A collaboration between The University of Manchester, Edinburgh University, Essex University, Lancaster University and Leeds University with Fellowships based at Cardiff University, Queens University Belfast and The University of Salford
Engagement, Interaction and Influence is a three-year research and engagement project.
The aim of the research element is to further our understanding of the relationship between social science, politics and policy focusing particularly on the area of behaviour, environment and sustainable consumption.
Drawing on the research element, the aim of the engagement element is to identify the challenges and opportunities for opening up existing debates in such a way that insights from a social practices approach to behaviour, environment and sustainable consumption can be taken up.
To meet these aims, we are adopting a two-phase approach:
Phase 1: Analysis of how ideas from social science have been taken up by policy makers in the recent past and/or are being taken up in public policy today.
Phase 2: Exploring challenges and possibilities for reframing policy debates so that insights from social practices research are taken up.
Phase 1 is based around case studies where social science and public policy have interacted in seeking to transform behaviour towards more sustainable ways of living. Through a combination of interviews and documentary analysis we are interested in the role of expertise and evidence in policy processes. We are also concerned with ideas of individual and collective action and assumptions about future ways of life made by those attempting to shape and envision more sustainable futures. Cases are selected to capture a range of criteria including geographical and administrative scope, and the origins of initiatives.
Phase 2 will take the findings from Phase 1, plus insights from other SPRG projects, to generate further engagement with individuals concerned with policy-related activity. We envisage these involving events that bring together social scientists, policy actors, people from civil society groups, business and NGOs. Findings from Phase 1 are central for identifying the scope, content, format and key personnel to involve in Phase 2.
Principle Investigator: Sarah Parry
Co-Investigator: Joseph Murphy
Research Fellow: Fraser Stewart