US Senate restricts funding of political science: the barbarians at the gates

On Wednesday, the US Senate voted to prohibit — yes, prohibit — funding for political science projects through the National Science Foundation except those that the NSF Director “certifies as promoting national security or the economic interests of the United States.” My mind is so boggled by that I have to keep re-reading it to check that it’s true. If you doubt me, check out … Continue reading US Senate restricts funding of political science: the barbarians at the gates

Cultural representations, identity and “come home” policy

This week I have a question more than a view to peddle or a conviction to push. And the question is this: does anyone out there know of research into the relationship between a nation’s self-presentations, its peoples’ sense of identity, and policy on national diasporas? Let me explain a little more. I’m a New Zealander and one who, to some extent, shares a trait … Continue reading Cultural representations, identity and “come home” policy

Freedom of information, and the private provision of public services

I’ve been a bit slow getting onto this — start of the new academic year and it’s the usual tidal wave of joyous new faces, committee meetings and form-filling — but I’ve been thinking about something from last week’s Labour Party Conference. I’m not much of a conference follower, but the news of Sadiq Khan MP‘s speech which pledged to subject private companies delivering public … Continue reading Freedom of information, and the private provision of public services

Making academic knowledge useful to policy : why “supply” solutions are not the whole story

I have just read a blogpost by the inimitable Dragon’s Best Friend (aka @Puffles2010) in which s/he kindly talked about how much knowledge about policy there is bubbling away in academia but how little of it makes it out of the bubble and into Whitehall. But DBF¬†— s/he is an ex-civil servant and will appreciate the joys of the three-letter acronym (TLA) — put too … Continue reading Making academic knowledge useful to policy : why “supply” solutions are not the whole story

Honours: why “doing the day job” is more important than the PASC thinks

The Commons Public Administration Committee (PASC) has just released its latest report on the British Honours system: the arcane process of doling out OBEs,¬†knighthoods and so on. The report is highly critical both of the lack of transparency of the entire process, and the continuing tendency for gongs to be awarded to “the usual suspects” – captains of industry, civil servants, politicians and so on … Continue reading Honours: why “doing the day job” is more important than the PASC thinks