The 2017 Pat Weller Prize has been awarded to three Government and International Relations students.
For the next 10 years, the Russell Trood Prize for International Relations will support high-achieving Griffith Business School students and honour the memory of the former Director of the Griffith Asia Institute, Professor Russell Trood
Australia can become a world leader in protecting whistleblowers if reforms recommended by a parliamentary inquiry are made law, according to a Griffith University expert.
Department new and events
Deep Learning in First-Year International Relations
Dr Dan Halvorson and PhD candidate, Lucy West recently attended the European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR) 2017 General Conference held at the University of Oslo, Norway.
Dan and Lucy were participants on the ‘New Designs for Political Science Teaching’ panel and shared insights and experiences from the large first-year introductory course 1001GIR International Relations. Their paper, 'Deep Learning in First-Year IR: Simulating a UNSC Debate on Syria' addressed how appropriately designed active learning techniques can enhance student engagement and foster deep learning outcomes among the diverse cohort of first-year students. Deep learning is operationalised as conceptual knowledge and metacognitive reflection.
This panel was organised by the ECPR’s ‘Standing Group on Teaching and Learning Politics’. The panels attracted academics and teachers from across Europe and the UK, who discussed topics related to innovating political science education and the consequences of the internationalisation of the discipline.
The conference was a great opportunity for Dan and Lucy to share their experiences teaching large first-year cohorts in the Australian context, to compare with teaching practices in the UK and continental Europe, and to gain new ideas for further teaching innovation.
Marriage and Relationships Findings Revealed in London Seminar
We know that marriage and relationships are changing. Dr Liz van Acker has been exploring this fascinating trajectory which culminated in the publication of her book, Marriage and Values in Public Policy: Conflicts in the UK, the USA and Australia, earlier this year.
On 13 September Liz presented her findings at a seminar hosted by London based relationship education support and research charity, OnePlusOne. Liz’s seminar examined cohabitation and same-sex marriage to demonstrate how relationship values in the political and policy arena inevitably come into play.
Liz demonstrated that contradictions reinforce the divergence of policy solutions and programs in Australia and England. Changing marriage laws, practices and values mean that in Australia, cohabiting couples have gained strong legal protections which are the same as marriage. They have more automatic legal rights than cohabitants in England. However, in Australia, while same-sex couples also enjoy these protections, they are not permitted to marry and the issue remains controversial.
The seminar provoked an interesting debate about the challenges confronted by service providers, policy makers and governments.
Follow this link to our research page to view Liz’s Research Highlight short videos.
To see her take on the same-sex marriage debate and why it needs a resolution now visit our YouTube page by clicking here.
Ahmed Al-Dulaimi on 1st Iraqi Scholars’ Conference Organisation Committee
Congratulations to HDR scholar, Ahmed Al-Dulaimi, who has been selected as a member of the Organisation Committee for the 1st Iraqi Scholars’ Conference to be held in Melbourne on 30 November – 1 December.
Ahmed is the only Griffith University emerging scholar on the committee which also has representatives from eight other institutions. The place on Organisation Committee gives Ahmed the opportunity to expand his professional networks and develop experience in managing the process of academic symposiums.
The conference, sponsored by Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (HoHESR), and the Higher Committee for Education Development (HCED) aims to bring together Iraqi scholars from across Australia and New Zealand.
Scholars in attendance will come from a wide range of disciplines and the event will give participating doctoral and masters level students an opportunity to showcase their research. They will be presenting not only to their peers but also to the established Iraqi scholarly community.
Ferran Martinez i Coma Presents on Electoral Integrity in Cancún, Mexico
Research Fellow, Dr Ferran Martinez i Coma, has flown to Cancún, Mexico to present to scholars and practitioners at a two-day conference on ‘Campaign Finance and Electoral Results: Current Challenges to National and Sub-National Electoral Integrity in Federal Countries’. Ferran will be sitting on three panels and has a key role in proceedings.
The event, featuring panels and workshops, has been organized by Mexico's Electoral Court (TEPJF), the Mexican Prosecutor on Electoral Offenses (FEPADE), and a key academic institution, the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (FLACSO) Mexico. These institutions have been integral in the oversight, study, and understanding of the nation’s extensive electoral reform process and its impact.
Academics from a range of Mexican Universities will be joined by experts from as far afield as Australia (Griffith University and Sydney University), the USA (Harvard University) and the UK (Oxford University). Practitioners from international organisations including the Organization of American States (OAS), and International IDEA (Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) will present side by side with a strong contingent from Mexico’s FEPADE, judges from the TEPJF and counselors of the Federal Election Commission.
Over the course of the two days, practitioners and scholars will gather to share first-hand experiences and current research as they explore common themes and pressings issues of electoral integrity facing federations across the globe.
Ferran’s expertise in the field of electoral integrity and reform will be a welcome contribution to this important exploration of the challenges faced by countries in maintaining robust integrity frameworks.
Learning and Teaching Expert, Dr Liz van Acker at High Impact Capstone Experiences Forum in North Carolina, USA
Dr Liz van Acker, one of our School of Government and International Relations’ experts in the field of learning and teaching was recently invited to attend the Planning Forum on High Impact Capstone Experiences, at Elon University’s Center for Engaged Learning in North Carolina, U.S.A.
Dr van Acker was a co-recipient of a 2010 Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Grant which enabled the research team to examine the efficacy of capstone courses in undergraduate business degrees. The grant also added significant new knowledge about capstones to the academic literature.
With the invitation to attend the Elon University forum, Dr van Acker was able to bring her internationally recognised expertise to the table. The goal of the event was to help define and identify key characteristics of capstones in a multi-year, multi-institutional context.
The forum explored in depth the attributes and goals of successful capstones, as well as addressing some of the ‘gaps’ in knowledge. During the event, Dr van Acker worked with staff from Elon University and other visiting colleagues from across the US and internationally in order to deepen higher education’s research and understanding on these experiences.
Student, Kimberly Amu at the 8th University Scholars Leadership Symposium, Bangkok
Bachelor of Government and International Relations Student, Kimberly Amu, was selected to participate in the 8th University Scholars Leadership Symposium held in early August at the United Nations Conference Centre in Bangkok, Thailand. With the support of the School of Government and International Relations, Kimberly was able to attend the symposium which was hosted by Humanitarian Affairs and focused on the theme of ‘Building Life, Giving Hope’.
The symposium presented Kimberly and other participants with an unprecedented opportunity to network with United Nations specialists. These people were all very generous in giving their time and insights to the students with a view, as Kimberley explained it, to igniting an ongoing passion for governance and a humanitarian society.
Participants heard from a range of speakers from non-government organisations and representatives of the United Nations. They had ample opportunity to pick the brains of the presenters, with Kimberly saying that delegates bombarded them with intense and intriguing questions. The event wasn’t all sitting in rooms hearing from experts. Participants also had the experience of making a difference in a community while on the program with site visits and hands-on work including collecting rubbish from the local waterways, and clearing refuse from vital mangrove areas all the while learning about the impacts the problem of pollution in these areas has on local communities.
From a personal perspective, Kimberly named the highlight of the event as being to learn first-hand about the work of United Nations and the positive impact it has in such a politically diverse world. Her views about the role of the organisation and its work was challenged and changed as she learned about the depth and breadth of the roles the UN undertakes, as well as the many challenges workers and volunteers face on a daily basis as they seek to make improvements in the lives of people and their communities.
As well as challenging her academic understanding of the UN, Kimberly also gained a much from the student networking opportunities the event provided. The diverse academic backgrounds of the emerging leaders in attendance was something of a surprise noting that she was was delighted to bring a little politics into a group of people that included students from fields including engineering, science, education, medicine, law and agriculture.
Overall, Kimberly’s experience at the symposium has opened her mind to a much greater world of opportunity.
Trimester 1 Student Success
Students on our Gold Coast and Nathan campuses have been recognised for their Trimester 1 academic achievement, with the biannual Best Bachelor of Government and International Relations students receiving their well-deserved prizes.
The Awards are presented to first and upper year students in Trimester 1 and 2 in recognition of our undergraduates’ commitment to study and their determination to achieve outstanding results.
The awards for Trimester 1, 2017 were presented to:
Best BGIR Students
|Michael Young - Nathan
||Zachary Look - Nathan
|Shannon Labuschagne - Gold Coast
||Kyle Bazinet - Gold Coast
|Georgia McDonald - Nathan
||Taylor Seawright - Nathan
|Jack Cuming - Gold Coast
||Isaac Avery - Gold Coast
Uncertainty Grows in Post-RAMSI Solomon Islands
SGIR PhD candidate, Caitlin Mollica has had a new post published in the Australian Institute of International Affairs blog, Australian Outlook. Below is an extract of her piece.The end of RAMSI signifies a new phase in the Solomon Islands post-conflict journey, one in which reconciliation and development remain key challenges. But after 14 years, the Solomon Islanders are skeptical about the country’s capacity to continue reform without international assistance.
On June 30, The Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) officially came to the end of its 14-year engagement. Deployed in 2003, following a request for assistance from the Solomon Islands Government, RAMSI was an ambitious and expensive endeavour for the region and in particular for Australia. Indeed, over the course of the mission Australia invested approximately $2.8 billion dollars and contributed thousands of military and policy personnel. Click here to read more ...
Samuel Ankamah Presents at the 3rd International Conference on Public Policy, Singapore
HDR candidate, Samuel Ankamah, is no stranger to academic conferences. He has been honing his skills and testing his work as an emerging scholar in front of the notoriously tough audiences for some time now, and has just returned to Brisbane following his presentation to the third International Conference on Public Policy held in Singapore from 28-30 June 2017.
Samuel presented his paper, ‘Social Accountability Mechanisms and Accountability Relationships’, in the panel on Extending the Determinants of Corruption. The paper, which sprang from Samuel’s PhD, was put forward to the audience in order to seek expert views on this particular piece of work, and the direction of his PhD project overall. He hoped that the feedback received would help strengthen both the paper itself and his PhD.
Given his aims, Samuel was fortunate to present to authorities within field, including Melbourne University’s Professor Emeritus Leslie Holmes and Flinders University’s Professor Adam Graycar. The input from these experts and others was much welcomed, with Samuel receiving positive feedback on the timeliness of his project and line of argument. He was also honoured to receive some considered suggestions on how to improve and develop his work.
Once refined, Samuel is aiming to publish this piece in the journal, Democratization, but until then you can read his developing thoughts by clicking here.
Upcoming Event: 2017 Distinguished Lecture
Mining Royalty Payments and the Governance of Aboriginal Australia
Presented by Professor Ciaran O'Faircheallaigh
Date: Wednesday, 9 August
Time: 5:30pm for 6:00 - 8:00pm
Venue: The Ship Inn Function Room, S06, Level 2, Griffith University South Bank campus
About the Lecture
Mining royalty payments to Aboriginal landowners in remote Australia should represent a boon to what are among this country’s most disadvantaged communities. But the record of outcomes from these payments is mixed, and the very real successes that have been achieved are often overshadowed by tales of waste and lost opportunities. In this lecture Professor O'Faircheallaigh draws on research conducted on the impact of mining royalties over three decades to explain successes and failures, and argue that the explanation has much to tell us about the governance of Aboriginal Australia more broadly. Success comes when Aboriginal people control decision making and develop accountability and management mechanisms that make sense in terms of their own social and cultural values and practices. The stubborn refusal of Australian governments to recognise and apply this lesson to policy development and implementation more broadly helps explain the continuing social and economic problems facing Aboriginal Australia. It also provides important insights into the nature of Australia’s relationship with its First Peoples.
REGISTRATIONS ARE CLOSED but join us on the night by clicking here to join our event livestream.
SGIR Does Political Satire: Professor John Kane sings Trump's Lament (Nobody told me)
In the media
- The Mandarin, August 2017 | ‘Naïve optimism’ Driving Uptake of One Stop Shops
- Cambodia Daily, August 2017 | Hun Sen’s Violent Rhetoric: Will Words Become Deeds in 2018
- Griffith Asia Insights, August 2017 | New Developments in China’s Financial Regulation
- RTE Radio 1 World Report, August 2017 | Singapore’s First Family Feud Fizzles
- OUP Blog, August 2017 | Is There a Right to Report a Disease Outbreak
- The Interpreter, August 2017 | The Unacceptable Dangers of Accepting a Nuclear North Korea
- Machinery of Government, August 2017 | The Trump Conundrum
- IAPS Dialogue, August 2017 | Modi’s Foreign Policy Under Pressure