Mathew Davies

Dr Mathew Davies

Head, Department of International Relations; Fellow


BSc (LSE), MSc (LSE), PhD (ANU)

Contact details
+61 2 6125 7652
Room: 2.29
Building: Hedley Bull Building

My current research examines the intersection of regional order building, human rights and governance in Southeast Asia, paying particular regard to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). To study this issue I examine the region through the lens of socialisation, investigating how ASEAN is both a driver of, and arena for, those efforts to diffuse standards. I am interested in the stories of rights socialisation efforts that have emerged, the success and failure of those efforts and how we can use those stories to better understand what ASEAN is.

I am commencing a project that takes this interest and examines ‘the new politics of human rights in Southeast Asia’, seeking to explain both why ASEAN came to adopt human rights standards and why it has done so in the way that it has. This project will expand my focus on ASEAN to encompass the history of the regional project and the cross over between human and traditional security throughout ASEAN cooperation.This project comprises a series of articles already underway and a book manuscript the research for which I will commence in the second half of 2014.

More generally I am interested in International Relations Theory, human rights and regions and have published across these three areas. I have taught in the GSIA program since 2010 courses on conceptual skill building, human rights and International Relations Theory.

In 2011, I designed and led an AusAID funded course training African Diplomats as part of the Australia Awards for Africa program. The project saw 12 participants from a diverse range of African countries come to Australia for a seven week organised program. The program drew extensively on academic expertise from across the ANU as well as representatives from government departments, and private and non-profit sectors. in 2012 I co-ran a course for DFAT graduates.

Here I talk about my interest in the women, peace and security agenda in Southeast Asia.


Mathew currently teaches two courses, both at Masters level: Writing International Relations INTR8069, and International Relations Theory INTR8011.

Relief for Rohingyas in Chittagong. Photo: Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hussain

Is ASEAN a newfound voice for the Rohingya?

The democratisation of Myanmar, culminating in the National League for Democracy’s assumption of power in early 2016, was meant to mark a step forward for the Rohingya.

Julie Bishop

Out of Order

What does Australia want from ASEAN?

ASEAN's South China Sea ulcer

Continued failure to address the South China Sea issue is not only a short term failure – it now represents a significant and ongoing risk to ASEAN’s health. The regional organisation should seek treatment, and stat.

Brexit serves as a warning to ASEAN

Brexit serves as a warning to ASEAN

The lesson from the UK-EU split should not be one of smugness, but that regional cooperation only exists thanks to citizens’ permission.

Photo by UNHCR

The Rohingya and regional failure

The ongoing humanitarian crisis exposes dangerous vacuum at the centre of ASEAN’s commitment to be ‘people-centred’, writes Mathew Davies.

Pro-Russian rebels ride an armoured vehicle in Ukraine. Photo by AFP.

A victory for Russia

Vladimir Putin will see the Ukraine ceasefire agreement as a reward for his brinkmanship and a vindication of his strategy, writes Mathew Davies.

Updated:  23 March 2016/Responsible Officer:  Su-Ann Tan/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team