Our research in this key theme explores Australian migration history, transnational people flows, humanitarian migration and settlement, ethnic minorities and multiculturalism, and critical race studies. International development research focuses on cultural and social transformation, the politics of development, national elites and nation building.


Academic researchers

Researchers with academic status

 Research students 

  • Marilyn Arnold
  • Dahlia Martin
  • Maryuni
  • Muhamad Mohamed Noor
  • Stephen Rickmann

Current research projects

Michael Barr: Singapore: A modern history

Australia is not the only country to engage in 'History Wars'. Rival versions of history also reflect and sustain competing visions of contemporary society in Singapore, just as they do in Australia and in many modern nations. In Singapore it has added significance because the accepted historical orthodoxy has been a central element of the ruling party's regime legitimation since the 1980s.This orthodoxy has been under increasing scrutiny since the 1990s, and it reached a turning point just a few years ago. The current project will result in a book that will extend the challenges to the standard national narrative in some new directions.

Eric Richards: The history and mechanisms of modern migration: the British case 1780-1914

Professor Richards' research interests centre on the history of international migration, with a special focus on inter-continental migration between Britain and Australia. Funded by the ARC, this project investigates the fundamental causes of very long term migration flows which remain largely unexplained. The roots of modern migration reside in fundamental agrarian changes which always occur when modern societies embark along the road to industrialisation (such as in Britain in the industrial revolution). These structural changes in the rest of the world are the generic sources of most of Australia's immigrants, past and present.

Susanne Schech: Cosmopolitan development: the impacts of international volunteering. LP120200085 (2012-15)

This project, supported by the ARC and industry partner Austraining International, will provide new ways of thinking about the impact of international development volunteering. It examines how volunteering contributes to more equal partnerships between Australia and its neighbouring countries and how it transforms the ways volunteers and host organisations perceive and respond to global challenges. The international collaborators on the project are Associate Professor Tracey Skelton (National University of Singapore) and Professor Uma Kothari (University of Manchester).

Evan Smith and Andrekos Varnava: The creation of a 'suspect community': Policing the Cypriot community in London during the inter-war period

This project examines how the Cypriot community were policed in London during the inter­ war period and using Paddy Hillyard's theory of the 'suspect community', will attempt to historicise contemporary debates about the policing of ethnic communities and counter­ extremism. This project was awarded a Faculty Large Project Grant in 2013 by the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences at Flinders.

Evan Smith: 'Race', gender and the body in British Immigration Control

This research was a collaborative project between Dr Evan Smith and Assoc Prof Marinella Marmo in the School of Law at Flinders University. The project has looked at the function of British border control from the 1960s to the present and is based on the examination of recently opened Home Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Cabinet records from the National Archives in London, as well as United Nations documents and materials from the Runnymede Trust archive. A monograph, Race, Gender and the Body in British Immigration Control, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in July 2014.

Past projects

Michael Barr: The Ruling Elite of Singapore

This book explores the complex and covert networks of power in Singapore. It argues that the contemporary networks of power result from a deliberate project initiated and managed by Lee Kuan Yew - Singapore's founding father - designed to empower himself and his family. See published book at http://bit.ly/1Exc8tr

Melanie Oppenheimer: Meals on Wheels: Building towards a new social experiment for our times. ARC LP1002000065 (2010-2014)

As one of Australia's foremost researchers on volunteering, Professor Melanie Oppenheimer completed an ARC funded project in partnership with Meals on Wheels and Professor Jeni Warburton from La Trobe University. It is the first national study of Meals on Wheels, an iconic Australian non-profit organisation with a history dating back to the 1950s. Using both national and international examples, this project focused on the reliance of Meals on Wheels on the use of volunteers and aims to analyse a range of volunteer business models to develop a responsive and sustainable plan for the future.