School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications

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    Equal Sharing of Care: Evidence Review
    Ruppanner, L ; Squires, S ; Dangar, K ; Gunawansa, M (The University of Melbourne, 2024-05-01)
    Worldwide, societal norms traditionally assign distinct parenting roles to mothers and fathers, shaping their approaches and contributions to childcare. However, new fatherhood is challenging these historical perceptions of parenting by redefining and highlighting men’s capacity to provide nurturing and equally enriching care to young children as women. As this review will show, recent research indicates that the positive impact of engaged fathering extends beyond simply benefiting children and fathers themselves; it also positively affects their partners, communities, and workplaces. To achieve an equal sharing of care, men must step into these roles and become actively engaged fathers who are committed to challenging traditional gender norms and proactively participating in all aspects of caregiving.
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    Understanding Public Support for Policies Aimed at Gender Parity in Politics: A Cross-National Experimental Study
    Carson, A ; Gravelle, TB ; Rueda, LA ; Ruppanner, L (Cambridge University Press, 2024-03)
    English: Across the globe, women are underrepresented in elected politics. The study's case countries of Australia (ranked 33), Canada (61) and the United States (66) rank poorly for women's political representation. Drawing on role strain and gender-mainstreaming theories and applying large-scale survey experiments, we examine public opinion on non-quota mechanisms to bolster women's political participation. The experimental design manipulates the politician's gender and level of government (federal/local) before asking about non-quota supports to help the politician. We find public support for policies aimed at lessening work–family role strain is higher for a woman politician; these include a pay raise, childcare subsidies and housework allowances. This support is amplified among women who are presented with a woman politician in our experiment, providing evidence of a gender-affinity effect. The study's findings contribute to scholarship on gender equality and point to gender-mainstreaming mechanisms to help mitigate the gender gap in politics. French: Les femmes sont sous-représentées dans la politique électorale partout au monde. Les pays représentés dans cette étude, l'Australie (classée 33), le Canada (61) et les États-Unis (66), se classent mal en ce qui concerne la représentation politique des femmes. En empruntant à la théorie des contraintes de rôle (« role strain ») et de l'intégration du genre (« gender mainstreaming »), et en appliquant des méthodes expérimentales avec des sondages en ligne incorporant une manipulation expérimentale menées en parallèle aux États-Unis, au Canada, et en Australie, nous examinons l'opinion publique sur les mécanismes hors quotas visant à renforcer la participation politique des femmes. L'expérience manipule le genre de la politicienne/du politicien et son niveau de gouvernement (fédéral/local) avant de poser des questions sur les politiques hors quotas visant à aider la politicienne/le politicien. Nous constatons que le soutien du public pour des politiques visant à réduire les tensions entre le travail et la famille est plus élevé pour les politiciennes; celles-ci incluent l'augmentation du salaire, des allocations pour la garde d'enfants et pour les travaux ménagers. Ce soutien est plus élevé chez les femmes qui lisent la description d'une politicienne dans notre sondage, ce qui témoigne d'un effet d'affinité de genre. Les résultats de l’étude contribuent aux recherches sur l’égalité des sexes et mettent en avant des mécanismes d'intégration du genre pour aider à atténuer l’écart entre les sexes en politique.
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    Self-managed Home Aged Care Support: Research Report
    Laragy, C ; McVilly, K (University of Melbourne, 2024)
    The study investigated the benefits and risks to: i) older people who self-manage their home care package; ii) their support workers; and iii) ways to mitigate these risks. The findings highlighted how older people can successfully self-manage their aged Home Care Package and how risks can be managed. While self-management is not wanted by everyone, those who chose to self-manage reported benefits. These included having more choice and control over their support, especially being able to select support workers. Interviewees felt much safer selecting support workers who matched their needs and interests compared to having unknown rostered agency staff come to their home. Contracted support workers often worked for one consumer for years. Modern technology was an asset that facilitated self-management. Technology assisted with recruiting support workers, scheduling work, managing accounts and payments, and enabling providers to monitor spending and be alerted to any unusual payments or fraud. Self-management occurred within a complex service system where there was inadequate funding for community services and Home Care Packages as well as workforce shortages. These challenges impacted on older people in the study who self-managed and their family representatives. While workforce shortages were a major concern across the sector, most interviewees used informal networks and online recruitment services to find satisfactory workers. However, recruitment was a challenge for some interviewees from time to time. Self-management required consumers and their family representatives to navigate complex family dynamics and manage support workers and other services. Some consumers had the confidence and skills to competently manage these situations after a lifetime of relevant experiences. Others were beginning to develop skills and sometimes felt challenged. Everyone needed access to information and advice from time to time, particularly those developing new skills. Interviewees discussed the need to balance consumer’s protection and care with their right to ‘dignity of risk’, to build their capacity, and to choose their lifestyle. Multiple risks were identified with all aged care services, including self-management. Older people can be vulnerable to perpetrators of abuse from within and outside their families. Their rights can also be overridden subtly by others with well-meaning intent. These include service providers who want to minimise risks, surveillance and tracking technologies that are not transparent, and by families wanting to protect. Strategies to mitigate risks need to be individually tailored, with diverse and individual safeguarding strategies developed. Restrictive strategies should only be imposed when proven necessary and expressly stated with necessary consents provided, if necessary, through appropriate Guardianship mechanisms.
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    Recalibrating Minimum Force: Some Unintended Consequences of Tom Swift's 'Electronic Rifle'
    Ryan, E ; Warren, I ; Bedford, L ; Albrecht, JF ; den Heyer, G (Springer Nature, 2024-05-23)
    This chapter explores some significant impacts of ‘electro-shock’ weapons on the practices and accountability of police. It argues that the introduction of conducted energy weapons (CEWs or ‘Tasers’) has resulted in the recalibration of the traditional policing principle of minimum force. Using evidence from a range of jurisdictions, we explore the way CEWs replace low-level and intermediate force options, rather than the use of deadly force they were initially marketed to reduce. We suggest that the adoption of this type of weapon fractures police conceptions of the use of force continuum. This results in a shift away from ensuring ‘coercive’ force as both threat of use of force and the actual use of force are minimised in model police practice towards the mission to appear ‘non-lethal’, or at least less ‘injurious’. While CEWs carry less risk of serious physical injury when deployed as compared with firearms, the increasing rates and normalisation of threatened use of force and associated threats of severe pain and injury in policing practice comprise a form of ‘weapons creep’ and carry a concomitant risk to police–community relations. We argue the widespread adoption of CEWs in policing has reinforced long-held concerns about ‘weapons drift’ and has consequently impacted police legitimacy for some observers and further served to materially subvert interpretations of the principle of ‘minimum force’ as a useful measure of the reasonableness of police use of force.
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    The value added of solidarity economies: Bureaucratic constructions of value for alternative economic policy in Ecuador
    D'Aloia, A (Wiley, 2024)
    The National Institute of the Popular Solidarity Economy (IEPS) in Ecuador was created to promote an alternative form of economy—the Popular Solidarity Economy (PSE). As a precarious institute with limited funding, IEPS staff worked hard to find alternative ways to support the PSE. In this article, I examine their work through the lens of valor agregado (added value), a commonly used local term for how economic value is created. Government bureaucrats intervened primarily by creating an audience that was interested in the social aspects of the alternative economy. Because valor agregado ambiguously refers to both monetary and social value, it helped the PSE better integrate with the wider economy. With this approach, I offer a potential new path for analyzing government support for alternative economies. By refocusing our attention on key actors' understandings of value creation, anthropologists can sidestep questions of whether alternative economies have been “co-opted” by capitalism and instead examine the necessary interfaces between these alternatives and the mainstream.
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    Gender-based violence and carceral feminism in Australia: towards decarceral approaches
    Loney-Howes, R ; Longbottom, M ; Fileborn, B (Springer, 2024-04-08)
    This article explores the limitations of criminal legal responses to gender-based violence in Australia, specifically sexual assault law reforms and the criminalisation of coercive control. We demonstrate that carceral horizons deployed to address gender-based violence cause further harm to survivors and overshadow diverse perceptions and practices of justice. We suggest that such an approach is inappropriate and dangerous in the Australian context, given the historical and enduring harms of colonisation and the extent to which the actors within and the structure of the criminal legal system perpetrate violence towards Indigenous survivors of gender-based violence. Drawing on insights from research on survivors’ justice needs, survivors’ experiences in the criminal legal system, and abolitionist, transformative, and Indigenous scholarship, we discuss the potential for alternative ways of conceptualising justice responses in the Australian context that move beyond and avoid further perpetuating the harms arising from criminal legal responses to gender-based violence.
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    Aged Care and the Convention Against Torture: ‘It Was Like Guantanamo Bay’
    Loughnan, C ; Caruana, S ; Weber, L ; Marmo, M (Palgrave Macmillan, 2024)
    There is a relative absence of criminological engagement with aged care, both as a site of confinement and control, and a site where human rights are often routinely breached. Similarly, the Australian government is unwilling to include residential aged care sites within the remit of the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Instead, it relies on a narrow definition of ‘deprivation of liberty,’ applying the treaty only to what it terms ‘primary places of detention,’ thereby excluding aged care facilities. This chapter reflects upon this failure to include aged care sites under the ambit of the Convention while also calling upon criminologists to engage more attentively with such sites of care and the human rights breaches that they generate. Criminology delivers important insights into places of ‘care’ that share many characteristics with those purposed as punishment and detention. Nonetheless, a ‘criminology’ of human rights is misguided as long as it presumes that rights-based laws can always deliver on their promise. Accordingly, any research agenda within criminology must engage with the limits of human rights and, in particular, with how these limits are made manifest within carceral and confined sites.
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    From online trolls to ‘Slut Shaming’: understanding the role of incivility and gender abuse in local government
    Carson, A ; Mikolajczak, G ; Ruppanner, L ; Foley, E (Informa UK Limited, 2024-01-01)
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    The IAEA's Role in Nuclear Security Since 2016
    Findlay, T (Nuclear Threat Initiative, 2019-02)
    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the key multilateral global nuclear governance body, describes itself as the “global platform” for nuclear security efforts, with a “central role” in facilitating international cooperation in the field. Long concerned with the physical protection of nuclear materials and facilities, the Agency began to ramp up its involvement in the broader issue of nuclear security after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The series of Nuclear Security Summits, which ran from 2010 to 2016, drew high-level political attention to the threat of nuclear terrorism for the first time and boosted support for the IAEA’s nuclear security mission. The final summit, held in Washington, DC, in March 2016, lauded the Agency as “crucial for the continuing delivery of outcomes and actions from the nuclear security summits.” Participating governments agreed to a seven-page “Action Plan in Support of the International Atomic Energy Agency.”1 Three years after the final summit seems an opportune time to assess how the Agency’s nuclear security work has fared since then. Given the complexity of the Agency’s nuclear security activities, this paper cannot provide a comprehensive assessment, but will highlight the most important nuclear security activities and the constraints and challenges the IAEA faces in fulfilling its nuclear security role.