Blurring Genres Network: Recovering the Humanities for Political Science and Area Studies

Lead Research Organisation: University of Ulster
Department Name: Sch of Sociology & App Social Studies

Abstract

This project will put in place a new network of scholars and policy-makers who will explore innovations in theory and practice that recover the research methods of the Arts and Humanities and encourage their use by Political Scientists, Area Studies scholars and policy-makers in the UK and beyond. The network will investigate examples of blurring genres, or crossing boundaries, between the disciplines in pursuit of insight into making and remaking theory, policy and practice in modern government. It will consider the practicalities of government policy-making in the United Kingdom, and beyond, seeking to apply the insights in, for example, narrative policy analysis. The network will bring together international scholars working on interpretive approaches to Political Science, with experts on Area Studies, to investigate what added value interdisciplinary research teams can bring to traditional research approaches when exploring modern governance. Particularly significant will be the study of the use of narratives and meta-narratives (narratives about narratives) for Historians, Political Scientists, Sociologists, Anthropologists and Philosophers, as well as for policy-makers. The network together will contemplate the kind of stories created, evolved and recounted in the implementation of everyday policy-making in the practice of modern government. The aim of the project will be to recover methodologies from the Arts and Humanities for the use of Political Scientists and interdisciplinary Area (or country) Studies specialists. Furthermore, the Blurring Genres Network will encourage sharing of best practice necessary to inform future policy-making and innovative scholarly work; for example, by developing narrative policy analysis. The new network will encourage interdisciplinary research between scholars in the United States, the UK, China, Australia, Canada, Brazil and elsewhere with an international and comparative approach involving policy-makers. The Blurring Genres Network will organize a research field that, to date, has been unstructured, lacking regional conferences, publications or directly relevant professional associations. It will assist scholars in the United Kingdom to lead the world in this emerging field of international and interdisciplinary research. It will bring together a number of learned societies (UK Council of Area Studies Associations, Political Studies Association UK and the Western Political Science Association USA) internationally with senior UK policy-makers which have not worked together before so creating a new, unique and practical network.

Planned Impact

Learning will be used by
- Interdisciplinary scholars (senior and junior scholars) from several countries including experts, those new to the field, & post graduate students. Scholars involved will be those with established, or emergent, interests in the research methods of the arts & humanities with particular emphasis upon the importance of narratives and the uses of storytelling.
- Government Circles. The management group have well established links with government departments in the UK to facilitate excellent policy focused engagement. All three academics (Hodgett, Rhodes and Bevir) have considerable experience in writing on policy related issues in the UK & beyond. They will use established networks to achieve direct and indirect impact in the public service & further afield for improved public policy. Policy-makers from across central government and devolved institutions will be invited to take part. Participants will benefit from considering how research techniques mined from the Arts and Humanities can better inform the process of modern governance. Case studies will be used from the UK and abroad.
- Think Tanks. Policy focused participants (the Institute for Government, the British Academy's Policy Centre, the British Council, What Works Centre for Well Being, Chatham House, Policy Exchange, Demos, Centre for Policy Studies & the Institute for Public Policy Research) will also receive invitations to engage in knowledge exchange on process & practice to some events.
- Commercial Research Organisations McKinsey & Company and Price Waterhouse Coopers will be invited to participate in an event. This audience has potential for outstanding impact. The knowledge created & shared among this influential group will have significance across research on a wide range of public life (public, private and voluntary sectors). This will impact upon individuals, organisations and communities beyond the academy in the social, economic, political & arts domains. Information gleaned through this network should serve to increase the effectiveness of public policy & service provision longer term. It will also have influence across many aspects of national life so contributing to the wider public benefit.

We therefore expect that impact might include:-

1. Informing central government departments on academic practice through Civil Service Learning, sharing experience of interpretive approaches to policy development.
2. Informing devolved departments on practice, sharing knowledge of regional & cultural difference, & new developments in policy innovation.
3. Capitalizing on knowledge exchange between the academy & government departments through discussions with those likely to be impacted by policy interventions.
4. Concentrating on mining ideas from the Arts & Humanities in potential research networks between the academy, government & policy related think tanks including, for example, the Institute for Government, the British Academy's Policy Centre, the British Council, What Works Well Being Centre, Chatham House, Policy Exchange, Demos, Centre for Policy Studies & the Institute for Public Policy Research.
5. Reaching out to members of the academy not yet engaged in work on methodology including, for example, the UK Council for Area Studies (representing 23 learned societies http://www.ukcasa.ac.uk/ ) & running an event in conjunction with members. This may provide opportunities to collaborate with the government and media.
6. Engaging with the media to publicize our work including, for example, BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, Thinking Allowed & Sunday. Project leaders already have established connections to the BBC.
7. Senior AHRC, ESRC, RCUK, REF and HEFCE officials will also be invited to take part.
 
Description Most significant achievements
We have established a new research network interested in Blurring Genres: Recovering the Humanities for Political Science and Area Studies. This grouping currently involves 91 academics (plus 168 readers/followers on social media see below) in the UK and beyond. We have been successful in bringing together a new cohort of academics and policymakers interested in pushing out the boundaries of interdisciplinary research with practical applications.To that end we have organised seven workshops crossing the boundaries between the Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences on the themes of -
? Politics as Drama - SOAS, University of London - Tues. 28 June 2016
? Policy as Stories & Narratives - SOAS, University of London - Thurs. 17 November 2016
? Politics as History & Area Studies- Manchester University - Mon. 8 May 2017
? Politics as Anthropology & Area Studies -UKCASA Meeting-SOAS/University of Southampton - Fri. 23 June 2017
? Politics as Literature & Area Studies - University of California, Berkeley - Wed. 6 September 2017
? Politics, Area Studies & the Visual Arts- Ulster University, Belfast - Fri. 17 November 2017.
? Politics, Area Studies & Philosophy- UKCASA Meeting- SOAS- Mon. 29 January 2018.
The seminars involved 90+ academics with disciplines represented from Business Studies through to History. Every session was attended by scholars from several distinct disciplines (both Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences) and at least one member of the Cabinet Office, Home Office and/or Office for National Statistics. Moreover, the series created the opportunity to bring together academics and policymakers from a number of government departments who otherwise would not have met. This collaboration also facilitated other successful research applications among members of the network and participant learned societies. The events were of high quality involving leaders in the field of interpretative approaches to research nationally and internationally. Seminars were intensely intellectually stimulating and well received, see comments below.
Outlines of all the events can be found -along with audio recordings of several - at: https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/schools/applied-social-policy-sciences/research/blurring-genres
In terms of academic research outputs we published (or have forthcoming) two journal articles, six book chapters, one edited book, one monograph and delivered four related conference papers (some of which were to practitioners beyond government). These contributions are listed in detail in the section on publications. We also offered two panels on narratives and interpretive approaches (including new methods training for attendees, and in particular, PhD students or Early Career Researchers) at the Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Cardiff University, 2018. Furthermore, we held two meetings in collaboration with the United Kingdom Council for Area Studies Associations (and their 20 member associations- see http://www.ukcasa.ac.uk/). The series also engaged over 168 readers/followers online through Researchgate.
Against this general backcloth, there are three standout significant achievements.
? Ethnography. This seminar included excellent papers on new methods of using ethnography to study social issues, including a paper on the ethnography of the British Parliament. Rhodes' ground breaking paper on using ethnographic methods was delivered at two further seminars/conferences. As well it will form the basis of an upcoming joint grant application to AHRC, led by Professor of Area Studies, Susan Hodgett, from the University of East Anglia. The provisional title of this application is: 'Blurring Genres, "New" Area Studies, and the dilemmas of Westminster government' (see 'Plans' below). This forthcoming application is a result of innovative research collaborations facilitated by the network.
? Visual Arts. From the first seminar, it became clear that the contribution and challenges of the visual arts was a vital thread running across all the seminars. After discussion with participants, we have agreed to produce an edited collection: Hodgett, Susan and Rhodes R. A. W. (Eds.) Literature, the Visual Arts and the Study of Politics. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queens University Press. We do not have a contract as of 15 March 2018, we are currently waiting for chapter abstracts from some authors. We will finalize the proposal and contract by 1 May 2018 (we also have an offer from Palgrave/Springer interested in this line of research). The development of this original theme is a direct outcome of the seminar series itself - and at the very forefront of current interdisciplinary research internationally. In this way the creation of the network has facilitated innovation in international research agendas and demonstrates leadership from the UK academy supported by vital Research Council funding.
? Continuity of the Network- Several contributing institutions have much valued the work of the network and expressed an interest in maintaining it going forward. Contributing scholars have found the evolving interdisciplinary lines of discussion, as well as the opportunity to collaborate with others from alternative disciplines and beyond the academy, refreshing and stimulating. A number of institutions/bodies have expressed an interest in supporting the network going forward beyond the end of the grant; in particular the University of East Anglia, Southampton University, SOAS, Manchester University and the UK Council for Area Studies Associations.
Comments on the Blurring Genres Seminars
The ... workshop I attended was excellent both in terms of its organisation and the range of presenters. The discussion certainly did help to stimulate new avenues of inquiry to be developed and deepened. I was particularly interested in the presentations on visual evidence through documentary film which offered much original thinking and novel approaches. (Professor, Arts and Humanities)
Cross-disciplinary work and thinking is something more often talked about than actually done. In this respect, it was quite something to be in a room not only with politics people but also with specialists in the Middle East, social policy, 'oriental' studies and more. The day was well set up and the audience well chosen. The seminar featured three very different kinds of talk connected by the broad themes of performance and narrative. The talks might have had little in common but the focus on politics meant that connections were made clear (and important differences usefully highlighted). Discussions furthered understanding of such commonalities and differences and helped open on to the central theme of the seminar series. I was convinced by the day that there are ways to bring humanities and Political Science into fruitful conversation, for politics to learn from these other perspectives and for them to learn from politics. (Professor, Political Science)
I found the workshop to be a deeply thoughtful and intellectually lively occasion; as a humanities scholar, I was very interested to hear both the concerns of participating politics scholars on what they wanted to do and felt was missing in their work, and also to hear how much they are already doing that connects with my work and outlook. I also thought the formal contributions were very useful, and - again, from a humanities perspective - they also served as a reminder that whilst we share much and can learn from each other, we also ought not assume that such crossovers can be done with ease (the various uses that 'performance' and associated words have been subject to across the Humanities is a case in point). The day left me full of thoughts and longing to read more of the work that was referred to - I hope this develops not only into an ongoing conversation across disciplines as envisioned but also generates an associated reading group. (Professor, Area Studies)
Thanks so much for bringing everyone together ... and for selecting three excellent speakers. It was a brilliant start to your network. I have spent the morning distilling my notes and making links between some of the ideas I was introduced to yesterday and my own work. What you are doing is so important for academics. We rarely get the chance to branch out beyond our disciplines. Getting to do this is important both in terms of the new research agendas it could help feed but also the networks and synergies it will foster. (Senior Lecturer, Political Science)
Thank you so much for yesterday's network meeting. It achieved all that I thought it would - it was provoking, it exposed me to colleagues from other genres and how they deal with politics, it challenged the ways I view things and gave me much to think about. It showed, above all, how the need for a 'Blurring Genres Network' is a very real one - and I am really looking forward to participating in the coming months. Thanks again - it was a real intellectual delight. (PhD candidate and former senior politician)
The session was helpful in teasing out the dynamic (dialectic?) between history, agency and creativity. And I have to say [the] critique of the determinism of Marxist based perspectives completely convincing...it is a privilege to be able to listen to the accounts of accomplished academics from my perspective as a rookie researcher! ( PhD candidate and former senior Civil Servant)
I was familiar with some of the things said ... it was particularly interesting for me as an historian to hear so many political scientists advocate the virtues of an historically sensitive approach to their own work... The whole day's proceedings struck me as a vindication of the idea of 'blurring genres'. (Professor of History)
I thought it was a fascinating seminar - really interesting presentations and comments. It was extremely useful ...to think about inter-disciplinarity -how to have impact on political scientists when explaining anthropological approaches to research. (Professor of Anthropology)
Most academics regularly attend the annual conferences and workshops of their disciplinary or subject area association, but rarely have the opportunity to participate in events that take them beyond intellectually familiar territories. By bringing together colleagues from a range of subject areas and disciplines as diverse as creative writing and political science, the Blurring Genres Network exemplified the very best of cross-disciplinary working and interchange. (President, Learned Society)
Exploitation Route Plans
The key indicator of success for any network initiative is whether it will continue after the initial seed funding. We plan for this network to continue in three ways.
Academic Routes
Continuation of the Network- The University of East Anglia (Faculty of Arts and Humanities), Southampton University (Political Science), SOAS, the University of Manchester (History) , the Centre for British Studies, University of California, Berkeley, and the UK Council for Area Studies Associations, amongst others are supportive of continuing the work of the network and the seminar series. Currently, we are looking for possible future funding and institutional support. Such seminar series are not expensive but we will need some £750 to run each seminar.
Research Application- Hodgett and Rhodes et .al. (UEA and Southampton) will submit a grant application on 'Blurring Genres, "New" Area Studies, and the dilemmas of Westminster government' in 2018. This project probes the dilemmas of governing in Westminster systems and poses four major research questions
RQ1. What are the shared traditions of Westminster governments?
RQ2. What are the networks linking Westminster governments?
RQ3. What are the shared/unique dilemmas of Westminster governments?
RQ4. What are the shared/divergent responses of Westminster governments?
The project will have five objectives.
OB1. To demonstrate the value of the 'new' area studies
OB2. To broaden the ethnographic toolkit
OB3. To develop an interpretive comparative method
OB4. To transfer policy ideas from the dominion states to the UK, and
OB5. To use our analysis of dilemmas to redefine the policy agenda
Furthermore, as laid out above, we will publish an edited collection on "Literature, the Visual Arts and the Study of Politics "(see above) as a result of the series.

Non Academic Routes
As we explain in the section on impact, this side of the network will continue in our work on policy advice and the co-production of case studies with the Cabinet/ Home Office and Civil Service Learning. Training will be delivered with the new Civil Service Leadership Academy, with the Policy Profession and wider Civil Service Learning (offered across all Whitehall Departments). We will work at developing a series of materials for wider use in Civil Service training and endeavor to engage with devolved administrations as well. We will together create a new Follow on Funding for Impact and Engagement application for AHRC involving academics and policymakers to develop our creative engagement on narrative with new audiences in the civil service for improved, perceptive and more effective public policy.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Environment,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy,Other

URL https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/schools/applied-social-policy-sciences/research/blurring-genres
 
Description The award was for a seminar series bringing together academic disciplines to discuss Blurring Genres in regard to the use of narratives with policymakers and in policy making generally in the UK and beyond. We have been very conscious of the need to engage with the world beyond academia with this network, and have identified an important 'impact niche' for the entire seminar series. Our target audience was, and remains, policymakers particularly within the higher civil service (Grade 7 and above) and across many Whitehall departments. Consequently, throughout the seminar series, and afterwards, we are working with the Cabinet Office, Civil Service Learning (Learning from Experience (Continuous Improvement Unit)), the Civil Service Leadership Academy, and the Chief People Officer on the following specific initiatives:- Policy Advice and Storytelling We continue to discuss with policymakers new ways of providing policy advice particularly with the Cabinet and the Home Office (see section Collaboration and Partnerships above). The most successful event was the training course on 'Policy Analysis as Narrative - Telling stories', which was attended by 38 people from 15 departments. It focused on how narratives could be better used in policy analysis and evaluation; and on what it takes to be a good story teller. Participants in our workshop provided stories. In small groups, they criticized one another's efforts and chose one story to present to the all the other groups. The audience then discussed the presentation of their stories. We provided teaching material for the course (see section Research Tools and Methods above). Furthermore, another event was held with the Analysis and Insight Units of Cabinet Office which worked with several civil servants from five different units on the use of narratives in policy and on the current knowledge of academic research in this field. The Co-production of Case Studies for Leadership Training As a direct consequence of the storytelling initiative, now we discuss developing a bank of stories that could be used for training purposes. An example of an equivalent bank would be the Australia and New Zealand School of Government's case study programme (see¨ https://www.anzsog.edu.au/resource-library/case-library/). We intend to apply for an AHRC Follow-on Funding for Impact and Engagement Scheme (FoF) to suppport this work. The Cabinet Office has agreed not only to support the award in principle but to provide in kind support (e.g. seconding an official to co-produce the cases with the academics on the project). We consider such co-production essential for getting full access to documentary material in writing the cases but also for ensuring the acceptability of the cases to a civil service audience. We are currently in discussion with policymakers about story gathering, how, why, what has been, or could be done in future. Some of the cases will also be earmarked for future leadership training. The proposal here is that the public servants who made the decision to involve us will walk other officials through the process. The Chief People Officer has invited Professor Rhodes to take part in this programme. Civil Service Knowledge Series Professor Susan Hodgett will be examining practice through the Home Office (Continuous Improvement Unit) and discussing possible future joint developments from March through June 2018. She will work with a current Civil Service practitioner to engage in joint delivery of an event for a third cohort of policy makers in June 2018. This will extend beyond the end of the grant and indicate impact beyond the initial funding. It should be noted that these events are open to all government departments across Whitehall.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Healthcare,Government, Democracy and Justice,Transport,Other
Impact Types Policy & public services

 
Description Discussion with Home Office Feb/ March 2018 for Event For Continuance Improvement Unit Home Office 11th June 2018
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact I have been working with the UK Civil Service taking part in three seminars with practitioners regarding the importance to policy of story telling methods. This third seminar will be in June 2018 and address those from a number of Government departments in Whitehall.
 
Description Evaluating Social Prescribing -A one-day symposium exploring issues around the evaluation of social prescribing. University of Bath -Community Based Practitioner/Conference.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Panel Session 1 Measuring Community Health, Evaluating Social Prescribing. The panel considered the aims and objectives of social prescribing and examine current issues associated with the measurement of social prescribing outcomes. The session explored the complexities of measuring community health, including the comparability, validity and generalisability of measures, such as subjective wellbeing scales. The panel considered the limitations of measurement and the significance of user narratives as a means of capturing value and building a coalition of policy and community support for social prescribing programmes. Presentation was given by Professor Susan Hodgett on- Telling Stories of Wellbeing. The audience for this event was made up of practitioners, general medical and community representatives, patients and came from all over the UK. There was considerable and animated audience discussion with an audience of approximately 80. Further meetings in 2018 will take place to discuss the impact of storytelling among some practitioners at this conference and future applications of impact.
URL http://www.bath.ac.uk/events/evaluating-social-prescribing/
 
Description Policy Analysis as Narrative - Telling stories Friday 18 November 2016 Admiralty House, Ripley Yard, 26 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY Prof. Susan Hodgett and Prof. RAW Rhodes.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description Telling Stories for Analysis and Impact- Cabinet Office - Analysis and Insight Team -Fri 26 August 2016. Prof. Susan Hodgett
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The 22 participants from several units in Cabinet Office reflected on the uses of constructing narratives of their work. A number of the teams discussed that with me how it might be put into practice.
 
Title Notions of Narrative in Troubling Times- Panel At PSA Cardiff 2018- on Methods of Narrative Use- 
Description A Discussion from the Blurring Genres Network Contributors - for those interested at Political Studies Association Annual conference- on new developments on using narratology in UK and abroad. Chair ( Susan Hodgett) Notions of Narrative in Troubling Times Specialist Group: Interpretive Political Science Room B, City Hall Dr Susan Hodgett (Ulster University) Novel Times for the Public Good? Dr Marguerite Cassin (Dalhousie University) Stories, Everyday Life and Public Policy Professor Yiannis Gabriel (University of Bath) Narrative Ecologies in Post-Truthful Times Professor Rod Rhodes ( Southampton University) 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact A discussion of methods and a series of papers developed from the Blurring Genres Network series and engagement with other attendees at PSA on the work and future development of the network. 
 
Title Qualitative Methods Cafe 
Description The Political Studies Association International Conference, Cardiff, 26-28 March 2018. Abstract Would you like to know more about qualitative methods? Have you considered ethnographic approaches for your next project? Are you thinking of doing elite interviews but aren't really sure where to begin? Do you have a mountain of data but don't know how to analysis it? The Qualitative Methods Café is designed to help you answer these and related questions. Join Professors Rod Rhodes and Dr Kristi Winters in an informal setting for small group discussions, networking, and mentoring support. As a café visitor, you may arrive at any point and stay as long as you like. This is not a lecture or talk; it is a conversation. We extend a particular invitation to PhD students navigating their first big research project but also established academics who are new to these types of methods as well as those teaching these subjects. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact To increase the number of doctoral students who become familiar with this way of conducting research and will consider using political ethnography in their research. To encourage these students to pass on their knowledge to others including other students in the Social Sciences and the Arts and Humanities and to staff ( especially in the Social Sciences) who might not have considered using such approaches before. The PSA International Conference, Cardiff, 26-28 March 2018. When: 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM Wednesday, March 28, 2018 Who: R.A.W.Rhodes@soton.ac.uk 
 
Title Rules of Thumb for Storytelling ( 2017) 
Description A short training document for policy makers outlining the benefits of using stories within the process of innovating and evaluating policy. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2017 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The document has been provided for the use of Civil Service Learning attendees at our workshop. 
 
Description Cabinet Office-Analysis and Insight Units 
Organisation Cabinet Office
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution On 26th August 2016 I took part in a day training with five different teams from Cabinet Office on the importance of narratives and story telling for impact and evaluation of policy. I did a substantial training seminar with 25 attendees from different units. Mostly attendees were Economists/ Statisticians and from the hard sciences. After delivering a substantial lecture on the topic there was a lively discussion of using these methods in evaluating policy. This was followed by an afternoon slot where I engaged with the attendees in their teams and listened to their group constructions of a story on recent policy interventions. I then took part in discussions following the presentations by each Analysis and Insight team. The event was held at Royal Courts of Justice London. All attendees came from the Civil Service Group in the Cabinet Office. The subteams and the number of members were as follows, which totals to 22: Employee Engagement Team (5) Workforce Statistics(6) Diversity (1) Civil Society research (4) Wellbeing (1) Economics (3) Senior Leaders (2)
Collaborator Contribution My partners in Cabinet Office provided the audience of policy makers. They circulated and invited policy makers from different units of Cabinet Office. They provided the venue and lunch ; senior officials engaged in debate and conversation with the younger, fast track, civil servants about storytelling and the uses of narrative.
Impact Discussion at high level training of methods from the Arts and Humanities in Cabinet Office. Uses of storytelling in some fields. I sent a copy of my lecture with a more detailed reading list after the event for further reading on the method in depth.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Policy Evaluation and Narrative 
Organisation Home Office
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We worked with colleagues to plan and deliver training and resources available for the wider Civil Service, several government departments from Whitehall.
Collaborator Contribution Discussion of wider aims of programme, discussion and planning of individual sessions.
Impact Event to be held in Home Office 11 June 2018 and further planned events and resources.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Policy Makers- UK Civil Service Learning 
Organisation Home Office
Department Home Office Scientific Development Branch
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Prof. Rod Rhodes and I (Hodgett) did a seminar on the methods of story telling for policy with UK Civil Service Learning (Home Office) on November (18th) at Whitehall. Details below. Policy Analysis as Narrative - Telling stories Date & time: 13:30-17:00 Friday 18 November 2016 Location: Admiralty House, Ripley Yard, 26 Whitehall, SW1A 2DY Storytelling has been our most enduring technology for sharing important lessons over generations. Sometimes the evidence that will support a policy making decision simply can't be conveyed by simple quantitative data. Indeed you may be the recipient of a rich and complex story that you know sells the benefits of your policy more than cold, hard stats can do. How can narrative be better used in policy analysis and evaluation? Ever wondered what it takes to be a good story teller? How can you as a policy professional take stakeholders on a journey with you, illustrating how a policy solution will have a positive effect on a person's day to day life? Ever watched someone tell a story that captivates their audience and wished you had their skills? This workshop will offer an opportunity to understand how narratives can be used in policy analysis at different levels of government and in different countries. This interactive workshop brings together senior academics and policy makers to explore and understand excellent story telling in the policy making context. The aims of the workshop are to help you: ? Understand why narratives are important; ? Consider why we should use narratives to analyse policy, and as a means of policy evaluation; ? Understand how different governments/administrations have used narrative as a means of policy analysis; ? Consider how these approaches have been used across different policy platforms and in different places; ? Learn how narratives can assist you to be more effective in interventions, co-production and in achieving impact. The running order of the event was: 13:30 Registration and lunch 13:50 Welcome 14:00 Why we tell stories - Professor Rod Rhodes. 14:20 'Creating No Precedent?' Telling Stories in EU Policy Evaluation - Community Infrastructure in Northern Ireland - Dr. Susan Hodgett 14:40 Criticising the delivery and content of the stories above. Audience participation! 14:50 Coffee break 15:00 Learning from doing - interactive story telling session Working in groups using narrative to consider policy solutions. Each person identifies a topic about which they will tell a story on a policy intervention, as if to a sceptical stakeholder, and tells a story to their group. Part of the task will be to accurately identify the audience for the story. Participants should come prepared with the story to tell to their group; the group then chooses one story to present to the plenary session, and works on the presentation of that story. 15:40 Telling stories to a range of audiences (Plenary) Each group presents one story to the plenary session. The audience will discuss its likes and dislikes about both the story and its mode of presentation. Each table will also be given a given a particular persona and asked to consider the story from that particular point of view. Feedback will be given (speakers will facilitate plenary session). 16:30 How would you devise a template for telling a story? Introduction from speakers and facilitated table discussions to come up with a template. 17.00 Wrap up - Susan Hodgett & Rod Rhodes 17.15 Close Speakers Susan Hodgett Deputy Chair of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) sub panel 27 (Area Studies) and Senior Lecturer at Ulster University. Susan has worked with departments of the Government of Canada (currently Global Affairs) and government in Northern Ireland on EU/local policy analysis and had a career in politics before working in academia. Rod Rhodes Professor of Government (Research) at the University of Southampton, Director of the UK Economic and Social Research Council's 'Whitehall Programme' (1994-1999); and Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University (2006-11). Rhodes is well known for his prodigious global research on narrative approaches to policy.
Collaborator Contribution UK Civil Service Learning worked with us to design the programme for the day. They then advertised the seminar across all government departments in Whitehall. They were over subscribed for the seminar approx. fifty two senior civil servants signed up, about forty five turned up on the day. Civil Service Learning provided the meeting rooms in Whitehall, as well as lunch/coffee, produced the papers for circulation and staff to help us .
Impact Documents were circulated to the Civil Servants who attended on using story telling and advice on research methods. We are in discussion with Civil Service Learning about future developments. The collaboration was multidisciplinary involving Rhodes ( Political Science) and Hodgett (Area Studies).
Start Year 2016
 
Description Seminar Seven- Politics, Philosophy and Area Studies- UKCASA meeting-Audio Recording Available at -https://soundcloud.com/ulsterfacultyofarts/sets/blurring-genres-politics-area-studies-and-visual-arts 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact UKCASA meeting 'Politics, Philosophy and Area Studies'
Monday 29th January 2018 SOAS, Room 116, Main Building.
See map https://www.soas.ac.uk/soas-life/location/maps/#RussellSquareCampusMap
Programme
11:30am Welcome & coffee
11:45am Opening Remarks, Susan Hodgett (Ulster University)
12 noon David Sweeney, Research England "Research England and the REF 2021."
1pm Lunch
1:45pm UK Council for Area Studies Associations Meeting ( Prof. Tony Chafer- Portsmouth University)
2:30pm Edith Clowes, University of Virginia, 'Area Studies in the Global Age'.
3:30pm Tea/Coffee
3:45pm Simon Caney, Warwick University, 'Political Philosophy and the Social Sciences'.
4:45pm Close Rod Rhodes (Southampton University)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description 'Politics as Literature and Area Studies' Seminar Five- Audio Recording available at -https://soundcloud.com/ulsterfacultyofarts/sets/blurring-genres-politics-as-1 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Wednesday 6th September 2017 University of California, Berkeley -
201 Moses Hall, UC Berkeley campus.
A campus map highlighting the building is available: berkeley.edu/map?moses
Programme
10.00am Welcome and Opening Remarks Professor Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley. 10.15am Lawrie Balfour, University of Virginia Taking Responsibility: The Political Arts of Toni Morrison's Fiction.
11.00am Coffee 11.15am Simon Stow, College of William and Mary The Other Finch Family: Atticus, Calpurnia, Zeebo, and African American Women's Agency in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' and 'Go Set a Watchman'.
12.00pm Break
12.15pm Patrick James, University of Southern California Spy Novels and International Relations 1.00pm Lunch
1.45pm James Martel, San Francisco State University How Bad Literature can make for Good Politics: Walter Benjamin and the subversive power of the failed text.
2.30pm Break
2.45pm Xiaomei Chen, University of California, Davis. In the Name of the People: Television Dramas, Stage Plays, and the Propaganda Cultures in Contemporary China.
3.30pm Coffee
3.45pm Meg Wesling, University of California, San Diego. The Labor of Gender: Producing Identity in the 20th Century
4.30pm Comments, Professor Mark Bevir, University of California, Berkeley. 4.45pm Discussion on going forward.
5.00pm Close
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/events/blurring-genres-networ...
 
Description Politics as History and Area Studies- Seminar Three 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This seminar took place at Manchester University and was supported by both the History School and the Business School. We brought together academics who normally would not meet within their disciplinary silos, on this occasion focusing on History and Area Studies. Dr. Mandy Sadan's (SOAS) first presentation crossed boundaries, being made up of visual materials, photographs, of her work in East Asia and Myanmar. In this she outlined how she had used a series of neglected (old) photographs of Burma found in a collection at Brighton Pavilion along with newer images, captured during her trips to Myanmar to understand the evolution of history and identity over time. Dr. David Craig (Durham) looked at the connections between History and Political Science emphasising the work of the Cambridge School pulling together previously unconnected streams of thought. This was followed by Prof. Peter Gatrell (Manchester) who reflected on his journey from traditional Historian to interdisciplinary researcher on migration and across multiple European areas. the emergence of Refugee Studies as a new branch of Area Studies was discussed. Finally, Sir Anthony Seldon spoke on the importance of History to Politics and politicians, particularly those in No. 10 Downing Street; including the work of the professional historians to the Prime Minister's office.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ulster.ac.uk/ulster-life/events/faculty-of-arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/blurring-...
 
Description Recovering the Humanities for Political Science and Area Studies Seminar Six- Politics, Area Studies and the Visual Arts - Audio Recording Available at https://soundcloud.com/ulsterfacultyofarts/sets/blurring-genres-politics-area-studies-and-visual-arts 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Over forty people from Ireland ( North and South), England and other parts of the UK joined scholars and post/undergraduate students through the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at Ulster University to discuss research crossing over the boundaries between the arts and humanities and the social sciences. This was an innovative area of work looking at the visual arts and addressed the issues looking at developments in several countries internationally. Local Policy makers at senior level joined from the Government of Northern Ireland as well as NGOs including the Arts Council for NI.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/events/blurring-genres-networ...
 
Description Seminar Four- Politics as Anthropology and Area Studies-UKCASA Meeting - Audio Recording of talks at https://soundcloud.com/ulsterfacultyofarts/sets/blurring-genres-politics-as 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact This seminar brought together scholars from Area Studies and Political Science and Anthropology. The traditional seminar was also combined with a meeting of the UK Council for Area Studies Associations- many attendees representing its 20 learned societies and professional associations also attended. Again the intention was to cross disciplinary boundaries exposing social scientists to the work of ethnographers and vice versa. Professor Jan Kubik ( UCL, School of Slavonic and East European Studies) began the day with a talk on "Political Ethnography and Comparative Area Studies". This is the basis of much of his work and was a stunning summary of different ethnographic practice in the wider Area Studies to date. He was followed by Professor Rod Rhodes (Southampton) who spoke on the topic of "Why Ethnography can help Explain Public Distrust of Governing Elites" concentrating on the UK and Western Europe. Later Professor Emma Crewe (SOAS) discussed her work on " An anthropology of Parliaments: reflexivity, relationships and performance". Finally, the seminar was closed by Professor Mark Bevir ( Berkeley) to draw together learning from all the talks.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/events/blurring-genres-networ...
 
Description Seminar One -Politics as Drama- 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This was the initial meeting of the network intended to bring together Political Scientists, Area Studies Specialists to consider the research methods of the Arts and Humanities and their relevance to these disciplines. The audience was well split between the different disciplines, made of a very senior cohort of international and national academics. The discussion was very spirited and engaging as evaluations made clear. It was fascinating to see the revelation of each discipline, understand, appreciate and respect the approaches of the other and make clear the necessity of these fundamental discussions. I have pasted in the detail of the seminar programme below, with information on speakers. The seminar was also attended by policy makers from Cabinet Office and Home Office as well as Post Graduate Students.
'Politics as Drama'
Tuesday 28 June 2016
SOAS London, Room 4429, floor 4.
Directions: see soas.ac.uk/visitors/location/maps/
Programme
10am Welcome and Opening Comments
Dr. Susan Hodgett and Professor Rod Rhodes
10.15am Maarten Hajer, Professor of Urban Futures, University of Utrecht. From a "Walk in the Woods"
to the "Climate Crisis" : the Importance of understanding Politics as Drama.
11. 30am Coffee
11.45am Rens Van Munster, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies.
"Staging World Politics: The Politics and Ideology of Documentary Film."
1pm Lunch
2pm Joe Kelleher, Professor of Theatre and Performance, Roehampton
University,
"State of Play: on theatre and the political."
3.15pm Coffee
3.30pm Discussion on going forward
4.30pm Close.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.ulster.ac.uk/faculties/arts-humanities-and-social-sciences/events/blurring-genres-networ...
 
Description Seminar Two- Policy, Stories and Narratives- Audio Recording available at https://soundcloud.com/ulsterfacultyofarts/sets/blurring-genres-policy-stories-and-narratives 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was the second of our seminars intended to bring to the attention of Political Scientists and Area Studies specialists the research methods of the Arts and Humanities. A number of different styles of storytelling and the uses of narratives were illustrated including the use of film, advertising and elections, photographs and politics, Greek Myths and Legends, as well as international and contemporary novels used to consider policymaking and local culture. Again the audience was fairly evenly split between Politics/ Area Studies and the Humanities ( Historians in particular), the discussion was very lively and extremely animated. Policy makers also attended from UK Civil Service Learning (Home/Cabinet Office) and ONS.

'Policy, Stories and Narratives'
Thursday 17 November 2016
SOAS University of London, Main Building, Meeting Room 116
Directions: see soas.ac.uk/visitors/location/maps/
Programme
10.00am Welcome and Opening Remarks
Professor Mark Bevir (University of California, Berkeley).
10.15am Susan Hodgett, Senior Lecturer, Ulster University and Marguerite Cassin, Associate Professor,
Dalhousie University.
"Feelingful Development: pushing boundaries- trials and tribulations in using novels and
storytelling to inform policymaking and analysis."
11.30am Coffee
11.45am Yiannis Gabriel, Professor of Organizational Theory, Bath University.
"Nostalgic narratives, conspiracy theories and right wing ideologies: The
dangerous consequences of blurring fantasy and fact."
1.00pm Lunch
2.00pm Sandford Borins, Professor of Public Management University of
Toronto, Research Fellow, Harvard University, Kennedy School.
"It's the Way you Tell It: Conflicting Narratives in the 2015
Canadian Election."
3.15pm Coffee
3.30pm Discussion on going forward
4.30pm Comments & Close
Professor Tony Chafer (UKCASA)
Supported by
Blurring Genres Network: Recovering the Humanities for
Political Science and Area Studies
IRiSS Institute for Research in
Social Sciences
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.socsci.ulst.ac.uk/sociology/profiles/sl.hodgett/ahrc.html