IGDC Member Spotlight - Tom O'Brien
The IGDC would like to formally welcome Dr. Tom O’Brien, who joined us in October 2018!
Tom is a lecturer in political sociology in the Department of Sociology. Originally from New Zealand, Tom completed his Bachelor of Social Sciences degree at the University of Waikato, before going on to complete an Honours year at Victoria University Wellington and a Masters at the University of Auckland. He then undertook his PhD in Melbourne, exploring whether democratisation leads to improved environmental standards and factors that may influence such outcomes.
Tom joined the University of York in August 2018, and prior to this he was based at Cranfield University at the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. In this role, he was involved in contributing modules to Masters courses in Ethiopia on environmental security and in Indonesia on governance and human security. Outside of his academic posts, Tom is also currently the Treasurer of the Political Leadership Standing Group of the Political Studies Association.
Tom works across the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Southeast Asia and Romania. His research has centred on the themes of democratisation, political leadership, environmental sociology and contentious politics. Currently, he is working on projects with colleagues in the UK and abroad to consider issues such as protest and activism in Bulgaria and Romania, governance and leadership in Southeast Asia, and distrust in peace negotiations.
“The interdisciplinary and global focus of the IGDC provides a valuable opportunity to explore intersections and overlaps between disciplines. Development as a field is a fertile space in which this interaction can potentially have real world impacts. On a personal level it will enable me to further my exploration of sociology, political science and human geography, while also facilitating contribution to developments in these and related areas.”