Roundtable with David Stuckler

On thAn economic analysis of the relationship between social welfare programmes and population health, led by professor David Stuckler at the University of Oxford. The project is supported by a Society and Ethics New Investigator Award. Oxford University, Manor Road, 2015.e 17th of February, Melbourne School of Government hosted a Boardroom roundtable with Professor David Stuckler. Professor Stuckler’s most recent book, The Body Economic puts forward a radical proposition. Austerity, it argues, is seriously bad for your health. We can prevent financial crises from becoming epidemics, but to do so, we must acknowledge what the hard data tells us: that, throughout history, there is a causal link between the strength of a community’s health and its social protection systems.

 The roundtable was attended by high-level senior policy figures from government, not for profit and private sectors. The key outcome from the discussion was a reminder of the challenges to evidence-based policy when data is hard to get or fragmented but also the importance of academics in developing better and timelier data in order to help shape the debate.

You might enjoy this podcast interview with Professor Stuckler, recorded during his visit to the University of Melbourne

Democracy in Transition

In December, Melbourne School of Government undertook it’s largest endeavor to date: a practioner conference with international high-ranking officials and academics on the topic of “democracy in transition” with a related website,

Over the course of the year, the DemocracyRenewal website served as a resource and forum for discussion about Western-style democracy. The site featured original and curated opinion articles and summaries of research, reports and statistics from across the world about the functioning of democracy.

Many articles were re-published in other media outlets and led to several interview opportunities for the Melbourne School of Government.

The Democracy in Transition conference was the culmination of our quest to advance the discussion onMILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 4: Students manifestation on October, 4 2013. Students took to the streets to protest against italian austerity claiming their future the challenges facing democracies around the world and what might be done to “fix democracy”. Participants from all over the world discussed, sometimes heatedly, what could be done and these discussions continued between the formal sessions. It was not uncommon to see Simon Hughes, former UK Minister of State for Justice and Civil Liberties, and Maxine McKew, Former Federal Parliamentary Secretary bantering between sessions or Mukulika Banerje  from the London School of Economics and Craig Jeffrey, Director of the Australia India Institute chatting during the coffee break.

You can catch up on what you missed at the conference on the Democracy in Transition blog. This live-blog was a new and very popular innovation for the conference, and we are grateful for all the hard work of MSoG PhD students who reported on all of the sessions for the blog.  

Professor Andrew Walter in the new thinking and the new G20 series

1e73c970d9b911e5a68e2d59ae2b3a16_inset_imageThe New Thinking and the New G20 Series, sponsored by CIGI and the Institute for New Economic Thinking, aims to promote policy and institutional innovation in global economic governance in two key areas: governance of international monetary and financial relations and international collaboration in financial regulation. With authors from eight countries, the 11 papers in this series will add to existing knowledge and offer original recommendations for international policy cooperation and institutional innovation.

In his paper, titled ‘Emerging Countries and Basel III: Why Is Engagement Still Low?’, Andrew Walter examines why official and private sector actors from emerging countries continue to exhibit low levels of engagement with international financial standard setting, and considers what might be done to improve this.

Andrew Walter is a Professor of International Relations in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, and a Senior Fellow in the Melbourne School of Government.

You can read the paper on the CIGI Emerging Countries and Basel III: Why Is Engagement Still Low? web page.

Gerry Simpson Speaks about Crimes Against Humanity at Melbourne-LSE Lecture

gerry-simpsonIn this lecture Gerry Simpson engages in a critical stocktaking of this century of retributive humanitarianism.

Gerry Simpson holds the Kenneth Bailey Chair of Law at Melbourne Law School. From 2010 to 2013 he was Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for Military Law at Melbourne Law School and is currently an Open Society Academic Fellow (based in Tbilisi, Georgia). Gerry is the author of Great Powers and Outlaw States (Cambridge, 2004) and Law, War and Crime: War Crimes Trials and the Reinvention of International Law (Polity 2007). He is currently writing a book called The Sentimental Life of International Law and editing Who’s Afraid of International Law (with Rai Gaita) (forthcoming in 2015) as well as co-directing, with Matt Craven and Sundhya Pahuja, a project to rethink the Cold War as a legal event.

Listen to the lecture here:

Melbourne School of Government at the 2015 public sector week and project appraisal journal for 2014

This year IPAA Victoria ran its first public sector week from 22-26 June, a series of events hosted by a range of public, private and not for profit organisations aimed at raising awareness of the work of the public sector and exploring some of the key issues the sector is facing in Victoria and beyond.

The Melbourne School of Government held several events throughout the week including:

  • 50fa8280d9b911e5af1af5882f5de9c5_inset_imageFinding the Perfect Match: Value From Consultancies: This session, co-sponsored with KPMG, brought together Simon Corden, KPMG Director, Dr. Sara Bice, Melbourne School of Government, Professor Helen Sullivan, Melbourne School of Government, and Marlo Baragwanath, Director – Office of the CEO, Victorian Building Authority for a panel discussion on how to get the most from your consultancies.
  • Utopia: Fact or Fiction: This light-hearted debate sought to answer the question once and for all: Is the television show Utopia fact or fiction? Our six debaters came from academia, NGOs, and civil service backgrounds. When the votes were tallied, it was decided – Utopia is fiction. A video of the debate will be forthcoming and hosted on our new website
  • M4e8d7a20d9b911e59837a3cf43787643_inset_imageelbourne School of Government Masterclass – Leading Across Boundaries: Facing Up to the Challenges of a more Consolidated World. This highly interactive Masterclass featured Melbourne School of Government’s Professor Helen Sullivan and Professor Janine O’Flynn. Participants had plenty of time for group interaction, workshopping their real-life workplace challenges, and asking questions of the expert faculty.

Associate Professor Helen Dickinson awarded fellowship of IPAA victoria

583b0bf0d9b911e5977177527b345482_inset_imageAssociate Professor Helen Dickinson was inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria) at the annual Fellows Dinner in Melbourne on February 18th, 2015. Though Helen has only been at the University of Melbourne for just over two years, she has had an incredible impact in Victoria, across Australia and in the region. She does this through a range of activities including her prolific publishing efforts, commissioned research, teaching across our Masters programs, executive education, and engagement activities.

Since the start of 2015 she has also been one of the editors of the Australian Journal of Public Administration which is now housed in the Melbourne School of Government. Helen joins several other University of Melbourne faculty who are Fellows of IPAA which is a reflection of our standing in the public administration field, and of our relationship with IPAA.

Dr Sara Bice awarded best paper for impact assessment and project appraisal journal for 2014

24fdfb30d9b911e592b8373d1914f24c_inset_imageDr Sara Bice, MSoG, and Dr Kieren Moffat, CSIRO, have recently been awarded ‘Best Paper’ for Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal journal for 2014. The award was given for their paper, ‘Social licence to Operate and Impact Assessment’ (IAPA, 32:4, December 2014) and in recognition of all of the contributors to their co-edited Special Issue on the same topic.

Dr Bice was pleased to accept the award at the International Association for Impact Assessment annual conference in Florence, Italy, on 24 May, on behalf of her co-editor and journal contributors.

The social innovation capacity of cities: workshop at MSoG on 9 february 2015

7a4c5c30d9b911e5a68e2d59ae2b3a16_inset_imageProf Jenny Lewis (Melbourne School of Government) and Prof Erik-Hans Klijn, visiting from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, discussed the findings of a large EU-funded project on social innovation with a group of CEOs from local governments and other enthusiastic attendees. This study looked at how governance structures and the local socioeconomic context, and networks and leadership are related to innovation capacity in Copenhagen, Barcelona and Rotterdam.

Presentation of the findings led to a lively discussion about their relevance for social innovation in Australia, both in municipalities and other levels of government.

Publications from the LIPSE (Learning from Innovation in Public Sector Environments) project can be read online.

Policy brief to the European Commission (560kb pdf). Report to the European Commission (8.24MB pdf).

Official Launch of Doctoral Academy

5ab88f10d9b911e59837a3cf43787643_inset_imageAustralia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Soutphommasane officially launched the new Melbourne School of Government Doctoral Academy at a gala event on Friday 21 November.

Dr Tim Soutphommasane commenced his five-year appointment on 20 August 2013. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, he was a political philosopher at the University of Sydney. His thinking on multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in reshaping debates in Australia and Britain. During his term, Dr Soutphommasane will be an advocate for a fairer Australia and drive the Commission’s efforts to combat racism.

Dr Soutphommasane is the author of three books: The Virtuous Citizen (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From (New South Books, 2012), and Reclaiming Patriotism (Cambridge University Press, 2009). He has been an opinion columnist with The Age and The Weekend Australian newspapers, and in 2013 presented “Mongrel Nation”, a six-part documentary series about Australian multiculturalism, on ABC Radio National. He is a board member of the National Australia Day Council, a member of the Australian Multicultural Council, and a member of the advisory council of the Global Foundation.

A first-generation Australian of Chinese and Lao extraction, Dr Soutphommasane was raised in southwest Sydney. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, from where he also holds a Master of Philosophy degree (with distinction). He is a first-class honours graduate of the University of Sydney.

Number of posts found: 68