Research archive

Explore our archived projects and grants.

Racism and discrimination

Key words: Discrimination; Racism; Anti-Racism

Discovery project Ethnic Discrimination in the Private Rental Housing Market
Funding period 2011–2013
Investigators Professor Kevin M Dunn
Dr Heather MacDonald
Dr Yin C Paradies
Dr Rae Dufty
Administering organisation The University of Western Sydney
Project summary Paired testing protocols, as used in North American and Europe, will be used for the first time in Australia to test for ethnic discrimination in the allocation of private rental housing. This will fill a significant gap in current knowledge and provide an evidence for policy action and remedies.

Linkage project Standing up to racism and racial bullying among Australian school students
Funding period 2014–2017
Investigators Dr Naomi Priest
Professor Kevin Dunn
Professor Yin Paradies
Dr Jacqueline Nelson
Associate Professor Anne Pedersen
Assistant Professor Philip Curry
Ms Eveline Mouglalis
Ms Marica Stipanovic
Mr Christopher Thompson
Ms Rivkah Nissim
Administering organisation Deakin University
Partner organisations Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
NSW Department of Education and Communities
Australian Human Rights Commission
Project summary This project aims to substantially increase understandings of bystander responses (including their extent, nature, potential, merits, benefits and constraints) as a means of countering racism and racial bullying among Australian school students.
This aims to be achieved through examining experiences of, attitudes towards, and responses to, racism and racial bullying among school students; identifying health, wellbeing, education and social outcomes of racism and racial bullying for individuals, schools and communities; exploring the enablers and obstacles associated with bystander responses to racism and racial bullying; and by developing and piloting a school-based program to foster bystander responses to racism and racial bullying.

Linkage project Addressing Race-Based Discrimination in Australia: A Cost-Benefit Analysis
Funding period 2012–2013
Investigators Dr Yin C Paradies
Associate Professor Margaret Kelaher
Professor Alan Shiell
Professor Eric T Vos
Associate Professor Anthony D LaMontagne
Dr Marion Frere
Administering organisations Australian Human Rights Commission
VicHealth
Partner organisation Deakin University
Project summary This project is designed to produce sustainable benefits to Australian society through the provision of important data needed to promote investment in strategies to address race-based discrimination.
This will benefit both the lives of individuals experiencing race-based discrimination, including those from Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.
It will also benefit society as a whole through promotion of social cohesion and community connectedness and the economic benefits resulting from increased productivity and workforce participation and reduced burden on health, social and welfare systems.

Industry-funded research Impact and Experiences of Racism on the Health and Wellbeing of Young Australians
Funding period 2008–2009
Investigators Associate Professor Fethi Mansouri
Dr Michael Leach
Partner organisation The Foundation for Young Australians
Project summary This project responds to an identified need for Australian youth-focused research into experiences of racism for young people of Indigenous, migrant and refugee backgrounds.
It will map out the experience of racism for these groups of young people and how this impacts on heath and wellbeing.
The project will also investigate mainstream attitudes of young people in relation to key issues in contemporary race relations, such as cultural diversity, tolerance and privilege.
Publications The impact of racism upon the health and wellbeing of young Australians

Australia and the Asia Pacific

Key words: Asia Pacific; China; International Relations

Discovery project Australia's Asian Futures: A Cultural History, 1972 to the present
Funding period 2009–2013
Investigator Professor Baogang He
Administering organisation Deakin University
Project summary This project falls within the Research Priority 4: Safeguarding Australia.
Its benefits include strengthening Australian leadership in deliberative democracy, developing deliberative democratisation in China which is vital for the security and fundamental interest of Australia, and offering new strategies of deliberative democratisation for the international democracy-promotion community.
It will contribute to a balanced and sophisticated understanding of Chinese democratisation; enhance cooperation between Australian researchers and their counterparts in China; and contribute to global democracy-promotion activities by developing a new field of deliberative democratisation.

Discovery project The Democratisation of the Rising China through Deliberative Democracy
Funding period 2009–2011
Investigators Professor David Walker
Administering organisation Deakin University
Project summary Relations with Asia are vital to Australia's prosperity and security. This project places in historical context evolving understandings of what the 'region' has meant to Australians from the 1970s to the present.
It will clarify the processes by which Australia has adapted to Asia and points of resistance to engagement.
By examining the representations of politicians, journalists, Asianists and travel writers, this study will seek to explain how threats to security have been perceived over time and the interplay between popular and elite representation.
An analysis of how threats from political Islam have been understood will inform a wider history of threat perceptions extending from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

Discovery project Deliberative Democracy and Citizenship: A Study of Deliberative Polling and Participatory Budgeting in China
Funding period 2006–2008
Investigators Associate Professor Baogang He Professor Geoff Stokes
Administering organisation University of Tasmania
Project summary The result of this research will enhance Australian democracy-promotion activities overseas, foster Chinese learning from Australian deliberative democratic experiences, as well as benefiting Australian governmental agencies such as AusAID and Australian NGOs working in this field.
The project will also strengthen cooperation between Australian researchers and their counteICGrts in China. The lessons learned from this Chinese experiment can be used to improve the quality of citizen participation and to develop more effective means of public participation and consultation in Australia.
The project will contribute to the Australian government's dialogue approach to human rights issues in China since 1989.

Discovery project Western Theory of Deliberative Democracy and Chinese Practice of Participatory and Deliberative Democracy
Funding period 2004–2006
Investigators Associate Professor Baogang He
Administering organisation University of Tasmania
Project summary This project is aimed to study how various participatory and deliberative institutions are pursued and promoted by peasants and residents in local governance in China.
It is the first study that builds a bridge between Western theory of deliberative democracy and Chinese deliberative practice, adding to our knowledge of local participatory institutions in local China, contributing to a better design of, and improvement of, these institutions and developing lessons and policy implications that will be broadly applicable not only to most parts of China, but also to other developing countries and beyond.

Industry-Funded Research Asian federalism
Funding period 2007
Investigators Professor Baogang He Professor Takashi Inoguchi
Partner organisation The Japan Foundation
Publications Federalism in Asia

Industry-Funded Research In search for deliberative democracy in China
Funding period 2006
Investigator Professor Baogang He
Partner organisation Ford Foundation
Project summary The theory of deliberative democracy has offered a new perspective on democratic practice: the use of reason predominates, the force of the better argument is supposed to prevail over wealth and political influence.
In the last decade, many democratic theorists have undertaken the empirical study of deliberative institutions through several experiments focusing on citizens' participation (Fishkin 1991, 1995; Ackerman and Fishkin 2004; Fung 2001, 2003).
This project builds upon and extends those studies to investigate how deliberative institutions can be designed and improved in the Chinese polity that combines both authoritarian and democratic elements.
The project initiates a number of innovative experiments in which ordinary citizens will discuss debate and deliberate on village issues, on how to spend the annual budget at Zeguo town, and on environmental issue in the city of Wenling.
Its practical aims are: to organise citizens to participate widely in the decision-making process and in managing the community's public affairs; to empower citizens through improving and revising the existing deliberative institutions, and thereby cultivate deliberative citizens and influence the rural governance. The project will also organise an international workshop on deliberative democratic practice in Australia.
Publications The Search for Deliberative Democracy in China

Religion and philosophy

Key words: Classical philosophy; European philosophy; Religion 

Discovery project Reinventing philosophy as a way of life
Funding period 2014–2016
Investigators Dr Michael Ure
Professor Keith Ansell-Pearson
Dr Matthew Sharpe
Administering organisation Monash University
Project summary The core aim of this project is to examine modern re-inventions of the classical ideal of philosophy as a way of life.
It will investigate the reanimation of this idea in post-Kantian philosophy, including well-known figures such as Nietzsche but also neglected figures such as Jean-Marie Guyau.
The research will be highly significant in providing the first sustained study of how 19th and 20th century European philosophy transformed ancient philosophical schools, such as Epicureanism and Stoicism.

Discovery project Religion and political thought
Funding period 2012–2014
Investigators Associate Professor Marion Maddox
Associate Professor Roland Boer
Dr Christopher Hartney
Dr Geoffrey Boucher
Dr Matthew Sharpe
Administering organisation Macquarie University
Project summary Why do so many Australian political leaders increasingly profess religious belief, while the public becomes more secular? What does this mean for our politics? Religion and Political Thought (RAPT's) interdisciplinary, rigorous analysis contributes both to a large international project (Asia, Europe and North America), and to developing an Australian tradition of political theory.

Development and sustainability

Key words: Development; Health

Partnership Researching Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Service Use in Rural and Pastoralist Ethiopia
Funding period 2014–2015
Investigator Dr Ruth Jackson
Administering organisation Deakin University
Project summary This project examines how Key Informant Research (KIR) in rural and pastoralist Ethiopia will identify facilitators and barriers to the use of maternal, neonatal and child health services. The methodology is informed by Participative Ethnographic Evaluation Research (PEER) and Key Informant Monitoring (KIM). Key Informant Research (KIR) training will provide research skills to Health Extension Workers (HEWs) and non-government organisation (NGO) staff to enable them to develop research questions, collect data and participate in preliminary data analysis.

Citizenship and multiculturalism

Key words: Citizenship; Education; Cultural Diversity; Multiculturalism; Social Cohesion

Industry-funded research Evaluation of Regional Participation Project
Funding period 2012–2014
Investigators Associate Professor Danny Ben-Moshe
Dr Anna Halafoff
Associate Professor Yin Paradies
Dr Victoria Stead
Partner organisation The Centre for Multicultural Youth
Project summary This project will evaluate two new Centres for Multicultural Youth (CMY) offices established in Ballarat and Gippsland in regional Victoria from 2013-2016.
It will assess how CMY's regional presence is contributing to the improving young people from migrant and refugee background's participation in work, school, family and community and contributing to their sense of wellbeing and belonging.
It will also investigate to what extent CMY's regional presence is contributing to the ability of local communities and services to manage and develop an inclusive environment for young people from diverse backgrounds.
This project will contribute new knowledge and understanding regarding migrant and refugee youth participation in regional areas, in this way it will assist in improving social welfare and individual wellbeing of young people living in regional areas. It will also assist service providers in regional areas, including CMY and its partners, to understand the needs of migrant and refugee youth and to improve their service provisions.
While focused on Ballarat and Gippsland, the findings of this project can also inform and improve service provision for youth from migrant and refugee backgrounds youth in other regional areas.

Industry-funded research Intergenerational Relations In New Arrival Communities In Victoria
Funding period 2013–201
Investigators Professor Fethi Mansouri
Associate Professor Danny Ben-Moshe
Dr Victoria Stead
Partner organisation Ethnic Communities Council Of Victoria
Report Read the report

Industry-funded research Social Cohesion Young People And Multiculturalism Project
Funding period 2013–2014
Investigators Professor Fethi Mansouri
Associate Professor Danny Ben-Moshe
Dr Victoria Stead
Partner organisation The Centre For Multicultural Youth
Project summary Researchers are working to evaluate the 'Social Cohesion, Young People and Multiculturalism' project, which is being run by the Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) in two areas of rapid growth and high immigrant concentration in metropolitan Melbourne, the City of Wyndham and the City of Casey.
The project aims to increase opportunities for inter-community connections, for young people's participation in social and community life and for strengthening the leadership capabilities of young people from diverse backgrounds. In effect, the aim is to create both the bridging and bonding community relationships that underpin social cohesion.
Local community conversations, skills training and the involvement of young people in collaborative 'Youth Action Groups' are the key elements in the project's methodology. The evaluation will cover each of these three elements, establishing the project's impact in facilitating social cohesion and offering a model for application in other Local Government Areas (LGAs). Impact will be measured against a set of community cohesion indicators.

Industry-funded research The Development Of A The National Evidence Base For Cultural Diversity In The Arts
Funding period 2013–2014
Investigators Professor Fethi Mansouri
Associate Professor Yin Paradies
Associate Professor Danny Ben-Moshe
Partner organisation Kultour Pty Ltd

Discovery project Local Governance, Multiculturalism and Active Citizenship: The Case of Arab-Muslim Diaspora in the West
Funding period 2007–2010
Investigators Associate Professor Fethi Mansouri
Professor Sue Kenny
Professor David Walker
Administering organisation Deakin University
Project summary This project will advance our understanding of the best practice approaches towards the management of intercultural relationships within multicultural communities. It will generate international benchmark data on the management of multicultural spaces and will lead to a range of practical policies for local city councils, NGOs and state governments. The findings will form a robust empirical basis for understanding the optimal way of formulating government-NGOs partnerships in the successful implementation of culturally responsive policies.
The study will also result in the development of effective policy responses aimed at enhancing active citizenship, social cohesion and intercultural understanding.

Discovery project Comparative dimensions of active citizenship: an analysis of indicators of inclusivity and exclusivity in civil society
Funding period 2002–2005
Investigators Dr Sue Kenny
Dr Kevin Brown
Associate Professor Jenny A Onyx
Professor TW Burke
* Research team no longer affiliated with the centre
Administering organisation Deakin University
Project summary Active citizenship is a key concept in debates around the nature of civil society and the changing forms of citizenship. To date, grounded studies of the concept have been few. The project's significance lies in its focus on developing indicators of active citizenship. This enables the empirical charting of active citizenship. The comparative aspect to the project will heighten our ability to understand these processes in Australia in relation to other countries.

Linkage project Social Networks, Belonging and Active Citizenship among Migrant Youth in Australia
Funding period 2009–2012
Investigators Professor Fethi Mansouri
Professor Zlatko Skrbis
Dr Steve Francis
Ms Carmel Guerra
Administering organisation Deakin University
Partner organisations The Australian Red Cross
The Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues
Project summary This project will focus on youth from three Australian migrant communities at the centre of recent debates about migrant integration, intercultural conflict and social cohesion.
It will investigate the role of formal and informal networks in creating among migrant youth a sense of belonging to the mainstream society.
The project redresses a critical gap in popular and official understandings of the social fabric of Australia and will provide benchmark data for improved government and community services in the area of migrant youth.
It will examine and assess the role of social networks in informing young people's sense of belonging and active participation in the community of citizens.

Linkage project Australian Diasporas and Brain Gain: Exploring Current and Potential Transnational Linkages
Funding period 2009–2012
Investigators Associate Professor Danny Ben-Moshe
Professor Graeme Hugo
Associate Professor Loretta Baldassar
Dr Therese Joiner
Dr Steve Francis
Mr Ordan Andreevski
Administering organisation Deakin University
Partner organisations Victorian Multicultural Commission
Australian Vietnamese Women's Welfare Association
Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues
Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia
COASIT Italian Historical Society
Italian/Australian Welfare and Cultural Centre
Council for International Trade and Commerce SA Inc
Project summary The research will investigate current and potential future roles of diasporas in both Australia and overseas in facilitating trade and investment.
The study will examine their political, cultural and kinship ties with homelands and map the geography of seven diasporas in Australia.
This will provide new data that describes the character, motivations and movements of diasporas in Australia. Data analysis will determine the current and potential role diaspora play in adding value to Australian society through 'brain gain' and 'circulation' versus 'brain drain'.
Findings will inform migration and social policy aimed at maximising benefits of migration.

Linkage project The challenge of managing cultural diversity in education: the case of Arab-Australian youth
Funding period 2004–2007
Investigators Dr Fethi Mansouri
Dr Michael Leach
Ms Dalal Smiley
Administering organisation Deakin University
Partner organisations Brencorp Foundation
Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS)
Project summary This project investigates the challenges posed by cultural diversity in multicultural schools. It will focus specifically on students from Arabic-speaking background (ASB) attending secondary schools in the Northern and Western regions of Melbourne.
The study will assess whether individual students' attitudes and the schools' structures and pedagogical ideology impact upon ASB students' achievements.
In using focus group discussions and attitudinal surveys, the study will also test the cultural appropriateness of such methodological procedures.
The study's proposed multi-dimensional model will be tested in order to determine the optimal social environments and inter-ethnic relations needed to successfully fulfill the potential of multicultural education.

Industry-funded research The Challenge of Managing Cultural Diversity in Education: The Case of Arab-Australian Youth
Funding period 2004–2007
Investigator Associate Professor Fethi Mansouri
Partner organisation Scanlon Foundation
Project summary This project funded by the Scanlon Foundation (2004-2007) investigated the challenges posed by cultural diversity in multicultural schools. It focused specifically on students from Arabic-speaking background (ASB) attending secondary schools in the Northern and Western regions of Melbourne.
The study assessed whether individual student's attitudes and the school's structures and pedagogical ideology impact upon ASB student's achievements.
In using focus group discussions and attitudinal surveys, the study also tested the cultural appropriateness of such methodological procedures. The study is tested in order to determine the optimal social environments and inter-ethnic relations needed to successfully fulfil the potential of multicultural education.
Publications Multicultural education and racism: the case of Arab-Australian students in contemporary Australia
Race, identity and education achievements among Arab-Australian students
Structural deficiency or cultural racism: the educational and social experiences of Arab-Australian youth

Industry-funded research Reinvigorating Multicultural Education in Culturally Pluralist Communities
Funding period 2005–2007
Investigator Associate Professor Fethi Mansouri
Partner organisation Scanlon Foundation
Project summary This project funded from 2005-2007 is an action research project that develops and trials a multi-tiered approach to effecting successful multicultural educational change in culturally diverse schools. The project aimed to increase students, particularly Arabic-speaking background students, positive educational outcomes, particularly retention rates and educational achievements.
Publications Cultural diversity as an educational advantageThe policy of values and the value of policy : managing cultural diversity in Australian schools

Industry-funded research Local Government and the Challenges to Cultural Diversity
Funding period 2005
Investigator Associate Professor Fethi Mansouri
Partner organisation City of Darebin

Industry-funded research A Multi-Tiered Model for Diversity Management in Schools
Funding period 2004–2007
Investigator Dr Fethi Mansouri
Partner organisation Brencorp Foundation

Democrary, governance and government

Key words: Democracy; Governance; Government; Local Government; NGOs

Discovery Project Capacity-building in Indonesian Islamic NGOs
Funding period 2004–2007
Investigators* Dr Greg Barton
Associate Professor Sue Kenny
*Investigators no longer affiliated with the Centre
Administering organisation Deakin University
Project summary This study aims to understand and monitor forms and applications of capacity-building in progressive Islamic/Muslim NGOs in Indonesia, over a four year period, in the context of profound social, economic and political change, in order to better understand how best to strengthen such groups and to assist them to become more effective.
It will significantly increase our understanding of the complex cultural issues that influence these groups in their efforts to professionalise, build capacity and contribute to civil society. It will identify areas in which Western misunderstandings of Muslim culture and society have limited the effectiveness of capacity building programs.

Linkage Project Trade Unions, Globalisation and Networked Computers
Funding period 2003–2005
Investigators Dr Andrew Vandenberg
Professor Geoff Stokes
Administering organisation Deakin University
Partner organisation Australian Council of Trade Unions
Project summary This project undertakes a qualitative study of Australian unionists' usage of networked computers and their potential for increasing trade union membership and participation and promoting productive diversity in workplaces.
At a time of declining unionisation, these issues have become urgent and give rise to key research questions about email and the internet in trade union organisation and communication with members.
The project promises to provide broader theoretical insights into union responses to deregulated labour markets and the globalisation of the economy. The results will be useful to other political and social organisations, as well as government policy makers.

Industry-funded research Local Government, Volunteering and Community Strengthening Project
Funding period 2008
Investigator* Professor Sue Kenny
*Investigator no longer affiliated with the centre
Partner organisation Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV)
Project summary This joint research project between CCHR and the Municipal Association of Victoria investigates the changing nature of volunteering, considers how these developments can contribute to community strengthening, and seeks to identify the unique opportunities that this may present for local government both now and in the future.
Also included will be research about the requisite enabling attitudes, structures and conditions that have the potential to facilitate a meaningful and sustainable approach to volunteering by local government so that Councils can foster community development and use existing resources to their best advantage.

Industry-Funded Research Online Forums and Citizen Participation in Australian Democracy
Funding period 2006
Investigators* Dr Monika Merkes
Dr Lucas Walsh
*Investigator no longer affiliated with the centre
Partner organisation Australian Internet Domain Name Administrator Foundation Grant
Project summary Citizenship disengagement from conventional politics has prompted governments to seek other methods of encouraging participation. This project reviews the use of online policy consultation and discussion forums seeking to foster greater citizen participation in Australia. It will do this by evaluating the goals, expectations and delivery of four current governmental initiatives in the area.
The project will compare each government's intentions for using online forums against the empirical outcomes. The project will also compare these outcomes with different normative models of democracy. In so doing, this project will contribute to an assessment of the limits and possibilities for online forums to improve the quality of Australian democracy.

Industry-Funded Research Tracking What Works: Voluntary Activity, Community Strengthening and Local Government
Funding period 2007
Investigator* Professor Sue Kenny*
 *Investigator no longer affiliated with Centre
Partner organisation Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV
Publications Tracking What Works: Voluntary Activity, Community Strengthening and Local Government

Migration and refugees

Key words: Asylum seeker; Migrant; Migration; Refugees

Linkage project Economic and social rights of asylum seekers in Australia: Challenges for Community Associations
Funding period 2002–2004
Investigators Dr Fethi Mansouri
Dr Sue Kenny
Dr Kevin Brown
Ms Dalal Smiley
Administering organisation Deakin University
Partner organisation Victorian Arabic Social Services (VASS)
Project summary This project will investigate the contribution of a community association providing humanitarian assistance to newly-arrived refugees holding Temporary Protection Visas (TPV).
The project will assess the capacity of non-government organisations (NGOs) in delivering basic social services and identifying areas of immediate concern.
The anticipated outcomes of the project are: (a) the establishment of effective models of best practice in the delivery of social services by a NGO, (b) the potential for partnership between such an organisation and the State in developing social policy, and (c) the contribution to theoretical examination of the role of civil society in the new Globalisation era.

Islam in Iran's foreign policy: Central Asia and Afghanistan

FUture Fellowship Islam in Iran's foreign policy: Central Asia and Afghanistan
Funding period 2012–2016
Investigators Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh
Administering organisation Deakin University
Project summary Understanding the way Iran operates in its (Muslim) neighbourhood is important for the way we engage with Iran and prepare for the regional implications of Iranian policies.

This project will explore an important part of the world and its direct impact on Australian national interests.