Lecture Theatre 3, 13:00- 14:30
Chair & Convenor: Dr. Debbie Lackerstein


Why has Australia generally contributed token personnel numbers to UN Peacekeeping Operations since 2005?
Callan Robinson, Honours student, University of New South Wales, Canberra

Australian contributions to UN peacekeeping operations have declined significantly over the past fifteen years. This is despite a long history of contributions since 1947 and a period of frequent non-token contributions between 1989-2005. This thesis will apply Bellamy and Williams’ indicative framework to these two periods to compare and determine the rationales and inhibitors for Australian peacekeeping contributions to the UN. This will be achieved using various Senate and Joint Standing Committees relevant to peacekeeping, Defence White Papers and supplementary interviews.

Callan Robinson studied at UNSW Canberra from 2015-17 majoring in IPS and History. In 2018, Callan attended the Royal Military College Duntroon and graduated in December to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals.



Women’s leadership along the Mekong: How do international human rights norms related to women’s leadership affect water management at different levels of decision making?
Sophie Riedel, Honours Student, University of New South Wales, Canberra

With a particular focus on Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos’ engagement with the Mekong River, this thesis explores to what extent international human rights norms pertaining to women’s leadership have been incorporated into local, national, and regional levels of decision-making. The implementation of these norms is critically evaluated, alongside multifaceted issues such as: the benefits attributed to implementing women’s leadership norms in an international context; the barriers Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos have faced in implementing women’s leadership norms; to what extent these norms have been incorporated genuinely; whether these norms are relevant to all states; and in what ways women’s leadership at the local, national, and regional levels interact.

Sophie Riedel completed a Bachelor of International Security Studies at the Australian National University, before beginning her Honours degree at UNSW Canberra. Sophie will begin working on Cyber Security at PwC in March 2020, and hopes to continue exploring complex geopolitical issues through fieldwork in the future.



How Has Chinese Telecommunications Investment and CSR practices in Africa Impacted on Local Development?
Sandy Wang, Honours Student, University of New South Wales, Canberra

While mainstream corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda is criticised for being Western-focused and organisation-oriented, an emerging literature on the CSR discourse has started to incorporate the perspectives of the South. Nevertheless, there has been a disproportionate focus on extractive industries while the implication of CSR on community social development remains contested. Amongst studies that focus on the South, this thesis aims to examine how Chinese telecommunications investment and CSR practices in Africa have impacted local development. Through an institutional lens, the thesis recognises the dual institutional pressures on companies from both the home country and host communities. Thus, the thesis first examines Chinese domestic CSR conceptualisation by analysing relevant regulations and discourses. It then seeks to understand the developmental implications of CSR practices associated with Chinese telecommunications investment based on two comparative case studies on two leading Chinese telecommunications companies in Africa, Huawei and ZTE. The analysis adopts a communicative view and considers CSR as a social construction in dynamic interaction processes rather than an organisation-oriented managerial instrument. Focusing on the telecommunications industry, this thesis aims to contribute to the community-oriented understanding of the role of CSR in international development and potentially to identify opportunities for the Chinese state and private actors to facilitate better corporate practices for local community development in an overseas context.

Sandy Wang studied a Bachelor of Environmental Management and a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies at UNSW Sydney and is currently an Honours student at UNSW Canberra. With her thesis focusing on the social implications of Chinese corporate social responsibility practices in Africa, Sandy hopes to understand the role of multinational investments in inclusive and sustainable development in the Global South.