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Building upon its development in educational scholarship, feminist scholars have incorporated the concept of ‘critical friend’ into their methodologies. Within political science, feminists have articulated critical friendship as relational research praxis, applying the concept to relationships between feminist academics and gender experts in institutions. We bring this research into conversation with feminist care ethics, asking how commitments to care ethics interact with commitments to being a ‘critical friend’ in feminist political science research. Based on interviews with feminist researchers, we argue that care is intrinsic to feminist research and underpins friendship. Whether or not it is explicitly articulated, the concept of ‘critical friend’ carries assumptions about the centrality and practice of care. These findings suggest that feminist scholars need to surface care explicitly in methodological discussions and articulate caring strategies, including self-care. Such surfacing must include acknowledging care as a source of depletion and nourishment, as well as fundamentally political.

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Through a project undertaken under a programme funded by United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) called Transforming Education for Sustainable Futures (TESF), alternative learning approaches associated with the introduction of a form of vertical farming called ‘tower gardens’ at primary schools were explored. Methods that were new to the local education context were used to support the learning process, for example role-playing sketches that allowed learners to share their own knowledge about gardening activities with their peers, teachers and staff from the non-governmental organisation that facilitated the process. This collective sharing and recall were key elements of the social learning process, building into individual and group knowledge. Corroborated memory recall contributed to group learning and also built into the collective storage of knowledge. Learning was firmly embedded in social interaction, in collective symbolism and arts – music specifically. These forms of learning and storing of knowledge resonated with the learners as it was a continuation of life as they know it in their community. It became clear from the project that educators saw the value of introducing concepts from classroom subjects when constructing and managing the tower gardens and were pleasantly surprised by the responses of the learners to this new way of learning, suggesting that creating scope within the curriculum and schoolwork plan is necessary in tandem with building the required capacity to replicate this without external support.

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Political comedy is an increasingly popular source of political information, making it important to understand how this media format presents politics to its audience and what kind of agenda it sets. However, there are still substantial limitations to the literature. The focus has often been on partisanship as a moderator for candidate representations in political comedy, while significantly less attention has been given to the role of gender. Combining frameworks from the subfields of political comedy and gendered media representations, this article adds to the growing research agenda by examining gendered representations of US presidential candidates in impressionist sketch comedy on Saturday Night Live. Content analysis reveals a persistence of gendered stereotypes in representations of candidates. Results of this study reflect the gender double bind in political leadership races and contradict recent findings on decreases in gendered media coverage.

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Social media has become an important tool for political discussion and participation. Furthermore, recently, the question of gendered harassment in online political spaces has gained much scholarly attention. However, work here has largely focused on elected representatives, with little work on how this affects ordinary citizens. This article seeks to establish whether there is a gendered online participation gap, using data from the British Election Study across three elections. It further seeks to reveal why this gap may exist by assessing specific questions about being harassed or fearing negative responses online. The findings show a persistent gender gap in political participation online across all elections studied. Furthermore, although women were not necessarily more likely to have been harassed online, they were far more likely to have avoided posting about politics for fear of a negative response. This suggests that fear of harassment may contribute to lower political participation online for women.

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Younger generations have become increasingly disillusioned with mainstream democratic politics in established democracies. Although young people are interested in politics and engage in many issue-based forms of participation, it is hard for them to realise the fruits of their labour at the national level. Local democracy may provide a better opportunity for engaging effectively in the issues that affect young people’s everyday lives. This article examines how Public Value approaches work in practice for young people whose voices are usually excluded from the policy-making process. The research adopted a complex large-scale multi-stage qualitative design, that involved focus groups and interviews with young people and local civic leaders from across London. It used participatory research with young Londoners from traditionally marginalised groups. The research revealed that, although policy makers face important structural challenges, such as the concentration of power and resources in Westminster, they have the potential to move beyond tokenistic engagement with young people. In particular, the results showed how civic and local authorities can build efficacy and trust through initiatives that provide opportunities for deliberation and the co-creation of public policy. In this way, the article makes a clear contribution to our understanding of the role of young people in environmentalism and their democratic value.

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This article offers results of a comparative case study into how pressures from the media translate into the involvement of senior civil servants (SCSs) in media management and how this is reflected in differentiated ways in politico-administrative relationships. It offers tentative explanations for these differences through the lens of ‘public service bargains’. Based upon a qualitative analysis of documents and 62 interviews with SCSs and advisers in Denmark, Sweden and the UK, the research found that: (i) media management, in some countries, generates an extension and an amplification of the normative expectations towards SCSs’ involvement in media management; (ii) this is accompanied by a revitalisation of the reflections from SCSs to balance their responsiveness to the minister with anonymity and neutrality when involved in media management; (iii) an extensive formal politicisation seems to curb pressures on SCSs’ anonymity and neutrality and their involvement in media management. These findings improve our knowledge of SCSs’ involvement in media management by raising crucial questions about the political neutrality of administrators, tendencies towards politicised governance and (more) interventionist political staffers – amid intensified pressures from the media on governments.

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Uganda’s infamous state-sanctioned homo-hostility has resulted in intense international attention, development cooperation and Western funding to local lesbian, gay, bi- and transsexual (LGBT+) organisations. However, Western funders and allies in this context are becoming increasingly questioned. Researchers have highlighted the complexities, opportunities and constraints of an increasingly transnational LGBT+ movement, but how is this manifested on the ground in the Global South? Through an inductive and ethnographically inspired study, we set out to explore the Ugandan LGBT+ community and its intra-community relationships and relations with Western funders and allies in the unique setting of Uganda Pride 2022, to which we had rare first-hand access. The results reveal that security concerns, both from outside and within the community, shaped Uganda Pride 2022. The most salient finding is that competition for international funding distorts activists’ relations, as it stratifies the LGBT+ community based on who has access to Western donors and international funders.

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This paper offers a novel analysis of how Nepal is delivering its commitment to secondary education provision that is advancing environmental sustainability, tracing a trajectory that begins with national policies relating to environmental sustainability and incorporating the national curriculum framework, textbooks, pedagogies used in classrooms, and learner experiences and anticipated actions. We consider Nepal’s education about and for environmental sustainability in the context of theories of environmental justice, and question if and how secondary provision might promote the behavioural change that Nepal recognises is vital for environmental sustainability. Qualitative data were generated through policy analysis, critical content analysis of secondary-level curriculum and textbooks, classroom observations, semi-structured interviews with 15 teachers and 4 headteachers, and a range of in-person activities with 24 students in purposively selected four community secondary schools in the three diverse locations across Nepal. The results illuminate pronounced disconnections across modalities that indicate incoherence and unresolved debates in the underlying narrative of what environmental sustainability is and the role of education in addressing it. Our findings suggest that learners’ ideas, opinions, thinking and experiences should be encouraged and celebrated in the classroom to aid learners in translating conceptual learning into practical, sustainable behaviours, as well as to contribute to environmental justice. The findings appeal to the concerned stakeholders for their consideration of future policy and programme development that promotes environmental justice through education and establishes a connection between classroom learning and students’ lived experiences through a participatory approach, collaboration, and critical and creative thinking.

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Education is often posed as the harbinger of progress in discourses related to the development of marginalised Indigenous communities. However, since they entered the mainstream schools in the 1960s, the four Indigenous communities of Gudalur, India have experienced various forms of injustice in seeking formal education. This article draws from the work of the Vishwa Bharati Vidyodaya Trust, a community-driven organisation that has been working on matters related to the education of these four communities since 1996, and two research initiatives that captures the community’s voices on their experiences and aspirations related to education, to put forth recommendations for practice that is geared towards greater equality and justice for the children of Indigenous communities. Rooted in the belief that the active participation of the community is crucial to devising solutions that truly address in a sustainable manner the historical injustices faced by them, the article outlines various interventions at different sites of learning that builds community ownership and nurtures a meaningful continuum between the home and school environment of the children.

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Not everyone’s ideas count equally in terms of influencing and informing policy design and instrument choices. As the literature on policy advice has shown, such advice arises from many different actors interacting with each other often over relatively long timeframes. Actors within these ‘policy advisory systems’ operate within the confines of an existing set of political and economic institutions and governing norms, and each actor brings with them different interests, ideas and resources. Studying who these actors are, how they act and how their actions affect the overall nature of the advice system and its contents are critical aspects of current public policy research. But not all these elements have been equally well conceptualised or studied, especially those concerning their impact on the quality of policy advice emerging from a system. In this article, the general nature of policy advisory systems is set out, their major components described and a model of individual and organisational behaviour within them outlined inspired by a modification of the ‘exit, voice, loyalty’ rubric of Albert Hirschman. Our findings show how aggregated individual organisational behaviour along the lines suggested by Hirschman can over time result in very different kinds of advice being provided by an advisory system, with predictable consequences for its nature and quality.

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