Professor Jack Corbett

Professor of Politics at University of Southampton


Professor Jack Corbett's research focuses on how actors manage the dilemmas of democratic governance.

In 2019-20 he is writing two books: on institutional memory (under contract, Cambridge University Press) with Dennis Grube, Heather Lovell and Rodney Scott; and on the participation of small states in international organisations (under contract, Bristol University Press) with Pat Weller and Yi-Chong Xu.

His previous books include: The Art of Comparison (2019, Cambridge University Press) with John Boswell and Rod Rhodes; Democracy in Small States: Persisting Against All Odds (2018, Oxford University Press) with Wouter Veenendaal; Australia’s Foreign Aid Dilemma: Humanitarian Aspirations Confront Democratic Legitimacy (2017, Routledge); and Being Political: Leadership and Democracy in the Pacific Islands (2015, University of Hawaii Press). He has published more than 60 journal articles, book chapters and commentaries since 2012, including in World Development, Comparative Political Studies, Journal of European Public Policy, European Journal of Political Research, Governance, Public Administration, and Policy Sciences. He has also co-edited two volumes: with Brij V. Lal Political Life Writing in the Pacific: Reflections on Practice (2015, Australian National University Press) and with Doug Munro Bearing Witness: Essays in Honour of Brij V. Lal (2017, Australian National University Press).

He holds or has held research grants from the ESRC; British Academy; Australian Research Council; the Australian and New Zealand School of Government; and the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is deputy editor of Small States and Territories Journal; co-editor of the University of Hawaii Press Topics in the Contemporary Pacific book series; co-editor of Routledge Studies in Anti-politics and Democratic Crisis; and co-convenor of the UK Political Studies Association Specialist Group on Interpretive Political Science.

He completed his PhD at The Australian National University in 2012. After an 18-month Postdoctoral Fellowship at the State, Society and Governance in Melanesia Program he took up a Research Fellowship at Griffith University, Australia, on a joint appointment with the Centre for Governance and Public Policy and the Griffith Asia Institute. He joined the faculty at Southampton in January 2016. He holds honorary appointments at the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, The Australian National University, and the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University.