Politics and International Relations

The Politics of Water

Supervisor

Maria Armoudian

Discipline

Politics and International Relations

Project code: ART022

Water has been declared a human right by the international community in a wide variety of treaties and declarations. Blessed with an abundance of freshwater sources, New Zealand is among the top ten countries as having the most freshwater resources per capita. But increasing global stressors on water are poised to create challenges, even in New Zealand. This study will investigate the policies and practices related to drinking water in New Zealand and how well they protect the country’s drinking water supply for the country’s residents in the face of increasing pressures from climate change, thirsty neighbours and water-dependent industries. Research Questions: What are New Zealand’s guidelines, policies and practices to assure clean, potable drinking water, in the face of twenty first century challenges? What factors influence the guidelines and policies?

Scholar’s Work

The summer scholar will help on four primary efforts: 1) Creating a dataset from the natural and social sciences for a comprehensive understanding of the health of New Zealand’s drinking water. This has begun but will need attention and analysis by scholar and supervisor so we can analyse our water’s status. 2) Scholar will also help locate and identify recent government policies, practises, rules and regulations past and present that have been used to ensure protection of clean, potable water to New Zealand’s residents. We will examine the consistency and coherency of these policies and practices across New Zealand, if they take the scientific studies into consideration, if they favour any groups over others. Scholar and supervisor will collect and study the water policies, practices, rules, regulations, and government communique, and their changes over a decade through public domain searches and through Official Information Act requests and code them chronologically, regionally and by beneficiary. 4) Scholar will also help identify water policy experts for interviews. 5) Scholar will also do a search and download from media databases of relevant published articles in the news media to help determine the extent the water realities are covered in New Zealand media. Scholar and supervisor will write some of the article(s) together.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

Analysis, organization, logic, writing, ideas and critical thinking.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

[1] For example, United Nations Resolution 64/292

New Zealand and the Forgotten Genocides of World War I

Supervisor

Maria Armoudian

Discipline

Politics and International Relations

Project code: ART023

This research explores the Armenian, Assyrian and Pontic Greek genocides through New Zealand media and politics and how memory entrepreneurs have engineered—whether intentional or not—the forgetting of Turkey’s genocide of its indigenous Christian population. New Zealand’s engagement with the plight of Armenians began long before the Anzacs entered Gallipoli both in its newspaper coverage and through its humanitarian efforts. New Zealanders could understand through comprehensive newspaper coverage Armenians’ struggle to survive amid ongoing slaughters, pillaging, extortion, and a lack of any meaningful official protection. The papers covered Britain’s demands for reform in Ottoman Turkey, and the Porte’s refusal to do so. During the late 1800s, the country’s newspapers covered the attempted elimination of Armenians with headlines of “bloodshed and pillage.” Coverage of slaughters and Turkey’s extermination of Armenians continued into the twentieth century while New Zealand soldiers rescued Assyrian and Armenians and while New Zealand’s humanitarians organized aid. This is the first research project to study this aspect of World War I.

Scholar’s Work

The scholar will help obtain the data, build the dataset and analyse material alongside the supervisor. We will explore the data through three important lenses: 1) History itself and how it is forgotten, 2) Media and their effects, in this case, galvanizing New Zealanders to try to help the suffering people in Ottoman Turkey. 3) The politics of engagement for New Zealand in international humanitarian concerns. The scholar may help write up the papers if s/he desires.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

Analytical mind, great writing skills, diligence, organizational skills, and detail-oriented data gathering and dataset building.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

 

Age Friendly Cities- a review of international initiatives

Supervisor

Professor Jennifer Curtin (Co-supervisor, Dr Claire Dale, Retirement Policy Research Centre)

Discipline

Politics and International Relations, Public Policy Institute

Project code: ART024

The global Age-Friendly Cities Project was started in 2007 by the World Health Organization (WHO) with the publication of the Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide.

The Guide identified eight domains of city life that might influence the health and wellbeing of older people: outdoor spaces and buildings; transportation; housing; social participation; respect and social inclusion; civic participation and employment; communication and information; and community support and health services.

New Zealand has a fast growing aging population. By 2036, nearly one in four New Zealanders will be aged over 65 and the number of over 80s will have doubled. This will pose major challenges to all the factors outlined in the Guide above. New Zealand is lagging behind the rest of the world in addressing this challenge and lacks an integrated approach to thinking about the places where people live and how best to promote older people’s wellbeing and engagement with their physical and social environments. Communities, businesses, local authorities and government agencies urgently need to plan and implement better support for people to live engaged and active lives as they age.

This project will involve reviewing the literature on international policies and initiatives relating to the health and wellbeing, and identify a range of recommendations for increasing inclusive design processes and age friendly policies In New Zealand cities.

Scholar’s Work

The scholar will work with Professor Jennifer Curtin and Dr Claire Dale from the Dr Claire Dale: Retirement Policy and Research Centre in the University of Auckland’s Business School to undertake the following:

The scholar will:

  • search for and summarise relevant second order literature at the intersection of aging policy, health and wellbeing, sustainable cities, and local government;
  •  collect and analyse policy initiatives undertaken cross nationally by governments (local and national) and research by international agencies of relevance;
  •  collect NZ data on a range of aging wellbeing measures and identify models of effective practices for New Zealand cities;
  •  consult and work alongside supervisors in discussions of key research questions and outputs;
  •  Co-author a report, a policy blog, and a conference paper leading to a publication in 2019.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

The scholar should demonstrate the following:

  •  A broad knowledge of public policy, politics or sociology, and a demonstrated interest in New Zealand and comparative policy arrangements;
  • Have excellent research, writing, analytical and communication skills;
  •  A capacity to work independently and as part of a team;
  •  A knowledge of economics would be an advantage.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

Communicating Policy Research in New Zealand and Beyond

Supervisor

Professor Jennifer Curtin (Co-supervisor, Dr Tim Fadgen)

Discipline

Politics and International Relations, Public Policy Institute

Project code: ART025

The communication of policy research is a necessary part of ensuring policy makers are able to access and process evidence. It also requires us to understand the environment in which policy makers operate, and the different cycles that impact their work, whether that be budget, policy or election cycles. In other words, effective communication requires the suppliers of evidence to see the world from the perspective of their audience and understand the policy process in which they engage. This is a new project that involves a student working with Jennifer Curtin and a number of policy scholars from the University of Auckland (Tim Fadgen, Julie MacArthur, Tim Tenbensel and Rachel Simon-Kumar) to review the primary and second order scholarship that has addressed the following key areas: communicating policy; policy analysis research in New Zealand; and, gender and public policy analysis. The work of the scholar will feed into three planned outputs: 1) two edited volumes that have been solicited from international presses; 2) a Public Policy Network conference to be hosted at the University of Auckland during the summer (the theme of which is communicating policy), and 3) translating the background research for this project, and the conference proceeding, into digestible evidence for policy makers.

Scholar’s Work

The scholar will:
• search for and summarise relevant second order literature on communicating policy, including cross-national comparative work;
• identify key policy scholars working in the fields of both New Zealand public policy and gender and public policy and create an annotated bibliography of their works;
• consult and work alongside supervisors and colleagues from the University of Auckland policy community in discussions of key research outputs and in organising the policy network conference;
• Co-author a policy blog, a conference report, and a conference paper leading to a publication in 2019.


Required Skills/Pre-requisites

The scholar should demonstrate the following:
• A broad knowledge of public policy and politics or gender studies, and a demonstrated interest in New Zealand and comparative policy arrangements;
• Have excellent research, writing, analytical and communication skills;
• A capacity to work independently and as part of a team;
• A keenness to work across a range of different tasks and be open to networking with researchers and policy analysts.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

Is Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Reshaping Political Leadership in New Zealand?

Supervisor

Professor Jennifer Curtin

Discipline

Politics and International Relations, Public Policy Institute

Project code: ART026

The appointment of Jacinda Ardern to lead the New Zealand Labour Party six weeks out from the 2017 Election took many by surprise. Ardern was 37 years old but has always been touted as a potential future leader. However, from the moment she took up the mantle, questions emerged about her experience, her record in office, her leadership competence, and whether she was likely to become a mother. This questioning continued for much of the campaign. Ardern’s party won only 37% of the vote, but she negotiated a three-party coalition-support agreement to form a Labour-led government. Three months later she announced her pregnancy. As such, Ardern became New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister since 1856, designed a style of coalition government unprecedented in contemporary New Zealand political history, and she is only the second woman globally to become a mother while holding prime ministerial office. This project explores the multitude of ways Ardern has challenged traditional and gendered sensibilities as to what constitutes prime-ministerial leadership in New Zealand. It involves exploring how women’s representational roles have evolved over time and how public opinion has shifted in response, in order to better understand the phenomenon that has been labelled “Jacindamania”.

Scholar’s work

The scholar will work with Jennifer Curtin to undertake the following:

• search for and summarise relevant second order literature on the representation of women in politics at local and national government level in New Zealand;
• Draw on Papers Past and other primary sources to collect and analyse the attitudes to women’s participation in politics from the 1860s onwards;
• The scholar will use data from the New Zealand Election Surveys (1987-2017) and analyse the results using simple descriptive statistics, focusing on attitudes to women in politics, the gender gap in voting behaviour.
• Assist with the analysis of media representations of Jacinda Ardern in comparison with Helen Clark.
• Co-author a policy blog, and a background paper leading to a publication in 2019.

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

The scholar should demonstrate the following:
• A broad knowledge of gender politics and a demonstrated interest in New Zealand politics and history, and comparative political institutions and elections;
• Have excellent research, writing, analytical and communication skills;
• A capacity to work independently and as part of a team;
• A knowledge of economics and a familiarity with descriptive statistics would be an advantage.

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.

Political Management: final research support for a new book

Supervisor

Dr Jennifer Lees-Marshment

Discipline

Politics and International Relations

Project code: ART027

Political Management: final research support for a new book will involve identifying and analysing recent literature, media articles and documents in relation to the management of politics and government in the last three years, 2016-2018. It is the final stage of a project to identify the scope and range of political management, involving planning, leading, organising, HR and reviewing in political offices and government departments. It will include understanding topical events in relation to political management such as problems with Trump’s political management in office.

Scholar’s Work

The summer scholar will be engaged in identifying and analysing recent sources related to political management for the period January 2016-December 2018. They will be given key search times, and an overview of what political management involves to help them understand this new area, and then asked to complete tasks such as:
• Identification and collection of academic literature related to political management through database searching
• Identification and analysis of documents related to political management from political organisations and government in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, such as reports/policies/guidelines/rules/speeches/plans
• Identification and analysis of practitioner quotes related to political management e.g. ministerial/politician valedictory statement, parliamentary speeches, reflective interviews with Prime Ministers over their time in power, chiefs of staff
• Identification and analysis of media stories related to political management
They will also:
• Compile an online resource centre (e.g. on coursebuilder or wordpress) with a list of resources and references related to political management to aid research and teaching in this area.
• Identify details and contacts for senior political management practitioners in government for future research, such as chief of staffs and CEOs of government departments

Required Skills/Pre-requisites

• Ability to learn new cross-disciplinary concepts quickly
• Research skills to identify a wide range of sources including databases to identify literature and store them in endnote [though this can be learnt during the scholarship]
• High analytical ability to be able to process and synthesise a wide range of material quickly
• Website creation skills e.g. familiarity using wordpress or similar (although this can be learnt during the scholarship)
• Writing of succinct notes from analysing each source
• Able to work independently and produce written work on time
• Initiative but also responsive to supervision and instruction

Applicants should address these required skills in their application and indicate if they have been in touch with the proposed supervisor.