Researcher biography

Reader in International Relations

Matt McDonald joined the School of Political Science and International Studies in January 2010. After completing his PhD at UQ in 2003, Matt held lectureship posts in international relations at the University of New South Wales and the University of Birmingham (UK), and was Associate Professor in International Security at the University of Warwick (UK). His research focuses on critical theoretical approaches to security and their application to issues such as environmental change, Australian foreign and security policy, climate politics and Asia-Pacific security dynamics. He has published on these themes in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, Political Geography, Review of International Studies, Security Dialogue, International Political Sociology and Australian Journal of Political Science. He is the author of Security, the Environment and Emancipation (Routledge 2012) and (with Anthony Burke and Katrina Lee-Koo) Ethics and Global Security (Routledge 2014). He is co-editor of Australian Journal of Politics and History. Matt is currently completing an ARC-funded project on comparative national approaches to the climate change-security relationship.

Research Impacts

On climate change, and in particular its relationship to security, Matt has acted as a consultant for the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office and prominent public policy thinktanks such as the Royal United Services Institute (UK), and his work has been cited in publications by representatives of UK's Department for International Development (Harris 2012). He has been a member of Australia's stakeholder briefing group for the UNFCCC climate change talks. He has also worked with policy-makers, industry groups and NGO representatives in communicating research work on the politics of climate change in Australia. He hosted a dedicated interdisciplinary workshop on this theme at UQ in 2012.

Matt has contributed to broader public debate on issues relating to climate change and Australian foreign policy through media work, in particular opinion editorial publications in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Literary Review, ABC's The Drum, The Conversation and the Lowy Interpreter. And he has been invited to present his research in Australia and beyond: a combination of seminars and public lectures at leading institutions in Australia (ANU, Sydney, UNSW, Griffith), the UK (Warwick, St Andrews, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester, Queen Mary, Leeds, Nottingham, Aberystwyth, Leicester) and mainland Europe (Copenhagen, Sciences Po Paris, Geneva, Hamburg).


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Master of International Relations & Asain Politics, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts, The University of Queensland


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