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Research on local government in the UK during the era of austerity has shown that the decisions taken by local councils to cope with financial stresses were often narrated through the discourse of ‘resilience’, referencing their capacity to innovate and transform services, while protecting service provision in core areas. This emphasis on ‘resilience’ focused on the deployment of strategies to overcome funding challenges. However, this earlier research did not question the longer-term risks, trade-offs and negative social implications associated with such decisions, and how, even in circumstances where these practices provided some ‘breathing space’, in the longer-term they risked adding even more strain to the system as a whole.

This article fills an important research gap by considering four resilience strategies of two local authorities in England: Leicester and Nottingham. These four strategies are: savings, reserves, collaboration and investment. Applying a meso-level perspective and exploring resilience through the lens of crisis management, it asks in what ways and for whom resilience generates positive, zero and negative-sum outcomes.

This research enhances our understanding of the resilience concept by reflecting on its limitations and the risks it poses for local government. It also reveals that, while the concept of ‘resilience’ has been much criticised for normalising crises and generally operating as part of a de-politicising vocabulary, research is lacking on how the practices of resilience produce positive, zero or negative-sum outcomes.

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Migration flows have diversified western societies, challenging the political viability of inclusive welfare states. This is very clear in research on perceptions of deservingness to social benefits, which consistently shows that immigrants are considered as less deserving of collective help than natives. At the same time, welfare states are being reoriented towards social investment, putting more emphasis on services that strengthen human capital and improve access to employment rather than on redistribution. In this article we ask whether the shift towards a social investment welfare state is likely to reduce the immigrant deservingness penalty. Theoretically, we rely on two perspectives: social trust and identity theory. Following the literature on social trust, we expect the reorientation of welfare states towards social investment to reduce the negative impact of diversity on solidarity, as those interventions are to an extent immune to free-riding. Alternatively, according to social identity theory, we expect a similar in-group bias independent of the intervention. We rely on vignette experiments conducted in 2021 in Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US to compare the immigrant deservingness penalty between social compensation and social investment interventions. Results show no difference between the immigrant deservingness penalty across the social intervention types, suggesting exclusionary attitudes are driven by in-group favouritism.

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The context of this research paper is Cardiff in the UK. Imams from five different mosques were interviewed about integration and whether mosque open days and community activities support community cohesion. The research shows that the imams and their respective mosques are open to others in the local community, and are making efforts to engage with the local population, government agencies, and public services. Clear efforts are being made to encourage community cohesion, with the imams keen to pass on the message of a shared humanity to the wider community. The research provides some unique insights that help to fill the gap in the academic literature on Muslim communities, and may be used to inform policymakers on ways of supporting mosques and local communities in developing intercultural relations and creating an environment that is conducive to community cohesion

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Addressing what queer conflict studies research looks like is the key work of this book. Envisioning a future for queer conflict studies that complicates and even transforms how conflict research is performed, what it examines, and what it means, the authors across this volume consider seriously the theory and practice of ‘queer conflict research’—particularly exploring ‘new approaches to the study of political violence’. These ‘new approaches’ consider how methods and methodology can be queered, and what that means for conversations between queer conflict research, feminist security studies, queer international relations, and critical work in security and transitional justice. It does so in three parts dealing with different dimensions of queer conflict research: queer approaches to conflict research, queer methods in the practice of conflict research, and addressing queer experiences of conflict research. Across these parts, this book provides key insights into what it looks like to do queer research in conflict studies, and what queer conflict research’s political and epistemological commitments might be. This conclusion looks at lessons learned across the book, and makes some observations about potential futures for queer conflict research.

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Research on the impacts of conflict and displacement on persons of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions and sex characteristics (SOGIESC) has grown over the course of the past years, and the Syrian Civil War has been one of the main case studies that has been studied in this respect. Alongside academic research, local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have played a key role in this, and all four of us authors have been involved closely with these processes. In an informal dialogue, we explore here some of the benefits and drawbacks, some of the achievements and frustrations of conducting this research with diverse SOGIESC people in Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey, as well as reflecting on doing advocacy and trying to make research meaningful to our research participants.

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As a queer, Muslim, Afghan asylum seeker, I was hesitant to return to my own community of Afghans and conduct an ethnographic study of their displacement journeys from Afghanistan and subsequent lives in exile in the US. Prior to embarking on my fieldwork, I asked myself: will they accept me as I am or do I have to hide parts of me? Will I be disrupting ethical terrains of research if I rely on secrecy? Once in the field, I came to realize that to some Afghans I was a piece of home; a displaced person, under state scrutiny just like them. To some, I reminded them of their cousin. They wanted to share a few cups of tea, flavoured with nostalgia for home. To others, my queer self was seen as a transgressor of Afghanness, failed at life and doomed in the afterlife, as they would say. How are identities and experiences of a researcher entangled with those of the researched? How do attachments to home and experiences of war and displacements trouble the ethical terrains in the field? This chapter explores these questions while advancing a diasporic feminist queer ethics of care.

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The rapid spread of conversational AI, as well as the potential for personal conversations with chatbots, makes it relevant to examine what norms and values underlie chatbot responses. This article examines the feeling rules for anger implicitly communicated by a recent chatbot (ChatGPT). Querying the chatbot about appropriate and inappropriate anger, the study shows how specific feeling rules are articulated by AI. The chatbot communicates norms of productive, respectful, constructive, controlled and calm expression of anger through talk and, as such, relies on communication as a pervasive cultural repertoire. Based on a rereading of economies of worth focusing on feeling rules, it is argued that different moral repertoires have implications for feeling rules. Using this theoretical framework to analyse the responses of the chatbot, it is evident that it primarily relies on both the industrial and the domestic orders of worth to assess anger. The chatbot articulates the problem of anger as unproductiveness and disrespect. The feeling rules implied in the responses of the chatbot reflect a neoliberal conception of self as individually responsible, productive, self-regulating, emotionally competent and able to find solutions. The seemingly neutral advice of the chatbot potentially depoliticises anger, disciplines people to remain productive and respectful and narrows the scope of anger expressions that are deemed acceptable.

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Feminist advocacy for ‘gender transformative’ approaches to development, public policy and humanitarian action that account for social norms has surged in recent years. This article intervenes in the debate around norms and implications for transformative approaches. We draw on a unique set of quantitative, global ‘gender data’ collected in 2020 and 2021 and examine how social norms inform women’s experiences of economic empowerment, as well as how these relationships map onto the current debates around interventions to address social norms and the form these interventions ought to take. Our data show that social norms matter for access to and control over resources; in addition, they illustrate that an individual belief in gender equality is fairly common around the world but that such individual beliefs frequently do not coincide with what people think their neighbours believe. These findings suggest a need for consideration of factors beyond individual attitudes towards and beliefs in gender-transformative interventions for women’s economic empowerment.

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This article analyses how regional actors and national authorities shape and transform ‘the region’ from a geographical place into an object of governance for organising and delivering older person care. Drawing on an extensive ethnographic research project in the Netherlands, our findings show that these actors in interaction constitute the region through three practices: consistently creating urgency to foreground regional problems and solutions; renegotiating regulatory policies to facilitate regional care provision; and reconstructing care infrastructures to materialise regional care provision. Actors use and obtain power from co-existing and interacting institutional arrangements to develop new regional care arrangements. This evokes new interdependencies that reconfigure existing governance arrangements. Studying governance objects in-the-making reveals the required iterations, reconsiderations, and adjustments as processes within a given (ambiguous) institutional context, and which lead to institutional change. As regional organisation policies are increasingly scrutinised, this article provides an interesting and important contribution to this field.

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There are multiple approaches to thinking through how scholars can conduct queer conflict research. Whether it is to queer conflict research—to disrupt and redefine existing methodological and epistemological frameworks of conflict research by drawing from queer theoretical propositions—or to engage with queer subjects during and after conflict as the focus of the research itself, the concept needs a degree of flexibility. As such, queering conflict research can extend beyond the study of LGBTIQ+ people’s experiences of political violence during conflict. Indeed, the difficulty behind this volume, as well as its strength, is the breadth of approaches that can be classified as ‘queer’. Rather than making a definitive claim about what queer conflict research is/is not, thus policing its boundaries, we aim to illuminate why queer conflict research matters. Queer scholars in this volume each take a stance on ‘the queer’ of their work and, in doing so, they ask how their positionality matters in queer conflict research. In this introduction, we detail how this volume brings together a series of different queer methodological approaches to address the epistemological (what), methodological (how), and ethical (why) issues of queer scholarship in studies on conflict and political violence.

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