In conversation with Jarrett Blaustein, RegNet's Education Director

Image: Jarrett Blaustein (ANU, RegNet)
Image: Jarrett Blaustein (ANU, RegNet)

We are delighted to introduce Associate Professor Jarrett Blaustein as our newest staff member and Education Director at the School of Regulation and Global Governance (RegNet). An author, a researcher and criminologist, Jarrett brings with him amongst others, an extensive knowledge in policing, security, global crime governance and resilience and climate adaptation. We recently sat down with him to discuss his research focus and what inspires him to take on the new role at the Australian National University.

Could you tell us about yourself and your research interest?

I was trained as a criminologist of sorts at the University of Edinburgh where I was first introduced to interdisciplinary research and developed an interest in how and why societies govern and deliver security in response to, and in anticipation of, crises. Most of my work to date is anchored in the idea that policing is best conceptualised as networks or webs of actors who collectively promote or reproduce social order through their interactions. Through a range of projects, I have attempted to build on this tradition which was shaped by RegNet’s early work on policing by exploring how global forces and transnational linkages shape the governance and delivery of security in different contexts.

What are you most enthusiastic about your appointment?

I am particularly enthusiastic about contributing to RegNet’s unique research culture which attaches significant value to collegiality, interdisciplinary engagement, blue sky thinking, intellectual risk taking, and high-level engagement with government and industry stakeholders. All of this is oriented towards developing innovative ways of understanding and addressing complex regulatory and governance challenges.

I remember being inspired by the work of prominent RegNet scholars including John and Valerie Braithwaite and Clifford Shearing as a graduate student so I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to become a part of this unique scholarly community and contribute to its rich intellectual tradition.

I very much hope that my ongoing research on policing and climate change will lead to impactful and sustained collaborations with researchers across the College of Asia and the Pacific and ANU. In five years, I hope that ANU is seen as a global leader in adaptive policing research and that this work programme shapes the development of more equitable, resilient, and sustainable models of security governance across Australia and internationally.

How does your new role as RegNet’s Education Director inspire you?

I am excited to step into the Education Director role at RegNet and lead the development and expansion of the School’s world-class post-graduate degree programmes. I look forward to connecting with students from a range of professional and academic backgrounds and help them identify innovative frameworks, strategies and tools for addressing the most significant regulatory challenges of the 21st century.

I think the diversity of our student cohort, particularly the array of professional experiences that many students can draw upon in the classroom, represents an important and distinctive feature of the educational experience at RegNet. This means we get to learn from each other and use our time to collectively explore the application of theory to regulatory contexts and challenges that matter to students.

What are you currently working on?

My current research focuses on how policing networks and actors are adapting to risks, harms and crises associated with climate change. Basically, our existing models of policing were never established to govern security or maintain order in a world confronted by complex, chronic, and cascading environmental risks.

I think there is a need to reflect on both the desirability and viability of different adaptive policing models or strategies in light of on-going debates about the future of policing and I believe we can draw inspiration from the field of regulatory theory to reimagine the models, principles and methods used to govern and delivery security in the public interest around the world.

My other research interest is global crime governance and my recent work with Tom Chodor and Nathan Pino explores how successive international attempts to govern crime through multilateral institutions and organisations have served to reproduce the interests of global threats since the 1900s. This is the focus of our newly published book, Unraveling the Crime-Development Nexus. Please join us for our book launch at RegNet on 20 September if you want to learn more!

What are your favourite things to do outside work?

Outside work, my passion is jiu jitsu and submission grappling. I recently received my purple belt from one of the most respected coaches and competitors in the world but sadly, my passion for the sport is not matched by my athleticism or technical abilities. I am also part of Canberra’s growing community of adopted greyhound owners and my two boys, Jetson and Woody, spend their days napping on my sofa in-between meals.