School of Language,
Social and Political Sciences

Kia ora, Talofa lava, Kia orana, Malo e lelei, Fakaalofa lahi atu, Ni sa Bula, 歡迎, 환영, ยินดีต้อนรับ, مرحبا, السلام عليكم

Nga mihi nui ki a koutou katoa. Nau mai, haere mai

Our School encompasses the disciplines of: Anthropology, Diplomacy and International Relations, European and Europeon Union Studies, Global, Cultural and Language Studies, Human Services, International Law and Politics, Journalism, Linguistics, Media and Communication, Political Science, Social Work and Sociology. Here you will find some links to useful resources and information.

Pilot suicide scenario most likely

26 March 2014 A University of Canterbury (UC) criminologist, Professor Greg Newbold, agrees the pilot suicide scenario looks increasingly likely in the loss of Malaysian Airlines flight. (read article)

More News

‘It was a non-intimidating atmosphere in which I felt motivated to learn...’

Rasha Rushdy BA in Chinese and Political Science and LLB
Associate, Stamford Law Corporation, Singapore
(read profile)

Announcements and Events

Postgraduate Brown Bag Presentations

Postgraduate Brown Bag Presentations - Tuesdays, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Location: Psyc 311, Common Room


International Conference - Aditya Malik has been invited to participate in an international conference on "The relevance of traditional cultures for the present and the future" organised by the India International Centre-Asia Project in New Delhi from 24-26 March. The purpose of the conference is to "bring together intellectuals from different countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America who have reflected and will reflect on the fundamental questions whether the long civilisational histories of these countries, with their rich and varied knowledge systems and cultural traditions, have a meaningful and significant role to play in the contemporary world and certainly the world of the future." Conferences participants include academics, thinkers, writers and social activists from Brazil, Mexico, Benin, Ghana, Egypt, Greece, U.K., Russia, Austria, Vietnam, Indonesia, India, China and other countries. Aditya's presentation is entitled: "Articulations of Being: Reflections on the crisis of modern civilisation." 

A human-animal themed issue of the journal Environment and Society: Advances in Research has just been published, featuring an article by Piers Locke (Anthropology). Titled 'Explorations in Ethnoelephantology: Social, Historical, and Ecological Intersections Between Asian Elephants and Humans', it traces the emergence of a new approach to the study of humans-elephant interrelations that integrates methodological perspectives from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Exploring the ways in which human and elephant lives and landscapes are socially, historically, and ecologically entangled, it reviews latest research in anthropology, geography, and history.
Patrick McAllister’s research on the lunar new year in Vietnam is the subject of two recent articles in Tuoi Tre, Vietnam’s largest circulation national daily newspaper. See:

Anthropology PhD student Kierin Mackenzie has guest edited the latest issue of the Terralingua Organization's semi-annual magazine Langscape, which aims to promote a paradigm shift by educating minds and hearts about the importance and value of biocultural diversity for global sustainability through scientific and cultural knowledge. The theme of this issue in the Emerging Paradigms series is Weaving Innovation and Tradition.

On Thursday February 13, Piers Locke will be giving a presentation at the Centre for Research in Evolutionary and Environmental Anthropology at the University of Roehampton, London. The title of his talk is: Ethnoelephantology and The Multispecies Turn- New Approaches to Human-Elephant Relations.

Global, Cultural & Language Studies

NZ European Union Centres Network opens call for applications to attend a two day Post-Graduate Weekend School in Kaikoura on May 9-11, 2014.  All PG students who study EU/Europe related topics are welcome!  EUCN Graduate Weekend School - Registrations are now open for the 2014 EUCN Graduate Weekend School – to be held on May 9-11 at the UC Field Station in Kaikoura!  The aims of the weekend are to highlight areas of interest for postgraduate students, create a network of expertise for early career researchers and to set up a “region of knowledge” on the European Union.

Get away from the everyday stresses of your studies, come along and:
• Hear presentations by other students
• Practice presenting
• Receive valuable, constructive feedback from others in the field
• Attend workshops on research and study tools, publishing and presenting, and other academic skills
• Network with other students and leading academics

The Programme will consist of skills workshops, presentations and group activities.
Students will need to prepare a paper for presentation and discussion.    Earlybird registrations close Monday 24th March with final registrations on Sunday 30th March. There are limited places and early registrations will be given priority.    For more details please see:  or email your registration or queries to

Comments for New Zealand and policy-makers and civil society on the on-going crisis in Ukraine - Associate Professor Natalia Chaban has been invited by NZ policy-makers to reflect and analyse current situation in Ukraine in the panel "Perspectives on the Crisis in Ukraine: Should New Zealand be Worried?", NZ Parliament, Wellington   (Thursday, 20 March 2014, 6.00-7.30pm). She is also presenting a seminar "Ukraine: Where the heart of Europe beats?" at the 4th meeting of the New Zealand Institute of  International Affairs (NZIIA) (Christchurch branch) on Tuesday, March 25 2014 at 5pm (Logie 104 “Virtual Europe” room).

NCRE Roundtable Seminars: open to all students, staff and wider public.
Prof. Alison Firth, Visiting Professor from  Newcastle University, an KEENZ exchange visitor to the University of Canterbury will present "European norms in transit: Trade mark norms, TTIP uncertainties and the relevance of TPP” (March 21, 2-3pm, Logie 104 “Virtual Europe” room”)  
Pablo Mateu García, Education adviser, Education Office, Embassy of Spain, presented on March 14 an NCRE Roundtable Seminar where he talked about “Language and Culture Assistants Programme” -- an initiative of the Spanish Ministry of Education devoted to providing scholarships for New Zealand university students (majoring in any subject) and graduates to come to Spain.  For more information, please contact the Head of Spanish Programme, Dr William Cheng or Head of European and EU Studies, Associate Professor Natalia Chaban.

NCRE leads the 4th Asia-Pacific EU Centres Workshop,  13-14 February 2014, Wellington
Professor Martin Holland, Director of the NCRE, hosted the 4th Asia-Pacific EU Centres workshop 13‑14 February 2014 in Wellington. Addressing the workshop theme, “What can the EU learn from Asian regionalism?”, 30 EU academics drawn from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand participated in the event.”

NCRE trains Asian and European diplomats together with Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) and  DIPLO Foundation (Switzerland) - Associate Professor Natalia Chaban, Jean Monnet Chair and the Co-head of the E&EUS  within GCLS, and Professor Martin Holland, Director of the NCRE, collaborate with Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF, Singapore) and  DIPLO Foundation (Switzerland) leading the course for Asian and European diplomats on public diplomacy in which they utilise research  findings of the transnational research projects “The EU in the Eyes of Asia Pacific” (22 countries) and “Asia in the Eyes of Europe” (8 countries) led by Natalia and Martin for a decade.  Two face-to-face workshops (in Geneva and Singapore) and two online courses will be run in 2014 linking academia with international relations practitioners. The initiative is supported by the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs and ASEF.

NCRE hosts international visitors
Visitors are on research exchanges at the NCRE: Professor Jan Orbie from Ghent University, Belgium, from the Department of Political Science and the Director of the Centre for EU Studies. He teaches Theories of European Integration, EU External Policies, and EU Trade Policies (Jean Monnet Module) in the Master EU Studies programme. His research focuses on the ‘soft’ (trade, development, social, democracy promotion) dimensions of EU external relations and on the EU’s role as a normative power. Dr May-Britt U. Stumbaum heads the NFG Research Group "Asian Perceptions of the EU" (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany) that analyses Asian views of the EU as a security actor in an interpolar world. She is a co-founder and former president of Women in International Security Deutschland (WIIS) and a reserve Captain of the German Air force. Her research focus is on EU-Asia and security policy.  

Interviews with NZ media
Associate Professor Natalia Chaban, Jean Monnet Chair and the Co-head of the E&EUS within GCLS, provided the next set of commentaries to NZ news media (Radio NZ and TVNZ “Seven Sharp”) analysing situation in Ukraine.

NCRE Weekly Research Seminars are open for the broad public (All in “Virtual Europe Room” room, Logie 104)
Sir Michael Leigh of German Marshall Dund will talk about “The 2014 European Parliament elections and the implications for the future of EU policy” (March 13, 2-3pm)
Pablo Mateu García, Education adviser, Education Office, Embassy of Spain, will talk about “Language and Culture Assistants Programme” (March 14, 2-3pm)GANZ
Dr. May-Britt U. Stumbaum, Head, NFG Research Group "Asian Perceptions of the EU", Freie Universität Berlin will talk about "Dealing with Non-traditional Security Threats - Avenues for cooperation and norm diffusion in EU - Asia Pacific security relations"(March 14, 2-3pm)

GANZ - Vera Leier and Susanne Ledanff went to the meeting of the representatives of GANZ (German teachers and lecturers in NZ) and the Network Deutsch meeting of the German Embassy on 1-2 March in Wellington. Here is a picture with the German ambassador Dr. Schleich.



Beth Hume has been awarded RSNZ International Mobility Funding for her project “Predicting sounds patterns: A cross-linguistic theory of vowel epenthesis.” The funds will be used to bring Associate Professor Florian Jaeger (Univ. of Rochester, Brain & Cognitive Sciences) to UC to work on the joint research project.

Linguistics MA student Tim Connell has gained a Distinction for his MA thesis ‘A Sketch Grammar of Matéq: A Land Dayak language of West Kalimantan, Indonesia’. Tim’s MA research was supervised by Dr Heidi Quinn (Linguistics) and Prof Beth Hume (Linguistics), and supported by a UC Masters Scholarship, as well as a Gerhardt Laves Scholarship from the Australian Linguistic Society. Particular thanks to the Pusat Kajian Bahasa dan Budaya (Centre for Language and Culture Studies) at the Universitas Katolik Indonesia Atma Jaya (Atma Jaya Catholic University) in Jakarta for acting as the local counterpart institution during Tim’s fieldwork in Indonesia.

Media and Communication

Two students, Monique Steele and Michael Knewstubb (Media and Communication), have arrived in Aarhus, Denmark, on an Honours-level exchange, and two Danish students, Anne Dyrehauge and Kristian Aasted Halse, arrive here shortly. The exchange is part of the EU and Education New Zealand-funded Inclusive Journalism Initiative.

After a (very) long wait, Linda Jean Kenix just learned that her article titled, "You are either with us or with us: Constructing Samoan national identity through inclusion at the Samoa Observer," was accepted for publication in Journalism.

Political Science

Dr Bronwyn Hayward senior lecturer in Political Science has been appointed Fellow & Advisory Board member to a UK Arts & Humanities Research Council 1.47 million pound grant for a research collaboration of 5 UK Universities and Art galleries: Stories of Change: Exploring energy and community in the past, present and future. The research is launched in September in Oxford, UK.

Social Work

Jane Maidment from the Department of Human Services and Social Work has just had a co-edited book ‘Social Work Practice for Promoting Health and Wellbeing' published with Routledge (2014). This publication contains a series of interconnected chapters reporting on research, practice innovation and policy related to promoting and debating the discourse on wellbeing in social work and the human service sector.

Marsden grant winner

Congratulations to one of three Marsden grant winners in the College of Arts: Lynn Clark (Linguistics) on “Recency effects in spoken New Zealand English”.

Master of Social Work (Applied) (MSW(App))

Master of Social Work (Applied) (MSW(App)) OPEN for new enrolments in 2014.

Seminar Series

Seminar Series - What's on this week?