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Senior Lecturer

ContactGreg Rawlings_large

Room 7N7
Tel +64 3 479 4905

Research interests

  • Globalisation, transnationalism, citizenship
  • Statelessness
  • Political, legal and economic anthropology
  • History and anthropology
  • Anthropology of taxation, 'tax havens' and offshore finance centres



Gregory Rawlings is a Senior Lecturer in the Social Anthropology Programme in the School of Social Sciences, Division of Humanities at the University of Otago. Greg's research and teaching focuses on processes of globalisation, transnationalism and citizenship, with particular attention given to the synergies between socio-cultural anthropology and history.

Greg's PhD (2003) in Anthropology from the Australian National University (ANU), was based on 23 months ethnographic fieldwork in Pango village (a peri-urban community located just outside of the country's capital, Port Vila), where he explored the social, cultural and economic impacts of the Vanuatu tax haven on indigenous livelihoods. This has resulted in publications on urbanisation in Vanuatu specifically that have informed wider debates in the Pacific. From 2002–2005, Greg was Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for Tax System Integrity (CTSI) at the ANU where he carried out multi-sited and mixed-methods research on tax compliance in Australia, offshore finance in Andorra, Guernsey, Samoa and Singapore, and money laundering in The Netherlands. From 2006-2007, Greg lectured in the School of Archaeology & Anthropology at the ANU. During this period he pursued a number of applied anthropological projects and collaborative research endeavours with external agencies, most notably Australia's AusAID, examining governance, oversight institutions (auditors general, ombudsmen, parliamentary accounts committees and financial intelligence units) and leadership codes in the Pacific. Greg continues to write on taxation, the relationship between anthropology and taxation, and offshore finance.

Since his appointment at Otago in June 2007, Greg has embarked on a new research project that is informed by thematic interests in history and anthropology, and law and society, to examine questions of 'race', citizenship and human rights in Vanuatu, as part of British colonial policy during the decolonisation of empire in the second half of the twentieth century. The first of a series of findings from this research are available in articles published in History & Anthropology, The Journal of Pacific History, TAJA: The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Twentieth Century British History, and a book chapter in the edited collection (Eds. J. Leckie, A. McCarthy & A. Wanhalla), Migrant Cross-Cultural Encounters in Asia and the Pacific, published by Routledge.  Although Greg's research areas are diverse, they are unified by an interest in the relationship between law, society and culture within the historically informed paradigms of transnationalism, globalisation and citizenship that frame much of contemporary social and cultural anthropology. He also works with a number of MA and PhD postgraduate students working in areas of transnationalism, globalisation and citizenship and in August 2011, Greg's supervision was recognised with the Top Humanities Supervisor of the Year award at the University of Otago.

Current supervision of student research, Anthropology, University of Otago (Primary supervisor)

PhD students

Duke McLeod. Islamic Veganism: Religious and Spiritual Attitudes of Muslims Interested in Veganism and their Motivations for Lifestyle Change.

Dreux (Drew) Richard. The Rising Sun in Africa: Japan, Biafra and the Grey Market Between.

Lin Zhang. Chinese Middle-Class Parents' Choices of Overseas Schooling and the Reproduction of Class Identity in Globalising China.

MA students

Erena Robins. Mapping Changing Narratives of Fear: Public Reactions Towards Refugee Flows in the US and Germany.

Completed supervision of student research, Anthropology, University of Otago (Primary Supervisor)

Honours students


Amy Hema (Hons - 1st Class), (Otago, 2019). Hustle of the Precariate: Performative Workaholism in Neoliberal Times.


Duke McLeod (Hons - 1st Class), (Otago, 2018). A Path of Justice and Compassion: About Vegan Muslims and Islamic Veganism.


Elizabeth Corbett. BA (Hons - 1st Class), (Otago, 2017). Entering the Sugar Bowl: Constructions of Agency and Intimacy in the Media  .

Lin Zhang. BA (Hons - 1st Class), (Otago, 2017). The Parental Choices of Overseas Schooling Among Chinese Middle Class – A Perspective from the Indigenous Chinese Concept of Quan Zi.

Nathan Hope-Johnstone. BA (Hons 2:1), (Otago, 2017). Fans are Slans': The Science fiction fandom's interaction with gender, race and identity, and its impact on the culture of the Science fiction genre.


Briar Bradfield-Watson BA (Hons - 1st Class), (Otago, 2016). Fitspiration, Fitness, and Body Image.


Jean Robertson. BA (Hons 2:1), (Otago, 2014). Private Place/Public Space: Challenges to Land Access, Use and Ownership in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Harry Saunderson Warner, BA (Hons — 1st Class), (Otago, 2012). Online Embodiment, Facebook and the Construction of Self.


Mattie Koenders, BA (Hons — 1st Class), (Otago, 2011). Living the Wanaka Dream: Networking the
Divide Between Work, Leisure and Ski Tourism in New Zealand's Southern Alps.

Danielle McGivern, BA (Hons — 1st Class), (Otago, 2011). The Human Terrain System: A Militarisation of Anthropology.


Juliet Checketts nee Begley, BA (Hons — 1st Class), (Otago, 2010). The Politics of Concealment: The Manifestations of Race in the Northern Territory Emergency Response Intervention.


Kirsten Stallard, BA (Hons — 1st Class), (Otago, 2008). RSE Participants in the Print Media of Marlborough.

MA students

Kirsten Stallard, BA (Hons — 1st Class), (Otago, 2009). Neighbours and Social Capital in the wake of the Christchurch Earthquake.
A copy of this thesis can be read here:

William (Will) Anderson, BPhEd (Hons) (Otago, 2009), BA (Otago, 2010). Shadow Cultures, Shadow Histories: Foreign Military Personnel in Africa, 1960–1980. (Distinction). 12/07/2010–30/11/2011.
A copy of this thesis can be read here:

Jeffrey Scofield, BA (University of California at Santa Cruz, 2008). The Promotion of Place: Immigration
Policies, Citizenship and Economic Reform in New Zealand
. 01/03/2010–30/06/2011.
A copy of this thesis can be read here:

PhD students

Ben Wate, Negotiating the Sacred Space: A Comparative Study of the Dynamics of Culture and Christian Theology on Women in the South Sea Evangeical Church, and in the Anglican Church of Melanesia, Small Malaita, Solomon Islands. 01/07/2015–16/12/2020. A copy of this thesis can be read here:

Nancy Earth, Contemporary Kagoshima Artist-potters: Gender, Tradition and Creativity. 01/01/2010–18/05/2019.

Mei Ding, The Travelling Minzu: Uyghur Migration and the Negotiation of Identities in China and Australia. 01/01/2011–15/12/2014. The abstract for this thesis can be read here:

Rochelle-lee Bailey, Working the Vines: Seasonal Migration, Money and Development in New Zealand and Ambrym, Vanuatu. 23/03/2010–29/10/2014.
A copy of this thesis can be read here:
Rochelle is now Research Fellow at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University. More information about her current research is available at:


Rawlings, G. (2022). From capitation taxes to tax havens: British fiscal policies in a colonial island world. In G. K. Bhambra & J. McClure (Eds.), Imperial inequalities: The politics of economic governance across European empires. (pp. 259-279). Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. doi: 10.7765/9781526166159.00024

Rawlings, G. (2019). Stateless persons, eligible citizens and protected places: The British Nationality Act in Vanuatu. Twentieth Century British History, 30(1), 53-80. doi: 10.1093/tcbh/hwy011

Rawlings, G. (2017). Shifting profits and hidden accounts: Regulating tax havens. In P. Drahos (Ed.), Regulatory theory: Foundations and applications. (pp. 653-674). Canberra, Australia: ANU Press. doi: 10.22459/RT.02.2017

Rawlings, G. (2017). Asymmetrical ambiguities: The 'White Australia policy', travel, migration and citizenship in Vanuatu, 1945-1953. In J. Leckie, A. McCarthy & A. Wanhalla (Eds.), Migrant cross-cultural encounters in Asia and the Pacific. (pp. 117-134). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Rawlings, G. (2015). The geo-classifications of colonial statelessness: The anthropology of Kastom, land and citizenship in the decolonisation of Vanuatu. Australian Journal of Anthropology, 26(2), 145-173. doi: 10.1111/taja.12108

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