A New Centre on Science, Knowledge and Policy

Politics, Knowledge & Migration

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 critical and theoretically grounded thinking on the relationship between knowledge and policy. A lot of academics are instinctively skeptical about notions of ‘knowledge-based policy’, or ‘knowledge exchange’, or the whole ‘impact’ agenda. And there’s an expanding area of scholarship that explores and challenges these mantras, drawing on theories and insights from the sociology of knowledge, theories of policy and organisational studies. But too often contributions remain siloed in their own disciplines. In particular, political science tends to interrogate policy while treating knowledge largely as a given; while science and technology studies tends to err on the other side, exploring knowledge while treating the policy process as a black box. We are committed…

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Tackling Sexual Violence in Conflict: A Report from the Global Summit

Gender Politics at Edinburgh

The Global Summit on Sexual Violence is the largest and most high-profile event ever held on this topic. But while it has brought much needed attention to the issue of sexual violence in conflict, it has also attracted significant criticism. Genderpol member Claire Duncanson reports from the summit and reflects on its achievements and limitations.

s300_ESVIC-Global-_-London_960x6The tone of the Global Summit on Sexual Violence, hosted by UK Foreign Minister William Hague and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, was confident and ambitious: sexual violence is not inevitable, it was repeated often, and we can end it. Nobel laureate Leymah Gbowee inserted a dose of reality into the proceedings when she pointed out that to imagine that we can stop sexual violence in conflict without stopping war itself is like imagining we can draw blood without breaking the skin. Until then, at least in the sessions I attended, war was very…

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