I am Professor of Politics with a joint appointment in the School of Government and International Relations and the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University, in Brisbane, Australia.
My field is applied democratic theory, especially the links between policy processes and wider public experience and debate. I have written on referendum processes around the world, public participation in policy making in the UK’s National Health Service, deliberative democratic theory and practice, and the requirements for public space in a democracy – check out the Research page for more details, or the Teaching page for details of some of my marvellous PhD students.
A New Zealander, born in Wellington, I was raised nomadically in New Zealand, Hong Kong and, briefly, Singapore. I have lived and worked in Australia from 2000 to 2003 and most recently since 2014; and in the UK at various times, including 2003-10 when I was Lecturer then Senior Lecturer at the University of York; and 2010-14 when I was Associate and then full Professor of Public Policy at the University of Warwick.
My undergraduate study was in Anthropology and English Literature at Victoria University of Wellington, after which came three years in local radio and the NZ Ministry of Defence. I spent most of the next decade in public relations in Wellington, Auckland and London, eventually working for myself as a specialist in internal communications on big IT and restructuring projects.
It was while doing internal communications work that I learned that the major obstacles to corporate change were less front-line workers — they were often the creative ones — and more managers with power bases to protect. Working to overcome those barriers was the origin of my interest in participatory and deliberative democracy.
I did my MA in Political Studies at the University of Auckland while keeping the business running, finally packing it up to start my PhD with John Dryzek. I began at Melbourne, then moved with him to the Australian National University in 2000. Bob Goodin and John Uhr joined my supervisory panel there. You can find my full academic CV here: Parkinson CV Aug 2015.
Professor John Parkinson
Centre for Governance and Public Policy
Glyn Davis Building (N72)
170 Kessels Road
Nathan, QLD 4111