Professor James Arvanitakis

Professor James Arvanitakis

Pro Vice-Chancellor Research & Graduate Studies,
Office of PVC, Research and Graduate Studies

Pro Vice-Chancellor Research & Graduate Studies,
Office of PVC, Research and Graduate Studies

Dean's Unit - School of Humanities & Comm Arts


Professor James Arvanitakis is the Dean of the Graduate Research School at Western Sydney University where he is also a lecturer in the Humanities and a member of the University’s Institute for Cultural and Society. His research areas include citizenship, resilience, piracy and the future of universities. James is a regular media commentator appearing on ABC TV and local radio, and the 'Sociologic' podcast recorded at on FBI Radio Studios. 

James was also the founding Head of The Academy at Western Sydney University ( and spearheded its principles of future proofing education, inter-discipline and ethical leadership.

James was a former banker and advocate for free trade, but having witnessed child and indentured labour, has worked to develop sustainable, socially just and equitable economic policies, working as a human rights activist throughout the Pacific, Indonesia and Europe. He worked for a number of environmental-rights organisations including Oxfam Hong Kong and was the Director of Aid/Watch.

After being internationally recognised for his innovative teaching style, in 2012, James was awarded the Prime Minister’s University Teacher of the Year Award - in the same year receiving an Australian Research Council Discovery Grant. 

In 2016, James released three new books: Sociologic: A sociological and cultural analysis of everyday life (a textbook with Oxford University Press), Universities, the Citizen Scholar and the Future of Higher Education (Palgrave), and A Penguin Special Issue tited From Despair to Hope.

In 2015 James was named an Eminent Researcher by the Australian Indian Education Council and appointed on its working group.

He blogs at and is on Twitter at @jarvanitakis

In 2007, James was part of the inaugural Ally network at UWS.

This information has been contributed by Professor Arvanitakis.


  • PhD University of New South Wales


  • Citizenship
  • Education
  • Hope
  • Piracy
  • Trust
  • Young people

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Office of PVC, Research and Graduate Studies
  • Office of PVC, Research and Graduate Studies
  • Dean's Unit - School of Humanities & Comm Arts


Phone: (02) 9685 9705
Mobile: 0438454127
Location: ED.G.18

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  • Arvanitakis, J. (2016), 'From Despair to Hope', : Penguin 9780143782513.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2008), 'Contemporary Society', : Oxford University Press 9780195568103.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2007), 'The Cultural Commons of Hope: The Attempt to Commodify the Final Frontier of the Human Experience', : Verlag 9783836429740.

Chapters in Books

  • Arvanitakis, J. and Fredriksson, M. (2018), 'Commons, piracy and property : crisis, conflict and resistance', Property, Place and Piracy, Routledge 9781138745131.
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Boydell, S. (2018), 'The real Gruen Transfer : enclosing the right to the city', Property, Place and Piracy, Routledge 9781138745131.
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Hornsby, D. (2018), 'Citizenship and the thinking university : toward the citizen scholar', The Thinking University: A Philosophical Examination of Thought and Higher Education, Springer 9783319776668.
  • Hornsby, D. and Arvanitakis, J. (2018), 'The citizen scholar in developing global perspectives', The Globalisation of Higher Education: Developing Internationalised Education Research and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan 9783319745787.
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Hornsby, D. (2016), 'Are universities redundant?', Universities, the Citizen Scholar and the Future of Higher Education, Palgrave 9781137538680.
  • Kourtis, A. and Arvanitakis, J. (2016), 'The citizen scholar : the Academy at the University of Western Sydney', Universities, the Citizen Scholar and the Future of Higher Education, Palgrave 9781137538680.
  • Matthews, I. and Arvanitakis, J. (2015), 'Academic boycott, divestment, sanctions : implications for Australia-Israel relations', Australia and Israel: A Diasporic, Cultural and Political Relationship, Sussex Academic Press 9781845196882.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2015), '#100happydays', On Happiness: New Ideas for the Twenty-First Century, UWA Publishing 9781742586076.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2015), 'Responding to the challenges of the contemporary university', Defaire/refaire l'universite Essai de Tout Dire, University of Ottawa Press .
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Fredriksson, M. (2014), 'On piracy', Piracy: Leakages from Modernity, Litwin Books 9781936117598.
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Hodge, B. (2013), 'Engagement and citizenship : universities in the contemporary world', The Citizen in the 21st Century, Inter-Disciplinary Press 9781848882386.
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Brown, P. (2013), 'Scarce water and the Australian progress trap : a commentary', Remapping the Future: History, Culture and Environment in Australia and India, Cambridge Scholars 9781443850612.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2013), 'Authentic community & the arts : building a sense of desire & community', Critical Animalia: A Decade Between Disciplines, Critical Animals 9780992309800.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2012), 'Trans-racial adoption : the fantasy of the global family', On Whiteness, Inter-Disciplinary Press 9781848881051.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2012), 'Colonialism and the emergence of hope : the use of creative non-fiction to reflect on a society in transformation', Emergent Writing Methodologies in Feminist Studies, Routledge 9786613459244.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2012), 'Forgiveness and hope : re-building fractured communities', Mapping Forgiveness, Inter-Disciplinary Press 9781848881525.
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Sidoti, E. (2011), 'The Politics of Change - Where to for Young People and Politics', In Their Own Hands: Can Young People Change Australia?, Australian Council for Educational Research 9781742860114.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2010), 'Verbatim Theatre and Community', Verbatim: Staging Memory and Community, Currency Press 9780868198798.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2010), 'On Forgiveness, Hope and Community: Or the Fine Line Step between Authentic and Fractured Communities', A Journey through Forgiveness, Inter-Disciplinary Press 9781848880481.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2008), 'I pirati erano pieni di risorse, come ninja, e impararono a usare il loro ambiente', Universita Globale: Il Nuovo Mercato Del Sapere, Manifestolibri 9788872855614.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2001), 'The role of the World Bank in East Timor's agricultural reconstruction', East Timor: Making amends? : analysing Australia's role in reconstructing East Timor, Otford Press 9781876928001.

Journal Articles

  • Heggart, K., Arvanitakis, J. and Matthews, I. (2018), '[In Press] Civics and citizenship education : what have we learned and what does it mean for the future of Australian democracy?', Education, Citizenship and Social Justice, .
  • Heggart, K., Flowers, R., Burridge, N. and Arvanitakis, J. (2018), 'Refreshing critical pedagogy and citizenship education through the lens of justice and complexity pedagogy', Global Studies of Childhood, vol 8, no 4 , pp 355 - 367.
  • Arvanitakis, J., Fredriksson, M. and Schillings, S. (2017), 'Bellamy's rage and Beer's conscience : pirate methodologies and the contemporary university', Culture Unbound, vol 9, no 3 , pp 260 - 276.
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Fredriksson, M. (2016), 'Commons, piracy, and the crisis of property', TripleC, vol 14, no 1 , pp 132 - 144.
  • Fredriksson, M. and Arvanitakis, J. (2015), 'Piracy, property and the crisis of democracy', JeDEM: eJournal of eDemocracy and Open Government, vol 7, no 1 , pp 134 - 150.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2014), 'Massification and the large lecture theatre : from panic to excitement', Higher Education, .
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Matthews, I. (2014), 'Bridging the divides : an interdisciplinary perspective on the teaching-research nexus and community engagement', Adelaide Law Review, vol 35, no 1 , pp 35 - 54.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2014), 'Cultures of resilience : citizenship-focused approach to confronting 'natural' disasters', Social Space, vol 7 , pp 66 - 75.
  • Wilson, M. and Arvanitakis, J. (2013), 'The resilience complex', M/C Journal, vol 16, no 5 .
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2013), 'Progress and societies', Culture Scope, vol 101 , pp 19 - 21.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2013), 'Beyond engagement : universities within their community', DEMESCI: International Journal of Deliberative Mechanisms in Science, vol 2, no 1 , pp 15 - 32.
  • Hubinette, T. and Arvanitakis, J. (2012), 'Transracial adoption, white cosmopolitanism and the fantasy of the global family', Third Text, vol 26, no 6 , pp 691 - 703.
  • Boydell, S. and Arvanitakis, J. (2012), 'Five questions on the Republic', Altitude, vol 10, no 1 .
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Hodge, R. (2012), 'Forms of engagement and the heterogenous citizen : towards a reflexive model for youth workshops', Gateways : International Journal of Community Research and Engagement, vol 5, no 1 , pp 56 - 75.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2011), 'Redefining the political moment : or the way politics hollows out politics and how we should respond', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies, vol 3, no 2 , pp 72 - 89.
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Boydall, S. (2010), 'The miner and the activist : an Australian parable for our carbon constrained world', Journal of Political Ecology, vol 17, no 1 , pp 58 - 67.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2010), 'The changing nature of citizenship in Australia : implications for foreign policy', Journal of Polity and Society, vol 3, no 2 , pp 9 - 19.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2009), 'Solidarity, community and the political economy of hurt', Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Journal, vol 1, no 2 , pp 86 - 95.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2009), 'Surviving Neo-Liberalism: NGOs Under the Howard Years', Nebula, vol 6, no 3 , pp 53 - 69.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2009), 'Staging Maralinga and desiring community: (Or why there is no such thing as a 'natural' community)', Community Development Journal, vol 44, no 4 , pp 448 - 459.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2008), 'Staging Maralinga and desiring community: (Or why there is no such thing as a 'natural' community)', Community Development Journal, vol 44, no 4 , pp 213 - 223.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2008), 'Staging Maralinga and looking for community (Or why we must desire community before we can find it)', Research in Drama Education, vol 13, no 3 , pp 295 - 306.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2008), 'The heterogenous citizen : how many of us care about Don Bradman's average?', M/C Journal, vol 11, no 1 .
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Wadiwal, D. (2008), 'Racists like us...', Darkmatter: In the Ruins of Imperial Culture, vol 2 .
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2007), 'The Commodification and Re-Claiming of Trust: `Does anyone Care about anything but the Price of Oil', International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, vol 2, no 3 , pp 41 - 50.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2006), 'The commons: opening and enclosing non-commodified space', Portal: journal of multidisciplinary international studies, vol 3, no 1 .
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2004), ''I have a patent lawyer on my payroll' - the conflict between intellect and intellectual property', Pacific Journalism Review, vol 10, no 1 , pp 76 - 88.
  • Arvanitakis, J. and Healy, S. (2001), 'The third wave of environmentalism', Ecopolitics: Thought and Action, vol 1, no 1 .

Conference Papers

  • Arvanitakis, J. (2006), 'Border protection between Australia and Un-Australia: (Or why I am an internally displaced person)', CSAA Conference Canberra, Canberra.
  • Arvanitakis, J. (2003), 'Another (niche) marketing opportunity?: The counter-globalisation movement and the cultural', Creating Spaces Conference, .

Other Publications

  • 2017, 'Young People in Greater Western Sydney: Beyond Stereotypes', Research Report
  • 2014, 'To witness : the artist's looking glass : a Short Essay on the Works of Luke Cornish (ELK)', Published Work
  • 2014, 'Future Forum', Recorded Work
  • 2013, 'Before Afghanistan', Published Work
  • 2013, 'Flying with birds', Published Work
  • 2013, 'The complexity of living together', Published Work
  • 2012, 'Complex emotions', Published Work
  • 2009, 'Putting the Politics Back into Politics: Young People and Democracy in Australia: Discussion Paper', Research Report

Future of Universities (2013-Current)

Given the dramatic social, cultural changes, this project focuses on the role of higher education and universities in the contemporary world.


Promoting young people's citizenship in a complex world (2012-Current)

An Australian Research Council funded project looking at the changing nature of citizenship and how civics education can be promoted to marginalized and disengaged communities.


Cultures of resilience (2011-current)

Jointly funded with the University of NSW and partners in Thailand, India and Bangladesh with a focus on communities confronting environmental challenges. The project also draws on the concept of environmental citizenship.


Piracy: Leakages from modernity (20112-Current)

With a partner in Sweden, we have a book contract and currently finalizing an ‘anthology of piracy’ – and edited collection of works from scholars around the world. The project is receiving seed funding from the University of Western Sydney.


This information has been contributed by Professor Arvanitakis.

Previous Projects

Title: Milk Crate Theatre project
  • Milk Crate Theatre
Western Researchers:
Years: 2015-08-20 - 2017-03-09
ID: P00024208
Title: Developing Centres of Teaching and Research Excellence -Indian Institute Council
  • University of Melbourne
Western Researchers: James Arvanitakis
Years: 2017-06-09 - 2017-06-19
ID: P00024391
Title: Future-proofing Western Sydney
  • Youth Action and Policy Assn (NSW) Inc.
Western Researchers: Philippa Collin and James Arvanitakis
Years: 2017-06-06 - 2017-06-08
ID: P00024416
Title: Future of Law
  • Bartier Perry lawyers
Western Researchers: James Arvanitakis
Years: 2017-06-22 - 2017-09-01
ID: P00024423
Title: Promoting Young People's Citizenship in a Complex World
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: James Arvanitakis and Bob Hodge
Years: 2012-01-01 - 2015-04-30
ID: P00020145


Professor Arvanitakis is available to be a principal supervisor for doctoral projects

Current Supervision

Thesis Title: What is Status Anxiety and How is it Defined Culturally
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: To Be Advised
Field of Research:

Western Sydney University

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