Vale James Jupp AM (1932-2022)

24 May, 2022

Vale James Jupp AM (1932-2022)

The APSA is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of James Jupp (AM, FASSA). An erudite scholar with wide-ranging interests James made an enormous contribution to the study of Australian politics across a number of areas – the party system, political parties, religion and politics, and most notably immigration and ethnic affairs. In these latter two fields in particular, James’s scholarship provided invaluable insights into settler Australia’s development as a nation of immigrants and to Australians’ sense of who they are as a people. 

Born and educated in England, James first came to Australia in 1956 where he worked at the University of Melbourne. His perspectives as a migrant scholar led not only to his first book on Australian party politics but also his pioneering book on the deficiencies in Australian settlement policies, Arrivals and Departures. In 1966 he returned to England to take up a lectureship at the University of York and became chair of its Politics Department. In 1973 and 1975 he held visiting appointments at Columbia University and the University of New Brunswick and from 1976 to 1978 a chair at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He returned to Australia in 1978, initially at the Canberra College of Advanced  and then at the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University where he was recruited by Don Aitkin to co-ordinate and foster the study of ethnic politics. He held the post of Director of the Centre for Immigration Multicultural Studies from 1988 to 2010.

In many ways James’s scholarship can be said to have dominated the immigration/ethnicity field. He was a prolific scholar producing at least eleven sole authored books (many in multiple editions), twelve edited collections, over 100 journal articles and book chapters, and numerous reports. His bicentennial encyclopedia The Australian People was the first attempt to map all the communities making up the Australian population, becoming an indispensable aid for politicians addressing community events in their constituencies. James was also a member of the editorial boards of more than a dozen scholarly journals, including the Australian Journal of Political Science. Much of his research work had an applied policy dimension and he chaired numerous government and community bodies dealing with immigration, refugees, and multiculturalism. In all his various capacities, he generously accommodated and nurtured a diverse retinue of colleagues, fellow contributors, and emerging young scholars.

During his career James received numerous honours and became a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2004 for “service to the development of public policy in relation to immigration and multiculturalism, to education, and in the recording of Australian history”. In 1989 he became a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and for two years served as its Director.

In his scholarship James was always refreshingly original, a characteristic which applied at all levels from the choice of subjects on which to specialise to the kind of detailed insights which he was then able to generate. In all of his dealings with colleagues and acquaintances, James was ever the gentleman. He is survived by his wife, Emerita Professor Marian Sawer, his daughter Natalie and step-daughters Hilary and Harriet. Both professionally and personally he will be sorely missed.

Emeritus Professor Jim Jose

President, Australian Political Studies Association

(On behalf of the Executive Committee of APSA)

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