John McCarthy's picture

John McCarthy

Associate Professor, Crawford School; Resources Environment and Development program.


B.Sc (University of Melbourne), B.A. Hons (Monash University), PhD (Murdoch University)

Contact details

John McCarthy works on questions of governance, institutions and rural development with a focus on forestry, agriculture, food security and land use. He was previously a Research Fellow at the Asia Research Centre, Murdoch University, Western Australia and Leiden University in the Netherlands. He has carried out various assignments with aid and development agencies including AusAID (now DFAT), the World Bank, and the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR). He has also published Land & Development in Indonesia: Searching for the People’s Sovereignty (ISAS), The Oil Palm Complex: Smallholders, Agribusiness and the State in Indonesia and Malaysia (NUS) and The Fourth Circle: A Political Ecology of Sumatra’s Rainforest Frontier (Stanford). John is Associate Professor at the ANU Crawford School.

For the full publications list see Orchid

Current projects

  • ‘Improving community fire management and peatland restoration in Indonesia’ (ACIAR)

  • ‘Household vulnerability, food security and the politics of social protection in Indonesia’, (ARC discovery project)

  • ‘Land Governance and Rural Transitions in Southeast Asia and the Pacific’ (ANU College of Asia and the Pacific Asia-Pacific Innovation Program Scheme)

PhD Students

Piers Gillespie Politics, power and participation: A Political Economy of Oil Palm in the Sanggau District of West Kalimantan (completed)

Undarga Sandagsuren Property ‘owners’ without rights? Exploring property relations and access in the Harlen Bayan-Ulaan Reserve Pasture areas of Mongolia (completed)

Ramesh Sunam. Growing prosperity, persistent poverty in Nepal: Reconsidering the links between poverty, migration and agrarian change (completed)

Yulia Indrawati Sari The Building of ‘Monuments’: Power, Accountability and Community Driven Development in Papua Province, Indonesia (completed)

Katiman Village Governance, Social Relations and Patterns of Deliberation in Java

Ahmad Dhiaulhaq Negotiating justice: Politics, institutions and power in conflict resolution in Indonesia’s oil plam and pulpwood plantations (completed)

Nihith Tanny, Food and Gender in Bangladesh

Asrul Sidiq, Forest and Land Rehabilitation in Indonesia

Research interests

  • Agricultural policy and food security
  • Resource rights, governance, and institutions with a focus on forestry, agriculture and land use
  • Politics, policy and natural resource governance in a developing context


Updated:  8 April 2020/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team