Social equity and justice

Understanding underlying issues that create injustice

Justice and social equity are fundamental to achieving a harmonious social order in which the interests of all members can be accommodated, including both citizens and those excluded from citizenship.

The work in this research area focuses on the issues around promoting more just societies that foster equitable allocation and enforcement of rights for all their members, particularly those most marginalised by historical and institutional processes. This focus encompasses research on issues such as:

  • human rights infringements
  • statelessness
  • refugees
  • the role of non-government organisations in civil society
  • recognition of heritage
  • equal rights and empowerment of women
  • accommodation of marginal groups on an equal basis within society
  • rights-based approaches to development and conservation
  • respect for the autonomy of peripheral groups and regions within nation-states
  • protection of transborder populations
  • evaluation of governmental and nongovernmental institutions with regard to standards of equity and diversity
  • Staff in our School of Social Sciences work on research that addresses issues of how governments working with other organisations (local to transnational) can promote the equitable application of just laws and policies for individuals and groups in a more inclusive society.



Advancing Gender Equality through Aid
This ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award project, led by Dr Kelly Gerard as principal investigator, evaluates the determinants of aid programming for women's empowerment in Southeast Asia.
Stateless stakeholders: facilitating participatory governance in the Coral Triangle
This UWA-UQ Research Collaboration Award research project includes Dr Greg Acciaioli and Dr Julian Clifton as principal investigators from UWA.
Understanding Social, Economic and Health Vulnerabilities in Indonesia

Partnered with Universitas Gajah Mada, University of Queensland, University of Southampton, Somerville College and Oxford University, this project will identify key vulnerable groups in the population of Indonesia and the factors and conditions contributing to their vulnerability.

Contact Professor Lyn Parker.

Rice farmer

Research partners

Our work in social justice and equity is proudly crossdisciplinary, working in collaboration with universities around the world that share a common goal of improving social justice and equity.

Numerous universities are partners in Australian Research Council-funded and other projects for research relevant to this area, including:

  • Universitas Indonesia
  • Universitas Gajah Mada
  • Asia Research Institute of the National University of Singapore
  • University of Queensland
  • Western Sydney University
  • Charles Sturt University
  • Somerville College, Oxford University
  • University of Southampton
  • Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg, Germany

We also work in collaboration with universities in the World Universities Network, as well as with Lembaga Ilmu Penetahuan Indonesia, also known as the Indonesian Institute of Science.

Government agencies involved in project collaboration include the WA Department of Local Government and Communities.

We welcome new collaborations on ongoing and future projects related to social justice and equity. We are keen to partner with groups that have qualitative and quantitative research skills from any discipline and that are passionate about contributing to research in this area.

ARC Discovery

ARC Discovery projects linked to social justice and equity have included PhD scholarships within the grant, including a number of scholarships currently available through the Centre for Muslim States and Societies.

We welcome applications from prospective PhD students interested in this area of research. You’ll be supervised by experts in this area, who will help you devise topics and research plans that accommodate relevance to the aims of achieving social justice and equity. If you’d like to explore your options, contact Dr Greg Acciaoli on the details below.


Contact Dr Gregory Acciaioli

Senior Honorary Research Fellow