Faculty of Arts and Education

Centre for Citizenship, Development and Human Rights

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Research

The Centre undertakes general and applied research, and prepares research action and policy manuals.
These include:

  • Australian Research Council projects
  • Investigative research
  • Local, state and federal government projects
  • Community and participatory research
  • Third sector research
  • Collaborative international research

Topics Covered:

Intercultural relations and refugees

Studies of civil society, democracy and citizenship

Third sector research and community development

Nation building and development

Public policy and the state

Globalisation and the labour market

Sustainable development

 

Recent Research Projects

Intercultural Relations and Refugees

Measuring Human Rights Knowledge and Understanding within Victoria Police
The project requires preparation of a survey and subsequent report informed by the collection and analysis of quantitative data gathered from the survey of Victoria Police employees. This will focus on issues relevant to a valid and reliable assessment of the current patterns of knowledge and understanding of human rights principles across Victoria Police. The three main aims are: to assess knowledge of human rights principles within Victoria Police employees; to assess understanding of human rights principles within Victoria Police employees; to gauge the relevance and application to Victoria Police of human rights principles.

Local Governance, Multiculturalism and Active Citizenship:  The Case of Arab-Muslim Diaspora in the West
This ARC 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.

Internal and External Sources of Political Instability in East Timor
This ARC project is of direct relevance to Australia through its bilateral and multilateral provision of police to assist in the maintenance of East Timor's law and order, through its training of  and support for the East Timor Border Patrol Unit, and its training and support of the East Timor defence force, Falintil FDTL. The project also goes to the core of Australia's concerns with regional state maintenance (or conversely, potential state failure), direct bilateral relations with both East Timor and Indonesia, and the triangular relationship between these three states.
 
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Studies of Civil Society, Democracy and Citizenship

The Democratization of the Rising China through Deliberative Democracy
This ARC project strengthens Australian leadership in deliberative democracy, developing deliberative democratization in China which is vital for the security and fundamental interest of Australia, and offers new strategies of deliberative democratization for the international democracy promotion community. It will contribute to a balanced and sophisticated understanding of Chinese democratization; enhance cooperation between Australian researchers and their counterparts in China; and contribute to global democracy promotion activities by developing a new field of deliberative democratization.

Facilitating Public Consultation in China through Deliberative Polling
A collaborative project between Deakin and Stanford Universities, building on previous work in China relating to deliberative polling. The project aims to spread the process and train local officials and practitioners in its methodology. The process could achieve wide application in China. Such a result would help realize some key democratic values: responsiveness of policy to informed and representative public opinion, transparency of decision making, a sense of efficacy among ordinary citizens, expectations among citizens that government must respond to their concerns, and the spread of democratic norms among public officials.    

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Third Sector Research and Community Development

Volunteering and Wellbeing: Individual outcomes and organisational practice
  The specific research aims of this project are to identify

  • The nature of the relationship between involvement in volunteering and perceptions of wellbeing, including the differences between volunteers and non-volunteers;
  • The nature of the relationship between individuals’ motives, involvement in volunteering, perceived organisational support, and perceptions of wellbeing, social inclusion and connectedness;
  • How involvement in volunteering impacts on the social connectedness and social inclusion experienced by individuals and their subsequent wellbeing; and
  • The role of formalised volunteer-based organisations in facilitating or supporting social inclusion and connectedness of individuals.

Community Survey: Surfcoast shire transport needs
This research project aims to ascertain the viability of a public transport route that takes in Moriac, Anglesea and Torquay.  Community studies have identified a need for more public transport access in the area and the findings from this research will be used as the part of the process to access funds from the Department of Transport to undertake a trial of the proposed bus route.  The research is being conducted on behalf of Surf Coast Shire and Transport Connections Victoria.

Social Glue? The Contribution of Sport and Active Recreation to Community Wellbeing
Australian federal, state and local governments allocate more than $4,094 million per year to the provision of sport and recreation services, facilities and programs which service more than 5 million regular participants. This ARC project is, in part, based on the premise that involvement in sport and recreation develops community wellbeing through the facilitation of social inclusion and connectedness. This research will contribute to the development of policies and practices that will enhance the capability of sport and active recreation organisations to contribute to community wellbeing.

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Nation Building and Development

Understanding Attitudes to National Identity in Melanesia
This research will develop and implement a survey of popular attitudes to nation and national identity in four Melanesian states (Solomon Islands, PNG, Vanuatu, and East Timor). It will achieve this by conducting a medium scale survey of tertiary students (n=300+ in each target country) in the respective national capitals. The data generated will improve understandings of regional, ethnic, intergenerational and linguistic faultlines in the region. The premise of this research is that a better understanding of challenges of nation-building will inform more effective state-building agendas, and enhance the effectiveness of aid initiatives.

Scaling Up Aid and the Millennium Development Goals in the Pacific: Absorptive Capacity, Sustainability and Efficiency
The research examines four important questions concerned with how aid can assist Pacific countries with progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
1. What are the absorptive capacity constraints faced by Pacific countries and how can aid be used to relieve them?
2. How should donors respond to absorptive capacity constraints in their aid allocation decisions?
3. How sustainable are the impacts of foreign aid in the Pacific and how can sustainability be improved?
4. Which Pacific countries convert foreign aid flows into improvements in health and education most efficiently and what factors determine this efficiency?

After the Crisis: Nation Building Challenges in East Timor
This ARC project will examine three key nation building agendas in post crisis East Timor, focusing on the key areas of decentralisation of state authority, evolving relationships with traditional authorities, and post crisis conflict resolution programs, over the period of 2009 11. In so doing, the project will contribute to a better understanding of antecedent factors to state failure, linking directly with recent Australian government policy concerns over 'fragile states', and their potential to destabilise the regional security environment.

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Public Policy and the State

Community Engagement for Localised Greenhouse Reduction: a local government demand-management model for business and household water, energy and waste reduction
This ARC Linkage project, (in partnership with Hobsons Bay City Council and the Global Greenplan Foundation) identifies that new integrated community strategies are needed to deal with the imperative of reducing Australia’s carbon footprint. With an explicit focus on enhancing community engagement for localised greenhouse reduction, this project will generate important analysis and policy prescriptions for demand reduction strategies. The development of enduring sustainable environment attitudinal and behavioural change is central to the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, which sees a clear role for governments, business and individuals in progressing ecologically sustainable development. The results will contribute to developing new place-based integrated eco-sustainability models for implementation by local/state governments.


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Globalisation and the Labour Market

Contentious Unionism, Democratisation, and Globalisation in Sweden and Korea
This CRG project aims to develop a new explanation for why and how processes of democratisation and globalisation proceed. It uses the new methods of the dynamics-of-contention approach to studying social movements and democratisation. It addresses an issue that is significant given the number of unstable semi-authoritarian or newly democratised regimes in Australia’s vicinity. Studying changes in the practice of unionism offers an innovative means of comparing contention during processes of democratisation and economic liberalisation and these comparisons offer lessons about economic, political and environmental matters that are relevant to people’s lives at work and in their communities.

 

Sustainable Development

Developing New and Effective Ways to Evaluate Intervention in Maternal Health Services in Illiterate and Innumerate Communities in Southern Lao PDR: A case study

This AusAID funded research project reflects AusAID’s mission to improve gender equity in development outcomes and the OECD (2009) initiatives to develop new paradigms to assess progress in societies (beyond GDP and mortality rates). This project will bring together the Lao Ministry of Health, Lao researchers, village communities and service providers to generate effective tools to assess the impact on women’s physical, mental, social and economic well-being of intervention programs designed to improve maternal and child health in LaoPDR. The project is a case study investigating women who are neither literate nor numerate, and where conventional measures of quality of life are unable to tap the impact of aid policies, practices and programs on their lives.

 

Economic Shocks: Reducing Vulnerability and Increasing Resilience in the Pacific

This Australian Development Research Award investigates ways of reducing the effects of economic shocks in the Pacific
This project has three aims: (i) to identify the most vulnerable Pacific households to macroeconomic shocks; (ii) to examine the impact of the recent food, fuel and economic crises on Pacific households; and (iii) investigate how Pacific households have responded in order to cope with these crises and how effective these strategies have been. These issues are examined using quantitative and qualitative techniques for the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. The project focuses on gender and youth impacts of macroeconomic shocks as well as on the importance of the traditional economy in providing resilience to them.

 

 

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Deakin University acknowledges the traditional land owners of present campus sites.

24th October 2011