Category Archives: Targets

Targets and Political Trust: Findings from our ESRC Project

In a slightly longer blog than usual, I set out the main findings from our recently completed ESRC project Targets and performance indicators have become ubiquitous as techniques of governance. Governments and public service agencies have employed an array of … Continue reading

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Implementing Targets in UK Government: A Multiple Streams Approach

It has long been observed that policies can get lost in implementation. The best intended legislation or programme adopted by central government can get reinterpreted, distorted or even subverted when applied at local level, or across different areas of government. … Continue reading

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Can debates on immigration be ‘evidence-based’? And should they be?

This blog is based on a talk given at the Royal Geography Society on 22 March 2016. We often hear the view that debates on immigration should be more ‘evidence based’: that they should be informed by expert knowledge and … Continue reading

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The net migration target may have failed, but it has shifted the way we debate immigration

Figures released by the ONS today suggest that net migration to the UK stands at an all time high, at 336,000. The UK government’s pledge to reduce net migration ‘from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands’ seems … Continue reading

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Our sterile quantitative debate on immigration needs to be humanised through stories and images

The body of a small boy, 3-year old Aylan Kurdi, washed up on a beach near the Turkish resort of Bodrum. This was the tragic image that captured mass media attention, and galvanised responses from a number of EU leaders … Continue reading

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When ignorance is bliss: The political risks of putting illegal immigrants on the agenda

Yesterday David Cameron set out a three-point plan for reducing immigration to the UK. With the net migration target slipping further and further from their grasp, the government is understandably shopping around for new solutions. One of the proposals is … Continue reading

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Targets, Quantification and Moral Deliberation

Much has been written about the ways in which quantified targets and performance indicators distort and compress the social dynamics they seek to represent. And scholars of science and technology studies have convincingly shown how such representations are not just … Continue reading

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