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Adele Webb

Adele Webb

Research Fellow


Dr Adele Webb is Research Fellow in Democracy and Citizen Engagement at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, where she is involved with the Connecting to Parliament project and in teaching for the Masters of Public Policy.

Adele is an early career political sociologist researching how citizens think about democracy, when and why they hold ambivalent attitudes to democracy, and how subjectivities and the political unconscious affect their engagement with democratic processes. Adele is also interested in Southeast Asian Politics, Post-Colonial Theory and Critical Interpretive methods.

After completing her PhD at the University of Sydney (2019), Adele has held positions at Heidelberg University, Griffith University and Queensland University of Technology. She has been invited to give public talks and lectures in Australia, Germany and the Philippines.

Adele’s first monograph, Chasing Freedom: The Philippines’ Long Journey to Democratic Ambivalence, was published by Liverpool University Press and Ateneo de Manila University Press in 2022.

Alongside her academic work, Adele maintains an active profile in public engagement. She has a track record of disseminating her research findings through high impact media commentary. Her article on Philippine politics was the most high-impact Politics and Society article published by The Conversation in 2016.

Adele worked for almost a decade in the International Development sector, including six years as Executive Director of Sydney-based NGO Jubilee Australia. She maintains an interest in activism around global justice, she has consulted for the UNESCAP and Griffith Asia Institute, and currently sits on the Research Committee of Jubilee Australia Research Centre.

Key Publications

  • Webb, A (2022). Chasing Freedom: The Philippines’ Long Journey to Democratic Ambivalence. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.

  • Webb, A and Curato, N. (2019). Populism in the Philippines, in Populism Around the World: A Comparative Perspective, D. Stockemer (ed.). Cham: Springer Nature, pp39-65.

  • Webb, A (2018). In Praise of Democratic Ambivalence. Democratic Theory, 5(2), pp17-36.

  • Webb, A (2017). Why Are the Middle Class Misbehaving? Exploring Democratic Ambivalence and Authoritarian Nostalgia. Philippine Sociological Review, Vol. 65 Special Issue, pp77-102.

Full list of publications available here.

Public Engagement

  • The P.I Podcast. ‘Democracy in the Middle – On Democratic Ambivalence and the Middle Class – An interview with Adele Webb’. 19 November 2022.

  • Coral Bell School, Department of Political and Social Change, ANU: ‘Chasing Freedom: The Philippines’ Long Journey to Democratic Ambivalence’. 28 September 2022.

  • Australian High Commission, Singapore: ‘Regional Reflections on the Russia-Ukraine Conflict: diplomacy, conflict and the future of Southeast Asia’, Policy Forum – Australian Institute for International Affairs, 20 June 2022.

  • ABC TV News. “How Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos is leading the Philippines’ Presidential election”, 10 May 2022.

  • The Interpreter, Lowy Institute. “What a Marcos Jr presidency in the Philippines means for geopolitics”, 13 May 2022.

  • The Interpreter, Lowy Institute. “How the Marcos family could rule again in the Philippines”, 18 March 2022.

  • Australian Catholic University: ‘Have we seen peak democracy?’, Institute of Humanities and Social Sciences Forum, 25 March 2022.

  • New Books Network: New Books in Southeast Asian Studies. ‘Chasing Freedom: The Philippines’ Long Journey to Democratic Ambivalence – An interview with Adele Webb’, 1 March 2022.

News & Press

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