Category Archives: Research & Policy

Paradoxes in the Use of Expertise in the Scottish Independence Debate

In a wonderfully perceptive article from 1999, German sociologist Peter Weingart identifies two paradoxes surrounding the use of science in political debate (and we can apply this to expertise more generally). First, late modern societies show an unprecedented dependence on … Continue reading

Posted in Research & Policy, Scottish independence, Symbolic politics | 2 Comments

Why ‘real’ policy impact is so difficult to evidence

Many of us recently went through the painful experience of trying to evidence the impact of research on policy, as part of the REF 2014 process. One of the problems with this endeavour is that policy-makers are likely to be … Continue reading

Posted in Research & Policy, Symbolic politics, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A New Centre on Science, Knowledge and Policy

Together with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh, I’ll be launching a new Centre on Science, Knowledge and Policy – SKAPE – next week. It’s really inspired by two things. The first is a recognition of the need for more … Continue reading

Posted in Research & Policy | 1 Comment

New Paper on the Political Functions of Independent Commissions

A new paper┬áco-authored with Alistair Hunter has just been published in the Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis. Building on earlier work on the symbolic uses of expert knowledge, the┬ápaper explores the different political uses of independent commissions on immigration/integration policy … Continue reading

Posted in Immigration, Research & Policy, Symbolic politics | Leave a comment