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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 Thumbnail Associate Professor Brian Roper
New Zealand politics, political economy, social inequality, gender and feminism, Marxism, history and theories of democracy

Academic staff

Lisa Ellis_thumbnail_100395 Professor Lisa Ellis
Political Theory
PhPE Director
Leon Goldsmith thumbnail Dr Leon Goldsmith
Middle Eastern and Comparative Politics
JanineHayward thumb

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

Jim 2016

Associate Professor James Headley
Russian foreign policy, the European Union, nationalism and ethnic conflict, International Relations theory
100-level student Adviser
MPols Convenor (2019)
Course Adviser

Nicholas 2017

Associate Professor Nicholas Khoo
On Research and Study leave from 9 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.
China's foreign and security policy, international relations of Asia, International Relations theory, strategic studies, Cold War history
Student Exchange Adviser

Philip 2017

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


Robert 2017

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

Chris 2016

Dr Chris Rudd
Politics of the media
PPE Student Adviser
HUMS301 contact

Vicki 2016 Associate 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 2016

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

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Emeritus Professor

JimF 2016

Professor Jim Flynn
Emeritus Professor, Joint Department of Psychology

William 2016

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

Honorary staff

Najib 2016

Dr Najibullah Lafraie

General staff

Justine Marshall
Client Services Administrator

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