Research focused on challenges created by disaster and their implications for the world we live in

We study mobilities, communities and in/securities in contemporary social and political contexts, as well as acknowledging economic and technological developments and their impact. Our research ambition is interdisciplinary with connections between history, media studies, sociology, security studies and other social-scientific fields of inquiry. We take ethnographic, critical approaches to studying development, intervention and change in diverse settings, and conduct quantitative research where appropriate. Our research aims to communicate a deeper understanding of economic and social inequality and marginalisation in relation to crises, safety, issues of human security and the communities they affect. It helps identify and exploit opportunities for innovation and emancipation that often germinate in crises and chaos.

Theme leaders: Associate Professor Bruce Buchan and Associate Professor Halim Rane


Migration studies is a key aspect of our research focus, and we offer specialist research on migration and displacement, trauma and memory, social inclusion, cross-cultural communication, disaster management, second-language acquisition and multilingualism, migrant, refugee and tourist mobilities, material cultures of migration, globalisation and cosmopolitanism, Islam-West relations, performance and creative arts for refugee integration, and the politics of migration, human security and development.

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Safety Science Innovation Lab

The Safety Science Innovation Lab was founded to capitalise on the opportunities for collaboration between science, health, business and the humanities and social sciences. Critical innovations in safety science won't necessarily come from new technologies, but from a better understanding of complexity and social construction.

What constitutes an error, a violation, or compliance, and who gets to say?

How do we prevent practitioners from becoming the second victims of adverse events?

To understand why things go wrong, should we not study how things go right and organisations are successful rather than just focusing on low-frequency negative events?

The pursuit of these sorts of questions are key to an innovative future of safety science.

Graduate Certificate in Safety Leadership

ARC projects

Barry, Dr Kaya ‘Momentarily immobile: the futures of backpacking and seasonal farm workers’. DE220100394 (2022-2025) Total funding amount $444,548

Sanderson, P., (UQ), Aitken, L., Dekker, S., Venkatsh, B., Grundgeiger, T. and ,Liu, D. ‘Interruptions, work coordination, and resilience’. ARC-DP140101821 (2014 -2016). Total funding amount $489,000.

Other external grants and funding

Dekker, S. Sam Beveridge Memorial Scholarship, (2015–2018)

Dekker, S. Woolworths PhD Scholarship in Safety Innovation, (2015–2018)

Dekker, S. ORICA Living Stipend and Tuition Scholarship, (2014–017)

Want to know more?

Get in touch with the Centre for Social and Cultural Research