For news from 2010-2012, view the Social Science and Public Policy news archive.
On 10 December AUT postgraduate student Edmond Fehoko's hard work in the Tongan community was rewarded with a Prime Minister's Pacific Youth Award for Inspiration.
The 23-year old is studying for a Master of Arts in Social Sciences while providing academic support for students in AUT's Certificate in Social Sciences and Bachelor of Arts in Criminology.
Mr Fehoko's work beyond the classroom to cultivate and promote the values, beliefs and customs of Tongan culture is a major reason why he received the distinguished inspiration award.
Policy-makers and development practitioners have a new tool to help them devise dynamic social protection programmes — a book co-authored by AUT’s Professor Marilyn Waring.
'Anticipatory Social Protection: Claiming dignity and rights' explains the Commonwealth Secretariat's modern-day approach to social protection (social protection programmes typically include labour market interventions, social insurance and social assistance).
Professor Waring and her co-authors Anit N Mukherjee, Elizabeth Reid and Meena Shivdas analyse and discuss a framework for social protection, models of good practice across the Commonwealth and innovative ways of ways of providing social protection.
The authors argue for a more dynamic approach to social protection that uses human rights principles to address social inequities.
"This book explores ways of providing social protection that are not only based on the ideology of men and women being in full-time work in the formal economy. Instead we look at how social protection can become a tool to transform society so that human rights are available to all, including marginalised groups, in an anticipatory, as opposed to reactive, framework.
"It is important to challenge the social and political factors that can contribute to poverty and disadvantage, rather than just providing a ‘safety net’ that reinforces a mainstream ideology," says Professor Waring.
AUT anthropologist Associate Professor Sharyn Graham Davies says the Fulbright New Zealand Travel Award she received this month, will be an honour for life.
Davies combines lecturing in the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy with an active programme of research currently focusing on procedural justice in Indonesia.
The Fulbright Award will enable Davies to attend the American Sociological Association Conference in San Francisco in August 2014, where she will present research on policing styles in Indonesia.
She will then complete a wider research and teaching trip to leading universities and research organisations in the United States and Europe while she is on sabbatical leave from AUT.
While the Fulbright Award represents a modest contribution towards her travel ($4000), Davies says the real prize will be adding the Fulbright name to her curriculum vitae.
"It is a huge honour to receive a Fulbright Award; it says that as an academic I am willing to engage with a wider audience and put my work out there," says Davies.
Fulbright New Zealand Travel Awards are for New Zealand academics, artists or professionals to present their work to American audiences. Approximately twelve awards valued at up to NZ$5000 are granted each year.
"That I can achieve and take up this award says a lot about the research focus at AUT. The university strongly supports and promotes the Fulbright values of cultural and academic exchange, and has made this possible for me," says Davies.
Having the chance to spend time developing her research and teaching is an exciting prospect, says Davies. It will be good to share my research with other academics and develop it further. I am also keen to see how my American counterparts are teaching and maybe bring some of those techniques back to AUT."
Associate Professor Sharyn Graham Davies recently received praise in the American Anthropologist journal for her research from 2010 entitled: "Gender Diversity in Indonesia: Sexuality, Islam and Queer Selves".
1 September 2013
The State of Auckland Report provides an objective and authoritative reflection on trends and changes over time. It presents indicators as well as analysis and commentary to help readers interpret the information.
This includes an indication whether the outcome could reasonably be expected to have resulted directly or indirectly from the Super City reforms or from actions (or lack of action) from the Auckland Council.
Visit the State of Auckland website for the complete report and summaries.
In the media:
Professor Mark Israel, Winthrop Professor of Law and Criminology, University of Western Australia, recently delivered a public lecture on the topic: Research Regulation: Giving Ethics and Integrity a Bad Name.
Prominent American sociologist, Professor Erik Olin Wright, visits New Zealand this week to talk about 'transforming capitalism through real utopias'.
The highly acclaimed author and Harvard, Oxford and Berkeley Universities-educated professor is in NZ for a week as a guest of AUT University. During that time he will give academic talks, and mentor AUT University masters students.
His research focuses on the study of class, and alternatives to capitalism. He says the class structure in the United States has become more polarised with vast increases in the inequality of wealth and income. He's also particularly focused on the changing character of class relations in developed capitalist societies.
"The wealthiest segments of capitalist class no longer have a stake in the wellbeing of the American domestic system. In other words, there is a broader group who can purchase private substitutes for public goods so don’t have a strong interest in improving the domestic conditions.
For the working and 'middle' classes this has meant a stagnation of earnings despite increased productivity, and an increased vulnerability to changing economic conditions," he says.
Professor Wright has been leading a project called 'Envisioning Real Utopias' which explores the creation of broad visions of radical alternatives to existing structures, especially alternatives to capitalism.
He offers up an interesting list of 'real utopia' ideas, which mainly centre around the establishment of alternative and co-operative institutions.
Tireless human rights work has seen AUT's Professor Marilyn Waring receive the Amnesty International Aotearoa NZ Human Rights Defender Award for 2013. Read more >>
After ten years as the first equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner in the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, Professor Judy McGregor has taken up the role as Head of the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy.
While working as the EEO Commissioner Professor McGregor worked on issues such as equal pay, disability rights, human rights and business, freedom of expression and new media issues, civil and political rights and a big area of women’s rights including gender equality in governance, management and public and professional life.
"I led the Commission's well publicised opposition to the electoral finance reforms and its submissions on local governance reform," she says.
"During my term I worked for the UN and the Asia Pacific Forum on developing communication strategies for emerging national human rights institutions in Palestine, Jordan, Malaysia, Nepal, and the Maldives and I led two media monitoring teams to Timor Leste for its first democratic elections.
"One of her last projects was finishing a major national inquiry into EEO issues in the aged care sector, Caring Counts, including working under cover.She says she will continue to campaign for equal and fair pay for carers as an academic and a citizen.
"Taking up the role at AUT at the beginning of February, Professor McGregor says she wants to be involved in giving students the best possible tertiary experience.
"I want their life choices to be informed by critical inquiry and for them to have a stimulating and unforgettable university time."
She says the school, which sits in the Faculty of Culture and Society, provides a wonderful opportunity to link the evidence base of social science with public policy choices.
"I am looking forward to being involved in something new that will grow, continuing to work on social justice and human rights issues in New Zealand, and taking a public voice in significant public debates where I might have something useful to offer. Of course, I nurture the dream of languishing in the library reading and thinking, an intellectual transfusion, but I predict the day-to-day reality might be different!"
Postgraduate students represent the next generation of criminologists and it is important that this is recognized in a formalised setting such as the ANZSOC Postgraduate (PG) and early career researcher (ECR) conference that took place this year in Auckland this last year
The venue for the PG and ECR conference was on the AUT University Nga Wai o Horotiu Marae, which formed part of a collaboration between Auckland University and AUT for hosting the overall ANZSOC conference.
While the overall conferences was a collegial endeavour between the two universities special thanks must go to AUT staff Antje Deckert and Robert Webb for organising a highly successful event that attracted at least 50 delegates.
Delegates where welcomed onto the Marae with a powhiri, the traditional custom by which Māori peoples greet strangers to their home.
The Marae itself is a particularly ornately carved meetinghouse that provided delegates with a very unique cultural experience and the opportunity to discuss the issues that were raised in the conference, as well as providing opportunity to network.
Overall the atmosphere was relaxed and open to numerous different points of view, which made it a very special day.
Special thanks must go to Kim Workman of Rethinking Crime and Punishment (RECAP) for his talk on how to engage in a more effective manner with the criminal justice issues of the day. Thanks also to Professor Marylin Waring for her example of how feminist academia can influence policy at national and international levels.
The PG and ECR conference provided a forum for academics and criminal justice stakeholders to provide advice often in the form of personal narratives or more formalised presentations that may be useful as a means of guidance for publication, conducting ethical research and securing employment in academia or the criminal justice sector.
Thanks should go to Prof Rick Sarre, Juan Tauri, Laumua Tunufa'I, James Rodgers. Prof Philip Stenning, Associate Prof Darren Palmer, Dr Michael Roguski, Dr Kirsten Hanna, Nick Paterson, Channel Kumar, Chris Warne, Associate Prof Roberta Julian, Dr Warwick Tie, Dr John Buttle and Dr Cassandra Cross. All who gave their time to make this a successful event.
The PG and ECR conference also provides opportunities for delegates to present their work, either by giving a presentation or as a poster. This year the posters were of a high standard as were many of the presentations.
This is the second year that the Monash Postgraduate Student prize was given to the most outstanding presentation or poster. The prize was awarded by Dr Paddy Rawlinson to Rosemary Cassidy for the presentation of her research into Campus Crime.
After the conference a number the delegates actively demonstrated their respect for the Marae by helping clean up and walked down to a nearby restaurant for the conference dinner.
Finally, it is the delegates that make for a successful conference and we would like to thank you all for attending.
- Antje Deckert, Robert Webb and John Buttle.
In late 2012, staff from the School of Social Sciences and Public Policy collected awards for excellence.
Dr Camille Nakhid was recognised for her contribution to equity and diversity.
A team of 6 researchers — Ian Shirley, Carol Neill, Peggy Fairbairn-Dunlop, Love Chile and David Wilson — were presented with a Faculty Research award. The team won the Established Research team award for leading the Asian and Pacific Development Programme (APDP).
The programme was established in 2007 as a longitudinal, multidisciplinary research programme with a focus on the dynamics of development in the Asian and Pacific region and the realities of economic, social and political change.
The research team engaged with 15 academic research teams located in the major cities of the region.