Mathew Davies

Dr Mathew Davies

Fellow & Director of Education, Department of International Relations, & School Deputy Director - Education


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

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

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.

More generally I am interested in International Relations Theory, human rights and regions and have published across these three areas.

I have convened award-winning courses at the graduate and undergraduate level including in the areas of academic skill-building, World Politics, International Relations Theory, and Southeast Asian Security. I currently supervise honours, masters, and PhD students working in the field of International Relations theory, foreign policy, humanitarian aid, the environment, and democratic transitions.

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


Mathew teaches the graduate course Issues in Australian Foreign Policy INTR8017 (Semester 2, 2020), and the undergraduate course Chinese Foreign and Security Policy INTR2012 (Semester 2, 2020).

Donald Trump, Xi Jinping, and Malcolm Turnbull

Why Turnbull's Asian summit trip was a missed opportunity

The APEC and East Asia Summit (EAS) meetings, both recently attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, are moments of ceremonial certainty amid the wider changes ongoing in the region.

Image: Flickr AK Rockefeller

The Symbolism of ASEAN at 50

Had someone at the foundation of ASEAN fifty years ago predicted that the regional organisation would be around in half a century, they might not have been openly laughed at, but they would likely

Image courtesy of Flickr Prachatal

Asian pawns lose out in power play between the US and China

China is winning the battle over the South China Sea, the resource-rich stretch of contested water where the country’s been building artificial islands equipped with military-length airstrips

Julie Bishop

Out of order

What does Australia want from ASEAN?

Image: Gage Skidmore @

The TPP is over. What happens now?

Throughout the primaries and general election campaigns Donald Trump repeatedly criticized the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as being a terrible deal for America.

Image: Prachatai Flickr creative commons

What happens if Rodrigo Duterte dumps the US?

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte marked the week leading to his first 100 days in office with renewed attacks on the country’s alliance with the United States.

US President Barack Obama arrives for a news conference at the close of the ASEAN summit February, 2016  (Photo: Reuters)

ASEAN centrality losing ground

Vientiane will host the 28th ASEAN Summit this week, with the summit documents rotating around the same themes that ASEAN has been promoting for decades: unity and centrality.

Image sourced from Flickr, courtesy of Roslyn

Philippines stumbling towards dangerous isolation

Shortly after his landslide victory, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines received a phone call from President Obama.

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.


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