Social Sciences Week

Social Sciences Week is a week-long series of events held across Australia each September offering insight into the impact of the social sciences on our lives. It is an initiative of several of Australia’s Social Sciences associations and is coordinated by the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia.

APSA 2020 SSW Event | Understanding Australia’s Crisis Coordination

Open-access Webinar | 10 September 2020 12:00 pm – 1.30 pm (AEST – Sydney, GMT+10:00)

Australia’s 2019-20 bushfires killed at least 33 people, more than a billion animals and resulted in the destruction of thousands of properties and millions of hectares of forest and bushland ecosystem. Federal government action during and after these events drew heavy criticism across the mainstream press and on social media, both in relation to senior cabinet members’ participation in the emergency response and in their coordination of federal, state and local government efforts to address the crisis.

By contrast, state and federal coordination of the Covid-19 health crisis appears to have been a comparatively successful example of multi-level governance. Just one month after the bushfires ended, Scott Morrison established the so-called National Cabinet to coordinate Australia’s social distancing, welfare and healthcare response. Comprising the Prime Minister and State and Territory Premiers and Chief Ministers, this new intergovernmental body has demonstrated how bipartisan cooperation on issues of national importance can effectively proceed. Though characterised by infighting and conflicting policy positions in relation to issues such as school attendance and state border control, the intergovernmental coordination of Australia’s Covid-19 response has been an undoubted success.

These comparative cases raise important questions about the factors at play that allow such contrasting levels of government efficacy in relation to disaster response. To coincide with Social Sciences Week (SSW) 2020, the Australian Political Studies Association are sponsoring a panel discussion exploring the factors that determine contrasting levels of government efficacy in relation to disaster response. Involving federal representatives across the political divide, this discussion is designed to shed light on what has and has not worked well when coordinating national responses to crisis events.

We very much hope that you can join us on the day!

Register for the webinar, please click here:

Other SSW events

US election 2020: Crisis and opportunity – Social Sciences Week at Macquarie University

Macquarie University with the support of The Australian Sociological Association (TASA) will showcase a panel discussion on the “US election 2020: Crisis and Opportunity” as one of the university’s main events for Social Sciences Week (7-13 September 2020)

With the US Presidential election fast approaching we ask what the campaign and its aftermath will mean for the US and the world. The US faces a series of crises at home and abroad. COIVD-19 continues to wreak havoc on its citizens’ health and on the economy. Black Lives Matters have galvanized mass support and now represent a serious challenge to the dominance of law and order politics, while rising unemployment and inequality inspire radical proposals for a Green New Deal. Internationally the US faces a rising and more assertive China, just as Trump’s provocative politics leaves many of its traditional allies uneasy.

As the campaign heats up, hear sociology, international relations, politics and gender scholars and students returned from the Iowa Caucuses reflect on the campaign and what it might mean for the election in November and the world in 2021.

The panel will feature the following experts:

Prof Chris Dixon (Dean of the Macquarie School of Social Sciences)

Dr Rebecca Sheehan (Sociology)

Dr Jessica Johnson (Modern History)

Dr Lavina Lee (Politics & International Relations)

Dr Lloyd Cox (Politics & International Relations)

A/Prof Shaun Wilson (Sociology)

Dr Sung-Young Kim (Politics & International Relations)

Join us for this exciting event, which will be held on Wednesday, 9 September, 6-7.30PM (AEST) via zoom. Register here: ; Contact: A/Prof Ben Spies-Butcher (Sociology)”