Former West Australian Premier and Fremantle Federal MP Carmen Lawrence will focus on the origins of fanaticism and extreme behaviour, including terrorism, in her new role this year as a Professorial Fellow at The University of Western Australia.
A UWA graduate, Dr Lawrence will invite researchers to work together across disciplines to consider the roots, motivations, and pathways that turn fanatical thinking into action.
Dr Lawrence is hosted by the UWA Institute of Advanced Studies, a cross-disciplinary centre that regularly draws together people from different academic traditions to work on specific research questions.
During 2008, Dr Lawrence will participate in a range of the programs of the IAS, including a health policy symposium.
Director of Institute, Associate Professor Terri-ann White said that Dr Lawrence's work would make a significant contribution to the University.
"While her most obvious collaborators may be from her own discipline of psychology, the range of questions posed by sociologists, legal theorists, political scientists, philosophers, historians and other humanities scholars will make her approach a rich and productive one," Associate Professor White said.
Dr Lawrence graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Psychology with First Class Honours in 1968, having won five prizes including the prize for the most outstanding graduate throughout the faculties of arts, economics and commerce, law, architecture and education. She was also Senior Student of Saint Catherine's College.
Prior to her political career, she won two scholarships for PhD studies in psychology, she continued with postgraduate research, achieving the Doctorate of Philosophy in 1983. Dr Lawrence tutored and lectured at The University of Western Australia, Curtin University of Technology and The University of Melbourne, and was course controller in behavioural science applied to medicine at The University of Western Australia from 1980 to 1983.