Centre for Change Governance
The Centre for Change Governance is a young but vibrant and growing research centre based within the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra. The Centre’s research is bound together by a common desire to explore how communities in Australia and around the world can develop better public policy.
Change governance is a shorthand term that we have adopted to describe changes in the relationship between governance (how we are governed) and democracy (what it means to participate in the process through which we are governed). Most of the research in the Centre is concerned with reflecting on the changing nature of this relationship and its implications for academic theory and concepts, public policy reform and the public’s understandings of politics in all its diverse forms.
In 2015, Fellows from the Centre published four books, 31 journal articles, 23 book chapters, four commissioned reports and helped curate one museum exhibition. Members of the Centre also hosted several research workshops, convened the Annual Australian Political Studies Association conference, participated in numerous other conferences, provided a temporary home for 10 Visiting Fellows and played a lead role in helping to convene and deliver the Institute’s graduate education programs. This has occurred at the same time as the Centre has continued to attract external funding and maintain its strong reputation for policy impact.
The Centre welcomes enquiries from PhD students and visiting academics who share our interest in the theory, practice and empirical study of the relationship between governance and participation. We encourage you to spend some time having a look around our webpage where you will be able to find out more about the Centre, its work and how what we are doing may relate to your interests.
If you would like to join our mailing list or require further information about the Centre for Change Governance then please direct your enquiries to:
Centre for Change Governance
Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis
University of Canberra
Building 23, Level B
The Centre for Change Governance is a young but vibrant and growing research centre based within the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra. Change governance is a shorthand term that we use to describe changes in the relationship between governance (how we are governed) and democracy (what it means to participate in the process through which we are governed).
Most of our research is concerned with the theory, practice and empirical study of the relationship between governance and participation. Our particular interest in change revolves around how processes and trends such as digitalisation, democratic participation, scientific and technological innovation, cultural instability, securitisation, anti-politics, urbanisation and cross-jurisdictional policy problems challenge the way in which governance and democracy has been conventionally practiced and understood. Many of these changes are generating unpredictable and uncertain dynamics that make us rethink old questions such as who governs, how political authority is exercised and what we can do to recouple those who exercise political authority with those who are governed by it.
Members of the Centre share an interest in better appreciating the nature of these contemporary changes, their ‘disruptive’ potential and what our political system might do in response to them. They do so comparatively, historically and with an open mind towards what can be learnt through closer cross-disciplinary engagement. Whilst we do not share the same answers to these questions, we are all engaged in thinking about a similar set of questions and issues. Specific research projects are located within several broad, flexible and often inter-related strands.
In 2015, Fellows from the Centre published four books, 31 journal articles, 23 book chapters, four commissioned reports and helped curate one museum exhibition. Fellows also hosted several workshops and more than 10 research seminars, convened and hosted the Annual Australian Political Studies Association conference, participated in numerous other conferences, provided a temporary home for 10 Visiting Fellows and played a lead role in convening and delivering the Institute’s graduate education programs. Seven research students also completed their PhDs during this year.
The Centre has also built up a strong track record of attracting substantial research funding from funding bodies, such as the Australian Research Council, whilst its reputation for policy impact has grown considerably over recent years. In 2015, Centre for Change Governance Fellows were Chief Investigators on five Category 1 grants and 7 non-Category 1 grants and have undertaken numerous successful research programs with partners from the private, public and voluntary sectors, both here in Australia and elsewhere, including a major ongoing partnership with the Museum of Australian Democracy. The Policy Space, a politically neutral blogging platform for debating major public policy issues in Australia and overseas was launched in mid-2015 and the Centre, through the Institute, is also home to Policy Studies, a multi-disciplinary journal dedicated to the study and the practice of policy-making.
We invite you to spend some time having a look around our webpage where you will be able to find out more about the Centre, its work and how what we are doing may relate to your interests.
The Centre for Change Governance consists of a core set of Academic Fellows and Research Student Fellows who participate in the Centre’s activities on a day-to-day basis. The Centre also hosts a number of Honorary Academic Fellows and works closely with the Institute’s Practitioner Fellows who bring with them a wealth of experience from the world of practice. Beyond this, the Centre maintains connections with a global network of partner organisation from Canberra and around the world.
apply for phd
The Centre for Change Governance is accepting PhD applications for the 2018 in-take.
How to apply
- Contact a potential supervisor from the Centre. In this correspondence, include (1) a brief statement of interest explaining why you wish to pursue a PhD with the Centre for Change Governance; (2) a short research proposal, less than 1,000 words; (3) CV; (4) transcripts; 5) sample of written work.
- Once the supervisor supports your application, follow the instructions here to submit your application.
- Scholarships are available for domestic and international applicants. Click here for more information.
Deadline for expression of interest is 8 September 2018.
meet our phd students
Why do a PhD with Centre for Change Governance? Some of our PhD students tell their stories.
For more than ten years I harbored a dream to write a PhD about the paradoxical and largely unknown world of lawyers advising federal government. As a former public sector lawyer it was a topic about which I was passionate and thought I "knew" inside out. Now eighteen months into my PhD at IGPA I am immersed in my research on the role of lawyers in policy and every day I learn something new. On my research journey I have been exposed to a wealth of new theories and research methods through the Institute's structured PhD educational program and visiting seminar series. With the guidance of my supervisors and the encouragement and the IGPA research community I am slowly shedding my habitual legalistic way of thinking and beginning to see my topic with fresh eyes. One of the best things about being here is the supportive and fun research culture: researchers and students are generous in sharing their knowledge, skills and experiences but we also get to regularly kick back together. Special mention goes to the weekly catch up over sizzling tofu at our friendly café.
Contact: jenny.duxbury | at | canberra.edu.au
I am a career public servant of the government of Nepal for over a decade. The focus of my professional life is on public policymaking, service delivery and managing reforms. I have gained some substantial knowledge on these issues throughout my academic life, most notably during my first Master’s degree in Public Administration (2008) at the Tribhuvan University, Nepal and subsequently another degree on Master of Public Management (2011) at the University of Potsdam, Germany.
Equipped with a decade-long professional experience and academic achievements in the field of public administration, I commenced this doctorate degree in 2014 at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis in the University of Canberra, Australia. It is a privilege to be a PhD student at the IGPA which offers a very friendly academic environment in terms of quality supervision, resources, training and capacity development programs, and several formal and informal academic events such as the weekly Graduate Research Forum. I have been greatly benefited of the Institute’s individualised support system facilitated by its professional and academic staffs. The research support services of the Graduate Research Office and other technical services provided by the Library and ITM Service Desk at the University are very timely, targeted and practical.
Although a doctorate degree could be a lonely journey, I have never felt alone. In addition to friendly support from the supervisory panel members, companionship of fellow students and post-doctoral researchers, various social events such as monthly birthday celebrations and Chirstmas party are a few but to remember forever.
I am currently in the process of finalising a PhD in socio-technology at IGPA and provide external consulting services through my business, Information Ergonomics. My research interests include the application of Poststructuralist Discourse Theory (PDT) and New Materialism to the analysis of government's engagement with technology, particularly of the digital variety. This comes after a 14 year role as a senior executive with the ACT Government, most recently as founder and Executive Director of the ACT Government Information Office (GIO). Before this, I worked in both public and private enterprise starting as an analyst-programmer and moving onto operational and eventually executive management roles in the ICT industry. Prior to that, I had completed a degree in mathematical physics, preparing me for work as a teacher, actor/director, youth worker, fast-food cook and dishwasher. Perhaps my most unusual job was a three month engagement as the canine mascot for the Multiple Sclerosis Society! Good days!
IGPA is just quietly a brilliant place to study. It hosts a truly world-class academic staff in a friendly, informal and supportive environment. This, within the context of the University of Canberra, named as one of the world’s top 100 young universities.
Contact: Mick.Chisnall | at | canberra.edu.au
The Centre conducts a range of specific research projects across several broad, flexible and often inter-related strands. In some areas our expertise and academic record is well established; in others, it is still under development.
Our common focus across all of these research strands is on the changing relationship between governance and democracy and its implications for how communities and governments can better equip themselves to deal with complex public policy challenges.
Our specific research projects are also underpinned by a commitment to produce rigorous, theoretically informed, policy relevant and publically salient research. In all cases, we are keen to provide opportunities for our external partners in the academic, policy and wider public spheres to visit the Centre and work with us.
Click on a tab above to find out more about the projects and publications that are currently taking place within each research strand. If you find that you share an interest with us then please do get in touch.
Members in the Centre for Change Governance publish traditional academic research outputs (eg books, journal articles and book chapters), commissioned and non-commissioned reports, submissions, research notes or papers aimed mainly at a policymaking audience (eg the IGPA Insights Series) as well as other pieces that are primarily aimed at influencing public debate (eg in The Policy Space or The Conversation). Here, we list our traditional academic research outputs. Click on a tab below to find out more.
We work with organisations in the public, private and non-governmental sectors all over the world to develop practice-focused research, deliver courses and enhance our impact.
Our work with partners takes a wide range of forms. More information can be found by clicking on the tabs below, which divides our work in this area between our partners in industry and our partners in the higher education sector.
Please also feel free to contact us to find out how you could partner with us.
Fellows in the Centre for Change Governance are committed to ensuring our research addresses real-world challenges and that our engagement activities provide pathways to smart policy solutions for governments and decision makers in business and civil society.
We achieve these outcomes through policy advice, knowledge sharing activities and providing a neutral and safe meeting point for academics, experts and policymakers.
Our Practitioner Fellows and Advisory Board of senior leaders from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors also helps to ensure that our activities remain connected with the ‘world of practice’.
We provide further detail about our activities in this area below. If they interest you then please feel free to contact us to explore how we could work with you on these and related areas.
Click on the tabs below to read more about our case studies.
Fellows from the Centre for Change Governance regularly get invited to advise governments and agencies on how to address critical governance challenges. This has involved Fellows working in partnership with various overseas governments and international organisations in countries such as Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Tunisia, the UK, Vietnam, and Yemen.
The United Nations Development Programme also recently commissioned Professor Mark Evans (with Professor Sultan Barakat) to undertake a study of public administration reform in Arab transition countries. The report, Defining the Challenge, Making the Change, was published in June 2015.
Fellows from the Centre also regularly contribute to the IGPA Policy Insights.
The IGPA Policy Insights are short, accessible and downloadable documents that are designed to deliver clear, succinct and timely recommendations for policymakers, both in Australia and internationally. Each Policy Brief draws on the Centre’s expertise and the latest research to develop key findings, recommendations or outcomes for further study.
Long-term, sustainable partnerships also offer an opportunity for Fellows from the Centre to share their knowledge and develop policy impact.
One prominent example is the partnership that IGPA has entered into with the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, SBS and Ipsos Mackay. This partnership has already delivered a national survey, How Do Australians Imagine their Democracy, and a curated exhibition, the Power of One! The next stage in the partnership involves members of the Centre working with these partners on another survey on trust in politics called, The Power of Us.
Many Fellows in the Centre of Change Governance also teach into the Institute’s Graduate Certificate and MPA programs. Our students take what they have learnt from these courses far beyond IGPA as they seek to bring about positive change in their respective fields of interest.
Fellows in the Centre also aim to share their latest research, opinions and insights with wider audiences through the Institute’s Blog, The Policy Space, regularly contributing features and commentaries in the press, our social media streams and the Talking Heads series, which are purpose built videos with thought leaders in public administration and public policy.
These activities are complemented by a wide range of other events that allow Fellows in the Centre to share and exchange their knowledge with specialist audiences and the wider public. These events are typically hosted by the Institute but often draw on the Centre and its expertise.
Public forums include the Canberra Conversations Lecture Series and the Parliamentary Triangle Seminar Series.
Convening academics, experts and policymakers
We regularly host conferences and workshops that bring together academics, experts and policymakers.
In February 2015, the Institute, with Fellows from the Centre for Change Governance, hosted New Forms of Discovery for Policymaking: Widening the Use of the Social Sciences for Policy Innovation, at Old Parliament House. This two-day workshop brought together leading international experts from CCG and elsewhere with senior practitioners to showcase innovative research methods that can help facilitate progressive policy outcomes through evidence based policy insights.
The Institute’s Annual Impact Theme also provides opportunities for academics, experts and policymakers to address a critical governance problem in Australia that has both political salience and where there is an opportunity to effect real change.
In 2013, the annual Impact Theme was Celebrating the Contribution of Women to Public Sector Excellence. Research from this project was funded by six Australian Commonwealth departments with a report, Not yet 50/50: Barriers to the Progress of Senior Women in the Australian Public Service, being launched in Old Parliament House later the same year.
In 2014, the Institute launched the IGPA Disability Policy Advisory Group to confront the realities of disability policy in Australia. Several events were held under this Impact Theme, including a Disability Policy Research Joint Roundtable in March 2015 and a Parliamentary Triangle Seminar on Disability Policy Reform – Confronting the Realities.
The Centre for Change Governance runs and hosts a wide range of events, including workshops, conferences and seminars, that allow us to share and exchange knowledge with specialist audiences and the wider public. More information about these events can be found here.
The Centre for Change Governance Research Forum runs about once a month to bring together members in the Centre so that they can share and develop each other’s research. The Forum is diverse in its curation and encourages a range of different modes of presentation. Please contact the Centre’s Research Forum Convenor, Jean-Paul Gagnon, for further information.
Fellows affiliated with the Centre are also actively involved in helping to facilitate other research seminars, such as the IGPA Research Seminar Series, as well as other public forums and engagement events that are hosted by the Institute. These include the Canberra Conversations Lecture Series, Democratic Conversations Uncensored and the Parliamentary Triangle Seminar Series. More information about these events can be found here.