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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 phonebook.

Head of Politics

Philip Nel image 2017Professor Philip Nel

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

Academic staff

Leon Goldsmith 2021 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
PhD Co-ordinator
Course Adviser

James Headley image 2016Associate Professor James Headley

Russian foreign policy, the European Union, nationalism and ethnic conflict, International Relations theory
Course Adviser

David Jenkins thumbnail 2020Dr David Jenkins

Political theory
MA Admissions
DipGrad contact

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

Robert Patman image 2017Professor Robert Patman

US foreign policy, international relations, global security, great powers and the Horn of Africa
MIntSt Director
International student contact

Brian Roper 2019 ThumbnailAssociate Professor Brian Roper

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

Chris Rudd image 2016Dr Chris Rudd

Politics of the media
Student Exchange Adviser

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
MPols Convenor

Christine Winter thumbnailDr Christine Winter

Environmental justice, multispecies justice, indigenous justice, decolonial and anticolonial theory.
Kaiāwhina Māori

Part-time academic staff

Lisa Ellis imageProfessor Lisa Ellis

Peter Grace 2022 imageDr Peter Grace

Jim Guest thumbnailJim Guest

Joshua JamesJoshua James thumbnail

Emeritus Professor

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


Bronwyn Craig

Client Services Administrator

Postgraduate student profiles

Postgraduate student profiles

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