PEOPLE

Co-Directors: Dr Samantha Balaton-Chrimes (Deakin University), Dr Rebecca Monson (Australian National University) and Mr Gashahun Lemessa Fura (University of Melbourne)

Advisory Board: Prof. Jon Altman (Deakin University), Prof. Sundhya Pahuja (University of Melbourne)

 

Members:

Prof. Jon Altman

Professor of Anthropology, Deakin University

Jon is a research professor at the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, Melbourne and an emeritus professor at the Australian National University in Canberra located at the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet) in the College of Asia and the Pacific. His academic background is in economics and anthropology and he was the Foundation Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research at ANU from 1990 to 2010 and a research professor there 2010 to 2014. Jon’s research currently focuses on four broad areas: Alternative development for difference: the Indigenous hybrid and domestic moral economies; the links between poverty alleviation and natural and cultural resource management on Indigenous lands; the Northern Territory Emergency Response Intervention and its aftermath; and Indigenous policy formulation and reform especially in the areas of social and economic development. His theoretical interests are in political economy and political ecology and alternatives to embedded neoliberalism.

 

Dr Andrea Babon

Andrea is a proud geographer and an environmental policy and governance specialist. She has over 15 years’ experience working in research, policy analysis and advocacy roles to promote and support sustainable and inclusive development, with in-country experience in Cambodia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Malaysia. She is currently working as a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Human Security and Social Change at La Trobe University, managing the University’s support to the Papua New Guinea Governance Program – a partnership between the governments of PNG and Australia.

 

Dr Samantha Balaton-Chrimes
Lecturer in International Studies, Deakin University

Samantha Balaton-Chrimes is concerned with enduring political questions about how difference is negotiated in contexts of power asymmetries. Her work is interdisciplinary in nature, engaging political theory, anthropology and development studies. Her most recent research focuses on international development and global north/south relationships as they play out ‘on the ground’, particularly through practices of participation, consultation, consent-giving and complaint-making as tools for the management of disagreement over development.

 

Assoc. Prof. M. Anne Brown

M. Anne Brown is a Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Global Research and teaches in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University, Melbourne. Research and practice interests focus on the emergence of political community across division, peace-building and state formation in heterogeneous states, social dialogue processes, social resilience and the interface of practice and theory. She led the University of Queensland arm of the Vanuatu Kastom Governance Partnership, working with the Vanuatu Malvatumauri Council of Chiefs from 2005-20012. Anne is a director of PaCSIA, an NGO working on dialogue processes in Australia and the broader region. She is the author of Human Rights and the Borders of Suffering: The Promotion of Human Rights in International Politics, MUP, as well as numerous articles and chapters, and the editor of Security and Development in the Pacific Islands: Social Resilience in Emerging States, Lynne Rienner.

 

Tait Brimacombe

Tait is a Research Fellow with La Trobe University’s Institute for Human Security and Social Change, where she has been employed since 2015 as part of the Developmental Leadership Program research partnership. Her research interests as part of this role include: women’s leadership, coalitions and collective action, and digital activism in the Pacific region.

In addition, Tait is in the final stages of completing her PhD in International Development through the University of Adelaide, exploring the intersection of communication for development and gender in Vanuatu and Fiji. In addition, Tait course coordinates the University of Adelaide’s final year development course – aid policy and administration.

 

Tim Budge

Tim Budge has over 25 years of international development experience, including research, consulting, evaluation, senior management and governance roles. His PhD involved participatory research on change processes in informal settlements in Southern Africa. He seeks to apply critical learnings – particularly about the preferencing of Western power and ontologies in development approaches – to his practical involvement in the sector, including as a Board member and consultant.

 

Moeen Cheema

Moeen Cheema is a Senior Lecturer at the ANU College of Law, and the Convenor of the LLM program in Law, Governance and Development. Moeen has considerable experience of research, teaching and consultancy in the fields of comparative public law, criminal law, and legal and political developments in South Asia.

Moeen’s research is interdisciplinary and draws on critical approaches to law. He is especially interested in constitutional politics and judicial review; criminal justice systems; intersection of state and Islamic law; and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.

 

Dr John Cox

John Cox is an anthropologist working as a Research Fellow at the Institute for Human Security and Social Change at La Trobe University. He has twenty years of experience working in the Pacific Islands, including Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Fiji. His prize-winning PhD investigated developmental projects of nation-making and financial fraud in Papua New Guinea. His current research focuses on the emerging middle class within the Pacific region, particularly the links between Christian moral values, economic aspirations and politics. 

 

Dr Julia Dehm

Julia Dehm is a Lecturer at the La Trobe University School of Law. She was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas at Austin and a fellow at the Institute for Global Law and Policy at Harvard Law School. Her research critically examines international climate regulation, the governance of natural resources, environmental law as well as human rights and she has published widely on these themes. She is the Managing Editor of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment and holds a BA, LLB(Hons) and PhD from the University of Melbourne. 

 

Dr Erin Fitz-Henry

Erin Fitz-Henry is a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Melbourne. A Latin Americanist by training, she is primarily concerned with the politics and poetics of transnational social movement building, with a particular emphasis on movements for environmental justice. Her most recent research focuses on the rights of nature in Ecuador, the United States, and New Zealand.

 

Dr Bina Fernandez

Dr Bina Fernandez is Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on gender, migration and social policy. Research awards include an Australian Research Council award (2015-2017) and a British Academy Small Grant in 2010. She is the author of Transformative Policy for Poor Women: a new Feminist Framework (Ashgate, 2012), and the co-editor of Land, Labour and Livelihoods: Indian Women’s Perspectives (Springer 2016) and Migrant Domestic Workers in the Middle East: the Home and the World (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2014).

 

Gashahun Fura

PhD candidate, the University of Melbourne

Gashahun Fura PhD candidate at the Melbourne Law School. He holds L.L.M (cum laude) in International Trade and Investment Law from the University of the Western Cape and University of Amsterdam, MA in International Development from Tsinghua University, and LL.B from Addis Ababa University. His areas of research interests include International Economic Law, Law and Development; and Human Rights Law. His PhD research examines the role of (international) law in the rising large-scale land acquisitions in sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, he was a lecturer in law at Jimma University, Ethiopia, where he also served in various administrative posts including as Dean of College of Social Sciences and Law.

 

Dr Tanya Jakimow

Dr Tanya Jakimow is a senior lecturer and convener of the Undergraduate Development Studies Stream at UNSW Sydney. Tanya’s current research funded by an ARC DECRA (2013-17) reveals the micro-politics of development through the experiences of volunteers in a state-led community driven development program in Medan, Indonesia, and those of women municipal councillors in Dehradun, India. Tanya’s latest book Decentring Development: Understanding change in agrarian societies (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) examines livelihoods and agrarian change in Telangana, India and Central Lombok, Indonesia. She has previously published research on small local NGOs and other aspects of the development sector, including her first book, Peddlers of Information: Indian NGOs in the Information Age (Kumarian Press, 2012). Tanya also has an interest in developing critical pedagogies for students undertaking studies in, or about, the Global South.

 

Dr Dolly Kikon

Dolly Kikon is a social anthropologist. She teaches Anthropology and Development Studies at the University of Melbourne (Australia). Her monographs include Life and Dignity: Women’s Testimonies of Sexual Violence in Dimapur (2015) and Experiences of Naga Women in Armed Conflict: Narratives from a Militarized Society (2004). Her articles have appeared in Economic and Political Weekly, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Open Democracy, Seminar, and Himal South Asia. She has contributed chapters in edited book series published by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Routledge, Zubaan/Chicago University Press, and University of Vienna Press.

 

Dr Elise Klein

Elise Klein is a Lecturer of Development Studies, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia.  

Her research interests include the rise of therapeutic culture in development interventions, women’s agency, neoliberal subjectivities, economic rights and settler colonialism. Dr Klein held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Aboriginal Policy Research at the Australian National University examining conditionality in Indigenous policy and a Dphil from the University of Oxford. She currently leads a research project examining income management and behaviouralisation of Indigenous policy in Australia. Dr Klein works with Dr China Mills on a research project examining therapeutic culture and the digital revolution funded by the British Council’s International Challenges Fund. Dr Klein is a contributor to the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. Her new book is Developing Minds: Neoliberalism, Psychology and Power (Routledge, 2016).

 

Prof. Uma Kothari

Uma Kothari is Professor of Migration and Postcolonial Studies  and former Director of the Global Development Institute, at the University of Manchester, UK. She is also the founder and co-convenor of the Manchester Migration Lab and is currently Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests include transnational migration, refugees and diasporas and critical analyses of histories and discourses of global development and humanitarianism.  Her research is characterised by critical, theoretical engagement and ethnographic work as well as long-term collaborative and cross-disciplinary partnerships with institutions and colleagues in the UK and overseas. Her  research has involved a number of funded projects, most recently an Australian Research Council project on International Volunteering and Cosmopolitanism and a Norwegian Research Council  project on Perceptions of Climate Change and Migration. Her current research is on Visual Solidarity and Everyday Humanitarianism and Refugee Perceptions of Home and Welcome. She has published numerous articles and her books include Participation: the new tyranny?Development Theory and Practice: critical perspectives,  and A Radical History of Development Studies.

 

Dr Rebecca Monson

Lecturer in Law, Governance and Development, Australian National University

Rebecca is currently a Lecturer and convenor of the Law, Governance and Development program in the ANU College of Law, Australian National University. Her work is transdisciplinary, drawing on primarily on law, geography and anthropology to explore questions of social differentiation and social inequality. She has a particular focus on the southwest Pacific, and has conducted fieldwork in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji. Rebecca draws heavily on critical, postcolonial and feminist theories, and these inform both her scholarly activities and consulting work for a variety of donors, NGOs and government agencies.

 

Prof. Sundhya Pahuja

Professor of International Law, the University of Melbourne

Sundhya Pahuja is Professor of International Law and Director of the Institute for International Law and the Humanities at the University of Melbourne. She is a Professorial Research Fellow at SOAS, Visiting Professor at Birkbeck, and has recently been a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Harvard, and a Fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies.

Sundhya’s research centres on the history and political economy of international law and institutions, particularly in the context of the relationship between North and South. Her publications include Decolonising International Law: Development, Economic Growth and the Politics of Universality (CUP, 2011), winner of the American Society of International Law Prize (2012), and the Woodward Medal (2014). Sundhya has also co-edited the collections, Events: The Force of International Law (2011, with Johns and Joyce), Reading Modern Law: Critical Methodologies and Sovereign Formations (2012, with Buchanan and Motha), and Law’s Foundation and the Question of Authority (2003, with Beard).

 

Dr Maree Pardy

Maree is an anthropologist who specialises in gender, culture and global change. She teaches international and community development at Deakin University. She has a critical research focus on gender and sexuality across cultures. Recent projects focus on emotion, affect and images in rights based gender campaigns and racism, feminism and rights. She has published on women’s rights and transnational feminism, sexual violence in conflict and legal approaches to forced marriage.

 

Dr Rochelle Spencer

Rochelle is a founding co-Director of the Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability and Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at Murdoch University. She is interested in the relationship between anthropology and development, particularly how development practices shape and influence social and cultural behaviours. Over the past two decades she has worked and researched with a number of NGOs including British Red Cross, Australian Red Cross, Oxfam Australia, Global Exchange, Catholic Relief Services Southern Africa and Nuwul Environmental Services – an Indigenous social enterprise in northeast Arnhem Land, Australia.

 

Dr Julie Rudner

Dr Julie Rudner explores interactions between policy, place and people, with a particular focus on how children, young people and people from different ethno-cultural and religious backgrounds use, view and experience their environments. Her main interest is in how we create a ‘public knowing’ of risk, safety and belonging that encourages or limits people’s freedom to use public space confidently.  She supports active citizenship through community participation in planning.

 

Raul Sanchez Urribarri 

Raul Sanchez Urribarri (PhD, LLM) is a Lecturer in Legal Studies at the Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University (Melbourne).  His research focuses on democracy, rule of law and comparative judicial studies, with an emphasis on Latin America.  He has a strong interest in how informal relations condition political behaviour and the performance of judicial institutions.  He has published in well-regarded academic journals, edited volumes and other outlets.  Dr Sanchez Urribarri has taught Law and Development, Policing, Research Methods, and other subjects in Legal Studies, Politics, and Latin American Studies at La Trobe and previously at Tulane University.

 

Dr Victoria Stead

Victoria Stead is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Alfred Deakin Institute, Deakin University. She is an anthropologist with a focus on the Pacific, particularly Papua New Guinea, and also regional Australia. Her research explores processes of change related to land, labour, memory, and belonging. A key concern across her work is with the effects and local negotiations of postcolonial legacies, including as these are articulated through practices and imaginaries of development. Victoria is the author of Becoming Landowners: Entanglements of Custom and Modernity in Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste (University of Hawai’i Press, 2017), and co-author of Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Development: Other Paths for Papua New Guinea (University of Hawai’i Press, 2012).

 

Valeria Vázquez Guevara

Valeria Vázquez Guevara is a Ph.D. candidate in Law at Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne. Her research is concerned with representations of law and justice in communities that continue to experience the effects of colonization and violent conflict. Valeria’s research interests build on her personal and professional experience in Spain, Central America, and South Africa, as well as in policy advocacy with Amnesty International in the Basque Country. Valeria holds an M.A. in Peace Studies from the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame (USA), an M.A. in Sociology of Law from the International Institute for the Sociology of Law (Spain), and an LL.B. from the University of Granada (Spain).

 

Dr Julian Yates

Julian began as a Lecturer in Human Geography at Monash University in January 2017. Prior to that he was most recently a post-doctoral fellow in the Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada), having ay PhD and MA in geography at UBC and the University of Victoria, respectively.

His research lies at the intersection of the politics of indigenous knowledge, rural development, social mobilisation, and environmental governance, and it maintains a commitment to fostering more equitable and self-determined forms of development. Previous research projects in Brazil, Nepal, and Peru have addressed three themes in particular: neoliberalization and the politics of ecological knowledge-in-practice; re-socializing the economy – collective organization and the commons; decolonizing water governance – scalar conflict and sovereignty. These three themes have shaped his identity as a development geographer and they inform his continuing and future research programme. Methodologically, he has approached these themes through community-engaged scholarship, meaning that his work addresses the ethical entanglements of conducting research in communities that are variably geopolitically positioned and which are characterized by high degrees of inequality and power imbalances. This approach is based on a variety of forms of engagement, from grounded participatory methods to in-depth ethnographies.

 

Dr Brooke Wilmsen

Brooke Wilmsen is a Research Fellow in the School of Social Sciences and Humanities at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. She is predominantly interested in the issues of displacement, resettlement and settlement and works in a variety of contexts. She is currently undertaking a longitudinal study of those displaced by the Three Gorges Dam in China funded by an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award. Brooke has also worked for the Asian Development Bank, The World Bank and private consultancy. Recent publications can be found in World Development, Urban Geography, Journal of Contemporary China and Geoforum.

 

Dr Yirga Woldeyes

Yirga Gelaw Woldeyes is a researcher and lecturer at the Centre for Human Rights Education, Curtin University, Australia. Yirga taught law and worked with grassroots organisations in Ethiopia before completing his Doctorate in Australia. Yirga’s research focuses on the critical study of development, education and law, and the importance of lived experience and epistemic diversity for decolonial futures. His teaching practice is informed by his research on how to teach human rights from the perspective of diverse epistemologies, cultures and religions. He also researches African experiences and Ethiopian traditions, and writes creatively on belonging and diasporic lives.

 

Want to join?

If you are a doctoral student, masters-by-research student, honours student or academic (sessional, contract or full time), and you are conducting research or scholarship of relevance to the global South, that aligns with the intellectual work of the network as described above, please email newmembers@criticaldevstudies.org with a brief bio and statement of how your work aligns with the objectives of the network, as outlined on the ABOUT page.