Mr Luke Duane Oldfield

BA Waikato, MA Waikato (First Class honours)

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy

Research | Current

Reconsidering incarceration in the pursuit of social and economic benefits: What role could populism play in modifying the trajectory of penal reform?

My thesis examines the limited success of progressive politicians in counteracting penal populism and the consequential rise in persons incarcerated. An overarching hypothesis is that politicians advocating for decarceration might be more successful if they were to also draw from a populist-style of politics.

A mixed method approach begins by using quantitative measures (survey data) to determine the relative strength of populist rhetoric in altering the trajectory of voter attitudes. A qualitative approach then follows, examining the populist-style politics Ralph Klein’s Alberta’s provincial government between 1993 - 1997, matching its applicable features with observations found in the preceding survey data.


Teaching | Current

I am currently a Research Assistant to Dr. Lara Greaves.



Second Place: Graduate Blog Competition, Sociological Association of Aotearoa / New Zealand.


Team Co-Ordinator: Fact or Fiction - The 2017 New Zealand General Election, a joint project between Radio New Zealand and the University of Auckland's Public Policy Institute.

Research Assistant: Vote Compass - The 2017 New Zealand General Election, a joint project between Television New Zealand, Vox Pop Labs and the University of Auckland.  


Finalist: Nola Campbell Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching, University of Waikato.

Captain: Waikato's University Challenge Team, Prime Television.


Recipient: Summer Research Scholarship, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Waikato.


Finalist: Mature Student Award for Excellence, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences, University of Waikato.

Areas of expertise

Political Systems, Political Theory, Australian & New Zealand Politics and the Politics of Crime & Punishment.

Contact details

Primary office location

HSB - EAST - Bldg 201E
Level 9, Room 901
New Zealand

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