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. 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

POLITICS 346 Terrorism
POLITICS 710 Security-Development Nexus
POLITICS 777 Politics of Terrorism and Counterterrorism (not offered in 2020)

Postgraduate supervision

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

  • Southeast Asia politics and political economy
  • Politics of terrorism and counterterrorism 
  • Politics of irregular migration
  • Politics of international peace- and statebuilding interventions
  • Political economy of policing and plural policing
  • Security-development nexus

Current PhD students and area of research:

Sanjal Shastri, changing dynamics of political violence in India (with Chris Wilson)
Azim Shea, Syria refugees and Resilience (with Thomas Gregory)
Yasin Erkan Eroglu, (De)construction of refugee subjectivity in Turkey-Eu relation (with Thomas Gregory)

Current MA students and area of research:

Chris Wright, New Zealand counterterrorism laws and the question of human rights
Joynita Hutasoit, cryptocurrencies and the financing of terrorism: how are Indonesia and Singapore responding?
Sushma Puyal, Diaspora and their influence in the politics of their homeland: A case study of Nepal
Piriangaoa Pukeiti, the police and 'procedural humanitarian work' after a terrorist attack: Chirstchurc attack as a case study 

Former MA students and area of research

Jen Lin, PMCs in non-Western contexts
Victoria Triegaard, CVE and new technologies
Hijrahqul Fahrudin, securitisation of foreign fighters in Indonesia
Christopher Chilvers, the rise of the Salafi-jihadi movement in Iraq and Somalia
Tegan Winstanley, aviation security and counterterrorism 
Molly Turner, desecuritisation of 'migrants' post-Christchurch attack
Sofia Beadle, donor-funded CVE programs in developing countries


Nominated for the 2016 Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

Shortlisted for the 2019 Australian International Political Economy Network (AIPEN) Richard Higgott Journal Article Prize for the best article published in IPE as deemed by a selection committee of IPE scholars. Article shortlisted: Hameiri, Shahar, and Fabio Scarpello. 2018. “International Development Aid and the Politics of Scale.” Review of International Political Economy 25 (2): 145–68. https://doi.org/10.1080/09692290.2018.1431560

Areas of expertise

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

Committees/Professional groups/Services

School of Social Sciences Research Committee

MCTS program co-coordinator

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Scarpello, F. (2020). Susi versus the rest: The political economy of the fisheries industry in Indonesia during Jokowi’s first term. Asian Journal of Political Science, online first.10.1080/02185377.2020.1774908
  • Scarpello, F. (2019). The “Australian model” and its long-term consequences. Reflections on Europe. Global Affairs, 5 (3), 221-233. 10.1080/23340460.2019.1697629
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/50070
  • Hameiri, S., & Scarpello, F. (2019). International statebuilding interventions and the politics of scale. In Lemay-Hébert N (Ed.) Handbook on intervention and statebuilding (pp. 61-70). Northampton, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. 10.4337/9781788116237.00013
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2292/51889
  • 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. 10.1017/9781108416894
  • 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


Contact details

Office hours

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

Primary office location

58 SYMONDS ST - Bldg 435
Level 7, Room 702
New Zealand

Web links