Justice, Equity and Inclusion

Making our societies more just and equal is a central concern. How can we best structure our institutions to foster these values?

colourful street art encouaging equality

Justice and equity are core values for human society. It is essential to reflect on past practices and their potential promotion of inequities and to re-form our societies and communities to promote greater equity and social inclusion. This is particularly important for those who have traditionally been excluded, such as women and indigenous communities, and those who are increasingly excluded, such as the young and recent migrants.

Our research focuses on means for creating more effective political, social, and cultural structures and processes to promote justice and equity by exploring historical and current-day practices. Our expertise covers a range of traditionally marginalised and vulnerable groups, both in Australia and the broader global context. Our research informs current debates about a range of emerging and contentious issues from ethical and sociocultural perspectives, as well as helping the broader community to think on the raised issues of justice.

Our democratic societies are facing crises in terms of inclusion and participation in critical policy and governance decisions. It is critical to develop strong theoretical and applied solutions to organising our societies to promote justice, equality, and participation, as the health and survival of democracy is of urgent and great importance. Our researchers use a range of mixed methods including qualitative and quantitative empirical approaches, and theoretical and conceptual analysis to allow reflective assessment of our current practices and to provide solutions that allow us to maximize the benefits provided by the democratic way of life such as the protection of human rights, equality, and good standards of living.

Research at The University of Adelaide is distinctive in that it combines robust theoretical and quantitative approaches to critical questions with qualitative and rich empirical investigation of these questions in order to generate solutions that are relevant to real life but conceptually well-grounded. We also explore a range of controversial moral issues and disagreements relating to housing and homelessness, biotechnologies, research and professional ethics, climate change, health and food/nutrition policy, migration, and voting/electoral policies.

Our key researchers in this area:

  • Professor Rachel A. Ankeny - History and Philosophy. Rachel does research on values and their relationship to fostering equity and diversity, particularly in relation to community engagement and policy deliberation with regard to emerging biotechnologies and agriculture and food.
  • Professor Garrett Cullity - Hughes Professor of Philosophy. Garrett’s research ranges across topics in theoretical and applied ethics, addressing ethical issues that arise in personal, professional and political contexts.
  • Professor Lisa Hill - Politics and international relations. Lisa’s research focuses on democracy and electoral inclusion, including youth disengagement from politics and raising voter turnout among those experiencing homelessness.
  • Professor Chris Leishman - CHURP. Chris examines the economics of the housing market, including the relationship between housing supply and affordability, the behaviour of housing and land developers, and related demographic/socio-economic processes such as household formation and housing consumption decisions that affect societal equity and inclusion.
  • Professor Megan Warin - Social sciences. Megan explores gender and class differences in obesity and its scientific and public understanding as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander views on health, eating and inter-generational transmission, together with the social and cultural drivers of the resulting inequalities and policies associated with nutrition and health policies and practices.

Our research groups working in this area

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