Dr Fabio Scarpello

I hold a PhD in Politics and a Master of Arts from Murdoch University (Perth, Australia).


My research focuses on the political economy of the security-development nexus. With a focus on Southeast Asia, I have researched issues related to security sector reform; plural policing; the securitisation of migrants; the politics of international peace-building and state-building interventions; internal dynamics of rebel groups; and conflict/post-conflict trends in several contexts. In my research I predominantly use concepts from Gramscian state theory, political economy and political geography; and methods from historical sociology and ethnography.

Before joining the University of Auckland in January 2019, I held academic positions at the University of Sussex (Brighton, UK) and Murdoch University (Perth, Australia). My pre-academia, professional background includes positions as a journalist, security and political analyst and consultant. I worked as a foreign correspondent covering political violence in Southeast Asia for publications such as Jane's Intelligence Review and The South China Morning Post and AdnKronos International; and I provided consulting services to private and public institutions such as the World Bank, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Walton Family Foundation. I was also briefly the Head of Department for Inequality, Governance and Peacebuilding at London-based consultancy firm VJW International.

Research | Current

  • The political economy of plural policing
  • The political economy of irregular migration governance in the Asia Pacific
  • The political economy of counterterrorism policies

My research aims to answer who benefits from specific security-related dynamics and policies.

I am currently engaged in a book project that theorises how struggles over the broad political economy affect how, by whom and for whose benefit is policing delivered on the ground, and how the field of policing, in turn, affects broader struggles over power and resources. Indonesia is the leading case study in this project.

I am additionally investigating the political economy ripple effects of the Australia-led approach to stop irregular migration in the Asia Pacific.

Furthermore, I am interested in investigating how different trajectories of state formation have affected contemporary counterterrorism policies. I am focusing, in particular, on Australia and Indonesia.

Teaching | Current

POL346 [Introdution to] Terrorism
POL777 Politics of Terrorism [and Counterterrorism]
POL710 [Politics of the] Security-Development Nexus

Postgraduate supervision

I am interested in supervising postgraduate students in the following topics:

  • Southeast Asia politics and political economy
  • Political violence, especially terrorism and conflict in Southeast Asia
  • Security governance
  • Politics of irregular migration
  • Politics of international peace- and statebuilding interventions
  • Security-development nexus

Current PhD students and area of research:

Sanjal Shastri, changing dynamics of political violence in India

Current MA students and area of research:

Molly Turner, desecuritisation of 'migrants' post-Christchurch attack
Sofia Beadle, donor-funded CVE programs in developing countries


School of Social Sciences Research Committee

Areas of expertise

  • Political economy of the security-development nexus
  • Politics of international interventions
  • Political violence
  • Southeast Asian politics

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Hameiri, S., & Scarpello, F. (2018). International development aid and the politics of scale. Review of International Political Economy, 25 (2), 145-168. 10.1080/09692290.2018.1431560
  • Scarpello, F. (2018). Beyond Copenhagen: The Political Economy of Securitising “Outside Influences” in Bali. Journal of Contemporary Asia, 48 (1), 1-22. 10.1080/00472336.2017.1362583
  • Hameiri, S., Hughes, C., & Scarpello, F. (2017). International Intervention and Local Politics Fragmented States and the Politics of Scale. Cambridge University Press.
  • Scarpello, F. (2016). The partial turn to politics in plural policing studies. Contemporary Politics, 22 (1), 114-123. 10.1080/13569775.2015.1112957
  • Scarpello, F. (2016). Toward the Political Economy of Plural Policing: Taking Stock of a Burgeoning Literature. International Studies Review, viw042-viw042. 10.1093/isr/viw042
  • Scarpello, F. (2014). Stifled Development: The SSR-CSO Community in Post-Authoritarian Indonesia. In F. Heiduk (Ed.) Security Sector Reform in Southeast Asia: From Policy to Practise (pp. 131-158). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


Contact details

Office hours

Please email for an appointment. I am happy to meet most days.

Primary office location

HSB - EAST - Bldg 201E
Level 5, Room 507
New Zealand

Web links