The "Social"

This page is about sociology. Brief summary of my background and links to some of my articles, publications, international events and broadcasts – and a note on behaviour. Why do people do the things they do? On this very broad subject, I bring decades of experience and knowledge (evidence-based) to share with the public in talks, conferences and media appearances, and introduce well-informed perspectives on important issues with a focus on transparency and accountability. What matters to me the most are (equal) human rights for all people, irrelevant of their background. I'm an advocate for peace and I question what have wars post WWII ever achieved – who benefitted and who suffered, and why?

I'm a Paris-Sorbonne educated sociologist (PhD) with over 35-years-experience as an academic and practitioner working in spaces of violence. I have been an associate professor of sociology at The University of Sydney in the School of Social and Political Sciences since 2012, also holding a number of senior non-resident appointments in Singapore, Bangkok, Berlin, Paris, Geneva and Washington. I worked as an UN and ASEAN adviser (documentation, investigation and negotiation.) My principal research, teaching and practice interests have been ethics, sociology of culture, sociology of emotions, political violence, international security and negotiation. Sharing knowledge and experience acquired over decades, I still run mentoring programs and give talks and seminars, as well as media interviews/analysis. Click on this link for more information.

Behaviour in an important element in social documentary projects that are often looking at the consequences of decisions made by people with influence to the detriment of others with the risk of causing harm deliberately or not. A brief look at Ethics and Deviance helps putting this in perspective. The paragraph below summarises what this concepts mean and how do they play in the real world.

Briefly on behaviour, what happens when people's norms and values no longer align with those of society? If an individual loses any sense of social restraints, their self-interest will be unleashed becoming free to satisfy any needs with little thoughts on the possible consequences on others. Instead of asking, "is this moral?" the individual is more likely to ask, "does this action meet my needs?" The individual is left to find their own way in the world – a world in which personal options for behaviour have multiplied while strong and insistent norms and moral guidelines have declined. Faced with a growing state of normlessness, the individual no longer knows what it means to be normal and to behave ethically within society (which may include institutions and organisations.) This is when deviance occurs, often hidden behind a role, a title or a rank. This is when important questions emerge such as "Should I?" versus "Can I?" This is when the first casualties are usually transparency and accuracy. A term to explain this state is "anomie" which was first introduced by the French sociologist Émile Durkheim in his 1897 book Suicide. Durkheim proposed the theory that social structures influenced individual behaviours – not the opposite, as claimed by the English utilitarians.
Durkheim's work had a strong influence on the contemporary development of public health which focuses on how social conditions impact individuals. My photo titled Worlds' Apart depicting a man working alone on a dirty wharf (winner of the 2023 Public Health Association of Australia Prize) illustrates this point.

Summary of articles and publications.

Conquering the tyranny of distance: Australian European economic and geopolitical relationships past, present and future."
European Management Journal — Elsevier
Jean Bogais, Massimo Garbuio, Dimitria Groutsis, Sandra Peter, Kai Riemer, Sandra Seno-Alday, John Shields, Catherine Sutton-Brady, Ranjit Voola
Feb 2022
A Framework of Human Systems Engineering: Applications and case studies.
Chapter 4, Life Learning of Smart Autonomous Systems for Meaningful Human Autonomy Teaming.
Kate J.Yaxley, Keith F.Joiner, Jean Bogais, Hussein A.Abbass.
Dec 2020
"Virtual Tribes: 21st Century Weapons of Information Warfare"

Article published in Sydney Business Connect, the half-early magazine of The University of Sydney alumni magazine.
24 June 2019 Link
Article in The Australian newspaper about the Navy/USBS Systems Innovation Pilot course.
12 June 2019
SETE 2019

"Ratcatchers, Regulators, and Zealots – A Hitchhiker's Guide to Cyber T&E"
Australian Journal of Engineering
March 2019
"Redefining the Human in an Info/Technological World"
Essay / monograph No34 - Feb 2019 - "Resilience in the Face of Disruption"
RSIS / S.Rajaratnam School of International Studies, NTU, Singapore
February 2019
"Research Ethics in Quantum Photonics"
Nanotechnology Institute of Australia
September 2018
"A Critical Juncture - DC Dynamics or DC stasism: To be or not to be?"
White Paper, DCD Global. Commissioned by Data Centres Dynamics
February 2018
"Quo Vadis Australia"
Navy, Bi-montly publication of the Royal Australia Navy
March 2018
"Enquiry into the Benefits and Risks of a Bipartisan Australian Defence Agreement."
Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade
October 2017
Essays for the Middle East Institute, Washington DC, U.S. (MEA)

  • "Violence and the Contradictory Coexistence of Peace and Conflict in the Asia Pacific Region" Link
  • "Myanmar: The Transition from Social Control to Social Contract" Link
  • "Myanmar: Democracy Cannot Exist Without Social Cohesion: The Myanmar Challenge" Link
Articles for the Asian Studies Association of Australasia (ASAA)

  • "Radical Uncertainty: Myanmar at a Critical Juncture" Link
  • Duterte plays a Long Game to Secure Philippine Advantage" Link
  • "Pitfalls Ahead as Myanmar Advances Along Democratic Route" Link
  • "Cambodia on the Brink" Link
  • "Myanmar's Toughest Challenge Lies Ahead" Link
  • "Portrait of a Pragmatic: Hun Sen" Link
  • "Religious Apartheid in Myanmar" Link
  • "Greed The Unseen Peril on Myanmar's Road to Democracy" Link
  • "Cambodians Continue to Struggle in an Inequitable Society" Link
Essays for the German/Southeast Asian Centre for Excellence and Good Policy (CPG), Thamasat University, Bangkok

  • "A Hotbed for Crises: Increasing Stakes and Growing Tensions in Southeast Asia" Link
  • "Conflict Resolution and Connectivity - A Socio-Technical Experiment" Link
  • "The Introduction of Violence in Non-Violent Spaces for the Making of a Dominent Identity" Link
  • "Myanmar: Democratisation and the Internal Contradictions of Ethnicity and Religion" Link
  • "Rethinking Violence in Myanmar: A Confronting Imperative for Domestic and International Actors" Link

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies." Friedrich Nietzche - Human, All too Human
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