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IRPS receives Victorian Parliamentary Library research fellowship

Researchers from the Institute of Religion, Politics and Society (IRPS) have been awarded a prestigious Victorian Parliamentary Library research fellowship.

The team will undertake a study into the demise of the automotive industry in Melbourne, Geelong and Detroit, under the leadership of Professor Bryan Turner, Institute Director.

The research team comprises Dr Joshua Roose, Dr Tom Barnes and Adjunct Professor Lisa Heap, who will research the social impact from the automotive industry’s decline.

The project is part of a broader comparative study that seeks to establish the consequences of ‘deindustrialisation’ in Australia and the United States and the basis for renewal and ‘successful societies’. The researchers will be working with Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, on the international study.

They will look at the impact of industrial decline on the automotive workforce, including indicators of their health and economic well-being, future employment prospects as well as family and community cohesiveness. The researchers are particularly interested in helping to develop new and innovative policies that are relevant to communities coping with the transition to a ‘post-industrial’ environment.

Team member Dr Joshua Roose said the Institute is delighted with the award.

“The opportunity to access the collections of the State Parliamentary Library will significantly strengthen our capacity to undertake in-depth research on these vital questions. These fellowships are an absolute coup for the Institute and University. We plan to utilise the resources of the library to inform both our intellectual inquiry and policy making with direct application to the challenges facing cities,” Dr Roose said.

Victorian Parliamentary Library Fellowships have been offered annually since 2007.

Researchers offered a fellowship are provided with access to the Parliamentary Library’s extensive collections, including rare documents and specialist databases. They are also provided with support by staff from the library’s research service, including the opportunity for research collaboration.

Results from the studies will be published in books, academic articles and the media. The Parliamentary Library also plans to conduct seminars featuring the research work.

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