Fiona Barker

Dr Fiona Barker profile picture

Senior Lecturer School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations


Teaching in 2020

Research interests

Immigration; European Politics; nationalism; ethnic politics; comparative politics; governance of diverse societies


  • BA Hons, MA VUW
  • PhD Harvard


Fiona Barker is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics. Prior to joining the Programme she was a Jean Monnet Postdoctoral Scholar at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy, and before that completed her PhD at Harvard University. Her research and teaching interests focus on nationalism, immigration, multinational societies, representation, identity politics, and the governance of diversity in contemporary democracies. She has presented and published on the politics of immigration and integration in multinational, multilevel societies in Europe and North America, as well as on immigration policies, national identity and electoral reform in New Zealand. She has been a visiting fellow at various institutions, including the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin, CERI-Sciences Po Paris, Université Québec à Montréal, and the University of Edinburgh.

Current research projects

Fiona has recently completed a book, Nationalism, Identity and the Governance of Diversity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), which examines the politics of sub-state nationalism and immigrant integration in multinational, multilevel societies, with particular focus on the politics of immigration in Flanders, Quebec and Scotland. New comparative research, supported by a Victoria University of Wellington University Research Grant, extends this line of research to examine the experiences of immigrant-origin citizens elected to national and regional legislatures. Further, a collaborative research project (with Kate McMillan) is investigating the facilitators and inhibitors of voting among both citizen and non-citizen immigrants to New Zealand.

Thesis supervision

Fiona is interested in supervising graduate research at both the Masters and Doctoral level in the following broad areas:

  • political representation
  • politics of immigration and migrant integration
  • governance of ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity
  • nationalism, national identity
  • politics of multinationalism

Recent publications

Barker, F and K McMillan, ‘Factors influencing the electoral participation of Asian immigrants in New Zealand’, Political Science, Vol. 69, Issue 2, 2017.

Barker, F and K McMillan, ‘Introduction: researching immigrant and emigrant voting’, Political Science, Vol. 69, Issue 2, 2017

Barker, F and K McMillan (eds), Special Issue: Researching immigrant and emigrant voting in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Political Science, Vol. 69, Issue 2, 2017.

Barker, F, Nationalism, Identity and the Governance of Diversity: Old Politics, New
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

Barker, F, 'National Identity and Diversity', in J. Hayward (ed) New Zealand Government and Politics (6th ed) (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015).

Barker, F and K McMillan, 'Constituting the Democratic Public: New Zealand's Extension of National Voting Rights to Non-Citizens', New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law 12: 1, 2014, pp 61-80.

R Zapata-Barrero and F Barker, 'Multi-level governance of immigration in multinational states: Who Governs reconsidered', in E Hepburn and R Zapata-Barrero (eds), The Politics of Immigration in Multi-level States: governance and political parties, (2014, Palgrave Macmillan), pp 19-40.

Barker, F, 'Le droit de vote des étrangers en Nouvelle-Zélande', Migrations Société, vol. 25, n°. 146, mars-avril 2013, pp 117-128.

Barker, F, 'La residence, socle de la citoyenneté néozélandaise', Hommes et Libertés, n° 161, 2013, pp 54-56.

Barker, F, 'Immigration and Contested Nation-building: explaining the political salience of immigration in multi-national societies', GRITIM (Interdisciplinary Research Group in Immigration) Working Paper (Barcelona: Universitat Pompeu-Fabra, Number 13, Autumn 2012).

Barker, F, 'New Zealand Identity', in Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand (Wellington: Ministry for Culture and Heritage), 2012.

Barker, F, 'We, the Peoples: Debating constitutional change in New Zealand’s diverse population', Post-Treaty Settlements Project (Institute of Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, 2011).

Barker, F, 'Learning to be a Majority: Negotiating immigration, integration and national membership in Quebec', Political Science 62: 1, 2010, 11-36.

Barker, F, 'Maximizing the migration policy buck: uniting temporary labor, development and foreign policy goals in New Zealand', Policy and Society, 29, 2010, pp 321-331.

Barker, F and D Capie, 'Identity as a Variable in Canadian and New Zealand Politics', Political Science 62: 1, 2010, pp 3-10.

Barker, F, 'Political Culture: Patterns and Issues', in R. Miller (ed) New Zealand Government and Politics (5th ed.) (Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 13-28.

Barker, F, 'Challenging the sub-state nation: Brussels and the development of Flemish migrant incorporation policies', in Riedl, R, S Aksartova, and K Mitchell (eds) Bridging Disciplines, Spanning the World: Approaches to Inequality, Identity, and Institutions (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, 2006), pp 155-181.

Barker, F, J Boston, S Levine, E McLeay & NS Roberts, 'An Initial Assessment of the Consequences of MMP in New Zealand', in Shugart, M & M Wattenberg (eds) Mixed-Member Electoral Systems: The Best of Both Worlds? (New York: Oxford University Press, 2001), pp 297-322.

Barker, F & E McLeay, 'How much change? An analysis of the initial impact of proportional representation on the New Zealand parliamentary party system', Party Politics 6: 2, 2000, pp 131-154.

Barker, F & S Levine, 'The Individual Parliamentary Member and Institutional Change: the Changing Role of the New Zealand Member of Parliament', Journal of Legislative Studies 5: 3-4, 1999, pp 105-130.

Barker, F, (1997) 'Negotiating with New Zealand First: A Study of its Coalition Agreements with National and Labour', in Boston, J, S Levine, E McLeay & NS Roberts (eds) (1997) From Campaign to Coalition: The 1996 MMP Election (Palmerston North: Dunmore Press, 1997), pp 247-273.


Teaching in 2020