Michael Johnson is an Associate Professor at the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. He teaches on a part-time basis in the MA Development Studies program.
Michael's research interests include investigating the role of the public sector in the economy; infrastructure provision (especially water and electricity infrastructure and infrastructure policy); regulation as well as the area of public management and its reform. He is also interested in environmental management and development policy in the area of the role of 'not-for-profits' and the application of human rights to development work.
Michael was a founding Director on the Board of The Fred Hollows Foundation and is currently a director. In this role, which overlaps his academic research interests, he is interested in research on applying a human rights framework to development organisations and programs.
He was awarded the Membership of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen's Birthday Day Awards in 2014 for his contribution to tackling avoidable blindness in the world and higher education.Research Areas
Research areas include the role and management of the public sector in the Australian economy and society, especially in the area of infrastructure policy and the regulation of water, electricity and social services. Policy development, with a focus on the management of NGOs , their programs and the application of a human rights framework to development work in low income countries.
Current Research Projects
Effective and efficient management of international NGOs working in development
This project involves examining critical aspects of the effective and efficient management of international NGOs working in development. These include studies of the growing numbers of formally established social and community organisations in developing countries, the nature of international NGOs relations with them and areas of concern in these relationships, including the nature of any 'partnerships' and including their policy, regulatory and governance dimensions.
Application of a human rights framework to development programs in developing countries
The particular area of concern here is in relation to the extension of the rights that contribute to employment and income security and the rights framework applied to the access to medical services, particularly those related to restoring sight.
Political economy of the provision and reform of infrastructure in Australia
In particular a focus on the public/private mix in infrastructure provision by the states and Commonwealth and the effectiveness of the current policies and institutional structure used to manage it.
Postgraduate Research Supervision
Areas of Supervision
Development studies, economic development, human rights and development, infrastructure provision, infrastructure reform, economic and social regulation, public sector reform
Recent Postgraduate Research Completions
Political economy, theory and practice of development, international development policy
SOCW 7852 The Politics of International Aid
Occasional lectures in courses on economic development, health and human rights and policy studies/
Affiliation and Memberships
Michael previously taught economic history, theory and policy in the School of Economics at UNSW.