WISERD Civil Society: Interpol (led by project 11438)

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Participants Organisations
  • Ian R. Jones (PI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Phillip D, Murphy (PI)Prifysgol Abertawe | Swansea University
  • Fiona O'Hanlon (PI)University of Edinburgh
  • Elin Royles (PI)Department of International Politics
  • Jon Anderson (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • David Blackaby (CoI)Prifysgol Abertawe | Swansea University
  • Alexander Bryson (CoI)University College London
  • Paul Chaney (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • A M Cole (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Rhys Davies (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Howard Davis (CoI)Prifysgol Bangor | Bangor University
  • Stephen Drinkwater (CoI)University of Roehampton
  • Martina Feilzer (CoI)Prifysgol Bangor | Bangor University
  • Alison Green (CoI)Open University
  • Jesse Heley (CoI)Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
  • Gary Higgs (CoI)Prifysgol De Cymru | University of South Wales
  • Martin Hyde (CoI)Prifysgol Abertawe | Swansea University
  • Nicholas Johns (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Rhys Jones (CoI)Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
  • Rhys Dafydd Jones (CoI)Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
  • Martin Jones (CoI)Staffordshire University
  • Melanie Jones (CoI)Prifysgol Abertawe | Swansea University
  • Mitchel Langford (CoI)Prifysgol De Cymru | University of South Wales
  • Robin Mann (CoI)Prifysgol Bangor | Bangor University
  • Susan McVie (CoI)University of Edinburgh
  • Paul Milbourne (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Kate Moles (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • S Orford (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Lindsay Paterson (CoI)University of Edinburgh
  • Sally A, Power (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Gareth Ress (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Gillian Roberts (CoI)Ulster University
  • Catherine Robinson (CoI)University of Kent
  • Christopher M. Taylor (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Andrew Thompson (CoI)Prifysgol De Cymru | University of South Wales
  • David Wincott (CoI)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Michael Woods (CoI)Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
  • Laura Jones (Researcher)Department of Geography and Earth Sciences
  • Ian Stafford (Researcher)Prifysgol Caerdydd | Cardiff University
  • Anita Staneva (Researcher)Prifysgol Abertawe | Swansea University


  • Economic and Social Research Council: £27,028.33

Funder Project Reference(s)

Effective start/end date01 Oct 201430 Sep 2019


This proposal is for a National Research Centre (WISERD/Civil Society) to undertake a five year programme of policy relevant research addressing Civil Society in Wales. Established in 2008, WISERD provides an 'All-Wales' focus for research and has had a major impact on the quantity and quality of social science research undertaken in Wales. As part of WISERD, WISERD/Civil Society will enable this work to be deepened and sustained through a focused research programme that further develops our research expertise, intensifies our policy impact and knowledge exchange work and strengthens our research capacity and career development activities. WISERD/Civil Society will therefore aim to develop key aspects of the multidisciplinary research initiated during the first phase of WISERD's work to produce new empirical evidence to inform our understanding of the changing nature of civil society in the context of devolved government and processes of profound social and economic change.

There are many disagreements over what civil society is and how it may be changing. We do know that over the last forty years there have been unprecedented changes in the spheres of economy and industry, politics and governance, social relations and individual life courses. How individuals in local contexts are affected by and respond to dramatic institutional changes is not well understood. An important gap in our knowledge is in describing and explaining the impact of social change on local forms of civil society and civil society organisations and what this means for social cohesion and well-being. In addition how different forms of civil society are developing in the context of multi-level and devolved government is not well understood. Because of its size and devolved government, Wales offers a unique context for studying these issues. Viewing Wales as a 'laboratory for social science' the proposed centre will build on existing networks of researchers who have a wide range of expertise and skills. Large survey data sets will be exploited and analysed and new data collected on civil society in Wales, the UK and Europe. Inter-disciplinarity and multi-method approaches applied to longitudinal and comparative data will be a key feature and strength of the WISERD/Civil Society research programme. Our research will be underpinned by three principles: (i) to maximise research impact, (ii) to become a centre of excellence for comparative, longitudinal, and relational research methods and (iii) to contribute to the growth of research capacity in Wales. We will also extend our research out from Wales to undertake comparative studies at different regional, national and international levels. In this way WISERD will make substantive and novel contributions to the advancement of social theory applied to researching contemporary civil society and to methodological approaches to describing and explaining patterns of civic participation in the context of devolution and multi-level governance. Substantive research will be applied to real and timely research problems conducted under four inter-related themes:

Locality, Community and Civil Society
Individuals, Institutions and Governance
Economic Austerity, Social Enterprise and Inequality
Generation, Life Course and Social Participation

Our aim will be to produce a wide range of outputs accessible to a variety of different audiences, including: academic papers; books; working papers; seminars; web based material; video and e-learning materials; as well as disseminating our work through a diversity of activities. Public awareness will be raised through events; activities; and exhibitions, designed to foster interest and encourage discussion and debate. WISERD/Civil Society will have a strong management structure, substantial institutional support, and close links with relevant organisations, and will provide substantive career development for new and early-career researchers and PhD students.