Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Lecturer In International Studies

Faculty

Faculty of Arts and Education

Department

SHSS Arts & Ed

Campus

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Biography

Sam's research is concerned with enduring political questions about how difference is negotiated in contexts of power asymmetries. Her work is interdisciplinary in nature, engaging political theory, anthropology and development studies. Her most recent research focuses on international development and global North/South relationships as they play out ‘on the ground’, particularly through practices of participation, consultation, consent-giving and complaint-making as tools for the management of disagreement over development.

Her 2015 book, Ethnicity, Democracy and Citizenship in Africa: Marginalization of Nubians in Kenya explores the relationship between citizenship and ethnic difference in Kenya, and generates important insights into not only the risks, but also the possibilities of a relationship between ethnicity and democracy that is of broad, global relevance.

Sam is Co-Director of the Critical Development Network, co-convenor of the Diversity & Identity research stream in the Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, and Deputy Chair of the Faculty of Arts and Education Human Ethics Advisory Group.

She currently teaches AIS101 Intercultural Communication and AIX497 Theory and Debates in the Discipline (Theories of Power in the Social Sciences) and will be teaching a new second-year unit in 2017: Politics of Development, in the Politics & Policy studies major. She is also convenor of the politics honours program.

Read more on Sam's profile

Research interests

Sam's research is concerned with enduring political questions about how difference is negotiated in contexts of power asymmetries. Her work is interdisciplinary in nature, engaging political theory, anthropology and development studies. Her most recent research focuses on international development and global North/South relationships as they play out ‘on the ground’, particularly through practices of participation, consultation, consent-giving and complaint-making as tools for the management of disagreement over development.

Affiliations

Ordinary Member of the Executive, African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP)

Member, Australian Political Studies Association (APSA)

Member, British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIIEA)

Teaching interests

Theories of power 

Development

Colonialism, postcolonialism and decoloniality

Intercultural communication

Units taught

AIS101 Intercultural Communication (T1)

AIX497 (honours) Theory and debates in the discipline (Theories of power in the social sciences) (T1)

AIP2XX Politics of Development (T2 2017)

Convenor - politics honours program

Knowledge areas

  • Critical approaches to development
  • Decoloniality and postcolonialism
  • Land rights and land conflicts
  • Citizenship
  • Agonistic pluralism
  • Indigenous studies (Africa and Asia)
  • Kenya
  • India

Conferences

Refereed Conferences

Balaton-Chrimes, S. ‘Agonistic democratic politics, land rights and global minorities.’ Western Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, April 2015.

Balaton-Chrimes, S., Scott Brenton and Kate Macdonald ‘Market based regulation in the global economy: Consumer regulation by remote control?’ Australian Political Studies Association annual conference, Australian National University, Canberra, October 2011.

Balaton-Chrimes, S. ‘Negotiating access to ancestral land in Nairobi:  The case of the Nubians of Kibera’, ECAS 2011 - 4th European Conference on African Studies, Nordiska Afrikainstitutet, Uppsala, Sweden, June 2011.

Balaton-Chrimes, S. ‘The Nubians of Kenya and the emancipatory potential of collective recognition’ 33rd annual African Studies Association of Australia and the Asia-Pacific conference: Engaging Africa / Engaging Africans: Knowledge, representation, politics, Victoria University, Melbourne, December 2010.

Balaton-Chrimes, S., Fiona Haines and Kate Macdonald, ‘Holding the invisible hand to account? Beyond individual corporate responsibility for human rights’, Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, September 2010.

Balaton-Chrimes, S. ‘Counting as citizens: The case of the Nubians in the 2009 Kenyan census’, International conference on migration, citizenship and intercultural relations, Deakin University, Melbourne, November 2009.

Balaton-Chrimes, S. ‘Statelessness in a world of nation-states’, 17th Biennial conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia conference: Is this the Asian century?, Monash Asia Institute, Melbourne, June 2008.

Media appearances

Expert opinion on 2013 Kenyan Election, NewsNight with Stan Grant, SkyNews Australia, 6 March 2013.

Expert opinion on International Criminal Trial of Kenya’s Vice President and President, NewsNight with Stan Grant, SkyNews Australia, 10 September 2013.

Expert opinion the Nairobi terrorist attacks of September 2013, NewsNight with Stan Gran’, SkyNews Australia, 24 September 2013.

Expert opinion on the context of the Nairobi terrorist attacks of September 2013, ABC South East NSW, “World View” segment of Mornings Program, 24 September 2013.

Expert opinion on social impacts of palm oil in Indonesia, RRR (Melbourne radio), 10 November 2013.

Balaton-Chrimes, S., ‘The might of power facing up to the violence of strength – An Arendtian view of politics and revolution’, OpenDemocracy blog, 2 February 2011. Available at http://www.opendemocracy.net/samantha-balaton-chrimes/might-of-power-facing-up-to-violence-of-strength-arendtian-view-of-politics.

Balaton-Chrimes, S ‘Sustainable palm oil must consider people too’, The Conversation (Australia), 22 November 2013. Available at https://theconversation.com/sustainable-palm-oil-must-consider-people-too-20443.

OpEd in The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, Should MasterChef have asked a Muslim to cook pork?, 19 July 2013. Available at http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/masterchef/should-masterchef-have-asked-a-muslim-to-cook-pork-20130718-2q74m.html.

Research groups

Co-Director, Critical Development Network

Co-Convenor, Diversity & Identity Stream, Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation

Awards

African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific Postgraduate Prize, December 2010 Conference (AU$3000 to present paper at Monash South Africa), awarded for best postgraduate paper at the conference.

African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific Postgraduate Prize, February 2008 Conference (AU$100), awarded for best postgraduate paper at the conference.

Projects

My current research has two strands. The first concerns relations of power between subjects and institutions in the global North and global South in contexts of development.


I am a Chief Investigator on an ARC Linkage project evaluating non-judicial redress mechanisms available to people in the global South (India and Indonesia specifically) whose human rights are threatened or harmed by transnational corporate activity. This research focuses on institutional design and operation in contexts of overlapping and multi-layered sovereign, institutional, cultural and political-economic relationships of power. See http://corporateaccountabilityresearch.net/project-1/ for further details.


I am also the Principal Investigator on an internally funded research project about the nature of consultation, participation and consent in a UN-Habitat and Government of Kenya funded slum-upgrading project in Nairobi, Kenya. This project focuses on the project design and practices of project proponents and affected communities to reflect on the effects of consultation, participation on consent on power relations and life aspirations of development ‘beneficiaries’. The research is particularly concerned with the ways in which the project manages disputes over land ownership.


Lastly, I am in the process of developing two further research projects. The first seeks to understand the effects of a trend in development practice towards problem solving and resolution when disagreements arise over development. This project will pay particular attention to the nature of difference in these disagreements, to the handling of disagreement, and to the effects of that handling both on the disagreement, and on the forms of difference that intersect it. The second, with Dr Victoria Stead and Prof Yin Paradies, seeks to understand the relationship between recognition and development, extending recent critical indigenous scholarship on the politics of recognition and associated power asymmetries to contexts of non-settler postcolonies, and drawing out comparisons with settler postcolonies.


The second, new strand of research concerns the practice of academic research ethics. I am embarking on a small research project to better understand the ways in which Australian university human ethics committees make sense of and respond to calls for decolonising research methods with indigenous people and other vulnerable populations, particularly those in the global South. This research complements my current role as Deputy Chair of the Faculty of Arts & Education Human Ethics Advisory Group.

Publications

Filter by

2015

Ethnicity, Democracy and Citizenship in Africa

Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

(2015), , A1

book

The depoliticisation of accountability processes for land-based grievances, and the IFC CAO

Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

(2015), Vol. 6, pp. 446-454, Global policy, London, Eng., C1

journal

Export credit agencies and human rights abuses: flux and friction in regulation

Prof Fiona Haines, Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

(2015), pp. 81-104, Regulatory transformations : rethinking economy-society interactions, Oxford, Eng., B1

chapter
2014

Statelessness, identity cards and citizenship as status in the case of the Nubians of Kenya

Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

(2014), Vol. 18, pp. 15-28, Citizenship Studies, Oxford, UK, C1-1

journal
2013

Indigeneity and Kenya’s Nubians: seeking equality in difference or sameness?

Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

(2013), Vol. 51, pp. 331-354, Journal of modern African studies, Cambridge, England, C1-1

journal
2011

Counting as citizens: Recognition of the Nubians in the 2009 Kenyan census

Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

(2011), Vol. 10, pp. 205-218, Ethnopolitics, Melbourne, Vic., C1-1

journal

Contextualizing the business responsibility to respect: How much is lost in translation?

Prof Fiona Haines, Dr Kate Macdonald, Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

(2011), pp. 107-128, The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Foundations and implementation, Leiden, Netherlands, B1-1

chapter

The Nubians of Kenya and the emancipatory potential of collective recognition

Dr Sam Balaton-Chrimes

(2011), Vol. 32, pp. 12-31, Australasian review of African studies, Melbourne, Vic., C1-1

journal