Dr Adam Masters

BA (Hons), PhD
Senior Lecturer
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Areas of expertise

  • International Relations 160607
  • Police Administration, Procedures And Practice 160205
  • Causes And Prevention Of Crime 160201
  • Public Administration 160509


Dr Adam Masters comes to the Australian National University following a 24-year career with the Australian government. His public sector career included time at the Department of Defence, the Australian Taxation Office and 18 years with the Australian Federal Police. While at the AFP, Adam spent close to a decade as team leader with Interpol Canberra and two years teaching counter-terrorism investigations at the AFP College. In mid-2009, Adam changed direction to pursue an academic career and, since 2010, he has worked with the ANU Transnational Research Institute on Corruption (TRIC). Dr Masters' current research and teaching focuses on corruption and anti-corruption, particularly in rich countries, transnational organized crime and the influence of culture on international organisations.

Researcher's projects

Adam has two current research projects. The first - union corruption - explores alternatives to controlling corruption in the union movement using non-traditional (i.e. legal or political) means of addressing the issue. Union corruption in Australia persists despite numerous Royal Commissions, political will and legislative changes in recent decades. Alternatives under consideration include codes of conduct and other internally generated governance mechanisms.

His second project - Intergenerational organised crime - explores multi-generational criminal activity within families. The question motivating this research is whether family-based organised crime groups are ‘going legit’.

Previously, Dr Masters contributed research for two significant projects commissioned by anti-corruption agencies in Australia. The first was his contribution to the report commissioned by the Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission. Chapter two of the report Perception of Corruption in Victoria dealt with the manner in which the media reported on corruption. In this chapter, media perceptions were contrasted with the narrower legal definition provided by the IBAC Act.

In 2015, Adam was lead author on the report for the Western Australia Corruption and Crime Commission's Project to review corruption prevention theory and practice: Towards a new model for the Corruption and Crime Commission. The report provided the Commission with a conceptual model of corruption prevention grounded in theory and practice.

Current student projects

Giverney Ainscough (Doctoral Candidate) - Inclusive Education in Australian Universities

Hunter Culbong (Honours Candidate) - Police Militarisation in Australia (2022)

Past student projects

Simran Bandesha 2021 - Honours Thesis News Media, Police Corruption, and the Indian Context: A qualitative investigation of how Indian news media portrays police bribery


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  25 March 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers