Skip navigation
The Australian National University

Dr Joanne Wallis

PhD (Politics & International Studies), University of Cambridge; MA (Political Science); LLM (Public & International Law); BA (Hons in Political Science); LLB (Hons), University of Melbourne
Senior Lecturer, Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
T: +61 2 6125 9936

Areas of expertise

  • Comparative Government And Politics 160603
  • Government And Politics Of Asia And The Pacific 160606
  • International Relations 160607
  • Citizenship 160602
  • Constitutional Law 180108
  • International Law (Excl. International Trade Law) 180116
  • Law And Society 180119

Research interests

The Pacific Islands (particularly Timor-Leste and Bougainville); state-building, nation-building and peace-building; constitution-making; ethnicity and nationalism; war, conflict and post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation; security in the Pacific Islands; and Australia's strategy in the South Pacific

Biography

Dr Joanne Wallis is a Senior Lecturer in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre. She completed her PhD in 2012 at the University of Cambridge, where she was a Poynton Cambridge Australia and Wolfson College Commonwealth scholar. She holds Masters degrees in Arts (by Research in Political Science) and Law (Public and International Law) from the University of Melbourne.

In 2006 Joanne was a Fulbright Scholar at the Walker Institute of International and Area Studies at the University of South Carolina. From 2008 to 2009 she was a Visiting Scholar at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Project at the ANU. Between 2009 to 2011 she was an Honorary Fellow of the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. In 2012 she was a Visiting Scholar at the East-West Center, Honolulu. 

Joanne is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In 2016 she won a National Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning and the ANU Vice Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence. In 2014 she won the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific Award for Teaching Excellence. She has taught at the Australian Command and Staff College, University of Cambridge, University of Melbourne and Swinburne University. Between 2012 and 2014 she was Convener of the Asia-Pacific Security program in the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre at the ANU.

Joanne is on the international advisory board of The Round Table. She has been an Editor of the Melbourne Journal of Politics and Secretary of the Melbourne Journal of International Law. 

Joanne has also conducted research consultancies for Australian and international NGOs, and written analyses for a leading global political risk advisory service. 

Prior to academia Joanne was a lawyer at Allens Arthur Robinson (now Allens Linklaters) in Melbourne, and she is admitted as a barrister and solicitor in the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia.

Joanne was on maternity leave between January and November 2015. She is on maternity leave again from February 2017 to September 2018.

ORCID ID: orcid.org/0000-0002-8767-917X

Researcher's projects

My first research agenda focuses on state building, nation building and peace building in the Pacific Islands. 

Constitution making during State building (Cambridge University Press, 2014; reprinted in paperback 2016)

http://www.cambridge.org/au/academic/subjects/law/constitutional-and-administrative-law/constitution-making-during-state-building

This book represents a sustained attempt to examine the role that public participation has played during constitution making and its consequences for state performance. It is also one of the first attempts to conduct a detailed empirical study of the role played by a 'hybrid’ approach to state building. I am now expanding my research on the concept of hybridity, and its (sometimes unintended) consequences for state building and peace building. 

Reviewed in The Round Table: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00358533.2016.1154381?journalCode=ctrt20 and Pacific Affairs: http://www.ingentaconnect.com/contentone/paaf/paaf/2016/00000089/00000004/art00048

The impact of political reconciliation in the Asia-Pacific (ARC Discovery Project DP140102388, 2014-2017)

With Renee Jeffery and Lia Kent, I am examining the contribution that political reconciliation processes, practices and events make to the pursuit of peace and security in the Asia-Pacific, using case studies of Bougainville, Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands.

In September 2016 Lia and I convened a writers' workshop on the topic 'Transitional Justice and Civil Society in Asia and the Pacific' at the ANU, for which we received funding from the ANU Asia-Pacific Innovation Program. Our international speakers included Vasuki Nesiah (New York University), Jelena Subotic (Georgia State University) and Joanna Quinn (Western University). We are now editing a book for ANU Press based on papers delivered at the workshop, as well as a special issue of Global Change, Peace and Security on the idea of enabling and disabling transitional justice and civil society, which we developed at the workshop.

Doing State-building better? Practising Hybridity in Melanesia (ARC Discovery Project DP160104692, 2016-2019) 

Australia is engaged in programs that draw upon local socio-political practices and institutions to assist its efforts to stabilise and build states in Melanesia, referred to as a ‘hybridity’ approach. For this project, I consider how Australia has successfully restored stability in its immediate region, Melanesia, but its attempts to build stable liberal democracies have had modest results.

Hybridity: history, power and scale

With Miranda Forsyth, Lia Kent, Sinclair Dinnen and Srinjoy Bose, I am examining the concept of hybridity across disciplines and case studies. In 2015 we received the Coral Bell School Horizons grant to organise a series of nine seminars on this topic: http://www.ips.cap.anu.edu.au/podcasts/horizons-hybridity-seminar-series-2015. The seminars culminated in a writers' workshop in December 2015 at which Professor Oliver Richmond (University of Manchester) delivered the keynote lecture, for which we received funding from the Research School of Asia and the Pacific.

We are now editing a book for ANU Press, Hybridity in Peacebuilding and Development: Critical Conversations, based on the papers delivered at the workshop. We have also developed the concept of 'critical hybridity' on which we are editing a special issue of Third World Thematics: A Third World Quarterly Journal. My article, co-authored with Oliver Richmond, 'From constructivist to critical engagements with peacebuilding: implications for hybrid peace', has been pre-published and is available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23802014.2016.1309990

My second research agenda focuses on security and strategy in the Pacific Islands. 

Pacific Power? Australia's strategy in the Pacific Islands (Melbourne University Press, 2017)

https://www.mup.com.au/books/9780522868227

This work examines Australia's strategic influence in the Pacific Islands over the last 40 years and is based, in part, on interviews with key Australian decision-makers. I received the Australian Institute of International Affairs 2014-2015 Publication Support Grant to support this project. This grant is made to facilitate the publication of an original and high quality book on a contemporary topic of major relevance to Australian foreign policy.

In preparation for this book, in February 2013 I co-convened a workshop at the ANU on the topic, 'The South Pacific: from 'arc of instability' to 'arc of opportunity'?', with Sinclair Dinnen (http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/news-events/video/south-pacific-arc-instability-arc-opportunity#.V_G_68nGo6E), for which we received funding from the Research School of Asia and the Pacific. The workshop featured participants from across the Pacific and Australia and included the launch of a special issue of Security Challenges I guest edited on the topc 'Security in the Pacific Arc' (http://www.regionalsecurity.org.au/Resources/Files/SC%208-4.pdf).

Asia-Pacific Security: an introduction (Georgetown University Press, 2016)

http://press.georgetown.edu/book/georgetown/asia-pacific-security

An edited book (with Andrew Carr), which provides an introduction to the security environment of the contemporary Asia-Pacific. This includes the key players, in-depth examination of the security challenges which occupy the headlines and some of the proposed solutions to improve the security of the region.   

Media appearances and blog posts include:

'What role can the Pacific Islands play in strengthening Australia's security?', Australian Outlook, 17 October 2017, http://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/australianoutlook/pacific-islands-play-australia-security/

'Do Australia's interests match its influence in the Pacific Islands?', The Strategist, 27 September 2017, https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/do-australias-interests-match-its-influence-in-the-pacific-islands/ 

'Pacific Power', Between the Lines, ABC Radio National, 27 July 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/betweenthelines/pacific-power/8749018

'Australia needs to view itself "more as a partner, less as a power" in the Pacific', Pacific Beat, ABC Radio Australia, 21 July 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-07-21/australia-needs-to-view-itself-more-as-a-partner,/8732260

'Australia's influence declining in the region', Pacific Beat, ABC Radio Australia, 19 July 2017, http://www.abc.net.au/news/programs/pacific-beat/2017-07-19/australias-influence-declining-in-the-region/8724586

'Crowded and complex: the changing geopolitics of the South Pacific', The Strategist, 24 April 2017, https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/crowded-complex-changing-geopolitics-south-pacific/

'Hollow hegemon: Australia's declining influence in the Pacific', East Asia Forum, 21 September 2016, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2016/09/21/hollow-hegemon-australias-declining-role-in-the-pacific/

'Canberra academics recognised in national teaching awards', The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and The Canberra Times, 14 September 2016, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-academics-recognised-in-national-teaching-awards-20160914-grfuur.html

'Money, manipulation and misunderstanding on Manus Island', The Canberra Times, 5 July 2016, http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/money-manipulation-and-misunderstanding-on-manus-island-20160701-gpwcir.html

'Australia's anxieties after the 'Age of Intervention', Policy Forum, 10 December 2015, http://www.policyforum.net/australias-anxieties-after-the-age-of-intervention/#sthash.4V7jX46z.uxfs&st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/aq9o3vy1F6 

'What role can constitution making play in state building?', fifteen eightyfour, 13 January 2015, http://www.cambridgeblog.org/2015/01/what-role-can-constitution-making-play-in-state-building/

'Is Australia's influence over Papua New Guinea declining?', The Strategist, 20 October 2014, http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/is-australias-influence-over-papua-new-guinea-declining/

'The dangers of development NGOs sacrificing accuracy for advocay', DevPolicy, 3 October 2014, http://devpolicy.org/the-dangers-of-development-ngos-sacrificing-accuracy-for-advocacy-20141003/

‘Australia’s changing strategic interests in the South Pacific’, China Policy Institute Blog, 5 February 2014, https://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/chinapolicyinstitute/2014/02/05/australias-changing-strategic-interests-in-the-south-pacific/

'Widening gulf a peril for the two East Timors', Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times, 28 November 2013, http://www.smh.com.au/comment/widening-gulf-a-peril-for-the-two-east-timors-20131127-2ya0q.htm

'Beware of berating Bougainvilleans', The Strategist, 20 November 2013, http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/reader-response-beware-of-berating-bougainvilleans/

‘The difficulties of development in Timor-Leste', DevPolicy Blog, 27 November 2013, http://devpolicy.org/the-difficulties-of-development-in-timor-leste-20131127/

‘Use White Paper to build bridges over the South Pacific’, Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times, 8 May 2013, http://www.smh.com.au/comment/use-white-paper-to-build-bridges-over-south-pacific-20130507-2j5z4.html

'Neighbourhood Watch', SBS News, 3 May 2013, http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1762328/Comment-Neighbourhood-watch

'The Pacific: from 'arc of instability' to 'arc of opportunity?', The Strategist, 10 December 2012, http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-pacific-from-arc-of-instability-to-arc-of-opportunity/

'The South Pacific: from 'arc of instability' to 'arc of opportunity'?, December 2012, http://www.anu.edu.au/vision/videos/7881/

'The South Pacific: Microcosm of Future US-China competition?', e-IR, 19 September 2012 , http://www.e-ir.info/2012/09/19/the-south-pacific-microcosm-of-future-us-china-competition/

'Q&Asia: Who Will Lead the Asian Century?', ABC TV, 3 September 2012, http://www.abc.net.au/tv/bigideas/stories/2012/09/03/3579616.htm

'Asia Pacific Week: panel debate Q and Asia', ABC Radio National, 30 August 2012, http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bigideas/anu-qand-asia/4112560

'The United States and China in the South Pacific and beyond'¸ East Asia Forum, 6 September 2012, http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2012/09/06/the-united-states-and-china-in-the-south-pacific-and-beyond/

'The dragon in our backyard: the strategic consequences of China's increased presence in the South Pacific', The Strategist, 30 August 2012, http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/the-dragon-in-our-backyard-the-strategic-consequences-of-chinas-increased-presence-in-the-south-pacific/ 

'China's South Pacific Diplomacy', The Diplomat, 30 August 2012, http://thediplomat.com/china-power/chinas-south-pacific-diplomacy/

'Is Australia still threatened by weak South Pacific states?', The Strategist, 20 August 2012, http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/is-australia-still-threatened-by-weak-south-pacific-states/

'Fault lines: democracy and unity in Timor-Leste' The Drum, ABC, 18 July 2012, http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4138252.html

 

Available student projects

I welcome expressions of interest for PhD, Masters and Honours level research on topics relating to security and strategy in the Pacific Islands, as well as peacebuilding, state-building and nation-building in the Pacific Islands and more broadly.

Current student projects

Steven Blair, PhD, SSGM, 'Does Papua New Guinea's constitutional and legal framework alone explain why there has been no successful military intervention in politics?'

Peter Connolly, PhD, SSGM, 'Chinese interests in Melanesia: implications for Australia'

Damien Donavan, PhD, SDSC, 'A comparative study of secession - developing a typology for successful secession'

Anna Samson, PhD, SDSC, 'How do humanitarian objectives influence government strategies for ending armed humanitarian interventions?'

Past student projects

Dahlia Simangan, PhD, IR, 'The limits of liberal peacebuilding and the pitfalls of local involvement: Cambodia, Kosovo and Timor-Leste in retrospect' - completed 2017

Richard Filer, Hons, SSGM, 'The development of policing in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville: interactions between state and non-state institutions' - completed 2015

Jay Vlazlovski, Hons, SDSC, 'Transnational crime in the South Pacific: The Australian response' - completed 2015

Rachel Jones, MA, SDSC, 'The evolution of Australia’s maritime security priorities in the South Pacific since the Second World War' - completed 2014

Laura Ball, Hons, SDSC, 'In Need of A New Strategy?: The Australian Government’s Top-Down Approach to the Securitization of Development in the South Pacific' - completed 2014

Publications

Projects and Grants

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

Return to top

Updated:  17 December 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers