In spring 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, research projects funded by the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) were subjected to budget cuts. The cuts were the result of UK government’s decision to reduce its Official Development Assistance (ODA), which had devastating effects for humanitarian, development and research work. This article draws on focus group discussions with project teams working on three large GCRF-funded projects to explore the effects of these cuts. The article documents how the cuts curtailed project aspirations and impact, had a negative toll on the mental health of researchers, and imperilled the trusting relationships upon which international research collaborations are built. The article argues that the cuts expose the shallow commitments to research ethics and equitable partnerships of powerful actors in the UK research ecosystem, including research councils and government. In ‘doing harm’ via these cuts, the article explores the failure of research governance structures and the continued coloniality underpinning the UK’s approach to researching ‘global challenges’.
Following the 2008 global financial crisis, Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Labs) have become a common feature of the urban landscape in cities throughout Europe. An emerging body of literature suggests that Fab Labs go beyond providing access to digital fabrication tools, and function as ‘third places’ as they enhance social connectedness. Drawing on a case study of a Fab Lab in the English city of Coventry, this article utilises the concept of ‘austerity urbanism’ to understand the changing nature of third places in England since the 2008 global financial crash. In doing so, we argue that a confluence of austerity urbanism and digital advancements has influenced both the emergence of new third places (such as Fab Labs) while simultaneously undermining long-established third places (such as libraries). As a result, vital aspects of social infrastructure are being shaped and reshaped in the contemporary era. The article reflects on what these changes mean for individual and community well-being.
This article considers the degree to which achieving equity in Global North–South research partnerships is possible under current UK funding models. While there has been significant discussion with respect to the decolonisation of research, it will be argued that there is some distance between the language of equity articulated currently by UK funding bodies, and the realities of working as a project partner in the Global South. The article draws on the prior and ongoing experiences of a multidisciplinary team of researchers brought together by a UK-funded research project. In the interests of moving towards more equitable systems of knowledge production and dissemination, it explores the power asymmetries that can be inherent in Global North–South research partnerships, and the extent to which issues of coloniality continue to shape aspects of research agenda setting, project framing, impact, academic publishing and the division of labour within partnerships.
Discussions of method, methodology and epistemology play an important role in the study of gender and politics. Contributing to this conversation, this article documents both gender and politics scholars’ use of quantitative methods and also quantitative methods scholars’ relationship with gender and politics research. Analysing work published in Politics & Gender, the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy and Politics, Groups, and Identities, we show that gender and politics scholars have been more than capable and willing to use quantitative methods. In contrast, our examination of articles published in Political Analysis suggests that the methods community does not typically engage with gender and politics scholarship. This is problematic because the insights provided by gender and politics research could help spur innovations in political methodology. We thus end with a call for greater collaboration between gender and politics scholars and quantitative methodologists.
Surveys have found a persistent gender gap in political knowledge, with women knowing less about politics than men. This article tests the explanations for the gap using surveys collected in Australia between 2001 and 2016. The results show that the gender gap in knowledge was stable between 2001 and 2007, but declined significantly in 2010, and returning to trend in 2013 and 2016. The decline in 2010 is largely accounted for by the election of Australia’s first female prime minister, Julia Gillard, which resulted in women displaying greater media attentiveness. The results confirm other research suggesting that enhanced descriptive representation of women may help to close the gender gap in political knowledge.
This article investigates gender differences in participation at the citizen assembly of Glarus, Switzerland. We use original survey data collected among 800 citizens. We find significant gender gaps both for attending and holding a speech at the assembly. Lower female attendance is particularly pronounced among older cohorts and can largely be explained by gender differences in political interest, knowledge and efficacy. In contrast, the gender gap in speaking is substantial regardless of age and cannot be reduced to factors that typically shape participation. Hence, gender differences are disappearing in voting but persist in more public, interactive forms of political engagement.
In recent years, more out-of-the-closet lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer individuals have entered parliaments. Their visibility raises the question of how they imagine that their non-heteronormative sexuality interferes with their mandate of political representation. Based on interviews with 20 out of the 25 openly lesbian, gay and bisexual legislators in Canada in 2017, this article shows that they do imagine numerous ways in which being out of the closet empowers their role of representation. Without a doubt, being proudly visible is an asset for lesbian, gay and bisexual legislators.
This study examines the representation of women Members of Parliament on parliamentary committees in the German Bundestag since 1990. In line with theories on the social construction of gender, our descriptive analyses show that women Members of Parliament tend to be over-represented on committees handling issues such as health and family, and under-represented on committees handling issues such as foreign and legal affairs and defence. However, party differences in the over- and under-representation of women on certain committees occur. Gender segregation is strongest within the conservative parties, which also tend to have the lowest proportion of women, and weakest within the left-wing parties.
This article investigates linguistic traces of changing trends in the substantive representation of women, as well as broader representational claims related to constituencies, via an analysis of all backbench questions posed during Prime Minister’s Questions in the UK House of Commons during 1979–2010. We investigate the impact of sharp increases in female MPs, in particular, left-wing female MPs, and the presence of a left-wing government on MPs’ talk about women and about constituencies. We find no evidence of curvilinear trends in talk about women related to changes in government and female parliamentary presence. We also find that female MPs can be considered critical actors with regard to constituency talk.