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Personal profile

Research interests

  • Global rivalries of the twenty-first century: the US, China, and Russia in the Americas and the world; contemporary imperialism, inter-imperial rivalry, and resistance.
  • Critical security studies: international security and great powers; economic and resource security; territorial conflicts and cross-border security; grand strategy; intra-state conflicts, insurgencies and guerrilla movements.
  • American foreign policy: counterinsurgency and counterterrorism strategy; state violence; civil wars and proxy wars.
  • International political economy: capitalism, corporatism, neoliberalism, globalisation, class analysis and class relations between and within the First World and Third World (or Global North and Global South), and the West and East.

Personal profile

Oliver was born in Mendoza, Argentina and has lived in Sydney for most of his life. In 2008 he completed his PhD on the political economy of contemporary Columbia in the context of the cocaine drug trade at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), offering a radical critique of the ‘war on drugs’, the ‘war on terrorism’ and the global drug trade.

He has been a lecturer since 2002, teaching politics, history, and sociology on a range of humanities and social science undergraduate programs at UWS, Macquarie University and Charles Sturt University (CSU). His published scholarly work focuses on international relations concerns, such as the exploitation of labour and natural resources for profit, security and conflict between the Global North and Global South, and the socio-political and environmental impacts of global capitalism.

At CSU, Oliver's academic interests continue to revolve around the vast and dynamic reservoir of political economy and the study of class analysis and class relations. This abiding interest extends across critical security studies, American foreign policy, and contemporary imperialism. His book 'Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror: U.S. Imperialism and Class Struggle in Colombia' (2011) was published by Monthly Review. His current research project investigates the subject of growing great power rivalries of the twenty-first century, with special attention on the globalisation of production and its shift to low-wage countries – particularly China – and US efforts to maintain its position as the leading hegemonic power in the Americas and in the world.


  • International Relations 
  • International History From 1945
  • Power, Politics and Propaganda in the Media
  • Australian Political Institutions
  • Australia and Asia
  • Introductory Sociology

Professional Information

External Appointments and Memberships:

  • Latin America Social Forum (LASF), Sydney Australia (member);
  • Latin American House Inc, Melbourne Australia

Editorial roles on Journals:

  • Rural Society (Reviewer)
  • Journal of Labor and Society (LANDS), (Reviewer)

Education/Academic qualification

University of Western Sydney


University of Western Sydney


University of Western Sydney


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Research Output

  • 1 Chapter (peer-reviewed)

Untouchable compradores? Colombian state narco-terrorism and the people's struggle for national liberation

Villar, O., 2012, Counter-terrorism and state political violence: The 'War on Terror' as terror. Poynting, S. & Whyte, D. (eds.). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, p. 139-155 17 p.

Charles Sturt University

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)Researchpeer-review