Professor Jennifer Claire Curtin

MA (Hons) Waikato , PhD ANU


I hold a BA and MA (First Class Hons) from Waikato University (1990; 1992), a PhD in Political Science from the Australian National University (1997) and a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education from the University of Canberra (2001).

Prior to my arrival at The University of Auckland, I taught politics and policy at Monash University, and the University of Canberra and held a postdoctoral position at the Australian National University. I worked as a policy research officer in the Australian Federal Parliament and was the Australian Parliamentary (postdoctoral) Fellow in 2000.

Prior to my academic career I worked in the finance sector, both here in New Zealand, and in London.  I was also a territorial soldier for 4 years, first in Artillery and then Signals. 

Research interests

New Zealand and Australian politics and elections, women/gender politics, comparative politics and institutions, trade unions and social movements, policy making and social change.

Research | Current

  • Comparative public policy
  • Parties, elections and voters
  • Women in politics and leadership, gender policy analysis

My research on women/gender politics has focused on the representation of women in formal political institutions and policy making environments (as leaders, in parliament, the bureaucracy and trade unions).  I am currently engaged in a project that examines women's political leadership and cabinet representation in four Westminster countries, including New Zealand.

I am also working on a book project that explores women's engagement with rugby union in New Zealand (1840-present).
I have expertise in New Zealand and Australian politics with a particular focus on voters, elections, rural and regional representation, and the rise of independents and minor parties. I am a principal investigator in the New Zealand Election Study.
I bring my knowledge of politics and public policy together in my work on gender analysis and comparative public policy.  I have a keen interest in trans-Tasman policy innovation and am currently the Director of the University's Public Policy Institute.

Teaching | Current

POLITICS 757 Comparative Public Policy

POLITICS 774 Politics-Policy Internship

Postgraduate supervision

I am always interested in supervising graduate students in any of the subfields listed above, and especially if the research project has a cross-national comparative dimension. 

I have supervised 13 PhD students to completion since 2007; and I continue to supervise and co-supervise a large number of PhD and Masters by research students. 



I am the Coordinator of the University of Auckland's Master of Public Policy.  You should feel free to contact me to find out more information. Alternatively, follow this link to the MPP home page.

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Celis, K., Childs, S., & Curtin, J. (2016). Specialised parliamentary bodies and the quality of women's substantive representation: A comparative analysis of Belgium, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Parliamentary Affairs, 69 (4), 812-829. 10.1093/pa/gsw007


Contact details

Primary office location

BAYREUTH - Bldg 220
New Zealand

Web links