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CCG hosts a fortnightly lunchtime seminar series exploring issues such as:
To find out more about the seminar series, or to express your interest in attending or presenting, email CCG.
2 August - Professor Brenda Cherednichenko
20 November - Giovanni Allegretti
Yumi ol man blong Vanuato (We are the People of Vanuatu): Ni-Vanuatu Tertiary Student attitudes to national identity
Nation-building remains a key challenge across Melanesian societies, including Vanuatu. From the origins of the new nations of Melanesia following decolonisation in the 1970s and 1980s, it was clear that creating a unifying sense of national identity and political community from multiple languages and diverse traditional cultures would be difficult. Despite an apparent greater success than neighbouring Melanesian states, the legacies of dual Anglo-French colonialism presented additional challenges to the post-independence political elites of Vanuatu.
This paper presents new survey and focus group data on attitudes to national identity among tertiary students in Vanuatu, based on research conducted at the University of the South Pacific and other tertiary institutions in Port Vila in 2010. Among other things, this paper argues that despite linguistic ties to political affiliation easing since Independence, there remains a strong ongoing association between the language of education and certain key attitudes towards national identity and different understandings of political community. These findings cast new light on the attitudes of likely future elites towards regional, ethnic, intergenerational and linguistic fault lines in Vanuatu, and the challenges of building a cohesive sense of political community and national identity.
(Research undertaken by Matthew Clarke, Mike Leach and James Scambary)
Professor Clarke is the Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University. Professor Clarke has been chief investigator on six national Category 1 research grants valued at $2m during the last five years, and has published or presented over 100 academic journal papers, book chapters and conference papers. Professor Clarke undertakes regular evaluations of community development projects in the Pacific and South-east Asia for various non-government organisations, with a particular interest in HIV/AIDS and health-related projects.
International Trends in Social Democratic Party Politics
This seminar will survey the current state of social democratic and labour parties in Australia, Britain and Europe including the fragmentation of their previous constituencies. It will outline policy priorities and political approaches which could strengthen the prospects of social democratic and labour parties. It will compare the recent changes and realignments on the Left of centre of Australian politics with alliances between social democratic or labour, and environmentalist and other, parties in northern Europe including the ‘red-green’ coalition which governed Germany from 1998 to 2005 and the ‘red-green’ coalition which has governed Norway since 2005. The seminar will question prevailing pessimism about globalisation eliminating all ‘varieties of capitalism’ and all policy options for individual nation states. It will review the recent election of a Social Democrat government in Denmark and the continuing rise of the Greens in Germany; and it will preview this year’s French presidential election which the Socialist Party is currently expected to win.
Associate Professor Scott:
Andrew commenced at Deakin in 2011 following ten years as a prominent full-time University Lecturer then Senior Lecturer elsewhere. He has taught courses in Australian politics, international comparative politics, economic policy, social policy, and political history. His books and articles have been extensively discussed both in Australia and overseas. Andrew’s activities and approach draw from his experience before entering academia as a senior national policy adviser on employment and training issues, as a research officer for a major trade union and as an elected student leader. He is actively researching achievable alternatives to neoliberal economic policies, comparing the Australian Labor Party to northern European social democratic parties and assessing attempts by mainstream left of centre political parties in western nations to deal with the end of the economic "golden age" since the early 1970s. He is also enquiring into, and advocating, the lessons for Australia from the continuing policy achievements of Sweden and other nations of Nordic Europe including through their: reduction of income and wealth inequalities, reduction of child poverty, democratising of access to public education, promotion of more fulfilling and effective work lives, adoption of more family-friendly workplace arrangements and provision of comprehensive paid parental leave.
"Taking our houses" Perceptions of the impact of asylum seekers, refugees and new migrants on housing assistance in Melbourne
A 2010 research project of interviews with homeless people about their experiences of homelessness in Melbourne raised some unexpected findings. Many interviewees revealed that they were aware that their needs were being assessed and ranked by housing authorities to create a priority list for housing solutions. Interestingly, some expressed the concern that the needs of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants were given higher priority than the needs of ‘Australians’: indeed, that these groups are ‘taking our houses’. I argue that that this perception is consistent with contemporary social and political discourse in Australia that attributes increased pressure in the housing market to population pressures in general and immigration specifically. More broadly, this empirical evidence supports theories that hostility towards asylum seekers, refugees and migrants from within the Australian community can be attributed to a personal sense of economic insecurity.
Dr Amy Nethery is an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellow in the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation at Deakin University. Her PhD thesis entitled Immigration Detention in Australia (2010) was awarded the Isi Leibler prize for advancing knowledge about racism. Her research interests include asylum and migration policy in Australia and the Asia-Pacific, histories and theories of incarceration, and democracy.
And in the Finance News... The Financialisation of Everyday life
This paper has its origin in the realisation made in the middle of 2007, as the GFC struck home, that my hitherto altogether unpolitical and ‘aneconomic’ mother had become a lay-expert on global finance, eagerly watching the markets with one eye on her super. ‘Financialisation’ in some economic discourse is a term used to describe a number of processes characteristic of recent advanced capitalist economies: notably, rising proportions of profit-take in the non-productive, paper economy; escalating private and total debt in the global system; but also the increasing dependency of productive companies (eg: GM) on their own “financial” interests; together with a wider tendency to reconceive equity either as a potential financial instrument or a derivative of a financial instrument. In this paper, engaging with Foucaultian material on neoliberalism and the micropractices associated with what Michael Power has called today’s “society of the audit”, this paper will explore the way that “financialisation” as a process wherein people are made to reconsider their economic priorities, educate themselves in the elements of global finance, and to manage financial risk and debt can be seen to have permeated advanced nations’ cultures, including our own.
Doctor Matthew Sharpe teaches philosophy and psychoanalytic studies at Deakin University. He is co-author of Zizek and Politics (Edinburgh UP 2010), The Times Will Suit Them: Postmodern Conservatism in Australia (Allen & Unwin 2008), Understanding Psychoanalysis (Acumen 2008), and Slavoj Zizek: A Little Piece of the Real (2005). He completed his PhD on Zizek at the University of Melbourne in 2002, after completing his honours thesis on the political philosophy of Albert Camus in 1998. He has since published extensively on critical theory, political philosophy, classical thought and the history of ideas, psychoanalytic theory, film and contemporary politics. His ongoing research interests include political philosophy, psychoanalysis and critical theory, epistemology, and conservative and reactionary political thought. Dr Sharpe is a founding member of the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy where he periodically gives lectures.
The ALP Ministers of Education who have promoted My School hope it will encourage parents to contribute to improving their children’s schools. The Murdoch press hopes the website will allow parents to make better-informed choices about schools. To answer the research question of voice or exit, community or market, the research triangulates data from three high schools. One corner analyses socio-economic structures over the last ten years. A second corner comprises interviews with teachers, and parents about the future of their school. A third corner comprises analyses each school’s internal policies and efforts to influence their students’ circumstances and prospects. The deeper comparisons possible with only three schools over a longer period are in progress but they allow reflection on the relationships between closer monitoring and neo-liberalism, between union activism and parents’ engagement in their children’s education, and between education policy and the wider objectives of social democracy.
Dr Andrew Vandenberg has published on economic rationalism, social democracy, online learning, terrorism, social movement unionism, and contentious politics. He has edited Citizenship and Democracy in a Global Era (2000 Macmillan) and Cultural Citizenship and the Challenges of Globalisation (2010 Hampton). He is currently completing an ARC Linkage Grant in partnership with the Australian Council of Trade Unions, about networked computers and unionism. At Deakin he teaches units on democratisation, democratic governance, democracy and citizenship, and comparative politics.
Social movements in the 21st century: reconfiguring democracy and citizenship
Classical models of social movements opposed theories of organization and rational action to theories of community and identity. Contemporary movements exhibit very different logics of action and communication. This paper explores these transformations through considering the centrality of embodied experience in movement mobilizations, with reference to Tahrir Square in Egypt, the M15 movement in Spain, and the Occupy Movement. The paper considers the dimensions of precarcity, intercorporeality, and the materiality of embodiment, all of which suggest a different rhythm and temporality from the street march that emerged in an earlier period of social mobilization. The paper discusses the place of strangeness and imagination in these movements, together with the question of violence, including violence against the self involved in self-immolation. The paper considers the extent that these patterns of action constitute a new language of agency, and the implications for the way we understand the political and citizenship.
Kevin McDonald is sociologist and director of the Centre for Cultural Diversity and Wellbeing at Victoria University. He has held appointments at the University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Goldsmiths College in London and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He recently completed a Marie Curie International Fellowship exploring paths into jihadi-related activism in Europe, and is currently completing an ARC-funded study into Muslim activism. The themes explored in this paper are drawn from a book to be published by Polity Press in 2013.
The ultramodern era has been characterised paradoxically as one of great fear and great hope. A politics of fear and exclusion has permeated Western societies, accompanied by a growing interest in collaborative cosmopolitan solutions addressing the most pressing risks of our times. This paper examines how multifaith initiatives have been implemented as cosmopolitan peacebuilding strategies to counter global risks - such as climate change and terrorism - and advance common security in Western societies. By drawing on the findings of 54 interviews with expert professionals in the field of multifaith relations, the Netpeace study is among the first to employ Ulrich Beck’s (2006) model of ‘methodological cosmopolitanism’ by investigating the local context of Victoria, Australia within a ‘global’ framework of Australia, the UK and the USA. The findings of this study indicate that religious and state actors have transformed recent crisis events into opportunities to build new cosmopolitan models of activism and governance and that the politics of fear can best be countered by a politics of understanding, modelled by the multifaith movement.
Dr Anna Halafoff joined CCG in early 2012 as a Research Fellow. Prior to coming to CCG, Anna was a lecturer at the School of Political and Social Inquiry, and a researcher for the UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations - Asia Pacific, at Monash University (2005-2012).
Anna holds a Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology (Monash University), Master of Letters, Peace Studies (University of New England) Graduate Diploma in Education (University of New England) and a Bachelor of Arts (University of Melbourne). Anna’s current and recent research projects/interests include: intercultural and interreligious relations; cosmopolitan governance; multiculturalism; community engagement and countering violent extremism; religions and beliefs (worldviews) education; and Buddhism in Australia.
In 2011, Anna was named a United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Global Expert in the fields of multifaith relations, and religion and peacebuilding.
Applicability of Community-Led and Asset-Based Development Approaches to Myanmar
Effective development empowers those who are most marginalized, powerless and poor to achieve a better life for themselves, and this requires people being able to imagine their world differently then take action to change their circumstances. Research has found development agencies operating in Myanmar claiming that such highly participatory, community-led and asset-basedapproaches to development are particularly effective forms of poverty mitigation and community empowerment within this socio-political context. Drawing on the ideas of Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed, 1972) and Chambers (Rural Development, 1983), this research explores why such an approach may fit the difficult socio-political context of Myanmar. This research is based on recent field interviews within Myanmar, particularly exploring the ActionAid Myanmar/Shalom Foundation's 'change maker" Fellowships program, and Graceworks Myanmar's Community Development Education program.
Alfred Deakin Research Institute Research Fellow
Alfred Deakin Research Institute
Anthony's research interests revolve around international development in difficult contexts, with a particular emphasis on sensitivity to socio-political context and the distinctive role of International NGOs in aid and development within so-called 'fragile' and 'pariah' states. Anthony is particularly interested in Myanmar (Burma), and therefore in understanding Myanmar politics, reform, religion and culture.
Anthony's doctoral thesis examined the manner in which International NGOs work in Myanmar, as a case study exploring development that is sensitive to difficult socio-political contexts more generally. Myanmar offered an interesting example, being a developing nation with a large proportion of the population living in extreme poverty and a wide range of associated humanitarian needs, yet with abundant resources and some strong state institutions. Poverty has come from poor governance and international isolation, due in turn to legitimacy issues, concerns over abuse of power, human rights violations and suppression of democracy. This research documented ways in which these NGOs contextualise their approaches in order to maximise development effectiveness within this complex context, analysed in terms of the ways in which they: a) work in local communities, under the ideas of participation, equity, sustainability, active citizenship and culture-sensitivity); b) relate to other stakeholders in development, including civil society, NGOs, donors and government officials, under the ideas of partnership, capacity building, advocacy, rights-based approach and accountability; and, c) seek to expand the humanitarian space. It also proposed extensions to participatory development ideas to account for the role of the NGO field workers. The research found that a nuanced understanding of the socio-political context and its deep historical antecedents aids understanding of how to approach such complexity with sensitivity, and that when acting sensitively to the context, NGOs have greater freedom to operate and program effectiveness than is widely recognised outside the country.
Anthony's current research project is entitled Failed, Fragile, Pariah: Context-Sensitive Development in Difficult Socio-Political Contexts. His publications include:
Love huts and sex boxes: the global politics of sports-related sex trafficking
Since the Athens Olympics in 2004, increasing attention has been paid to human trafficking and sporting mega-events. Trafficking for the purpose of prostitution and sexual exploitation occupies a position of emerging salience in debates about women, human rights and sport, particularly as countries in the Global South win the right to host major sporting events such as the World Cup or the Olympic Games and Paralympics. This paper charts the associations between sports mega-events and sex trafficking, and examines the issues and questions that this raises for sport, human rights and the staging of global sports mega-events.
Associate Professor Palmer:
Associate Professor Palmer joined Deakin in October, 2011 after teaching appointments at the University of Adelaide, Flinders University and Durham University, UK. At Deakin, she is the Director of the Master of Applied Social Research while holding teaching responsibilities for research methods in the undergraduate sociology programme. Her research interests include qualitative and ethnographic research that explores the relationship between sport and social policy. Associate Professor Palmer is interested, particularly, in sport-related social interactions, the consequences that might follow from those interactions, and their implications for policy and practice. Her research is focused on three main areas. Firstly, the social contexts of sport and alcohol: social practices and drinking identities, including under-represented identities (women, non-drinkers), culture change interventions and “athlete addicts”. Secondly, sporting mega-events and violence against women: sexual exploitation, trafficking, domestic violence and London 2012, human rights, the politics of the Global South and Rio 2016. Thirdly, sport and social change: refugees and resettlement, sports-related activism and athlete advocates.
Entrapping Christian and Muslim Arabs in Cartoons: The Other Anti-Semitism
Racial Cartoons are a powerful force disguised as entertainment operating to shape public opinion. Cartoons in the Australian press during the eighties, nineties and after 9/11 were particularly directed against Muslim and Christian Arabs without remorse or fear of redress or accountability. The offensive of such cartoons has essentially been focused on three fronts - oil, politics and religion. The drawback resulting of socio-cultural, historical and other differences are no doubt visible; but equally obvious is that much detested anti-Semitism which was directed against the Jews in the 1930s and 40s is today mostly directed against PR deprived, opinion silenced and undemocratically governed ethnically diverse Arabs. It is argued that several forces were behind such distorted visual strategies. Pre-judgement stemming from an inbuilt bias of the cartoonist, or highlighting characteristics which conforms to the national interest are likely factors. The debate as to whether public images and attitudes of a minority ‘cause’ or ‘determine’ policy or whether policy itself changes attitudes is still largely resting with the jury.
Dr Ata graduated in psychology at the American University and was soon nominated as a delegate to the United Nations’ World Youth Assembly in New York. He completed his doctorate at Melbourne University in 1980 and has since been teaching in several Australian, American, Jordanian, West Bank and Danish universities. Dr Ata’s teaching and research interests focus on the relationship between cultural and religious diversity and the impact of this on social relationships, well being, social attitudes and social distance. Dr Ata’s background is in cross-cultural training which has led him to embrace multidisciplinary and culturally sensitive approaches when conducting and interpreting a wide range of research projects. This is evident in his publications of 15 books and 102 articles. These include: Bereavement and Health in Australia: Gender, Cross-cultural, Religious and Psychological Issues (1996); Christian and Muslim Intermarriage in Australia (2005); and Us and Them: Christian-Muslim Relations and Social Harmony in Australia (2009), which was nominated for the Prime Minister’s Literary Book Awards in 2010.
Becoming a high quality and an inclusive university through Community-University Invested Partnerships
Many universities talk of community engagement and service and both their commitment to and actions developed to serve their communities. Yet, too many universities behave as socially dominant organisations directing and intervening in community directions driven by a strong sense of themselves and a diminished sense of their community. This seminar will discuss some exemplars of community engagement from Australia and US. It explores the shift from university-community engagement to community-university engagement and presents both working examples, principles and outcomes which demonstrate and develop effective engagement with communities. Curiously, this research revealed that successful engagement was more powerfully driven by self-interest, rather than simply a commitment to social justice and capacity building.
This seminar will raise and invite questions, including how universities can develop and respond to communities and build successfully on and connect commitments to partnership, social justice, equity and excellence. This presentation challenges university perspectives and the practices of our teaching and research, our focus on quality and our understanding of how these are best achieved. We will discuss underlying assumptions about community engagement and its link to university quality. We will explore the apparent contradiction between a truly inclusive university and a high quality, high status one.
Professor Brenda Cherednichenko commenced at Deakin as Pro Vice-Chancellor Arts and Education on 1st December, 2011. Brenda came to Deakin from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia where she was Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Engagement, Equity and Indigenous and Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Arts from 2007. With a teaching background in schools and then in teacher education and the social sciences, Brenda’s research has focussed on educational equity and community-university partnerships for improved educational opportunity and socially just outcomes. She has worked on many projects and partnerships with Indigenous Australian leaders and communities to enhance educational and social experiences for Aboriginal peoples. Brenda has her earliest qualifications from Deakin’s predecessor institutions, her Master from the University of Rochester, NY and her PhD is from the University of Melbourne. She has been a director and board member of several boards and is currently President-elect of the Australian Council of Deans of Education. In previous roles Brenda was Director, Access and Success, Head of Campus at the outer urban campus in Melton and Head, School of Education at Victoria University. In 2009 she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar and studied community-university partnerships at the University of Texas, El Paso. Her commitment to the role of the Arts and Education as essential to community building and social inclusion is realised as a Chief Investigator on current ARC linkage project with a consortium of Australian universities which examines social inclusion through community embedded university education.
The Dynamics of Religious Diversity in Australia: Census 2011
Issues such as the future of religions in Australia, the shape of national identity and the religious context of social policy debated are each shaped by Australia's changing religious profile. This lecture seminar focuses on Religious identity including those declaring 'no religion', religion and age, and religion and migration to paint a picture of the religious factor in policy debates.
Emeritus Professor Bouma:
Gary D Bouma is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Intercultural and Interreligious Relations - Asia Pacific at Monash University and an Associate Priest in the Anglican Parish of St John's East Malvern. From 2006-2010 he was Chair, Board of Directors for The Parliament of the World's Religions 2009. His research in the sociology of religion examines the management of religious diversity in plural multicultural societies, post modernity as a context for doing theology, religion and terror, religion and public policy. He is the author of over 20 books. Recent books include: Australian Soul: Religion and Spirituality in the Twenty-First Century (Cambridge University Press); Democracy in Islam (Routledge); Religious Diversity in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands: National Case Studies (Springer); and Freedom of Religion and Belief in 21st Century Australia (Australian Human Rights Commission). His latest book is Being Faitfhful in Diversity: Religions and Social Policy in Multifaith Societies (Australasian Theological Forum).
Health Cosmopolitanism: Delivering a Good Birth
A qualitative research study canvassed the maternity care programs within three diverse, developing nations - Timor Leste, Vanuatu and The Cook Islands - chosen because they face similar health issues in response to modernisation and globalisation. The objective was to assess whether their maternity programs delivered a good birth, one that met the criteria of health cosmopolitanism; a hybrid term coined to describe a combination of both physiological and relational criteria. Physiological criteria include the usual health objectives (safety, equity and universality). Relational criteria comprise principles of cosmopolitan social justice, namely, egalitarian individualism (self-determination); reciprocal recognition (social equality between carer and woman); and reasoning from an impartial moral standpoint (respect for cultural difference). Good health and a good birth are usually measured in narrow physiological terms such as a live mother and baby at the end with relational criteria regarded as a social nicety; an optional extra. I argue that relational criteria facilitate good physiological outcomes. Maternity programs that meet the larger criteria of health cosmopolitanism may be said to achieve 'a good birth'. I used the presence or absence of traditional birth attendants (TBAs) as a signifier for traditional knowledge and practices or as a partial indicator of the extent to which governments recognised the social justice criteria of health cosmopolitanism. From the evidence, TBAs not only facilitated good physiological outcomes but were more likely to facilitate all relational criteria and they also played wider social roles in addition to the provision of health care.
Along with analysis of primary and secondary literature, qualitative methods were used to gather data via in-depth interviews with a total of 50 participants including health administrators, obstetricians, midwives, traditional birth attendants and women in Timor Leste, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. Integrating TBAs back into the formal health system would represent an enlightened policy of meeting Millennium Development Goals aimed at reducing Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates.
Dr Lane is a senior lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. Her research interests include media; sociology of knowledge, sociology of professionalisation, midwifery, obstetrics, and consumer participation.
Understanding and Changing attitudes: A Consumer Behaviour Perspective
We assume that individuals are able to reflect upon how and why they make decisions, but most research in the psychology tells us otherwise. What we do know is that people have finite capacity for processing information, use shortcuts and mental schemes to help them make decisions, and reject information that might challenge their current views. While education and information about the best choices is useful, this really only works for the people who want to be educated and informed. CEOs, strategic planners, regulators and government need to be careful about how they approach the provision of information, and recognise the limits of education. In this presentation, Paul argues that if we are serious about issues such as public health, changing attitudes about asylum seekers, and ultimately influencing society through our research, we need to focus on a multi-level approach that encompasses information, education, persuasion, ease of operation and legislation.
Paul Harrison, PhD, is the research cluster leader (Impact of Marketing) at Deakin’s Centre for Sustainable and Responsible Organisations, and the unit chair of consumer behaviour and advertising in the MBA program at Deakin University. He is a council member of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, and past chair (and current board member) of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. Dr Harrison is also a filmmaker and blogs regularly at his site, www.tribalinsight.com. Paul’s current research seeks to explore consumerism, material culture, and the broader effect of marketing on the exploitation of humans, animals, and the environment. He is also interested in the psychology of emotional and rational behaviour, and how our biology and the environment interact to influence the way that we behave. His work using video-autoethnography has helped businesses and policy makers develop a deeper understanding of consumer behaviour, and he is currently working with the Rudd Center for Food Policy at Yale University using this technique to understand how children and adolescents respond to food marketing. Paul has worked on a range of research projects in recent years, including projects funded by the Victorian Department of Justice, the Australian Securities and Investment Commision (ASIC) and the South Australian Health Department examining the role of marketing in decision-making. His work has been published in a range of media, including the Journal of Product and Brand Management, Consumption, Markets and Culture, Public Health Nutrition, Marketing Science, and the Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing.
Social Cohesion -- The Concept and its Discontents
The term ‘social cohesion’ has become common in global debates about human rights and social justice. Its meaning in these settings is intuitively clear, connoting social solidarity and a more just, safer, caring, and harmonious national society. People seeking to translate ‘social cohesion’ into empirical research, however, have often been stymied by uncertainty about exactly what it means. Can social cohesion truly be assessed simply by considering the sum of economic and social indicators, such as job growth, educational attainment and racial integration? The term seems to allude to more than the sum of such parts, suggesting some larger, overarching quality or condition in society either drives those indicators or emerges from them. But if social cohesion is a distinct quality or condition of society, how is that quality identified and measured? Is social cohesion a driver or outcome of public policy - i.e., an independent or dependent variable? If it is both, and best understood as a ‘virtuous circle’ in which it functions as both cause and effect, how precisely does it contribute to that circle? Given such puzzles, an alternative view is that ‘social cohesion’ is actually a 'quasi-concept', invented to help political and economic elites to explain and prescribe for an eclectic package of policy challenges. This interpretation suggests that debate about social cohesion, while resonating for people at all levels of society, is also being instrumentally encouraged by state elites seeking to resolve problems arising from their own policies by enlisting popular capacity, enthusiasm and political will to support them. The origins of that project would be found in a state-led model of economic development that involves passing responsibility for society to society itself.
Associate Professor Tilley:
Virginia Tilley is Associate Professor and Director of the post-graduate program in Governance studies at the University of the South Pacific at Laucala, Suva. She specialises in the comparative study of racial and ethnic conflict, the politics of development and ideologies of nation-building. Previously, she served for six years as Chief Research Specialist at the Democracy and Governance Program of the Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, where she led or participated in numerous research projects on democratisation, nation reconciliation and anti-poverty national development strategies. Prior to her work in South Africa, she served for eight years as Associate Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, where she taught courses in comparative politics, international relations, Middle East and Latin American politics and the politics of development. She has lived and conducted research in the Middle East, Latin America and South Africa, and has authored or edited three books and many articles, papers and policy briefs on racial and ethnic conflict, the politics of development, and the interplay of domestic nation-building with conditions generated by the the international system.
Racialised Bodies Encounter the City:' Long Grassers' and Asylum Seekers in Darwin
The visibility of ‘bodies of colour’ in public space engenders cultural anxieties, social insecurities, and physical discomfort in cities with white majority cultures. Such embodied responses that privilege whiteness have effects in the way they mark bodies of colour as ‘out of place’ in public spaces of the city. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in Darwin, Australia, I argue, however, that such white spaces are interrupted by habits of touch, multi-sensory routine activities that contribute to fleshy moments of belonging for racialised bodies who experience dispossession and displacement. Such belonging emerges from the intertwining fleshiness of bodies in a world where we affect and are affected by other bodies and things. The paper explores two events held in public spaces of suburban Darwin, a weekly painting activity at a beach reserve that engages ‘Long Grassers’, Aboriginals who live in open spaces and a cooking session in a community centre that engages asylum seeker families from a detention centre. Felix Ravaisson’s philosophy of habit as virtue and spontaneous practice is a starting point for thinking about how haptic knowledges can provide a nuanced understanding of belonging, encounter, and ethical engagement in a racially diverse white settler city.
Michele Lobo is an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University. She is a social and cultural geographer whose work focuses on whiteness, diversity and inclusive citizenship in Australian cities. Her postdoctoral project explores the potential for transformative encounters and affective moments of belonging in Darwin, a city with a visible indigenous presence. Michele has published articles in Gender, Place and Culture, Geographical Research, South Asian Diaspora, Population, Space and Place, Urban Policy and Research and Australian Critical Race and Whiteness Studies.She is the author of Reimagining Citizenship in Suburban Australia: Voices from Dandy (2009) and the co-editor of Migration, Citizenship and Intercultural Relations: Looking through the lens of Social Inclusion (2011) and Intercultural Relations in a Global World (2011).
The Stigma of White Privilege and the Politics of Anti-Racism in Indigenous Australia
Beginning in the 1970s, the efforts of the Australian settler state to help its Indigenous minority shifted away from ‘assimilation’ and embraced the principles of ‘self-determination’. According to the rhetoric of the self-determination era, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians should be in control of efforts to improve their lives, ultimately making state intervention redundant. A by-product of this shift was to radically change the role of non-Indigenous people who sought to participate in Indigenous development. No longer in charge of Indigenous advancement, theywere now cast as facilitators and supporters.
Drawing on ethnographic research in northern Australia, this seminar explores the complexities of 'white anti-racist' subjectivities in the self-determination era. A striking feature of white anti-racist discourse is a reluctance to claim any agency in the process of Indigenous improvement. I argue that applying the concept of stigma to white privilege is a novel and productive approach to understanding this. The negative characteristics associated with whiteness act as a barrier preventing the construction of viable white anti-racist subjectivities and making self-effacement a necessity. In their attempts to overcome this barrier and transcend white stigma, white anti-racists mobilise the identity tropes of missionary, mother, and child. Ultimately, these efforts at self-fashioning point to the ultimate fantasy of decolonisation: the desire of white anti-racists to disappear.
Dr Emma Kowal has a background in clinical medicine and public health and is currently a cultural anthropologist of white anti-racism and Indigenous governance in Australia. She is the co-editor of Moving Anthropology: Critical Indigenous Studies and her work has been published in journals including American Anthropologist, Social Science and Medicine, Cultural Studies, Postcolonial Studies, Medical Anthropology and Ethnicities. Dr Kowal is a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne supported by an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award.
Harm Reduction as Anarchist Practice: A User's Guide to Capitalism and Addiction in North America
In spite of its origins as an illegal, clandestine, grassroots activity that took place either outside or in defiant opposition to state and legal authority, there is growing evidence to suggest that harm reduction in North America has become sanitized and depoliticized in its institutionalization as public health policy. Harm reduction remains the most contested and controversial aspect of drug policy on both sides of the Canada-US border, yet the institutionalization of harm reduction in each national context demon- states a series of stark contrasts. Drawing from regional case study examples in Canada and the US, this article historically traces and politically re-maps the uneasy relationship between the autonomous political origins of harm reduction, contemporary public health policy, and the adoption of the biomedical model for addiction research and treatment in North America. Situated within a broader theoretical interrogation of the etiology of addiction, this study culminates in a politically engaged critique of traditional addiction research and drug/ service user autonomy. Arguing that the founding philosophy and spirit of the harm reduction movement represents a fundamentally anarchist- inspired form of practice, this article concludes by considering tactics for reclaiming and re-politicizing the future of harm reduction in North America.
Dr Smith is a lecturer in sociology at Deakin University. His research interests include sociology of health and health care, socio-cultural constructions of ‘addiction’, historical development of addiction research and treatment paradigms, autonomous organizing and activism among people who use illicit drugs at the local, national and international scales, urban sociology, gentrification and urban redevelopment, and body/space metaphors in the English language (anatomical metaphors applied to urban space, i.e. ‘the heart of the city’, and spatial metaphors applied to the human body, i.e. ‘I am falling apart / going to pieces’).
Growing Older in a Foreign Land: The Importance of Identity for Rural Migrant Men and their Families
Being a man presents unique risks to both physical and mental health. Being a man who is growing older in an Australian rural community, and is a member of a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) group exacerbates these risks. This presentation draws on the findings from a qualitative study of how older CALD men living in a rural Victorian community perceive and make sense of their own health and wellbeing. Undertaken from 2009 to 2011, we conducted interviews with 26 men from Italian, Macedonian, Turkish, and Albanian backgrounds, and four women from Italian and Albanian backgrounds. Service providers and community leaders also contributed their views and thus enabled us to identify the challenges they face in addressing the health needs of this group of men. The experiences of these older men challenge the dominant biomedical perspective on ageing. The study underlinestheimportance of considering the complex and interconnecting experiences of migration, gender, family and personal identity inunderstanding the men’s lives. In particular, it indicates the need for supportive interventions that go beyond a focus on narrowlydefined concepts of ‘health’ to pay cognisance to the diverse influences of older CALD men’s experiences. Specifically,we highlight the importance of identity maintenance in response to a lifetimepunctuated by change.
Associate Professor Susan Feldman is Director of the Healthy Ageing Research Unit (HARU) Monash University. Her research interests include the psychosocial health and well being of women, community dwelling older people, particularly women and older people from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities. She has a special interest in the experience of widowhood for women and relationships between the generations. Her publications include numerous peer reviewed international journal articles and five edited collections: The Art of Ageing Well and the Art of Caring for Older Adults, Baywood Press 2007, A Certain Age: Women Growing Older, 1999 Allen & Unwin, Something that Happens to Other People 1996 Random House, and Family Violence: Everybody’s Business, Somebody’s Life. 1991, Federation Press.
Dr Harriet Radermacher is a Research Fellow at the Primary Care Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences Monash University. With a background in Community and Applied Psychology, her research explores the experiences of people marginalised in current society, with a focus on cultural diversity and ageing.
The present world financial crisis raises issues related to the distribution of resources. The need to find innovative strategies is especially felt regarding local administrative institutions, affected by diminishing State transfers and self-funding opportunities, but also struck by a legitimacy crisis. These challenges have been addressed worldwide by innovations in public policies, seeking to develop participatory mechanisms allowing citizens to share public actors’ responsibilities in decision making and so to rebuild. One of them is Participatory Budgeting (PB), which involves citizens in discussing and deciding on the priorities of budgeting documents to be implemented using public resources. Considered as “ideoscape” (as in the Appadurai theory), signifying a political model which travels globally but only exists through local appropriation, PB, after first being shaped during the ‘90s in semi-peripheric Latin American countries, where it contributed to consolidating new democratic institutions, spread to Europe, Asia and Africa at the end of the millennium. At the moment, more than 1,500 cities are experimenting practices inspired by Participatory Budgeting, so that the very different examples require to set clear principles in order to frame this innovation and avoid its “dilution” in term of radicalism. The seminar will specifically examine participatory budgeting as a governance tool continuously transformed in order to adapt its shared rules to very different institutional and social frameworks. A special attention will be given to the issue of deliberative quality which is today becoming a central focus for the worldwide discussion of this participatory process. The seminar will also address the main limits and challenges for the future, starting from analysing some experiences of “scaling-up” PB at regional and provincial level.
Giovanni Allegretti is an architect, planner and senior researcher at the Center of Social Studies, an excellency structure linked to the Coimbra University, Portugal. From 2001 to 2006, he has been assistant professor in Town Management at the University of Florence, where he got his Ph.D in Town and Territorial Planning. He studied in Brazil, Denmark and Japan with scholarships of the Ministry of Foreign affairs. Since 1997 his mainly research topics have been Participatory Budgets and techniques for citizens’ participation to urban planning, topics on which he published several articles, essays and books. He has been scientific director of two EU projects in the field of Participation: “Participando” and “INCLUIR - Participatory Budget as a tool for fighting social exclusion”. He is co-director of the Ph.D. course “Democracy in the XXI century” and coordinator of the PEOPLES’ Observatory on Participation, Innovation and Local Powers. For the World Bank he worked as a resource person in training (in SouthAfrica and Senegal) and as an evaluator (Congo RDC), and is consultant of the Swedish Associations of Municipality and Regions (2007-2012) to support the first experiments of participatory budget in that country. He has been consultant of the world association of Cities (UCLG) for the Observatory of Inclusive Cities, and - at present - for a research on Citizens-based Monitoring of Public Policies.