Dr Olli Hellmann

Qualifications: PhD (Birmingham), MA (Birmingham), Magister Artium (Heidelberg)

([email protected])

About Olli

Olli Hellmann joined the University of Waikato in 2019. Prior to this, Olli held positions at the University of Sussex (2013-2019) and Durham University (2010-2013).

Olli specialises in the comparative analysis of political institutions, with a specific geographical focus on East Asia. His more recent work has explored questions of democratisation and autocratic regime resilience, and has been published as a special issue of International Political Science Review (2018) and as an edited volume with Cambridge University Press (Stateness and Democracy in East Asia, 2020). His current research project explores legitimacy narratives in non-democratic regimes, focusing in particular on visual storytelling.

Olli has also published on party systems and electoral politics, and takes a special interest in issues of corruption—not only from an empirical perspective (Crime, Law and Social Change, 2017; Studies in Comparative International Development, 2020) but also from the viewpoint of critical theory (Third World Quarterly, 2019).

Olli's research has been funded through several competitive grants, including from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the British Academy, and the Academy of Korean Studies. In 2016, Olli was appointed a POSCO Fellow of the East-West Center, Honolulu.

Olli also maintains his own photography practice (


Asian Politics; International Relations; Politics

Research Interests

Dictatorships; visual analysis; democratisation; electoral politics; party systems; corruption.

Recent Publications

  • Hellmann, O., & Oppermann, K. (2022). Propaganda photographs as a tool of North Korean public diplomacy: an experimental analysis of the Kim Jong-un effect. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 1-27. doi:10.1080/09557571.2022.2065460

  • Hellmann, O. (2022). Visual narratives of environmental change: collective memory and identity at New Zealand heritage sites. Visual Communication, 147035722210789. doi:10.1177/14703572221078974

  • Hellmann, O., & Oppermann, K. (2022). Photographs as instruments of public diplomacy: China’s visual storytelling during the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 17(2), 177-215. doi:10.1163/1871191x-bja10097

  • Hellmann, O. (2021). The dictator’s screenplay: collective memory narratives and the legitimacy of communist rule in East Asia. Democratization, 28(4), 659-683. doi:10.1080/13510347.2020.1849146

View all research publications by Olli Hellmann

Papers Taught

Contact Details

Email: [email protected]
Room: TCBD.4.03I
Phone: +64 7 2620 3588