The courses of the Department attempt to provide students with a basic knowledge of sociological andanthropological concepts theories, and methods, applying these to the empirical study of topics which have some relevance to contemporary Hong Kong. Thus in addition to basic courses in theory and methods, regionally there are courses on Hong Kong itself, China and other Asian societies and topically there are courses on a wide range of sub-fields within sociology.




The threat from within: insider threats, lone actors and the challenges from radicalisation 

Friday, October 31, 12:30-2:30pm
Rm813, 8/F, The Jockey Club Tower, HKU

Denis Fischbacher-Smith
University of Glasgow

The issue of insider threat management has assumed greater importance within the discourse of public management in both the USA and the UK. Whilst the threats associated with insiders has long been an issue in terms of state-sponsored espionage, it has now become an issue that arises out of the actions of non-state actors, lone operators, and corporations. In the UK, the Centre for the Protection of Critical National Infrastructure (CPNI) has set out an agenda for raising the awareness of corporations and public management organisations about the threats that can be posed by trusted employees. At the same time, the revelations made possible by Edward Snowden have also highlighted the manner in which elements of the state have been gathering information on their own, and their allies, citizens. The result has been the generation of a frenzy within the media around the nature and shape of the securitisation debate, where Snowden has been beatified and pilloried in (almost) equal measure. In some respects, the Snowden case has clouded many of the issues involved in the debates around the management of threats to organisations and around the losses caused by the actions of insiders. This paper seeks to outline the main challenges that arise from the growing vulnerabilities of organisations to both information and financial losses associated with these threats, especially in those cases where reforms increase the vulnerabilities of organisations. The paper raises a series of challenges to the more traditional processes around audit and control and argues a case for the extension of those practices to other areas of organisational activity, most notably human resource management. The paper is based on the insights gained from an extended period of placement within the ‘security functions’ of public sector organisations around the identification and management of early warnings of behavioural change that can lead to forms of organisational misbehaviour. 

Professor Denis Fischbacher-Smith
BEd, BSc, MSc, MBA, MPH, MLitt, PhD, DLitt, FCIPD, FEPS, FSyI, PFHEA, CGeog, CSyP, CMgr, CCMI, FAcSS

Denis Fischbacher-Smith holds the Research Chair in Risk and Resilience at the University of Glasgow where he is also the Deputy Director of the Business School and Director of Research. His main research interests span the main areas of the UK’s policy around resilience and counter-terrorism and they converge around issues of prevention, protection and preparation. In specific terms, he has interests in the areas of: organisational and community resilience; risk, emergency planning, and crisis management; counter-terrorism (especially in terms of critical infrastructure protection); and the management of insider threats (especially within health care organisations) and lone actors. Much of his work has been carried out within the public sector and he has undertaken research with the Police, Fire, Health, and Ambulance Services, the Prison Service, and Local and National Government. His research has been funded by the ESRC, EPSRC, National Patient Safety Agency, and the DTi as well as a number of corporate and public sector organisations.
A graduate of the University of Manchester, the Open University, the CNAA, St Andrews and the University of Glasgow, Professor Fischbacher-Smith holds undergraduate degrees in Geography/Environmental Science (BEd) (Manchester) and an ‘Open’ degree (BSc) (Open University), Masters degrees in Pollution Control (MSc), Applied Psychology (MSc), Public Health (MPH)  (all Manchester), Management (MBA) (CNAA), Terrorism Studies (MLitt) (St Andrews), and War Studies (MLitt) (Glasgow). He holds a PhD in Science and Technology Policy (Manchester) and a DLitt in Crisis Management (Glasgow). He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a Fellow of the Emergency Planning Society (FEPS), and a Fellow of the Security Institute (FSyI). He is Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS), a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute (CCMI), a Chartered Geographer (CGeog), a Chartered Manager (CMgr), a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD) and a Chartered Security Professional (CSyP).




Cities and the Olympics: Urban Creativity or Creative Destruction?

Monday, November 3
Rm813, 8/F, The Jockey Club Tower, HKU

The Olympics are important not just because it is the premier multi-sport event in the world with a huge global media audience but because it is increasingly used by host cities to accomplish objectives that have nothing to do with sport.  Why do cities bid for the Olympics and what are the consequences of doing so?  Winning the bid and staging the event involves urban entrepreneurialism, contested priorities in urban planning and urban expenditures, design and location issues in relation to iconic structures, debates about costs and benefits, displacement and renewal issues, a growing focus on culture and environmentalism, and the more recent emphasis on event legacy.  The question to be addressed is where do local residents fit in and how are they impacted in order to assess the full impact of hosting mega-events as an urban tool.

Brief Biography
Harry H. Hiller is Director of the Cities and the Olympics Project and Faculty Professor of Urban Sociology at the University of Calgary in Canada.  He has been doing research and writing about the urban impact, meanings, and urban consequences of mega events and especially the Olympics since the Winter Olympics were held in Calgary in 1988.  A frequent speaker at conferences and academic forums around the world and especially in bid cities and cities awarded the Games, Hiller has also been a participant and speaker at the meetings of the World Union of Olympic Cities.  As an urban sociologist, his specialization is on how cities and their residents are impacted by the Olympics.  Among his many publications is his most recent book Host Cities and the Olympics: An Interactionist Perspective (Routledge, 2011).  He has also done considerable work on various aspects of community change and urbanization in Canada and examines macro issues in the evolution of Canadian society.





The 11th Annual Conference of the Hong Kong Sociological Association

The Department of Sociology has hosted the 11th Annual Conference of the Hong Kong Sociological Association (HKSA). [Photo]