School of Social and Political Sciences - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 995
A Phase 1, Randomised, Placebo-Controlled, Dose Escalation Study to Investigate the Safety, Tolerability and Pharmacokinetics of Cannabidiol in Fed Healthy Volunteers
(SPRINGER FRANCE, 2020-05-14)
BACKGROUND: There is increasing interest in the use of purified cannabidiol (CBD) as a treatment for a wide range of conditions due to its reported anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, antiemetic and anticonvulsant properties. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of a single ascending dose of a new lipid-based oral formulation of CBD in healthy volunteers after a high-fat meal. METHODS: A total of 24 eligible healthy volunteers (aged 18-48 years) were randomised to one of three sequential cohorts (each with six active and two placebo subjects). Cohort 1 received 5 mg/kg CBD or placebo, cohort 2 received 10 mg/kg CBD or placebo (cohort 2), and cohort 3 received 20 mg/kg CBD or placebo. Data relating to adverse events, vital signs, clinical laboratory assessments, 12-lead ECGs, physical examinations and concomitant medications were collected to assess safety and tolerability. Blood samples were collected up to 8 days postdose and plasma was analysed by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to assess the pharmacokinetics of the CBD formulation. RESULTS: CBD was well tolerated in the healthy volunteers (mean age: 24.0 years) treated with a single oral dose of CBD. There were no safety concerns with increasing the dose and the safety profiles of the CBD-treated and placebo-treated subjects were similar. The most frequently reported treatment emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were headache (17%) and diarrhoea (8%). There were no reported serious adverse events (SAEs) and no clinical laboratory findings, vital signs, ECGs or physical examination findings that were reported as TEAEs or were of clinical significance during the study. After a high-fat meal, CBD was detected in plasma samples at 15 min postdose; the median time to maximum plasma concentration (Tmax) was 4 h across all three CBD dose cohorts. The CBD plasma exposure [maximum observed plasma concentration (Cmax) and the area under the concentration-time curve (AUC)] increased in a dose-proportional manner and declined to levels approaching the lower level of quantification by day 8. The terminal elimination half-life was approximately 70 h, suggesting that 2-3 weeks are needed to fully eliminate CBD. CONCLUSIONS: This new CBD formulation demonstrated a favourable safety and tolerability profile in healthy volunteers that was consistent with the profiles reported for other purified CBD products. No severe or serious AEs were observed in this study and there were no safety concerns. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ACTRN12618001424291. Registered August 2018.
COVID-19 lockdown in Chinese villages: Radical measures positively received
(Asia Institute, University of Melbourne, 2020-11-11)
Chinese authorities have imposed a series of very significant restrictions on communities in both urban and rural areas since late January 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research team explored how Chinese people in rural areas have reacted.
Troublemaking in hospitals: performed violence against the healthcare professions in China
(Informa UK Limited, 2020-06-12)
Yi Nao describes a type of violence displayed in Chinese hospitals which involves organised disturbances led by patients’ relatives and/or Yi Nao gangs. Drawing on media reports of Yi Nao, we argue that the phenomenon of Yi Nao transforms hospitals into ‘power arenas’ in which a struggle over moral and political resources (capital) takes place between patients, Yi Nao gangs, doctors, government agencies, and hospital management. Two interrelated rules that are crucial to understanding the ad hoc local strategies of the actors involved in Yi Nao are examined: the ‘publicity rule’, and the ‘rule of risk-avoidance’. We also argue that the political discourse of ‘stability’ has been internalised by the officials in the Chinese government and public hospitals in mediating social disputes. At the same time, Yi Nao actors use this discourse to creatively adapt to social resistance, as reflected in the disposition to use performative disturbance in pursuit of material or symbolic compensation.
Bureaucratic Reform in Indonesia: Policy Analyst Experiences
(Knowledge Sector Initiative/University of Melbourne, 2020-01-31)
In recent years, Indonesia has introduced reforms to its bureaucracy in response to critiques of the quality of government policy design and delivery. The Grand Design of Bureaucratic Reform strategy seeks to reduce the number of civil servants employed in administrative or managerial positions (structural appointments) in favour of skills-based recruitment into ‘functional’ positions. Specifically, the introduction of the ‘policy analyst’ position as a functional position in the civil service has sought to improve evidence-based policy making and the quality of policy outcomes, by incorporating merit-based recruitment, appointment and promotion. The role of functional policy analysts (Jabatan Fungsional Analis Kebijakan or JFAKs) is to assist policy makers in identifying policy issues, analyse evidence available on these issues, and ultimately make policy recommendations. This report overviews the recent experiences of different policy analyst cohorts since the role’s creation in 2015. It investigates these experiences to better understand the extent to which policy analysts are playing the role intended for them, and the factors enabling or inhibiting this.
Does the healthy immigrant effect apply to mental health? Examining the effects of immigrant generation and racial and ethnic background among Australian adults
(Elsevier Inc., 2019-04-01)
The healthy immigrant effect (HIE) refers to the phenomena in which immigrants show greater health outcomes than the native-born population. However, it is unclear what is the extent to which HIE applies to various outcomes and populations. Much of the work on HIE has revolved around physical health outcomes; mental health, however, has not garnered the same level of attention with regard to HIE. It is also uncertain whether immigrants’ health advantage persists beyond one generation. This study assesses the mental health of the first, second, and third and higher generations (70,517 person-year observations) for individuals from various racial and ethnic backgrounds in Australia using Waves 1−16 of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey. The dependent variable is mental health score and key independent variables include generation and racial and ethnic background. I control for age, educational attainment, labor force status, marital status, remoteness, household income, language, neighborhood disadvantage, citizenship, weight, and gender. Using linear regression with random effects, this study finds that mental health varies by generation; the third and higher generation show the greatest mental health score, followed by the first generation and the second generation, net of controls. Mental health score also varies by racial and ethnic background. Except for English-speaking groups, native-born Australians show a clear advantage over Europeans, North Africans/Middle Easterners, and Asians. Racial and ethnic disparities differ by generation and are strongest among the first generation. My findings extend HIE, which typically emphasize immigrants’ superior health outcomes over the native-born population but do not focus on racial and ethnic disparities among immigrants. My results suggest that immigrant groups vary widely in their mental health outcomes but these lessen over time. Overall, the findings suggest the limited applicability of HIE for a broad range of health outcomes and populations.
Peer reviews of teaching as appreciative inquiry: learning from "the best" of our colleagues
(Springer (part of Springer Nature), 2020-11-03)
Research on peer review to date has focused on its role as a formal compliance mechanism, a process for enhancing and developing teaching practice, and as a considerable source of anxiety for educators. In this paper, we draw on scholarly reflections from our experience of undertaking a reciprocal, formative peer review in an Australian higher education setting. Our findings provide novel conceptual, empirical, and practical insights by providing the first application of an appreciative inquiry framework to the process of peer review. We argue that adopting an appreciative inquiry framework assists us in learning from “the best” aspects of our colleagues’ teaching. Moreover, it offers a framework for understanding and responding to some of the challenges long-associated with peer review. In doing so, it presents potential benefits pertaining to student retention and learning outcomes, while opening up new possibilities for researching and practicing peer review.
COVID-19 and Facebook in Papua New Guinea: Fly River Forum
(Wiley Open Access, 2020-01-01)
This article examines use of a Papua New Guinea (PNG) Facebook group, Fly River Forum, with reference to the COVID‐19 global pandemic. From about mid‐March 2020, when the PNG Government declared a State of Emergency, to early May, members of that forum shared an intense interest in the pandemic and were deeply concerned with its possible implications for the country. The great majority of COVID‐related posts, and associated comments, combined delivery of relevant information with scepticism about some of that information. Most participants did not take either religious tropes or conspiracy theories as primary sources of comfort or explanation. We argue that Fly River Forum played a positive role in the ways that people engaged with what could have emerged as a health disaster. More generally, geographically focused sites such as this provide a valuable barometer of local opinion and deserve close attention by politicians and policymakers in PNG.
‘Australia-style?’: a model for relations with Europe?
During the referendum campaign in 2016, Australia was a reference point for many British Conservative politicians. Since then, the UK government has increasingly looked to Australia for inspiration – it has been regarded as a possible model for the UK’s new points-based immigration scheme, and more recently, it was revealed that the UK government was considering the offshore processing and detention of asylum seekers, a policy that Australia introduced in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. A further indication of this trend is the Johnson government’s appointment of former Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, as an advisor to the UK Board of Trade, a move that was met with strong criticism from within the UK and Australia. Australia also features in discussions of the UK’s future engagement with the EU. Boris Johnson has referred to an Australian style trade deal with the EU. However, such references are misleading as there is currently no Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in force between Australia and the EU. One is being negotiated at present, but the current EU-Australia relationship is based on a network of agreements that may serve as inspiration for the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
This chapter examines the development of the EU–Australia relationship from a focus on one country (the UK) and policy (agriculture) to a broadening of engagement. Engagement has long been characterised by conflict and mutual misunderstandings, underpinned by a sense of distance. For some decades, neither interlocutor featured significantly on the other’s radar screen. Increasingly, however, there has been a rapprochement based on common concerns and a shared interest in cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. The chapter examines how and why the relationship has moved from a bilateral state-to-state engagement in the early debates to an increasingly regionalised and multilateralised common agenda. It commences with an overview of the single-country emphasis of Australia in its dealings with the EU and the single-policy focus on the Common Agricultural Policy. It then examines the development of agreements and dialogues as the EU broadened its policy scope and reach and as Australia increasingly perceived advantages in engaging in a multidimensional relationship with the EU, its institutions and member states.
Europe-Asia Studies: The Contribution of Comparative Regional Integration
(Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)
This chapter examines the contribution of comparative regional integration studies, with particular reference to EU–Asia relations. The chapter has three core purposes. First – and briefly – it asks why scholars should study regions, regionalism and regional integration comparatively and also sets out how we understand the key terms here, that is regions and regional integration. Second, it asks how, once the matters of why and what to compare have been addressed successfully, scholars can actually go about comparative study of regions in the global polity. Finally, it sets out how comparative regional integration studies can contribute and provide fruitful research pathways capable of contributing much to Europe–Asia studies.