Associate 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 have published widely on these topics (in books and international journals).  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 (1840-2012).  
My second area of expertise is 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, and I have published on young voters, the gender gap in electoral behaviour and on issues of representation and participation in politics and in the discipline of political science. 
I also work on how politics intersects with public policy making, specifically in terms of agenda setting and problem definition.  To date I have published on policies relating to parental leave, domestic violence, and policies relating to political representation.

Teaching | Current

POLITICS 107 New Zealand Politics

POLITICS 223 Comparative Politics

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

Below is a list of some of the topics I have supervised to date.

  • Drug Policy Reform in Australia and North America; 
  • Tobacco Policy Change in Australia and New Zealand; 
  • Mental Health Policy Transfer in the Pacific; 
  • Civil Service Policy Reform in Guatemala and Mexico; 
  • Cultural Policy and Indicators of Community Wellbeing in Australia and New Zealand;
  • Policies of Decentralisation and good governance outcomes in Colombia;
  • Parliamentary Practices and Representation in Malaysia;
  • Reserved Seats and Women's Political Representation in Bangladesh and Pakistan; 
  • The women's movement and women's political participation in Jordan.
  • Women's representation in the New Zealand Defence Force
  • A policy history of social housing
  • National identity and policy construction in New Zealand
  • Resisting the neoliberal challenge to Archives in New Zealand
  • Local governance and global cities: New Zealand compared
  • Voter turnout and the costs of democratic participation: New Zealand compared
  • Redistricting reform in the United States
  • Central Forest Spine Policy in Malaysia
  • Higher Education Policy Reform in New Zealand and Finland


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 location

BAYREUTH - Bldg 220
Level G, Room G02
New Zealand

Web links