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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    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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    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.
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    Rethinking Democratic Diffusion: Bringing Regime Type Back In
    Goldring, E ; Greitens, SC (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2020-02)
    Studies of democratic diffusion often emphasize geographic proximity: democratization in a country or region makes democratization nearby more likely. We argue that regime type has been underappreciated; authoritarian breakdown and democratization often diffuse along networks of similar regimes. A regime’s type affects its vulnerability to popular challenge, and regime similarity increases the likelihood that protest strategies developed against one regime are effective against similar regimes. We employ a qualitative case study from China to generate our theory, then test it quantitatively and with out-of-sample cases. We find that regime similarity strongly predicts autocratic breakdown and democratic diffusion, making both outcomes more likely. Including regime similarity significantly reduces the effect of geographic proximity, although geographic proximity may increase the effect of regime similarity. Reinterpreting democratic diffusion as a regime-type phenomenon calls for revision to conventional wisdom on the role of international factors in authoritarian breakdown and democratization.
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    The making of ‘Mary Poppins’ migrants: analysing German discourse on displaced Ukrainians 2022–23 through fictional film
    Pruitt, LJ ; Missbach, A (Taylor and Francis Group, 2023)
    Building on insights from Migration Studies and International Relations, we investigate constructions of Ukrainians who arrived in Germany due to conflict-induced displacement during the first year of the Russian-Ukraine war. To do so, we analysed reporting on Ukrainian women in two German major weekly news outlets (Der Spiegel and Die Zeit). Here we take a unique approach–drawing on key points of, and illustrative quotes from, that analysis, and reading them alongside the fictional film Mary Poppins. Doing so helps us understand German discourse around displaced Ukrainians. Specifically, our unique reading of refugeehood and deservingness helps us demonstrate how familiar, yet fictional, stories can be deployed to critically interrogate and better understand real-world extraordinary political responses towards refugees. Overall, we suggest that by analysing representations of Ukrainians through this fictional lens, we contribute to denaturalising ‘common knowledge’ about displaced people often taken for granted in public discourse and public policy.
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    The affective atmospheres of the Australian Freedom Movement: ‘Unmasked, Unvaxxed, Unbothered’
    Gillespie, L (Crime & Society Research Group, 2023-12-15)
    This article analyses the ‘Convoy to Canberra’, a nationalistic ‘freedom protest’ that emerged in Australia in response to COVID-19 countermeasures, such as movement restrictions and vaccine mandates, which they called “Medical Apartheid”. I argue that through the Convoy and its resulting protest occupation, ‘Camp Freedom’, participants generated an affective atmosphere that not only challenged COVID-19 restrictions, but also allowed participants to performatively embody the very ‘freedom’ they perceived themselves as having lost. Drawing on insights from spatial and sensory criminology, I argue the atmosphere of the Convoy and Camp facilitated a series of favourable spatial and sensorial experiences through which ‘freedom’ could not only be performed, but also ostensibly recognised and thereby recuperated. I maintain that within the atmosphere of Camp Freedom, and the literal and figurative movement of the Convoy, the ‘unvaxxed’ body came to function as an ideal image of the nationalist self as such: a body that is free and unrestricted within the nation, and sovereign unto itself. This body, as articulated by the Australian Freedom Rally’s slogan, is one that is ‘Unmasked, Unvaxxed, Unbothered.