Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1,500 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Gender Pay Inequity and Britain’s Finance Sector
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The gender pay gap is economically irrational and yet stubbornly persistent.

Focusing on the UK finance industry which is known for its gender pay disparity, this book explores the initiatives to fix gendered inequities in the workplace. Rachel Verdin crafts a unique framework, weaving extensive organizational data with women's lived experiences. Interviews uncover gaps in pay transparency, obstacles hindering workplace policies and the factors that are stalling progress for the future.

This is an invaluable resource that offers key insights into gender equality and EDI measures shaped by legal regulations as well as corporate-driven initiatives.

Open access
Feminist Technoscience, Biopolitics and Security
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In recent years, security actors have become increasingly concerned with health issues. This book reveals how understandings of race, sexuality and gender are produced/reproduced through healthcare policy.

Analysing the plasma of paid Mexicana/o donors in the US, airport vomit in Ebola epidemics, and the semen of soldiers with genitourinary injuries, this book shows how security practices focus upon governing bodily fluids.

Using a variety of critical scholarship – feminist technoscience, queer studies and critical race studies – this book uses fluids to reveal unequal distributions of life and death.

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This second chapter in the three-part stream of qualitative analysis examines the career paths of the women interviewed. Women working in various parts of the finance sector reflected on the myriad of factors impacting their decision making and the challenge of reconciling work and family life. This assessment reinforces how gender identities, derived from both the workplace and the home, impede efforts to reduce existing inequalities. The value ascribed to typified female characteristics, gendered networking environments and the reproduction of existing power structures help to contextualize ongoing gender pay inequities. The interview data is then assessed according to the architectures model. The shifting resonance of economic and sociological explanations for the gender pay gap helps underline the perpetual dynamism in the architectures model.

Open access
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The final chapter of the book returns to feminist technoscience studies (FTS), to consider the unique contributions FTS has for thinking about biopolitics. The chapter outlines two key contributions from FTS to the study of biopolitics. Firstly, the chapter argues that biopolitical governance is at work in everyday and mundane spaces. Secondly, FTS shows us that the ‘bios’ of biopolitics should not be considered universal human matter; instead, it is always already racialized/sexed/gendered. The chapter finishes by considering the significance of bodily fluids for studying future emergent health issues, and offers a sketch of how bodily fluids may be able to help illuminate the politics of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.

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Conclusions are drawn in Chapter 8 concerning: how the pay gap is experienced; what awareness employees have of the legislative entitlements afforded to them; and the interrelationship of factors impacting on this decades old problem. Application of the architectures model to the wicked problem of the gender pay gap helps highlight the effectiveness and limitations of legislation and organizational approaches to gender pay inequity. Two key findings are presented from this examination. First, the utility of this approach reveals how common blind spots, such as the thorny issues of transparency and accountability, remain central to the persistence of the gap. Second, the dynamism in the architectures of inequality model demonstrates how the impediments to alleviating the gap are in constant flux, exerting continual pressures on any potential progress. By observing these interactions and paying close attention to the data, best practice can be identified. Within this model, the slow movement of legislative development suggests eradicating the gender pay gap is an elusive legal ambition; at the same time, the organizational dimension currently offers the most likely potential for traction.

Open access
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The Gender Pay Reporting Regulations, introduced in 2017, mark an improved approach to transparency in Britain’s evolving legal framework. This chapter examines the first six years of largely untapped quantitative data for a sample of finance sector firms, given the particularly high pay gaps therein. We see how institutional and organizational frameworks are discreet and yet interact, revealing the strength of architectural foundations. This serves as a critique of the Regulations and the limited potential afforded by increased institutional and organizational focus on the problem. Assessment of accompanying narratives demonstrates notable areas of contestation within this interaction. This shows how a lack of transparency and preference for voluntarist approaches to governance combine to keep inequalities hidden in plain sight. This helps illustrate how organizational HRM trends impact at the meso level, contributing to the stalling of progress.

Open access
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Chapter 6 discusses the book’s methodology of ‘following the fluid’. The chapter narrates a chronological story of the book’s research methodology, beginning with a story of failure and difficulty in the project’s early stages. The chapter explores how a queerfeminist gut sense was vital in building a ‘fluid method/ology’; a method/ology that is focused on experimentation, change, and acknowledges contradictions and messiness. Finally, the chapter outlines the practice of ‘following the fluid’ that informs this book. The chapter shows how following a fluid requires us to understand fluids as agential actors within international politics, which can help us map the points of connection and rupture between security assemblages.

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This chapter sets the scene for the book and introduces the book’s main research question; how are bodily fluids made to matter within the governance of international politics? The introduction then situates itself in relation to security studies, arguing in favour prioritizing terminology for queer and feminist literatures over binaries of secure/insecure. The chapter then outlines and defines the guiding research principle of a queerfeminist curiosity; the conjoining of a feminist curiosity with queer logics of both/and. The chapter then outlines how the book proceeds, and gives a brief description of the book’s methodology, which is discussed at greater length in Chapter 6.

Full Access
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Progress towards eradicating Britain’s gender pay gap is slow and stalled. This chapter introduces the moral, legal and economic imperatives for resolving the problem, and outlines the research questions addressed in this volume. The finance sector is proposed as a relevant and apposite case study within which to examine the first six years of gender pay reporting data. The different explanatory perspectives on gender pay inequity are outlined and used to construct the architectures of inequality model. As a new conceptual tool, this model provides the groundwork for later chapters to develop. This demonstrates how while legal and organizational reforms are continuously built upon, underlying foundational principles reinforce inequality. This analysis helps shed light on the contradictions of transparency that surround this decades old problem, insulating it from change.

Open access
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This chapter follows plasma through practices of paid plasma donation at the US–Mexico border. The chapter analyses how racializing/racialized modes of life–death are produced through donation assemblages. The chapter situates plasma donation with the borderlands, showing that the global plasma economy relies heavily upon Mexicana/o donors who cross the border to donate in return for financial compensation. The chapter argues that there are two simultaneous representations of Mexicana/o donors; firstly, as sources of ‘life’ for others; secondly, as sources of threat through the rhetoric of infectious disease. The chapter shows that both these representations rely upon racialized hierarchies of life, death and value. Finally, it is argued that plasma donation challenges binaries of life and death by drawing our attention to the distribution of racialized modes of living.

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