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Our people

The Politics Programme is a vibrant community of experts from many different countries who take students and students’ interests seriously. Our staff are all experts in their fields, and all are actively engaged in research which enriches their teaching.

Politics staff will respond to emails only during business hours Monday–Friday.

For a complete listing of staff phone and email contacts please visit the University of Otago phone book.

Head of Politics

Brian Roper 2019 ThumbnailAssociate Professor Brian Roper

New Zealand politics, political economy, social inequality, gender and feminism, Marxism, history and theories of democracy


Academic staff

Lisa Ellis thumbnailProfessor Lisa Ellis

Political Theory
PhPE Director


Leon Goldsmith 2020 thumbnailDr Leon Goldsmith

Middle Eastern and Comparative Politics


Janine Hayward thumbProfessor Janine Hayward

New Zealand politics, Treaty of Waitangi, environmental politics, local government, electoral systems and reform, constitutional politics
Kaiāwhina Māori


James Headley image 2016Associate Professor James Headley

Russian foreign policy, the European Union, nationalism and ethnic conflict, International Relations theory
On research and study leave in semester 2, 2020


David Jenkins thumbnail 2020Dr David Jenkins

Political theory


Nicholas Khoo image 2017Associate Professor Nicholas Khoo

China's foreign and security policy, international relations of Asia, International Relations theory, strategic studies, Cold War history
Student Exchange Adviser


Philip Nel image 2017Professor Philip Nel

The political economy of inequality, corruption and development, foreign policies of emerging powers, ethics and international relations
PhD Co-ordinator


Robert Patman image 2017Professor Robert Patman

US foreign policy, international relations, global security, great powers and the Horn of Africa
On research and study leave in semester 2, 2020
MIntSt Director
International student contact


Chris Rudd image 2016Dr Chris Rudd

Politics of the media
MPols Convenor (2020)
HUMS301 contact


Vicki Spencer image 2016Associate Professor Vicki Spencer

Contemporary political theory, multiculturalism, toleration, the politics of recognition, humility, comparative political theory, feminist theory, History of Ideas including J. G. Herder, the Enlightenment, John Locke


Lena Tan image 2016Dr Lena Tan

Postcolonialism, International Relations theory, constructivism, identity, Indonesia, US foreign policy
MA Admissions
Dip Grad contact


Emeritus Professor

Jim Flynn image 2016Professor Jim Flynn

Emeritus Professor, Joint Department of Psychology


William Harris image 2016Professor William Harris

Politics and history of the Levant states and Turkey, Middle East comparative and international politics


Honorary staff

Najib Lafraie image 2016Dr Najibullah Lafraie


General staff

Justine Marshall 2019 thumbnailJustine Marshall

Client Services Administrator


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