The Summer Research Program is the opportunity for undergraduate, honours and postgraduate coursework students to get involved in exciting research projects within the school during the summer.

The Political Theory of The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

Project title: 

The Political Theory of The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission

Project duration:

 

8 weeks

Description:

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) existed from 1990-2005. It represented a radical experiment in government: ATSIC combined representative and executive roles, with a franchise based on race. The arguments that were made in support of ATSIC inside and outside parliament were commensurately innovative, combining classic notions of ‘responsible government’ in the Westminster-style with the principle of indigenous self-determination. This project will survey and classify instances of conceptual innovation, and explore the relationship between conceptual change and political change.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Scholars will gain skills in political theory, in particular, in the techniques for studying conceptual change. The results of the research will be delivered in a detailed report that combines evidence and analysis.

Suitable for:

This project is open to all BA and PPE and Law students in second year and beyond. UQ enrolled students only.

Primary Supervisor:

Ryan Walter

For further info contact:

 r.walter1@uq.edu.au

 

Find out how to apply

Contemporary Russian Netwar and Information Operations

Project title: 

Contemporary Russian netwar and information operations

Project duration:

7 weeks.

Description:

Beginning in the 1990s, and accelerated by 9/11, we see an important shift globally in military strategic thinking around cyberspace as a new domain within which wars will be fought and won.

And alongside militaries clashing in cyberspace, we now also see entire societies colliding in a new phenomenon called ‘Netwar’. The concept of Netwar’ was famously coined in 1993 in a groundbreaking article entitled ‘Cyberwar is Coming’, published by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, two researchers at the RAND Corporation.

And what Arquilla and Ronfeldt argued, was that in an age of ‘netwar’, reality itself would become contested. ’Netwar’ meant that states would deploy strategies to ‘disrupt, damage, or modify what a target population knows or thinks it knows’.

 

It was the anticipation, back in 1993, that information itself could be turned into a strategic weapon. This form of netwar has become a daily reality today and the best example can be found in today’s Russia.

Here, the old Soviet-style ‘information warfare’ has entered a period of renaissance. Over the last decade, an association of over 70 education and research institutions, coordinated by the Russian Federal Security Service, seeks to utilise cyberspace to control the flow of information at home whilst also using it to divide its enemies abroad.

The summer research scholar conducts research into this phenomenon. In particular, research is required into the old Soviet concept of ‘information warfare’ and its current form. Furthermore, research will be conducted into the strategy and its implementation of Russian information warfare today.

 

These tasks will include literature reviews and collection and writing up small reports on each of these elements outlined above.

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

This research will contribute to wider research conducted on the intersection between information technology and war. The student will gain deep insights into this pressing current phenomenon and by the end of the project will have gained significant research skills in data collection, evaluation, critical review. In the case of outstanding contributions, this might lead to a co-authored publication.

Suitable for:

The applicant should have a background in international politics, Russia, and/ or media studies.

He or she needs to have strong interest in this topic and a willingness to undertake supervised but also independent research. He or she should have very good analytical skills and be able to write up complex issues in a clear and concise way.

This would be ideally suited for a 3rd year undergrad or honours student.

Russian as a language is desirable but not essential.

Primary Supervisor:

Dr Sebastian Kaempf

For further info contact:

 

s.kaempf@uq.edu.au 

Find out how to apply