Research Networks and Initiatives

The School of Social and Political Sciences has one of the strongest concentrations of social and political science researchers in the Australasian region. Our researchers are actively involved in collaborative research activity, within the school and other areas of the University, and with international research partners and networks.

Major Research Initiatives

A number of research initiatives have been established within the school to facilitate interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary research. The supportive environment created by these initiatives provides a space and time for existing collaborations to flourish, and new opportunities to seed and develop.

LCT Centre for Knowledge-Building

Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) first emerged as a framework for the study of knowledge and education and is now being used to analyse a growing range of practices across diverse social fields, including education, law, politics, art, and public understanding of science.

Sydney Asia-Pacific Migration Centre

The Sydney Asia Pacific Migration Centre (SAPMiC) is a multidisciplinary network that collaborates with scholars, researchers and practitioners on migration issues across the Asia Pacific Region.

Centre for International Security Studies

The Centre for International Security Studies (CISS) produces innovative research and education programs on the enduring and emerging security challenges facing Australia, the Asia Pacific, and the world. It is organised into four research and teaching areas: biosecurity, geosecurity, infosecurity and global security.

Sydney Democracy Network

Sydney Democracy Network is a dedicated network of researchers, activists, policy-makers and citizens concerned with the future of democracy. It stands for a broad rethinking of democracy, not only as a form of government but as a way of life committed to greater equality and the accountability of power.

Electoral Integrity Project

An independent academic study, the Electoral Integrity Project addresses three questions: When do elections meet international standards of electoral integrity?What happens when elections fail to do so? What can be done to mitigate these problems?

Sydney Environment Institute

The Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) aims to address the key questions of our time: how do we understand and redesign the fundamental relationship between human communities and the natural world that supports them; and how can people and societies adapt positively to environmental change?

Intensive Research Initiatives

Departments and individual researchers continue to develop networks, nodes and clusters exploring a variety of shared research interests. Please see below the details for some of these research initiatives, with links on to their websites.

The Biopolitics of Science Network

The premise underlying the Biopolitics of Science Research Network is that the life sciences are increasingly playing a central role in contemporary societies. The impact is most evident in the three decades following the Human Genome Project in which we have witnessed profound debates on how the biosciences are redefining society, politics, and legalities – ranging from controversies in the biosciences (stem cell research, reproductive technologies, organ transplantation) to fundamental problems in law (forensic DNA, genetic parenthood, intellectual property) and citizenship (immigration, genetic ancestry, disability). The BoS Research Network creates a space to explore these profound debates in the social study of science.

Sydney Cyber Security Network

The Sydney Cyber Security Network bridges the social-technical divide in academia, as well as between the scholarly community, private sector, and government. We inspire and support innovative research. We convene events for leading thinkers and policymakers from around the world to engage directly with the Asia Pacific. And we translate this state-of-the-art knowledge into undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing education.

Reframing Dementia as Social and Cultural Experience

This network attempts to conduct and promote interdisciplinary research that will challenge and change negative attitudes associated with dementia, create awareness of dementia as a common life experience that can be supported not feared and better inform and support carers of those with dementia.

Human Animal Research Network

The Human Animal Research Network (HARN) is a cross-faculty research group comprising members from the the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Sydney School of Public Health and the Sydney Law School. HARN is an important contributor to the emergent field of Animal Studies, both in Australia and internationally. HARN is concerned with questions such as how contact between humans and other species shapes and reflect social relations in modern societies, how ethics and politics are conceived in the context of human / animal relations, how humans and animals share places and spaces and how human-animal interaction affects health, wellbeing and species survival.

Law and Society Research Network

The Law and Society research network, located in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy, links researchers pursuing theoretical and empirical work in fields traversing law, social science and the humanities. The interdisciplinary field of socio-legal studies has its empirical, theoretical and methodological bases both in law and in the humanities and social sciences more broadly. Its central object is to understand legal ideas, institutions and practices in their social, historical, cultural, political and economic contexts.

Religion State and Society Network

The Religion, State and Society (RSS) Network is made up of academics and postgraduate students primarily from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). We aim to deepen and expand the existing cross-disciplinary research collaborations between academics and students based at various Departments and Schools within the FASS who are engaged in research on religion, state and society relations in Muslim-majority states and the Muslim diaspora. Academics associated with the RSS Network hail from various disciplines and include area specialists covering the major regions in the Muslim World (Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia) and beyond (Europe and Australia), as well as experts in theology, security, socio-cultural issues, feminism and governance.

Social Studies of Finance Research Network

Over the past decades, financial logics have spread from the fields of banking and trading into wider social domains – a trend that has continued and even intensified in the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis. This entanglement of financial markets with spaces and activities not previously associated with processes of economic value and commensuration poses a series of challenges to the conventional understandings of the relationship between finance and society. This group brings together scholars who research the cultural, social and political aspects of the expansion of financial markets.

Social Transformation and International Migration Network

This network re-examines the theoretical and methodological basis of international migration research. Policy-makers and scholars concerned with migration often see it as abnormal and inherently problematic, and seek strategies to reduce movements. By contrast, the starting point for this project is the assumption that human mobility is a normal part of social life.