WISERD Civil Society: Changing perspectives on Civic Stratification and Civil Repair

Lead Research Organisation: Cardiff University
Department Name: Sch of Social Sciences


WISERD celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Over time it has grown into an international research institute that develops the next generation of research leaders. Our research brings together different disciplines (geographers, economists, sociologists, data scientists, political scientists) to address important issues for civil society at national and international levels. Our social science core provides a strong foundation for working with other disciplines including environmental science, engineering and medicine to transform our understanding and approaches to key areas of public concern. Our aim is to provide evidence that informs and changes policy and practice. This Centre will build on all previous WISERD research activities to undertake an ambitious new research programme. Our focus will be on the concept of civic stratification. This is a way of looking at divisions in society by focusing on the rights and obligations and practices of citizens and the role of civil society organisations in addressing inequalities in those rights and obligations. We will examine and analyse instances where people do not have the same rights as others (for example people who are migrants or refugees). We will also look at examples of people and groups working together within civil society to win new rights; this is referred to as civic expansion. Examples might include campaigns for animal rights or concerns about robots and Artificial Intelligence. We will investigate situations where people have the same rights but experience differences in their ability to access those rights; sometimes referred to as civic gain and civic loss (for example some people are better able to access legal services than others). Lastly, we will explore how individuals and groups come together to overcome deficits in their rights and citizenship; sometimes referred to as forms of civil repair. This might include ways in which people are looking at alternative forms of economic organisation, at local sustainability and at using new technologies (platforms and software) to organise and campaign for their rights. Our centre will deliver across four key areas of activity. First our research programme will focus on themes that address the different aspects of civic stratification. We will examine trends in polarization of economic, political and social rights, looking at how campaigns for rights are changing and undertaking case studies of attempts to repair the fabric of civil life. Second, we will extend and deepen our international and civil society research partnerships and networks and by doing so strengthen our foundations for developing further joint research in the future. Third, we will implement an exciting and accessible 'knowledge exchange' programme to enable our research and evidence to reach, involve and influence as many people as possible. Fourth, we will expand the capacity of social science research and nurture future research leaders. All our research projects will be jointly undertaken with key partners including civil society organisations, such as charities, and local communities. The research programme is broad and will include the collection of new data, the exploitation of existing data sources and linking existing sets of data. The data will range from local detailed studies to large cross-national comparisons. We will make the most of our skills and abilities to work with major RCUK research investments. We have an outstanding track record in maximising research impact, in applying a wide range of research methods to real world problems. This exciting and challenging research programme is based on a unique, long standing and supportive relationship between five core universities in Wales and our partnerships with universities and research institutes in the UK and internationally. It addresses priority areas identified by the ESRC and by governments and is informed by our continued close links with civil society organisations.

Planned Impact

The impact goals of this research centre are to:
- Increase the capacity of civil society organisations to promote citizenship, citizen rights and citizen engagement.
- Provide robust evidence to UK and international governments to enable them to support the development of a strong, healthy civil society.
- Recommend to governments and civil society organisations focused, feasible strategies to facilitate the repair of civil society.
- Increase citizens' awareness of their rights so they can secure and access public services, in particular marginalised groups such as disabled people and migrants.
- Use the WISERD Data Portal to open up civil society data to government and civil society organisations to enable evidence-based policy making on a range of policy areas.

Our stakeholders and publics can be broadly grouped as follows:

Policy makers:
- UK Government - departments for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; Education; Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; International Development; International Trade; Work & Pensions; Health & Social Care; Housing, Communities and Local Government; Office of the Secretary of State for Wales; Charity Commission; Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC); Children's Commissioner for England; Office for National Statistics (ONS)
- Welsh Government - Social Services and Integration; Local Government; Communities and Tackling Poverty; Education; Agriculture & Food; Economic Strategy & Decarbonisation; Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning; Economic Infrastructure; Children's Commissioner for Wales; Future Generations Commissioner for Wales
- Local government - schools; teachers; school councils; youth fora; social services
- International governments with whom we will liaise and share relevant findings- Australia; Brazil; China; France; Greece; Hungary; India; Italy; Ireland; Netherlands; New Zealand; Portugal; Singapore; Sweden; USA and the regional authorities of the Basque Country, Iraqi Kurdistan and Sardinia.

Third sector and civil society organisations, grouped by sphere of activity:
- Democracy and civil society - Electoral Reform Society (ERS); Institute for Welsh Affairs (IWA); National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO); Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA); Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (NICVA); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); Citizens UK; Barcelona Centre for International Affairs; Real Instituto Elcano (Madrid); Centre for Kurdish Progress (London)
- Economy - International Labour Organization (ILO); trade unions; co-operative organisations; Cividep India; Garment Labour Union (India), Homeworkers Worldwide; Women in Informal Employment Globalising and Organising (WIEGO) and UNI Global Union.
- Education and young people - children's rights NGOs, British Youth Council, UK Youth Parliament
- Energy - Fossil Free UK; UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association; Share Action; Community Reinvest; Energy UK; Renewable Energy Association.
- Foundational economy and social innovation - businesses, social enterprises, co-operatives, food movements and civil society organisations working to deliver services in the areas of food, care, housing and the environment.
- Housing - housing associations; housing charities; tenant organisations.
- Inequality and wellbeing - Chwarae Teg; Disability Rights UK; Disability Wales
- Migration - International Labour Organization (ILO); International Red Cross; Wales Centre for International Affairs; International Organisation for Migration (IOM); Migrants at Sea; United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

Publics and communities:
- People who participate in community groups, trade unions and voluntary organisations
- Marginalised groups, such as disabled people, migrants and casualised workers in the garment and fast food industries
- children and young people
- All those with an interest in civil society, democracy or community activism



Ian Rees Jones (Principal Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1682-9134
Christopher Matthew Taylor (Co-Investigator)
Rhys Davies (Co-Investigator)
Elin Royles (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4858-1903
Jean Jenkins (Co-Investigator)
Gary Higgs (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2169-6671
Sally Anne Power (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3287-0003
Nigel O'Leary (Co-Investigator)
Helen Blakely (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-6188-0692
Paul Chaney (Co-Investigator)
Daniel Edward Wincott (Co-Investigator)
David Beel (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1146-229X
BETHAN Loftus (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5346-1332
David H Blackaby (Co-Investigator)
Rhys Alwyn Jones (Co-Investigator)
Howard Henshall Davis (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-9794-3325
Stephen James Drinkwater (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9973-8811
Karel Williams (Co-Investigator)
Mitchel Langford (Co-Investigator)
Robin Mann (Co-Investigator)
Melanie Kim Jones (Co-Investigator)
Jesse Heley (Co-Investigator)
Filippo Barbera (Co-Investigator)
Rhys Dafydd Jones (Co-Investigator)
Sophie Wynne-Jones (Co-Investigator)
Robert John Evans (Co-Investigator)
Anwen Mai Elias (Co-Investigator)
Julie Froud (Co-Investigator)
Alexander John Bryson (Co-Investigator)
Martin Jones (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4627-2293
S Orford (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0001-8517-4752
Martina Yvonne Feilzer (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2107-4992
Kevin John Morgan (Co-Investigator)
Jamie Thornton Lewis (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-1065-6017
Michael John Woods (Co-Investigator) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3813-4138
Laura Joanne Jones (Researcher)
Martin Weinel (Researcher)
Christala Sophocleous (Researcher)
William George Chivers (Researcher) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-4555-3800
Ian Harvey (Researcher) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0003-0350-7344
Esther Kumari Muddiman (Researcher) orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2630-6134


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