Dr Melissa Curley

Senior Lecturer

School of Political Science and International Studies
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
+61 7 334 69054


Senior Lecturer in International Relations. Her research and teaching interests include Southeast Asian politics and international relations, Cambodian politics and post-conflict reconstruction, and non-traditional security in East Asia (including trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, pandemic disease and child protection issues). Dr. Curley co-facilitated the UQ Working Group on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in the T.C Bernie School of Law (http://www.law.uq.edu.au/humantrafficking) from 2012-2016. She has published in internationally peer reviewed journals including: Review of International Studies, The Journal of Law and Society, Australian Journal of Human Rights, and Australian Journal of International Affairs, amongst others. Her most recent book is Migration and Security in Asia (Routledge 2008) with S.L. Wong. Before joining the School in January 2006, Dr. Curley was a researcher in the China-ASEAN project at the Centre of Asian Studies at the University of Hong Kong, where she also coordinated a consultancy project on Southeast Asian affairs for the Hong Kong Government's Central Policy Unit. She holds a Ph.D in International Relations from Nottingham Trent University in the UK, and BA(Hons) in Government from UQ.

In 2015, Dr Curley joined the Executive Advisory Board of Bravehearts, an Australian not-for profit organisation that aims to educate, empower and protect Australian children from sexual assault, and in 2016 was made a Paul Harris Fellow, in recognition of her services to The Rotary Foundation.

Research Interests

  • Human and Non-traditional Security
    Aspects of alternative security, including critiques of traditional security discourse and the value/applicability of human-centred and non-traditional approaches to security. How the work of NGOs and civil soceity relate/contribute to human security. The relevance of human/non-traditional security in the East Asian security environment.
  • East Asian Security
    Traditional and Non-traditional security in the East Asian security environment China-ASEAN relations Illegal migration and security, trafficking in persons, child protection
  • NGOs and state-civil society relations
    The role of non-governmental organisations (NGOs)in international relations; impact on changing state-civil society relations in transitional Asian economies (Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam); donor attitudes towards funding/building 'civil society'.

Research Impacts

In 2015, I was invited to join the Executive Advisory Board of Bravehearts, an Australian not-for profit organisation that aims to educate, empower and protect Australian children from sexual assault.

External recognition of my research and contribution to the field of International Relations is reflected by various (funded) invitations to speak at international and Australian conferences and forums associated with non-traditional security and policy related research including:

o Australian Federal Police to speak at International Symposium on Child Sex Tourism in Bangkok in 2012, and Fiji in 2013.

o Nanyang University of Technology, to speak at Symposiums on Irregular Migration in 2012 and 2009.

o University of Western Australia, to speak at Conference on Regional Leadership and Norms: EU and Asia-Pacific Trajectories, 2012.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Nottingham Trent University
  • Bachelor of Arts with Honours 1st class, The University of Queensland


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Available Projects

View all Available Projects


Featured Publications


Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.