Researcher biography

Reader in International Relations

Matt McDonald joined the School of Political Science and International Studies in January 2010, and is the current Director of Teaching and Learning in the School. After completing his PhD at UQ in 2003, Matt held lectureship posts in international relations at the University of New South Wales and the University of Birmingham (UK), and was Associate Professor in International Security at the University of Warwick (UK). His research focuses on critical theoretical approaches to security and their application to issues such as environmental change, Australian foreign and security policy, climate politics and Asia-Pacific security dynamics. He has published on these themes in journals such as European Journal of International Relations, Political Geography, Review of International Studies, International Theory, Security Dialogue, International Political Sociology and Australian Journal of Political Science. He is the author of Ecological Security: Climate Change and the Construction of Security (Cambridge UP, 2021), Security, the Environment and Emancipation (Routledge 2012) and (with Anthony Burke and Katrina Lee-Koo) Ethics and Global Security (Routledge 2014). He was formerly co-editor of Australian Journal of Politics and History. He is currently completing an ARC-funded project on comparative national approaches to the climate change- security relationship.

Selected Publications

Books (Authored)

  • Ecological Security: Climate Change and the Construction of Security (Cambridge UP, 2021)
  • (with Anthony Burke and Katrina Lee-Koo), Ethics and Global Security: A Cosmopolitan Approach (Routledge, 2014)
  • Security, the Environment and Emancipation: Contestation over Environmental Change (Routledge, 2012).

Edited Volumes

  • (with Paul Williams), Security Studies: An Introduction, 3rd ed (Routledge, 2018)
  • (with Mark Beeson), The Politics of Climate Change in Australia. Special Issue of Australian Journal of Politics and History, 59:3 (2013).
  • (with Tim Dunne), The Politics of Liberal Internationalism, Special Issue of International Politics, 50:1 (2013).
  • (with Anthony Burke), Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific (Manchester UP, 2007).

Refereed Journal Articles

  • 'After the Fires? Climate Change and Security in Australia', Australian Journal of Political Science, 56:1 (2021), 1-18.
  • ‘Climate Change and Security: Towards an Ecological Security Discourse?’, International Theory, 10:2 (2018), 153-80.
  • ‘Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific: An Introduction’, Critical Studies on Security, 5:3 (2017), 237-52.
  • ‘Remembering Gallipoli: Anzac, the Great War and Australian Memory Politics’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 63:3 (2017), pp.405-17.
  • (with Lee Wilson) ‘Trouble in Paradise? Citizen Militia Groups in Bali, Indonesia’, Security Dialogue, 48:3 (2017), pp.241-58.
  • ‘Bourdieu, Environmental NGOs and Australian Climate Politics’, Environmental Politics, 25:6 (2016), pp.1058-78.
  • (with Anthony Burke and Katrina Lee-Koo) 'Ethics and Global Security', Journal of Global Security Studies,1:1 (2016), pp. 64-79
  • 'Australian Foreign Policy under the Abbott Government: Foreign Policy as Domestic Politics?' Australian Journal of International Affairs 69:6 (2015), pp 651-669.
  • ‘Discourses of Climate Security’, Political Geography, 33 (2013), pp.43-51.
  • (with Christopher S. Browning),‘The Future of Critical Security Studies: Ethics and the Politics of Security’, European Journal of International Relations 19:2 (2013), pp.235-55.
  • 'The Failed Securitization of Climate Change in Australia’, Australian Journal of Political Science, 47:4 (2012), pp.579-92.
  • ‘Lest we Forget: The Politics of Memory and Australian Military Intervention’, International Political Sociology, 4:3 (2010), pp.287-302.
  • 'Securitization and the Construction of Security', European Journal of International Relations, 14:4 (2008), pp.563-87.
  • (with Katharine Gelber) ‘Ethics and Exclusion: Representations of Sovereignty in Australia’s Approach to Asylum-Seekers’, Review of International Studies, 32:2 (2006), pp.269-89.
  • ‘Fair Weather Friend? Australia’s Approach to Global Climate Change’, Australian Journal of Politics and History, 51:2 (2005), pp. 216-34.
  • ‘Human Security and the Construction of Security’, Global Society, 16:3 (2002), pp. 277-95.


Matt has been interviewed on television and radio, and has contributed opinion editorials to ABC News, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian Literary Review, Australian Outlook, ABC's The Drum, Insight, the Lowy Interpreter and is a regular contributor to The Conversation. For his recent articles in The Conversation, see here: