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  • Author or Editor: Nasar Meer x
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This paper examines the adoption of EC directives derived from Article 13 of the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam. It argues that these directives are party to important changes in established legal responses to racial and religious anti-discrimination in Britain. It maps the interaction of specific British approaches and generic European Commission directives, and assesses what broader implications these directives may be tied to politically, as well as legally, with respect to human rights discourses, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, and a Single Equalities Act. The article also reflects on whether Britain's approaches are being ‘Europeanised’.

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This chapter asks what the pressing racial inequalities are in contemporary British society and to what extent is social policy as a discipline equipped to analyse and respond to these. It provides an overview of some contemporary outcomes in the key areas of labour market participation, education, and criminal justice, summarising some prevailing features and patterns, before going on to explore in more detail whether social solicy as it is presently configured, focusing as it does on the concern with a redistributive notion of equality, is sufficiently well placed to grasp these. The chapter then develops a fascinating argument based on the observation of the need to fully incorporate an account of institutional racism and ‘everyday bordering’, as well as a critical understanding of the so-called ‘progressives dilemma’ set out by David Goodhart. The history of social policy as a disciplinary practice may stymie the kinds of foci that are needed. This analysis demands a recognition that mainstream social policy inquiry is parochial, but also that the object of inquiry is shaped by historical racism.

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Controversies, Consequences and Challenges

Measuring research impact and engagement is a much debated topic in the UK and internationally. This book is the first to provide a critical review of the research impact agenda, situating it within international efforts to improve research utilisation. Using empirical data, it discusses research impact tools and processes for key groups such as academics, research funders, ‘knowledge brokers’ and research users, and considers the challenges and consequences of incentivising and rewarding particular articulations of research impact.

It draws on wide ranging qualitative data, combined with theories about the science-policy interplay and audit regimes to suggest ways to improve research impact.

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This chapter builds on the debates presented in chapters 1 and 2, providing a more in-depth assessment of critiques of the research impact agenda. This includes concerns expressed in the Stern review and debates regarding the possibility of applying ‘metrics’ to impact. It then considers how the impact agenda has been defended and amended in the context of these critiques.

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This chapter widens the focus of the book to explore whether there appear to be any disciplinary patterns amongst perspectives on, and experiences of, research impact in UK academia. This chapter includes an analysis of whether published perspectives on the impact agenda appear to vary by discipline (as predicted by Nowotny et al, 2001), informed by new focus group and interview data conducted for this book.

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This chapter considers how the concept of ‘research impact’ has been developed and articulated with respect to two, potentially very different audiences: policymakers and the broader public. This chapter includes an analysis of recent REF (Research Excellence Framework) and research funder guidance, statements and opportunities relating to these two groups. This chapter also draws on interview data with a range of research funders

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This chapter uses six in-depth interviews with high profile academics in a range of countries that have an interest in the notion of research impact: Australia, Canada, the UK and the US. Three of our interviewees are what we term ‘public intellectuals’, while the other three, each of whom works at the intersection of research and policy, we term ‘academic interlocutors’. These perspectives allow us to consider how academics working within and beyond the UK, with some contrasting views about external engagement, view notions of ‘public intellectualism’, ‘relevance’ and ‘impact’.

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This chapter focuses on academics working in university-based groups that have been charged with, and funded to achieve, knowledge translation and research impact. These are, we suggest, academics working at the vanguard of the impact agenda, who we might consider as experimental subjects from whom we can learn. This chapter includes a summary of the types of knowledge brokerage roles and organisations that have been created in the UK and the perceived and stated rationales for these new roles and organisations, and an analysis of interview data providing insights into the perspectives of academics working within two such groups.

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This chapter takes a more historical approach, using public health as a case study to explore how views of efforts to stimulate and reward research impact have changed over time. To achieve this, the chapter compares the views of academics interviewed in 2003-2007, the run up to the RAE in 2008, just before the emergence of ‘research impact’, with the views of academics working in the same field in 2011-2015, who experienced REF2014 and the first attempt to assess impact case studies.

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In this chapter we turn our attention to those charged with the task of judging the 'reach' and 'significance' of impact claimed by academic researchers in narrative case studies in REF2014. Knowledge pertaining to how the societal and economic impact of scientific research is evaluated is sparse. This is especially true in the context of the UK's national system of research assessment, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), in light of the confidentiality and rules of non-disclosure enforced by Research England and the UK Research & Innovation (previously the Higher Education Funding Council for England - HEFCE).

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