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Background:

Discourse surrounding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) has received significant attention within the UK academy and knowledge brokerage contexts, and more recently within academic–policy engagement spaces (Walker et al, 2019a; Fawcett, 2021; GOV.UK, 2021; Morris et al, 2021). Key players in this space identify the need for diversifying academic participation, as well as diversifying knowledges (GOV.UK, 2021; UK Parliament, 2018; UKRI, 2023). However, conceptual and practical insight on embedding EDI principles (and what they mean in this context) within academic–policy engagement processes is missing.

Aims and objectives:

Underpinned by feminist and decolonial epistemological concepts, this article addresses this gap by outlining strategies, and surfacing ways in which EDI within academic–policy engagement is experienced, conceptualised, understood and considered.

Methods:

Two parallel qualitative studies, with a total of 20 semi-structured narrative and realist interviews conducted with marginalised researchers (n=10, Study A) and university based knowledge brokers (n=10, Study B), and a rapid literature review. The analysis used a narrative and thematic framework.

Findings and discussion:

We found a want for EDI to go beyond just diversity of people and representation, towards fostering foundational principles of epistemic justice, equitable access, value-driven engagement and plurality. Academics and knowledge brokers reported both negative and positive experiences within this space that related to known EDI issues. We conclude that EDI cannot be standardised across higher education contexts, and emphasise the need for holistic, relational and plural approaches to EDI across academic–policy engagement systems through a value-led, equitable and ethical lens.

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Deliberative mini-publics are forums for citizen deliberation composed of randomly selected citizens convened to yield policy recommendations. These forums have proliferated in recent years but there are no generally accepted standards to govern their practice. Should there be? We answer this question by bringing the scholarly literature on citizen deliberation into dialogue with the lived experience of the people who study, design and implement mini-publics. We use Q methodology to locate five distinct perspectives on the integrity of mini-publics, and map the structure of agreement and dispute across them. We find that, across the five viewpoints, there is emerging consensus as well as divergence on integrity issues, with disagreement over what might be gained or lost by adapting common standards of practice, and possible sources of integrity risks. This article provides an empirical foundation for further discussion on integrity standards in the future.

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This article examines the practice of fraudulent informal loans given to vulnerable groups in Mexico, and connects these malpractices to the structural (re)production of poverty. The scams resolve around fake credit companies offering loans to people in need on the condition that they pay a deposit, after which contact is broken. After locating scams within broader discussions on vulnerability, poverty and credit, an empirical study is presented based on 35 interviews with victims. Results are presented regarding the reasons why people fall in these traps, how they are cause and consequence of vulnerability, and the difficulties of prosecution. The conclusions reflect on the role of such traps within the production of poverty, the relative invisibility of these crimes, and the topic of legal protection and prosecution.

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This research explores the influence of discourse power on policy change in the Mexican electricity sector, using the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF). Drawing on Discourse Network Analysis, it examines the discursive dynamics and power relations between competing advocacy coalitions from 1994 to 2018. This 24-year period encompasses three significant reform proposals that aimed to liberalise Mexico’s electricity generation sector, representing major potential policy changes. Specifically, the study tests the second policy change hypothesis proposed by the ACF, which suggests that major policy change is unlikely as long as the advocacy coalition defending the status quo remains in power. To operationalise the notion of which coalition is in power, the study employs Discourse Network Analysis to examine the discursive power of each coalition. This allows an exploration of how the interplay between coalition discursive power and the extent of belief differences shape policy outcomes. The findings align with the ACF’s second hypothesis on policy change. They also suggest the potential for enhancing the ACF by incorporating a nuanced understanding of the multiple dimensions of power, with a particular emphasis on the discursive influence of advocacy coalitions.

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Small minority group organisations rarely collaborate with other nonprofits owing to a lack of expertise and resources. Third-party facilitators can help these groups navigate the process of collaboration. However, the literature has largely ignored their role in the process. We address this gap by studying the challenges third-party facilitators face in the collaboration process and best practices they can apply using the Community Collaboration Initiative (CCI), a unique third-party-facilitated collaboration process working with Muslim American nonprofits.

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This article presents a new system for classifying UK charities’ activities according to their charitable purposes. It also outlines our attempts to use keyword search rules to apply these classifications to the various UK charity registers. The classification results and code, which are made freely available online, help to address the limitations of existing classification schemes in the UK context. Depending on the scheme, these include a lack of detail and coverage of important subsectors, a lack of systematic data collection and limits on the number of classifications per charity. We discuss the pros and cons of different approaches and show that the keyword searching method provides a sufficiently accurate and transparent approach. We also present some preliminary results on how commonly each ‘tag’ is matched against UK charities, as well as exploring how the results compare to existing classifications in the register of charities for England and Wales.

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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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This practice paper reflects on the experience of delivering leadership development for the voluntary sector through open-access online learning. We outline key elements of learning design and explore the potential and challenges of widening access to leadership development through this form of learning. We note the importance of aligning the conceptualisation of the leadership approach to learning and the principles of open access. The paper ends by offering insights for leadership development practitioners.

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Previous studies have shown that America generally has a low level of support for redistribution, in large part due to racial prejudice, particularly toward the poor. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has increased public attention to low-income workers’ essential roles in society. Has this increased attention to low-income workers promote public support for redistribution? This article examines how priming about low-income workers’ (1) essential roles and (2) race, shaped individuals’ redistributive preferences. Our findings demonstrate that an emphasis on essential workers increased appreciation of their contribution to society and support for pandemic-related benefits for these workers. However, it did not increase support for redistribution or welfare programmes in general. In addition, while we found negative effects of a Latino cue, particularly among white respondents, this effect weakened when information about workers’ work ethics and other attributes was provided. Our findings have implications for understanding public support of redistribution and communicating government social welfare programmes.

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