Current Research Projects

Academics in the Department of Social Inquiry undertake a range of research projects across a variety of topics.

Explore our current research projects:

Ageing and new media: A new analysis of older Australians’ support networks

This three-year project (2016-2018) examines how support networks for older people are affected by their mobility and the dispersal of their family, friends and care services.

The age of inquiry: A genealogy of inquiries into historical abuse

Since the 1990s, across many countries, inquiries and truth commissions into various forms of historical abuse have proliferated.

Citizen activism and Australia's largest royal commission

This pilot project investigates the role of citizen activism in relation to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Childhood maltreatment and late modernity: Public inquiries, social justice and education

This study examines the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse alongside past Inquiries into child maltreatment.

A comparative study of secularity

This research explores practices and orientations of Indonesian Muslim women activists and the relationship between the ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ is understood in different contexts.

The efficacy of contemporary courtroom design

This project investigates contemporary Australian courthouse design, focusing particularly on the physical experience of players located within the trial. 

High courts and authoritarian consolidation

A research project exploring the role of high courts in the context of a political transition from competitive authoritarianism towards a dictatorship based on a hegemonic party.

Indigenous eco-cultural futures: Re-implementing Nyangumarta burning in the Pilbara, Australia

This project explores the cultural and ecological dimensions of re-implementing anthropogenic burning in the recently declared Nyangumarta Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) in northwestern Australia.

Informal networks and judicial systems

Bringing together leading scholars of judicial politics in the Global South (including Central and South-East Asia, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa), this project is expected to produce a comprehensive picture of the role of judicial networks in a variety of regime types and regions.

Judicial politics in Venezuela: Data and analysis in comparative perspective

This ongoing research agenda analyses the politicization of the Venezuelan Supreme Court, and the judiciary more generally, before and after President Hugo Chávez’s arrival in power and the subsequent onset of the Bolivarian Revolution.

Jury directions and other influences on jury decision making in rape trials

La Trobe University Law School project seeks to relocate responsibly away from juries and to look more deeply at rape trials to reveal what else is influencing jury decision making.

Pacific Islanders in regional Victoria

This project aims to understand the socio-economic situation of Pacific Islanders living in the Mildura/Robinvale area of Victoria.

Populist constitutionalism in Latin America: The cases of Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela

A research project exploring the notion of populist constitutionalism.

Sambas Malay borderscapes: Women’s mobility and migration at the border

This project is a case-study of women’s labour migration and other forms of mobility that operate at the territorial borders of nation-states.

(S)peaking in the classroom: Analysing the effectiveness of speaking and teamwork as graduate outcomes from an undergraduate student perspective to reduce anxiety-related attrition

This project investigates students’ experiences of speaking and teamwork assessments.

Transnational social policy development: The case of Indonesia

This research project intends to undertake a study of global and national perspectives on social policy development in Indonesia

University education and vocational aspirations: A study of first-year students in the humanities and social sciences

This project investigates the motivations and experiences of students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts at La Trobe University.

Remaking rural China: agricultural modernisation, land transfers and resettlement

This project aims to analyse the remaking of rural China as it is envisaged and executed in China’s hierarchical political system, and to examine the impacts of this restructuring on agriculture, rural society, and people’s lives.