School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Scaling-up sustainable commodity governance through jurisdictional initiatives: Political pathways to sector transformation in the Indonesian palm oil sector?
    Bahruddin, ; Macdonald, K ; Diprose, R ; Delgado Pugley, D (Elsevier BV, 2024-04-01)
    Voluntary systems of sustainable commodity governance have come under intensified criticism for failing to catalyse transformative change beyond directly regulated supply chains. In response, there has been a surge of efforts to ‘scale-up’ sustainability impacts through governance interventions at landscape and jurisdictional scales. While these ambitious, scaled-up approaches are attracting significant interest, such approaches demand substantial changes to established repertoires of policy interventions and associated understandings of the pathways through which these contribute to sustainability outcomes. Drawing theoretical insights from scholarship on multi-stakeholder sustainability governance together with findings from a qualitative study of jurisdictional governance experiments in the Indonesian palm oil sector, this paper explores how emerging jurisdictional initiatives are promoting change pathways towards more sustainable commodity production, and how the political, environmental governance and economic contexts in which these interventions are implemented influence these pathways. Analysis shows that by integrating a distinctive mix of market and policy-driven interventions, jurisdictional approaches are contributing to three core pathways of change, centred respectively on network and coalition-building, collaborative governance, and resource mobilisation. However, which of these pathways are most influential, how interventions are sequenced and operationalised, and how the pathways interact in shaping change is highly sensitive to varied subnational implementation contexts, with important implications for the impact and resilience of jurisdictional programs. These findings highlight the need for jurisdictional policy interventions to respond flexibly to contextually-variable configurations of actor interests, coalitions and power relations within contested multi-scalar processes of sustainable commodity governance.
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    Developing a Career Access Program (CAP) for people with intellectual disability in the Victorian public sector: The evidence base to inform the development and implementation of CAP
    McVilly, K ; Murfitt, K ; Crosbie, J ; Rouget, D ; Jacobs, P (Department of Health and Human Services and The University of Melbourne, 2019)
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    Sinophobia in the Asian century: race, nation and Othering in Australia and Singapore
    Ang, S ; Colic-Peisker, V (ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2021)
    This paper explores public discourses of race and nation in Australia and Singapore, focusing on their historical and contemporary relationship with China and the Chinese. Both countries are governed by a multicultural ideology but are experiencing evolving tensions rooted in their (post)colonial and settler histories, dominated by respective Anglo-Australian and Singaporean-Chinese majorities. To illuminate these issues, we analyse public discourses by politicians and other opinion leaders, as reported in influential media. We discuss how the two nation-states accommodate their rapidly growing mainland Chinese minorities in the context of a rising China as a global power, and in conjunction with their cultural-spatial dislocations. We found a renewed Sinophobia in both countries, but with different historic and contemporary origins and manifestations: in Australia a historically grounded fear of the Chinese as “Yellow Peril”; in Singapore, a co-ethnic anxiety about the incoming mainland Chinese who are construed as “other” to the Singaporean-Chinese.
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    Should we talk about the weather? How party competition and coalition participation influence parties' attention to economic issues
    Goldring, E ; Park, BB ; Williams, LK (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2020-11)
    Media narratives of political campaigns paint a complex picture of parties carefully selecting communication strategies in response to the current social and economic climate as well as the strategic choices made by rival parties. Current empirical efforts based on simple ordinary least squares, however, fail to honor those complexities. We argue that ignoring the spatial and temporal dynamics at play produces misleading inferences about parties’ behavior. In an application of German parties’ attention to economic issues in official communications, we demonstrate that once scholars test the theories with a method that honors the inherent complexity of the process, the inferences about parties’ degree of responsiveness change. Indeed, proper specification of the model shows that scholars who ignore spatial dependence tend to overstate the degree to which parties are responsive to changing conditions (such as public opinion or economic indicators) and understate the role of other constraints. Most notably, we find that parties have varying levels of path dependence, parties emulate the strategies used by ideological neighbors, and coalition partners appear to coordinate their strategies. These findings have implications for understanding variation in parties’ messaging strategies and how voters perceive parties’ positions.
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    Pre-election violence and territorial control: Political dominance and subnational election violence in polarized African electoral systems
    Wahman, M ; Goldring, E (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2020-01)
    Cross-national research on African electoral politics has argued that competition increases the prospects for pre-election violence. However, there is a dearth of systematic research on the effect of political competition on pre-election violence at the subnational level. We theorize that in African democracies characterized by competition at the national level but low subnational competitiveness (polarization), violence is often a manifestation of turf war and a tool to maintain and disrupt political territorial control. Consequently, contrary to expectations derived from the cross-national literature, pre-election violence is more likely in uncompetitive than competitive constituencies. Locally dominant as well as locally weak parties have incentives to perpetrate violence in uncompetitive constituencies. For locally dominant parties, violence is a tool to shrink the democratic space in their strongholds and maintain territorial control. For locally weak parties, violence can disturb the dominance of the opponent and protect their presence in hostile territory. We hypothesize that pre-election violence will be particularly common in opposition strongholds. In such locations, ruling parties can leverage their superior repressive resources to defend their ability to campaign, while the opposition can use their local capacity to reinforce the politics of territoriality. We test our hypotheses with original constituency-level election violence data from the 2016 Zambian elections. Data come from expert surveys of domestic election observers and represent a novel way of measuring low-level variations in election violence. Our analysis shows patterns of pre-election violence consistent with our theory on pre-election violence as a territorial tool.
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    Help is close at hand? Proximity and the effectiveness of peacekeepers
    Goldring, E ; Hendricks, M (SAGE Publications, 2018-10)
    How do the national origins of peacekeepers influence peacekeeping operations’ success? We argue that peacekeeping operations better protect civilians when a higher percentage of peacekeepers come from geographically proximate countries. These peacekeepers have been exposed to similar societal and cultural norms and are more invested in preventing conflict diffusion. Peacekeepers from proximate countries can better collect and analyze intelligence, are more effective at separating combatants, and are therefore more successful at protecting civilians. In making this argument, we also challenge the theory that diversity in a peacekeeping operation matters. We find support for both our mechanisms and show that the importance of diversity may have been overstated. Where a peacekeeping operation is present in civil conflicts, if a quarter of its personnel come from proximate countries, then all things being equal, it would completely prevent civilians dying. The results show policymakers the importance of recruiting peacekeepers from countries near to conflicts.
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    Fighting for a name on the ballot: constituency-level analysis of nomination violence in Zambia
    Goldring, E ; Wahman, M (Taylor and Francis Group, 2018-08-18)
    What factors increase the likelihood of nomination violence? Nomination violence can be an expression of both horizontal conflict, between local political elites, and vertical conflict, between national and local elites. We theorize about factors that may increase the risks of vertical and horizontal conflict and leverage a unique dataset of constituency-level nomination violence obtained from surveys with 464 domestic election observers active in the 2016 Zambian general election. Our statistical analyses show constituencies with an incumbent standing for re-election were more likely to experience nomination violence. Also, contrary to previous research on general election violence, we theorize and find that more rural constituencies had a higher propensity for nomination violence than urban constituencies. Our findings highlight the importance of intra-party power relations and the bargaining relationship between the centre and periphery.
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    Democracy in Reverse: The 2016 General Election in Zambia
    Goldring, E ; Wahman, M (SAGE Publications, 2016-12)
    On 11 August 2016, Zambia held elections for the presidency, National Assembly, local councillors, and mayors. Concurrently, a referendum was held on whether to enhance the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of Zambia. The elections were significant for several reasons: It was the first contest under a newly amended Constitution, which introduced important changes to the electoral framework. It also marked a break with Zambia's positive historical record of arranging generally peaceful elections. Moreover, the election featured an electoral playing field that was notably tilted in favour of the incumbent party. Ultimately, the incumbent president, Edgar Lungu of the Patriotic Front, edged out opposition challenger Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development. The election was controversial and the opposition mounted an unsuccessful legal challenge to the final results. The 2016 elections represent a reversal in the quality of Zambian democracy and raise questions about the country's prospects for democratic consolidation.
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    AUKUS: a Commonwealth perspective
    McDougall, D (Informa UK Limited, 2023-01-01)
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    Let me tell you, I see echolalia as being a part of my son's identity': Exploring echolalia as an expression of neurodiversity from a parental perspective
    Cohn, E ; Harrison, M ; Mcvilly, K (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2023-09-06)
    Echolalia is a commonly found speech and language condition in autistic children. Children with echolalia repeat words and phrases they previously hear in place of proving a non-repetitive response. In research and when visiting speech and language services, one of the common goals is to modify these repetitions so that these children may, more socially, engage with their surrounding environment. In our research, we identified that not all parents want their children's echolalia to be modified. Some parents want their child to be able to enjoy echolalia and others don't want anyone to intervene because they see it as something that makes their child unique and being unique is something to be celebrated. We believe that there might be a way for speech and language services who want to modify echolalia and the parents in our study who do not want their child's echolalia to be modified, to be able to exist side-by-side.