Associate Professor Kai He and Dr Duncan McDonnell have both been awarded Australian Research Council grants in the latest funding round. Associate Professor He has been awarded a prestigious Future Fellowship for his project, ‘Contested multilateralism 2.0 and Asia Pacific security’. The project aims to examine the foreign policy choices of five major powers — the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and Australia — toward multilateral institutions in the Asia Pacific after the Cold War through an economic-security-nexus model. This project will provide policy insights for Australian policy makers to conduct a sensible and effective “Asia policy” in the 21st century. (See also ‘Griffith researcher probes Australia’s regional power role.’)

Associate Professor He, together with Dr Huiyun Feng, were also recently successful in being awarded a MacArthur Foundation grant to examine the rise of China through the eyes of Chinese international relations scholars.

Success was also achieved in the Discovery grant scheme with Dr Duncan McDonnell, together with Dr Annika Werner, awarded a grant for their project ‘Radical right populist parties’. This project aims to explain why some radical right-wing populists in Western democracies enter governmental alliances with mainstream parties while others remain isolated. The emergence, spread and electoral success of radical right populists is a problem facing liberal democracy in the twenty-first century. While these parties’ policies, ideologies and rhetoric are similar, their relationships with mainstream parties are different. By examining explanatory factors that Political Science studies have so far been neglected, this project seeks to explain this variation and explore its implications for coalition theory.

Dr McDonnell was also part of the project team in a successful Discovery Indigenous grant, ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ participation in political parties’, through Charles Sturt University. This project examines the participation of, leadership opportunities for, and challenges faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians participation in Australia’s major political parties. Working with major political parties, this project encompasses both Australia-wide research and in-depth case studies. The project will provide evidence-based research and policy advice on factors affecting the advancement of Indigenous Australian party members into leadership roles and the recognised challenge of continued political marginalisation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in party hierarchies, representative institutions and decision-making processes.