Upcoming events

Races Without Racism? Everyday Race Relations in Singapore


When: 3 June 2016, 14.15 - 15.30
Where: Room 612, Education Building A/35

In Singapore, race has a prominent place in the city-state’s national policies. Its political ideology of multi-racialism proclaims racial equality and protection for minority groups from racial discrimination. However, despite official rhetoric and policies aimed at managing and integrating the different ethnic groups, some scholars have argued that institutional racism does exist in Singapore. While it is public knowledge, with few exceptions, racist provocations and experiences of racism are not publicly discussed. In recent years, the advent of social media has made it possible for Singaporeans to unwittingly to express racially derogatory remarks, highlighting that racism is much more deep rooted. Yet, it still remains the white elephant in the room. The seminar examines the socio-political context that has contributed to everyday racial discrimination and calls for a public acknowledgement of racism so as to combat racist practices. It will argue that targeted measures such as anti-racism education in schools and public campaigns to raise awareness against racial discrimination are long overdue.

Selvaraj Velayutham is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Macquarie University. His research interests include International Migration, Race and Ethnic Relations, Everyday Multiculturalism and the Sociology of Everyday Life.


Please RSVP by emailing Dr Yeow-Tong Chia at

Why are Local Elections in Indonesia's Papua Most Violent?


When: 8 June 2016, 16.00 - 17.30
Where: New Law School Lecture Theatre 106

The Electoral Hostility Index (EHI) is used to map local elections related violence across districts in 11 Indonesian provinces previously categorised as high conflict regions during the country’s democratic transition. Data covering the first two series of direct local elections in 2005-2008 and 2010-2013 indicate that electoral hostility in the second series was significantly higher than the first.

Higher poverty rates and lack of development seem to significantly correlate with higher electoral hostility validating the modernisation hypothesis. Further, the cases of very high electoral hostility are concentrated in the remote Papuan highland districts.

In order to understand variations in electoral hostility across Papuan districts, this seminar looks at the issues of modernisation, policing/security institutions and the (possible) abuse of procedural democracy in weakening the secessionist aspirations.


Dr Zulfan Tadjoeddin is Senior Lecturer in Development Studies at Western Sydney University. He has had visiting research appointments at the Queen Elizabeth House (QEH) of the University of Oxford (UK) and at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University, Rotterdam (The Netherlands). His book on collective violence in Indonesia was published by Palgrave in 2014. His articles have appeared leading journals such as Journal of Peace Research, Journal of Development Studies, Oxford Development Studies, Journal of International Development and Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy.

Dr Rizal Panggabean teaches conflict resolution and international relations at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He received a Master degree from Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (ICAR), George Mason University, USA and a PhD from Gadjah Mada University. He was the director of Center for Security and Peace Studies, had visiting appointments at the University of Florida (USA) and the Indonesian Military Academy. He has published dozens of articles and book chapters on peace and security issues, among others, in World Development and Journal of East Asian Studies, as well as by Routledge.


Free event with online registration required.

Politics in Action: Democratic Updates from Southeast Asia

Policy Roundtable

When: 29 July 2016, 9.00 - 17.00
Where: Location TBA, University of Sydney

Southeast Asia is far from homogenous when it comes to political systems, government leadership and democratic transitions. Each country has a unique political history which separates it from its neighbours, in spite of efforts to present a unified face through institutions such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The policy roundtable aims to provide current political updates on the states in Southeast Asia, providing individual country updates, as well as space to discuss the broader implications of political issues beyond national borders. Drawing upon expertise at the University of Sydney, as well as interstate and international colleagues, this event will bring you up-to-date with the latest political developments across Southeast Asia.


Free event with online registration required.