Political Science and International Relations research students

See current research students within the Political Science and International Relations Programme.

Students are listed alphabetically under their respective programmes and degrees.

International Relations PhD candidates

Claire Fitzpatrick

Supervisors: Kate Schick and Michael Daubs (Media Studies)

Eric Jeunot

Thesis title: 'Challenging Putnam's 2 Level game theory under leadership of Statist Tribesmen'

Supervisors: Alex Bukh and Manjeet Pardesi

Ge Lai

Qualifications: BA (CCNU, Wuhan), MA (UIBE, Beijing)

Thesis Title: ‘Distribution of value chains: structure and institutions of regional economic integration in East Asia’

Supervisors: Xiaoming Huang and Ben Thirkell-White

Ge Lai received her MA in economics in 2014, from University of International Business and Economics (Beijing). Her thesis is that market driven industrial and productional forces are driving regionalism in East Asia. These productional networks from East Asia are global as well as regional. The structure of the East Asian economy explains the weakness of regionalism.

Areas of Interest: East Asia as a region of international political economy; global value chains; production network; the structure of regional economy.

Jieruo Li

Thesis title: 'Political Orientations, Geopolitics and Development Trajectory: Explaining Changes in Japan-China Relations in the 1990s'

Supervisors: Xiaoming Huang and Alex Bukh

Leonardo Milani

Thesis title: 'Nuclear Detterance under Cybernetic Asymetry'

Supervisors: Rob Ayson and Manjeet Pardesi

Lifang (Elaine) Peng

Thesis title: 'Creation, preservation and change of social institutions: China from 1949 to 2000'

Supervisors: Xiaoming Huang and Xavier Marquez

Hongtao (Thomas) Song

Thesis title: 'An Empirical Study on How an Upper-middle-income Country Became Developed: 1900-2014'

Supervisors: Ben Thirkell-White and Giacomo Chiozza

Dylan Stent

Thesis title: 'Competing notions of nationalism in South Korea and how this tempers security policy toward North Korea'

Supervisors: Van Jackson and Stephen Epstein (Asian Studies)

Political Science PhD candidates

Ronny Basista

Thesis title: 'Simplification of the Party System in Indonesia toward Governance Effectiveness: Challenges and limitation'

Supervisors: Jack Vowles and Jon Fraenkel

Christine Bogle

Thesis Title: 'Transitions to democracy in four Asia-Pacific Monarchies at the turn of the twenty-first century'

Supervisors: Jon Fraenkel and Jack Vowles

Christine is exploring the transition process and consolidation outlook of four monarchies (Tonga, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal) that have been engaged in democratisation processes in the second half of the twentieth century and into the current century.

Christine is a former diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has served in a number of overseas countries.

Sam Crawley

Qualifications: BIT (Otago Polytechnic), GDipArts, BA Hons (VUW)

Thesis title: 'Public will and the political response to climate change in developed, liberal democracies'

Supervisors: Hilde Coffe and Ralph Chapman (Environmental Science)

Sam Crawley’s thesis examines the relationship between public will and the political response to climate change in developed, liberal democracies. In many countries, including those that have inadequate climate change policy, the public broadly supports robust action on climate change. However, a closer examination of public opinion shows that many who support action rank climate change as a low priority issue, with issues such as the economy typically ranked higher. The thesis, then, investigates the nature of public will, and the extent to which it is a factor in the political response to climate change in different countries, comparing its influence to other factors such as that of economic elites.

Areas of Interest: Public opinion, political behaviour, environmental politics, climate change politics, political representation

Jie Huang

Qualifications: BA (Fujian Normal University, China), MA (Xiamen University, China)

Thesis Title: ‘Electoral Participation of Chinese New Zealanders’

Supervisors: Jack Vowles and Kate McMillan

Jie Huang’s has a special interest in the process of immigrants’ political integration. His research probes the electoral participation levels and patterns of Chinese New Zealanders, as well as various factors that influence them to pursue political engagement in the receiving country.

Areas of Interest: Electoral Behaviour, Public Opinion, Overseas Chinese Study

Pavithra Jayawardena

Qualifications: BA Hons, MA (University of Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Thesis title: 'Citizenship and Belonging of Sri Lankan Diaspora in New Zealand’

Supervisors: Kate McMillan and Ayca Arkilic

The concept of citizenship has traditionally been looked through the state’s point of view. In this research, Pavithra intends to look at citizenship through the lens of diasporic communities as to how they perceive it, while negotiating the sense of belonging with their home countries.

Prior to commencing the PhD, Pavithra was a lecturer in International Relations in the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Areas of Interest: Migration, Citizenship, Diaspora Studies

Kaitlin Martin-Feek

Thesis title: 'Sport as a "Terrain of Resistance": Counternarratives of National Identity within the New Zealand All Blacks'

Supervisor: Fiona Barker

Samuele Tonello

Thesis title: 'A contestatory provost to defend freedom as “non-domination”: Democracy, Republicanism and the Power to Contest'.

Supervisor: Xavier Marquez and Jack Vowles

Dr Dongfang (Linda) Wang

Qualifications: MA, PhD (Renmin University of Beijing)

Thesis title: 'The Third Wave: ‘Service’ Governance in China Urban Shequ

Supervisors: Xiaoming Huang and Jason Young

Dr Wang’s PhD project focuses on urban governance in China. She looks at Urban Community reform from the perspective of interactions between state and society. Her thesis hypothesises that the grassroots governance is not only in terms with democratic development, but also is an interaction between state and social forces, and an interactive process of public service delivery. Her thesis attempts to explore how the state governs the society, and what is thenewgovernance logic and mechanism in the Urban Community of China.

Areas of Interest: Comparative politics; Local governance; Chinese politics and government.

International Relations Master of Arts students

Aidan Doyle

Thesis title: 'How can Europe respond to Russian Information Aggression? A strategic narrative approach'

Supervisor: David Capie

Political Science Master of Arts students

Adam Osborne-Smith

Thesis title: 'The Dream of the dragon: A Content Analysis of Xi Jinping's "China Dream"'

Supervisor: Jason Young

Kate Smith

Thesis title: 'New Zealand's Greatest Prime Ministers: A comparative study of Primeministerial performance'.

Supervisor: Stephen Levine