Research Themes

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Technological innovations in networked, automated, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic devices are unleashing a transformation in work and employment as far-reaching as the industrial revolution. Automation in the workforce is not new, but technological developments now threaten entire professions. This research will investigate the social consequences of robotics and AI, exploring the digital capability of Europe and the skills needed to prepare the future workforce to compete in a global economy increasingly shaped by technological automation.

Digital Transformations

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are rapidly transforming economic, cultural and social relations across the globe. The Hawke EU Centre promotes research on these digital transformations that aligns with the EU’s 2020 Strategy to utilise ICTs to foster innovation and economic growth. Additionally, Hawke EU Centre researchers seek to identify the policy frameworks required for the economic opportunities provided by digital transformations to be realised in an equitable fashion and to predict the potential risks that they produce.”

Creative Work Mobilities

Across the industrialised world, digital communications technologies are changing how people work. But, the liberation of a wireless world is also changing where they work. In fact, it’s even creating a different concept of what we consider a workplace to be. Nowhere is this more evident than in the creative industries, where new kinds of mobile workplaces are expanding rapidly, including the rising incidence of working at home and/or in shared workspaces. In this project, we explore where these new work formations, types, temporalities, and the new forms of attachment to work, are taking us, both in the European Union and Australia. As a highlight, we’ll also analyse the effects of flexible work practices by gender. Our researcher’s findings on the Australian experience will be correlated with those of key creative industries and workplace researchers in the EU: Mobilities.lab, Lancaster University, UK; Media Industries Research Centre, University of Leeds, UK; Popular Cultural Studies and the Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland; and the Faculty of Economics, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy.

Under the Creative Work Mobilities research Theme, The Hawke EU Centre is supporting the ERASMUS+ Monnet Project Grant: Creative Industries and the Digital Economy as Drivers of EU Integration and Innovation (CIDEII). Professor Susan Luckman, Hawke EU Centre Research Director of the Creative Work Mobilities Research Node, is a Chief Investigator of CIDEII, which is primarily administered the University of South Australia’s School of Creative industries.

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Super Diversity and Human Rights

The Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet) will undertake a joint research project with UNISA’s Human Rights and Security Research and Innovation Cluster to develop a comparative analysis of Afghan asylum seeker experience in the EU and Australia. Although they are geographically separate, asylum seekers in the European Union and Australia are engaged in processes of assessment, resettlement and detention embedded in international law and attendant upon refugee status determination. This comparative project will focus on the everyday experiences of asylum seekers and their interaction with Refugee Status Determination (RSD) processes to ascertain the outcomes relevant legislation in Australia and the European Union has on the understanding of concepts of asylum, to asylum seeker vulnerability and support, and to the burdens associated with being asylum seeker.

Innovating European Mobilities

The growing importance of aviation and air travel in increasingly hypermobile, globalized worlds raises issues to do with border security and the protection of citizens, the (licit and illicit) movement and flow of people, goods and things, and related matters of migration and justice. Aeromobilities questions understandings of space, time and mobility in the age of mass air travel by providing a multidisciplinary focus on issues ranging from global airports to the control of airspace, airline work, helicopters, and the production of new information technologies and security software systems. Working together with the Mobilities.lab (Lancaster University, UK) and with UniSA’s existing connection with Learning Miles (Finland), this this project will work to shape these understandings in reference to EU-Australian aeromobilities by drawing on the local and networked experiences of EU and Australian airspaces to generate new theory and research into the specific kinds of innovations (experiences, experiments, technology, infrastructure) and barriers (security, freedom, immigration, human rights) associated with EU and Australian aviation and air travel in the twenty-first century.

Community Reactions to Disaster: An EU/Australian Comparison

The 21st century has seen the rise of disasters that threaten society leading to what some commentators are calling a “new catastrophism.” The EU has been a leader in the social sciences seeking to understand social responses to disasters. The early work of German sociologist Ulrich Beck on the social response to Chernobyl was a pioneer work in the field that led to the creation of risk and risk policy discourse. This research project will integrate the natural and social sciences for an analysis of community reactions to disaster.