Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Approaches

Academic knowledge practices are evolving and transforming as traditional approaches are viewed as no longer serving academia or society well. New collaborations and ways of working have emerged, and it is accepted that global social challenges can only be solved using an interdisciplinary approach and through partnerships with experts of all kinds beyond academia.

Interdisciplinary approaches can be found in our Bristol Studies in International Theory series, Global Migration and Social Change series, both the Global Discourse journal and the Global Social Challenges Journal, and increasingly across the scope of Bristol University Press and Policy Press publishing.

Bristol University Press and Policy Press are signed up to the UN SDG Publishers Compact.

Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Approaches

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Lessons from a Time of Crisis

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

This collection scrutinizes the methodological and ethical challenges that researchers face when working with and for Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities in the context of global crises.

Contributors assess the impact of the pandemic on their engaged research, evaluating novel methods and technologies. They reveal how current research practice blurs the borders between activism and scholarship, and they argue the need for innovative collaborations with local communities.

Showcasing emerging aspects of GRT-related scholarship, this book makes a key contribution to larger debates on the positionality of researchers and the politics of research, and affirms the continued value of rigorous ethnography.

Open access
Ethical Perspectives

EPUB and EPDF available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

We tend to hold people responsible for their choices, but not for what they can’t control: their nature, genes or biological makeup.

This thought-provoking collection redefines the boundaries of moral responsibility. It shows how epigenetics reveals connections between our genetic make-up and our environment. The essays challenge established notions of human nature and the nature/nurture divide and suggest a shift in focus from individual to collective responsibility.

Uncovering the links between our genetic makeup, environment and experiences, this is an important contribution to ongoing debates on ethics, genetics and responsibility.

Open access

Death studies typically focus on the death of humans, overlooking the wider factors involved in social and natural processes around death.

This edited volume provides an alternative focus for death studies by looking beyond human death, to reveal the complex interconnections among human and more than human creatures, entities and environments.

Bringing together a diverse range of international scholars, the book sheds light on topics which have previously remained at the margins of contemporary death studies and death care cultures.

Organised around three themes – Knowledge and Mediation, Care and Remembrance, and Agency and Power – this book pushes the boundaries of death studies to explore death and dying from beyond the perspective of a nature/culture binary.

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Navigating the Spaces Where Therapy, Education, Art, and Science Connect
Author:

Increasing numbers of researchers are using arts-based, embodied or creative methods. They promote rapport and connection, facilitating research that reaches beyond surface understanding to expose authentic stories and hidden, richer truths. Whilst powerful, these methods can have unintended consequences and the potential for harm.

Drawing on case studies and lessons learned from programmes and work across research, therapy, education, art and science, this engaging book explores and demonstrates the porous borders of research.

It invites researchers to reflect and consider the boundaries and consequences of their work in order to deepen and widen its applicability and impact across science, art, education and therapy.

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This article contributes to debates on international collaborations by examining contradictions between the decolonial turn and the UK’s Global Challenges Research Fund which imposed Global North leadership on Global South partners. Through the lenses of compromise and complicity, the article explores how collaborators strive to work together equitably within the constraints of a UK government Official Development Assistance funding scheme. Drawing on focus group discussions with members of a research team, the article traces, first, their engagement with political and institutional constraints and, second, their articulation of collaborative compromise and productive complicity. The article foregrounds the generative potential of complicity as a productive concept that can help partners to navigate the challenges of interdependence and partnership entailed in North–South, South–South, cross-sector and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Open access

In this article we identify the ways in which Leon Trotsky’s ideas constitute a powerful resource to understand the contemporary crisis of international relations and its historical roots in the 20th century. Trotsky’s concept of uneven and combined development has already been highlighted as a signal contribution by an established scholarship in and around the discipline of International Relations. While this is a welcome development, we contend that it has come at a significant cost, detaching Trotsky’s theoretical insights from his revolutionary politics. We employ a different mode of engagement with Trotsky’s ideas, focusing on the theory of Permanent Revolution as an expression of an original analysis of the dialectic between the national and the international. Far from being a theoretically detachable and politically erroneous appendage to the more fundamental and applicable concept of uneven and combined development, we argue that Permanent Revolution constitutes its necessary culmination, as well as Trotsky’s most significant contribution to classical Marxism. We then elucidate how, writing in the first half of the 20th century and applying his theory of Permanent Revolution, Trotsky was able to diagnose certain essential lines of political development – the rise and ongoing breakdown of American hegemony, the political degeneration and collapse of the Soviet Union, and the emergence and failure of the postcolonial independent nation states – tracing the long and crisis-ridden trajectory of international relations from the second half of the 20th century down to today.

Open access
Critical Perspectives on the Promise of Stories

At a time of contested realities and a renewed focus on the power of personal stories, narrative research is as relevant as ever. But while it has been praised for ‘giving voice’ to individuals and highlighting how they make sense of the social world, critics are starting to question which voices are being heard, or allowed to speak, and which experiences are made to count.

Supported by the editors’ popular podcast Narrative Now, this interdisciplinary volume addresses timely concerns about representation, power, voice, and the ethics of storytelling.

Contributors explore the capacities and limitations of narrative research, and map out new directions for the field while honouring its legacy.

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The 2021 UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) awakened the world to the critical need for food systems transformation. Several commitments were made during the summit, with the UN Secretary-General reiterating the need to support national mechanisms that develop and implement national pathways to 2030 that are inclusive and consistent with countries’ climate commitments, building upon the national food systems dialogues. Much of the discussion in the post-summit era has mostly been high level and focused on how countries can be supported to transform pathways into strategies and to design and operationalise investment plans aimed at fostering sustainable and inclusive food systems transformation. However, what has been missing in these discussions is what the envisaged transformation means for the smallholder farmer, and what it takes for smallholder farmers to embrace the transformative agenda and transition to more sustainable methods of production. In this article, reference is made to two of the Five Action Tracks, namely Action Track 3 (boost nature-based solutions) and Action Track 5 (build resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses), whose central themes are anchored around resilience and sustainability. The paper discusses the underpinnings of nature-positive production systems and explores how these systems interface with smallholder farmers’ circumstances and production goals, and how this might affect implementation of the envisaged practices at the farm level. The central argument in this article is that discussions around food systems transformation must include the smallholder farmers, their lived experiences, socio-economic circumstances, aspirations and production goals.

Open access
The Use and Supply of Image and Performance Enhancing Drugs
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The health and fitness industry has experienced a meteoric rise over the past two decades, yet its slick exterior conceals a darker side. Using ethnographic data from gyms, interviews, and social media platforms, this book investigates the growing consumption of image and performance enhancing drugs (IPEDs), the motivations behind their use, and their role in masculine body image.

Addressing a gap in the literature, Nick Gibbs also interrogates both the offline and digital drug supply chains with important insights for IPED harm reduction practitioners, law makers and policy advisors.

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Science and Technology Studies and Health Praxis
Editor:

From health tracking to diet apps to biohacking, technology is changing how we relate to our material, embodied selves.

Drawing from a range of disciplines and case studies, this volume looks at what makes these health and genetic technologies unique and explores the representation, communication and internalization of health knowledge.

Showcasing how power and inequality are reflected and reproduced by these technologies, discourses and practices, this book will be a go-to resource for scholars in science and technology studies as well as those who study the intersection of race, gender, socio-economic status, sexuality and health.

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