Graham Hassall

Associate Professor
School of Government

Teaching in 2020


  • BA(Hons), B.Ed, PhD (ANU)

Research interests

Graham’s principal research interests are Public Governance in the Pacific Islands, and Global Studies. Specific research topics include:

  • Parliaments, democracy, and electoral systems
  • Public leadership
  • Peace, security, and conflict resolution
  • United Nations studies
  • Pacific Island States and Global Governance
  • Global Public Policy networks

For information on the Pacific Islands Public Policy project, click here.


Graham commenced as Associate Professor, Public Policy and Administration, in the School of Government in 2010 after teaching at the University of the South Pacific 2004-2009, Landegg Academy in Switzerland 2000-2003, and the University of Melbourne 1990-2000. He has also had visiting positions at the University of Papua New Guinea, the National Research Institute in Papua New Guinea, the Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University, Japan, and the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

He has participated in a range of academic, professional and policy networks, including LAWASIA; Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand Electoral Administrators (PIANZEA); Asia Pacific Mediation Forum (APMF); Global Project for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC Pacific); Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE); the UNDP’s Informal technical Conflict Prevention and Recovery Consultative Group (CPR CG) for the Pacific region; the Pacific Islands Forum’s Forum Regional Security Committee (FRSC); the Commonwealth Local Government Forum - Pacific Project (CLGF); Emerging Pacific Leaders Dialogue (EPLD), and the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Commonwealth Pacific Forum of Central Agencies.

Other engagements have included the Pacific Human Resources for Health Alliance (WHO, 2008-9); the Informal Settlements Reference Group (NZ Aid, 2007); the “Peace, Stability and Development Assessment Advisory Group” (Ministry of National Unity and Reconciliation, Fiji, 2006); the PIANZEA-BRIDGE Advisory Group (2006 – 2009); and the “Fiji Good Local Governance campaign” steering group (Ministry of Local Government and Commonwealth Local Government Forum, 2006).

In recent years Graham has undertaken projects for the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, UNDESA, UNDP, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, Global Integrity, and the Commonwealth Secretariat; and has participated in public sector training programs for ANZSOG (PACE), the Fiji Public Service Commission, the Fiji Police, and the Australian Public Service Commission (Pacific Program). He currently serves on the advisory board of the Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, and the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies. He was President of the United Nations Association of New Zealand 2012-16. Since 2014 he has been Academic Director of the Papua New Guinea Foreign Service Training Programme.

Recent publications


  • Hassall, G. & Cheryl Saunders, Asia Pacific Constitutional Systems, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Book chapters and articles

  • Hassall G. (2016) Democracy in the Pacific: Tensions between "System and Life-world". In: Holtz A, Kowasch M, Hasenkamp O (eds) A Region in Transition: Politics and Power in the Pacific Island Countries. Saarbrücken: Saarland University Press, 313-360.
  • Hassall, G. 2013. Who is Leading the Pacific, as a Region? Canterbury Law Review, 18, 5-13.
  • Hassall, G. 2013. Faith-based organisations and social policy in Melanesia. Australian Journal of Social Issues.
  • Thornton, A., Hassall, G. & , M. S. 2012. Givers and Governance: the potential of faith-based development in the Asia Pacific. Development in Practice, 22, 779-791.
  • Hassall, G. 2011. "The Parliamentary Committee System of Papua New Guinea Parliament 1975-1997", Comparative Law Journal of the Pacific (17), pp. 29-41.
  • Lynch, B. & Hassall, G. 2011. (eds), Resilience in the Pacific: Addressing the Critical Issues, Wellington: New Zealand Institute of International Affairs and Institute for Policy Studies.
  • Hassall, G. (2010). “The Commonwealth Local Government Pacific Project: Seeking ‘most significant change’”. Commonwealth Journal Of Local Governance, 0(5). Retrieved April 21, 2010, from
  • Hassall, G., “The Republic of Palau”, in Stephen Levine (ed), Politics and Government in the Pacific Islands, Victoria University Press, 2009, pp. 170-177.
  • Hassall, G., “The mediation of public policy disputes in Pacific islands: the case of Fiji”, in Dale Bagshaw and Elisabeth Porter (editors) Mediation in the Asia-Pacific Region: Transforming Conflicts and Building Peace, 2009, Routledge.
  • Hassall, G. & Susan Grey, “Media and Democracy in Fiji: an assessment of the print media’s coverage of the Office of the Auditor General in Fiji”, Fijian Studies, 2008.
  • Hassall, G., (2008) “Good Governance and Political Developments in the Pacific: Can existing concepts and institutions deliver security?”, In Kennedy Graham (ed), Models of Regional Governance for Pacific Island States: The Future Architecture of Pacific Regionalism, University of Canterbury Press, Christchurch, 161-188.
  • Hassall, G. & Kennedy Graham, (2008) “Conclusion”, in Kennedy Graham (ed), Models of Regional Governance for Pacific Island States: The Future Architecture of Pacific Regionalism, University of Canterbury Press, Christchurch, 211-216.
  • Hassall, G. & Feue Tipu, (2008) “Local Government in the Pacific Islands”, Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, 1: May, 1-24.
  • Hassall, G., “Vanuatu” in Brown, M. Anne (Ed.), 2007: Security and Development in the Pacific Islands: Social Resilience in Emerging States (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner.
  • Hassall, G., (2007) “Pacific Islands Parliamentary Websites: A Preliminary Survey”, in B.C. Prasad & D.C. Roy (eds), Development Problems and Prospects in Pacific Islands, Nova Science Publishers: New York 121-136.

Recent conference and seminar presentations

  • (2016) ”The International Legislature: The UN General Assembly and the Inter Parliamentary Union: Collaborators or rivals?”, “We the Peoples: Global Citizenship and Constitutionalism”: A conference convened by the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies, the United Nations Association of New Zealand, and the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, Victoria University of Wellington, 22nd July.
  • (2016) - G20 Interfaith Summit: Pacific Region Pre-Conference: Religion and Sustainable Development in the Pacific, Suva, Fiji, 2-4 May.
  • (2016)- “The “March of Folly” reaches the Pacific: Pacific States participation in United Nations Climate Change Diplomacy”. In the Eye of the Storm: Pacific Climate Change Conference, Victoria University of Wellington, 15-17 February.
  • (2015) “Challenges of innovation in public services in Small Island States”, 12th Pacific Public Service Commissioners’ Conference, Niue, 16th -17th September.
  • (2015) “The Role of Central Agencies in Public Policy Development and Implementation”, 4th Commonwealth Pacific Forum of Central Agencies, “Strengthening Public Policy Development and Implementation Process”, Apia, Samoa, 12th – 14th May.
  • Hassall, G., & Celsus Talifilu (2015), “Performance and Reform in the National Parliament of Solomon Islands”, Australasian Study of Parliament Group Conference, Wellington, 1 October.
  • Hassall, G. & Rowena Cullen (2014), “Researching eGovernment in the Pacific Islands: preliminary findings”, PACINET 2014, Rarotonga, Cook Islands, 22-26 September.
  • Hassall, G., & Rowena Cullen,(2014) “eGovernment in SIDS: the case of Samoa”, The Samoa Conference III, Apia, 26th -29th August.
  • (2014) “Local Government in the Pacific Islands: the Village of the Future and the Future of the Village”, CLGF Pacific Local Government Research Forum, Port Moresby, 19th May.
  • (2014) “Global Governance for Global Public Goods and the Global Commons”, “Global Governance, Global Commons, & Global Public Goods: The State of Play”(Institute for Governance and Policy Studies, New Zealand Centre for Global Studies, & United Nations Association of New Zealand), Victoria University of Wellington, 9-10 May.
  • Hassall, G., & Rowena Cullen (2013), “eGovernment in the Pacific Islands: an information ecology approach”, Papua New Guinea Computer Society Annual Seminar, Port Moresby, 13th November.
  • (2013) “Authority, Democracy, and Constitutionalism: recent experience in the Pacific Islands”, The 5th Asian Constitutional Law Forum: “Authority, Democracy, and the Establishment of Constitutionalism”, Beijing, 19-20 October
  • (2013) “Comparative Law and the Development of Constitutional Law: A Habermasian perspective on constitutional dialogue in Asia Pacific jurisdictions”, 1st Padjadjaran International Conference on International and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, 22-24th October.
  • Hassall, G. & Rowena Cullen (2013), “eGovernment in the Pacific Islands: an information ecology approach”, PACINET, Nuku’alofa, Tonga, 9-13th September.
  • Hassall, G. & Rowena Cullen, (2013) “eGovernment in the Pacific Islands: an information ecology approach”, National University of Samoa, Apia, 26th June.
  • Hassall, G. & Morgan Tuimaleali’ifano (2012), “Malietoa Tanumafili II: the New Zealand connection”, Pacific History Association Conference, Victoria University of Wellington, 6th December.
  • Hassall, G. & F. Tipu (2009), “Intergovernmental Relations in the Pacific Islands, Commonwealth Local Government Research Colloquium, Freeport, Bahamas 10-11 May.
  • (2008) “The Legal Politics of Constitutional Reform in the Pacific”, Australasian Law Reform Agencies Conference, Port Vila, 10-12 September.
  • (2009) “Parliaments in the Asia-Pacific Region: Institutional Characteristics”, Parliamentary Careers: Capacity Building for Parliamentarians Worldwide Round Table, Tanoa International, Nadi, Fiji, 28-30 September.
  • (2009) “Fundamentals of Democracy”, Leadership Fiji, Suva, 26 August.
  • (2009) “Strengthening integrity in Government – Fiji’s Scorecard for Global Integrity’s 2008 World Report”, Fiji Economy Update, Suva 28th July, Labasa 30th July & Brisbane 14 August.
  • (2009) “Case Studies from the Region on Governance Issues”, Pacific Youth Festival, Suva, July 13th – 18th.
  • (2009) “Governance”, Young Professionals Training and Development Forum, Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, Suva, 20 May.
  • (2009) “Special challenges facing small states”, Commonwealth Local Government Conference, Freeport, Bahamas 10-11 May.
  • (2009) “Political Parties, Political Communication, and prospects for peace and improved parliamentary democracy in Pacific Islands.”, Pacific Conference on Growth and Development: Reconciling Culture, Tradition, Science and Politics in market economies, Fiji Institute of Technology, Suva, 25-27 March.
  • (2008) “Brief report on informal settlements”, Fiji Local Government Association, Meeting on informal settlements, Suva City Council Chambers, 18 November.
  • (2008) “Capacity Building for Enhanced Security: Regional capacities”, Pacific-Island Nation Security Collaboration, Workshop, Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Nuku’ Alofa, Tonga, 16-19 September.
  • (2008) “The role of accountability in the promotion and protection of democracy, the rule of law and human rights”, Transitional Justice Pacific Roundtable, Nadi, Fiji, 27 July.
  • (2008) “Enhancing Good Governance and the Rule of Law in the Pacific Islands – The Role of Parliamentarians”, Parliamentarians for Global Action Pacific Regional Workshops, Apia, Samoa, 17-18 March.
  • (2008) Workshop on Promoting Trust in Government, Through Innovations in Governance in Asia and the Pacific, East-West Center, Honolulu, 28 – 30 January.
  • Hassall, G., (2008) “Leadership in Pacific Island Nations: A preliminary assessment”, 7th Annual International Conference on Studying Leadership, Auckland, 8-9 December.