong partisan identities, contrasting two key approaches to the study of partisanship.

From an instrumental perspective, the growing negativity between Democrats and Republicans is due to increased ideological differences between the parties. In contrast, an expressive approach attributes the origins of partisan antipathy to the protection of group status in response to partisan threats and insults (Huddy et al 2005). In the current experiment, 300 MTurk workers are exposed to information that Democrat and Republican leaders have amicable or hostile relations, and that Republicans and Democrats are in conflict or agreement over a key policy issue.

About the speaker: Professor Leonie HuddyLeonie Huddy is a Professor of Political Science at Stony Brook University. She is the co-editor (with David O. Sears and Jack Levy) of the 2nd edition of the Oxford Handbook of Political Psychology, served as co-editor of the journal Political Psychology from 2005 till 2010, is past-president of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP), serves on the American National Election Studies Board of Overseers, appears regularly on CSB Radio as an exit poll analyst, and serves on numerous editorial boards in political science. Huddy has written extensively on social and political identities, emotions, reactions to terrorism, gender and politics, and race relations. She is the co-author (with Stanley Feldman and George Marcus) of the forthcoming book Going to War in Iraq: When Citizens and the Press Matter published by the University of Chicago Press.
Venue: Room 498 Merewether building, H04 [map]


Thursday 24 May 2018, 1-2:30pm
Speaker: Associate Professor Megan Mackenzie
University of Sydney
Eda Gunaydin
University of Sydney
Umeya Chaudhuri
University of Sydney
Topic: Sexual Violence in the Australian Defence Forces: mapping three decades of scandal and 'zero tolerance'?

This research examines nearly three decades of media coverage, and policy responses to sexual violence and assault in the Australian Defence Forces (ADF). This presentation focuses on media coverage of sexual violence and assault in the ADF, including trends, consistent frames, and patterns over time. This research focuses on several questions, including ‘why do particular events become framed as ‘scandals?’ We also identify consistent frames used to present sexual violence and assault as ‘exceptional.’ Finally, we outline how the ‘zero tolerance’ mantra is used consistently by policy makers in the wake of sexual violence scandals and note the consistent ways that politicians and policy makers make claims that the military does not tolerate regular assaults.

About the speaker: Associate Professor Megan MackenzieMegan MacKenzie is an Associate Professor in Government and International Relations. Her research bridges feminist international relations, security studies, and development studies and broadly examines gender, war, and militarism. Her recent research focuses on women's experiences as service members, including as combat soldiers. Megan is also working on a collaborative project focused on the impacts of transitional justice mechanisms. In particular, the project looks at the long-term effects of the truth and reconciliation commission in Sierra Leone and the extent to which it achieved its lofty objectives.

EdaEda Gunaydin is a current PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, studying postcolonial theory through the lens of Kurdish politics in Turkey and Syria. Her honours thesis, entitled 'Malleable allies? An applied discourse analysis of foreign policy, Kurdish identity and agency in Syria' received the University Medal and the Michael W. Jackson Prize in Fourth Year Government. She works as a research assistant to several academics in the Department of Government.

UmeyaUmeya Chaudhuri is a final semester Bachelor of Arts (Hons I)/Laws student at the University of Sydney. Her Honours thesis in the Department of Government and International Relations titled ‘M[a]sking Education: A securitising discourse of the “Heroic Third World Girl” Malala Yousafzai’ received the Helen Nelson Prize. Throughout her studies she has also received the Socio-Legal Studies prize and a Judicial Conference of Australia Scholarship for Social Justice. She currently works as a Research Assistant in both the University of Sydney School of Law and Department of Government and International Relations.

Venue: Room 498 Merewether building, H04 [map]


Thursday 7 June 2018, 1-2:30pm
Speaker: Dr Christian Downie
Australian National University
Topic: Business actors, political resistance, and strategies for policymakers

Existing energy policies remain well short of achieving a rapid transformation to a low carbon system of energy supply. One of the principal reasons has been political resistance from incumbent fossil fuel industries. While numerous studies have demonstrated the influence of business actors across multiple policy domains, less work has examined the behaviour of business actors in individual energy-centric industries, namely the oil, gas, coal, utility and renewable industries. Accordingly, this paper examines the role of business actors in the US energy sector and asks what should policymakers do? Drawing on new empirical data, primarily semi-structured interviewers with business actors across the US energy sector, this paper argues that there are specific strategies policymakers can employ to help overcome the resistance from incumbent fossil fuel industries. Specifically these are to: entrench and build existing interests via targeted sector specific policies; exploit inter-industry and intra-industry divisions; and shift existing interests with policies that induce changes in industry investment and structure.

About the speaker: Christian DownieChristian Downie is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2018-2021) and the Higher Degree Research Convenor in the School of Regulation and Global Governance at The Australian National University. He was previously a Vice Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of New South Wales. Christian has worked as a foreign policy advisor to the Australian Government’s Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and a climate policy advisor to the Department of Climate Change. Christian holds a PhD in international relations and political science from the Australian National University, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in economics. He has spent time teaching or researching at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the London School of Economics and Political Science and the University of Chulalongkorn, among others, and he has worked in policy think tanks in Canberra and Washington D.C. Christian is the author of more than 20 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters including publications in Global Environmental Politics, Energy Policy, Global Governance, International Affairs, and Third World Quarterly. His first book, The Politics of Climate Change Negotiations, was published in 2014.
Venue: Room 498 Merewether building, H04 [map]