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Journal Cover   Cosmopolitan Civil Societies : An Interdisciplinary Journal
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1837-5391
   Published by University of Technology Sydney Homepage  [8 journals]
  • Looking Back and Looking Forward

    • Authors: Hilary Yerbury
      PubDate: 2014-09-19
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2014)
  • “Don’t mention it…”: what government wants to hear
           and why about multicultural Australia

    • Authors: Andrew Jakubowicz
      Pages: 1 - 24
      Abstract: Research into migration, settlement, racism and multiculturalism has been a major theme of the Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre at the University of Technology, Sydney, since its inception in 2006. In this article the author, a scholar with over forty years of research experience in this thematic area, draws on his experience of the interaction between research, policy and politics to argue that independent research that tackles difficult questions can contribute to wider social understanding of difficult issues. He demonstrates the impact both of the investment in and expansion of research, and the contrary contraction and deprivation of resources. Key research exercises discussed include the Henderson Poverty Inquiry, Jean Martin’s 1970s study of the first Indochinese arrivals, the Galbally Report, the Australian Institute of Multicultural Affairs, the Bureau of Immigration Population and Multicultural Research, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Eureka Harmony reports, the Challenging Racism project, the Scanlon Social Cohesion project, and The People of Australia report.
      PubDate: 2014-09-02
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2014)
  • The Implementation of the NDIS: Who Wins, Who Loses?

    • Authors: Jenny Green, Jane Mears
      Pages: 25 - 39
      Abstract: The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is a major paradigm shift in funding and support for people with disability in Australia. It is a person centered model that has at its core a change in government funding away from service providers direct to individuals with disability. In principle it is heralded as a major step forward in disability rights. Nonetheless, the implementation poses threats as well as benefits. This paper outlines potential threats or risks from the perspective of not-for-profit organisations, workers in the sector and most importantly people with disability.  It draws on a range of recent reports on the sector, person centered models of funding and care, the NDIS and past experience. Its purpose is to forewarn the major issues so that implementers can be forearmed. 
      PubDate: 2014-09-02
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2014)
  • Civil Society: Overlapping Frames

    • Authors: Bronwen Dalton
      Pages: 40 - 68
      Abstract: The social sciences are bedeviled by terminological promiscuity.  Terms and phrases are used at one time in a certain context and later borrowed and applied in different circumstances to somewhat different phenomena. Sometimes different groups of actors or researchers simultaneously use the same term with somewhat different meanings. Such is the use of the term civil society. In this 5th Anniversary of the Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, it is timely to trace the evolution of the idea of civil society to its multiple guises in the present. The paper reviews the term’s 18th and 19th century roots, its recent resurrection and the opposing views of civil society, including views that question its applicability to non-western settings. It then discusses prospects for developing agreed approaches to the study of civil society. To guide our thinking the paper presents a brief overview of different approaches to defining civil society taken by some of the major so-called centres for civil society in Australia and internationally. The paper concludes by reflecting on these definitional challenges as it has played out at one particular cross faculty research centre, the University of Technology, Sydney’s Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre.
      PubDate: 2014-09-02
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2014)
  • The politics of social impact: 'value for money' versus
           'active citizenship'?

    • Authors: Jenny Onyx
      Pages: 69 - 78
      Abstract: There is growing interest in identifying the social impact of everything: academic research, funded projects, organisations themselves, whether in public , private, or community sectors. The central questions are first what benefits do organizations create and deliver for society and second how do we measure these benefits? These questions are notoriously difficult to answer and yet go to the heart of efforts by governments and civil society organisations to create a better world, to generate social value. The importance of finding a way to measure social impact becomes all the more crucial when it comes to arguing that the benefits obtained far outweigh the cost of producing those benefits, and indeed the benefits may directly or  indirectly increase economic wealth. This line of thinking has started to generated various attempts in Australia and elsewhere in the neo-liberal world, to find objective indicators of social impact, and preferably to frame these in terms of monetary cost and benefit.  Indeed there is increasing insistence on the part of funding bodies that we measure the social impact. However, exactly what it is that we should be measuring remains contested and elusive
      PubDate: 2014-09-02
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2014)
  • Information Practices in Contemporary Cosmopolitan Civil Society

    • Authors: Michael Olsson
      Pages: 79 - 93
      Abstract: What is the nature of information?  What is its role in Contemporary Cosmopolitan Civil Society? What is the basis for the widespread current belief that we live in an ‘information society’? The present article will examine these questions through an examination of the historical origins of established ‘scientized’ views of information in the philosophy of the Enlightenment. It describes how postmodern and poststructuralist critique of such positivist approaches led to profound paradigmatic and methodological shifts in the social and information studies fields in recent decades. It consider how the emergence of social constructivist approaches to information research drawing on discourse analysis, practice theory and ethnographic theories and methodologies has led to a have led researchers to a radically different understanding of central concepts such as: the influence of emergent information and communication technologies on contemporary society; the relationship between knowledge and power, the nature of expertise and authoritative information; a re-thinking of community and consensus; a re-interpretation of notions of space and place in information dissemination, sharing and use and a reconsideration of the role of the researcher. The article illustrates this changing research landscape through reference to the work of scholars in the Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre at the University of Technology, Sydney, published in the Centre’s journal.
      PubDate: 2014-09-02
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2014)
  • Rough Justice? Exploring the Relationship Between Information Access
           and Environmental and Ecological Justice Pertaining to Two Controversial
           Coastal Developments in North-east Scotland

    • Authors: Graeme Baxter
      Pages: 94 - 116
      Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between information access and environmental and ecological justice through an historical comparison of two controversial coastal developments in Aberdeenshire, North-east Scotland: the building of a North Sea gas reception terminal by the British Gas Council and the French exploration company Total Oil Marine in the 1970s; and the more recent construction of ‘the greatest golf course anywhere in the world’ by the American property tycoon, Donald Trump. These two projects have much in common, not least because each one has had actual or potential impacts on an environmentally sensitive site, and because each has also been affected by plans for another major structure in its immediate vicinity. But the Trump golf course project has taken place during a period when access to information and citizens’ influence on major planning decisions in Scotland has been significantly greater, at least theoretically. With these points in mind, the paper considers whether or not environmental justice (more specifically, procedural environmental justice) and ecological justice are now more attainable in the current era of supposed openness, transparency and public engagement, than in the more secretive and less participative 1970s. It reveals that, at the planning application stage, information on the potential environmental impact of Trump’s golf resort was more readily obtainable, compared with that provided by the Gas Council and Total forty years earlier. However, during and after the construction stage, when considering whether or not the developments have met environmental planning conditions – and whether or not ecological justice has been done – the situation with the gas terminal has been far clearer than with Trump’s golf resort. Despite the golf course being built in an era of government openness, there remain a number of unanswered questions concerning its environmental impact.
      PubDate: 2014-09-02
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2014)
  • Dadirri: Using a Philosophical Approach to Research to Build Trust between
           a Non-Indigenous Researcher and Indigenous Participants

    • Authors: Megan Marie Stronach, Daryl Adair
      Pages: 117 - 134
      Abstract: Abstract: This article focuses on a philosophical approach employed in a PhD research project that set out to investigate sport career transition (SCT) experiences of elite Indigenous Australian sportsmen. The research was necessary as little is known about the transition of this cohort to a life after sport, or their experiences of retirement. A key problem within the SCT paradigm is a presumption that an end to elite sport requires a process of adjustment that is common to all sportspeople—a rather narrow perspective that fails to acknowledge the situational complexity and socio-cultural diversity of elite athletes. With such a range of personal circumstances, it is reasonable to suppose that athletes from different cultural groups will have different individual SCT needs. The researcher is non-Indigenous and mature aged: she encountered a number of challenges in her efforts to understand Indigenous culture and its important sensitivities, and to build trust with the Indigenous male participants she interviewed. An Indigenous philosophy known as Dadirri, which emphasises deep and respectful listening, guided the development of the research design and methodology. Consistent with previous studies conducted by non-Indigenous researchers, an open-ended and conversational approach to interviewing Indigenous respondents was developed. The objective was for the voices of the athletes to be heard, allowing the collection of rich data based on the participants’ perspectives about SCT. An overview of the findings is presented, illustrating that Indigenous athletes experience SCT in complex and distinctive ways. The article provides a model for non-Indigenous researchers to conduct qualitative research with Indigenous people.
      PubDate: 2014-09-02
      Issue No: Vol. 6, No. 2 (2014)
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Heriot-Watt University
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