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Nicole Curato

Nicole Curato



Nicole Curato is a Professor at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the University of Canberra. Her work examines how deliberative politics can take root in the aftermath of tragedies using ethnographic methods. She has conducted extensive fieldwork in the Philippines in communities affected by disasters, armed conflict, and police brutality.

She is the author of the prize-winning book Democracy in a Time of Misery: From Spectacular Tragedy to Deliberative Action (2019, Oxford University Press) and has published extensively in sociology, political science, and policy studies journals.

She holds a distinct record of simultaneously serving as editor of three of the most important journals in the field. She is the lead editor of the Journal of Deliberative Democracy, co-editor of the Australian Journal of Political Science and associate editor of Political Studies. She is the founder and convener of the Deliberative Democracy Summer School, the co-chair of the European Consortium for Political Research’s Standing Group on Democratic Innovations and the founding member of the American Political Science Association’s related group on Democratic Innovations.

Nicole is an engaged academic. Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times and the Brookings Institute’s Democracy in Asia series, among others. She hosts and writes her own television programme for CNN Philippines, collaborates with documentary filmmakers to produce immersive and socially relevant content for online streaming sites, and takes part in numerous speaking engagements on deliberative democracy, disinformation, and Philippine politics. She regularly provides briefing to policymakers and international aid agencies and engages in constant dialogue with civil society and activist groups.

She tweets @NicoleCurato.

Key Publications

  • Curato, N., Farrell D., Geißel, B., Grönlund, K., Mockler, P., Renwick, A., Rose, J., Setälä, M. and Suiter, J. (2021) Deliberative Minipublics: Core Design Features. Bristol: Policy Press

  • Curato, N. (2020) Assessing the poor’s deliberative agency in media-saturated societies. Theory and Society.

  • Curato, N. (2019) Democracy in a Time of Misery: From Spectacular Tragedy to Deliberative Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Curato, N., Hammod, M. and Min, J.B. (2018) Power in Deliberative Democracy: Norms, Forums, Systems. New York: Palgrave.

  • Curato, N. (ed) (2017) Duterte Reader: Critical Essays on Rodrigo Duterte’s Early Presidency. Ithaca: Cornell University Press/Quezon City: Ateneo de Manila University Press.

Full list of publications available in GoogleScholar.

Research grants (select list)

Australian Research Council grants

  • Lead Chief Investigator, Monitoring Deliberative Integrity in Australia (2021-2023). Funded by the Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative. (AU$ 202,156)

  • Chief Investigator, Global Citizen Deliberation: Analysing a Deliberative Documentary (2020-2022). Funded by the Australian Research Council Linkage Project. (AU$439,000)

  • Chief Investigator, Discovery Project (2018-2020) A Meta-Study of Democratic Deliberation: Updating Theory and Practice Funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Project (AU$526,411)

  • Lead Chief Investigator, Discovery Early Research Career Award (2015-2018) Building Back Better: Participatory Governance in a Post-Haiyan World Funded by the Australian Research Council (AU$324,557).

International competitive grants

  • Co-Investigator, Strongmen of Asia: Democratic bosses and how to understand them. Funded by the Norwegian Research Council (AU$1.8M via University of Oslo).

  • Co-Investigator, Humanitarian Technologies: An Ethnographic Assessment of Communication Environments in Disaster Recovery and Humanitarian Intervention (2014-2015) Economic and Social Research Council (UK) Urgency Grant (£157,323.09/AU$267,524; via Goldsmiths University)

PhD students

  • Anne Nygaard Jedzini (Primary Supervisor)

  • Mohammad Abdul-Hwas (Primary Supervisor)

  • Nardine Alnemr (Secondary Supervisor)

  • Emerson Sanchez (Secondary Supervisor)

  • Roger B. Davies (Secondary Supervisor)

  • Pia Rowe (Adviser, completed)


  • Co-Convener, Investigating and Explaining Society, 2020-2022

  • Convener, Deliberative Democracy Internship Programme, 2019-present

  • Founder and Convener, Deliberative Democracy Summer School, 2015-present


  • Communications Director of the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance


  • Virginia A. Miralao Book Prize 2020, awarded by the Philippine Social Sciences Council (2020)

  • Vice Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence, University of Canberra (2016, 2018)

  • Broadcasters Association of the Philippines Prize for Best Television Special, Breaking Fake News for CNN Philippines (2018)

  • Ten Outstanding Young Men (/People) of the Philippines for Public Sociology (2013)

  • Overseas Research Award, UK funding for higher education (2007-2010)

  • Graduate Teaching Scholarship, University of Birmingham (2007-2010)

Public Engagement

  • Resident Sociologist, writer and television presenter for CNN Philippines (2018-Present)

  • Writer and host for FYT Media’s Insights (2019, available in iFlix streaming)

  • Host and producer, Philippines Beyond Clichés Podcast, New Mandala (2018)

  • Op-ed contributor to the New York Times, Al Jazeera English,, Asia Global Online, New Mandala, The Interpreter, and East Asia Forum, among others.

  • Resource person for international media outlets including The New Yorker, BBC, ABC News Australia, Bloomberg, and France24, among others.

  • Research cited over 50 times in international publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The Huffington Post, Vice News, Buzz Feed, Deutsche Welle, and Reuters, among others.

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