Dr Smith has focused his research on small island states, particularly those within the Pacific region. This work developed from a strategic studies background and a study that examined the Nuclear-Free and Independent Pacific movement. From this a broader research strategy has been created that now includes issues such as regional organisation, economic development, environmentalism, health, migration, and identity politics.
Currently Dr Smith is working on environmental and economic vulnerability issues in the Pacific region, with a particular emphasis on energy security.
Dr Smith has undertaken research supervision in the areas of International Relations theory, environmental politics, economic and educational development in both Africa and Asia. He would be particularly interested in supervising in the areas of energy security or food security.