How can we provide public and collective goods such as financial regulation, environmental protection, and labour standards in a more complex and interdependent world?
These governance issues are particularly salient in the rapidly growing Indo-Pacific region that includes the economic powerhouses of China and India, as well as Indonesia the fourth most populous nation in the world. Considering the shortcomings of established ways of governing political, economic, and social life there have emerged, new and complex forms of governance. The changing landscape challenges us to move beyond simple distinctions between national and global governance, and identify, analyse, and explore the transformation of governance institutions, practices, and norms.
A major focus of the Research Centre will be on the political dynamics of governance and institutional innovations in the provision of public goods and regulation especially, those relating to economic and social development in the region. The research agenda of the IPCRC will be directed towards achieving a more comprehensive understanding of the implications of new governance innovations. This will address issues relating to the organisation of markets and politics, and their effectiveness and fairness in addressing complex economic and social problems. It will also include an examination of the transformations of political organisation and authority at various scales – global, national, and regional – which have a bearing on the complex multilevel governance of the delivery of public goods and regulations in the context of the broader challenges arising from the shifting tectonic plates of economic and political power to the Indo-Pacific region.
Whilst the mission of the Centre has a central focus on the Indo-Pacific region, this does not in any way preclude engagement with related issues of governance beyond the region. Indeed, the nature and scope of the research agenda of the Centre has a bearing more generally on a systematic examination of issues of public policy and equity relating to the provision of public goods and regulation in Australia and countries beyond the region. Our distinctive approach to governance issues such as migration, finance, or development will be as processes of social and political transformation that reshape the terrains of the terrains of both national and global politics and policy making institutions and practices.
The IPGRC agenda encompasses issues of social and political governance – which are often transnational in scope and origin – pertaining to key problems and issues confronting states, civil society, and citizens in the Indo-Pacific region. These include questions of institutional reform and development, inequalities, human rights, financial and economic governance, environmental and human security. In adopting this approach we hope to generate a better understanding of more effective strategies for improving governance, which hopefully in the long run will enhance public policy making in key areas such as climate change, poverty reduction, gender equality, social policy and human security.
A key aspect of the research agenda of the IPGRC is the identification and analysis of the impact of the emerging Indo-Pacific Powers for the institutions and processes of global and regional governance as well as their implications for Australian politics, institutions and public policy.