Author: Taster

Book Review: Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist by Alexander Zevin

In Liberalism at Large: The World According to the Economist, Alexander Zevin traces the 177-year history of the Economist newspaper, positioning the Economist not only as a lens for understanding reinterpretations of liberalism across different eras, but also as an active participant in influencing policy and public debate. This is a rigorous and meticulously researched … Continued

Book Review: Decolonizing Universalism: A Transnational Feminist Ethic by Serene J. Khader

In Decolonizing Universalism: A Transnational Feminist Ethic, Serene J. Khader unpacks mainstream feminist approaches to women in the Global South – or ‘missionary feminism’ – to shed light on how to do anti-imperialist feminism in specific contexts through a notion of nonideal universalism. This is a timely interrogation and rejection of imperialist frameworks that maintain a distinction between ‘the West’ … Continued

Writing for edited collections represents a model for a creative academic community unfairly rejected by the modern academy

Edited collections, are one of the most disparaged forms of academic writing, often written off as low quality, or a poor career choice. In contrast, Peter Webster argues for the unique benefit of edited collections, as a creative form of collective academic endeavour that does not sit easily within an academy that is averse to … Continued

For China’s ambitious research reforms to be successful, they will need to be supported by new research assessment infrastructures

The Chinese government recently announced that research assessment in China should no longer be predominantly focused on metrics, Web of Science based indicators and what has become known as ‘SCI worship’. In this post Lin Zhang and Gunnar Sivertsen discuss how China’s new research policy might be implemented and the parallels it has to recent attempts to reform … Continued

Organisational change is a challenge uniquely suited to the insights of social science

The organisational cultures of businesses and institutions of all kinds have massive implications for society, from day-to-day working conditions, to the impact organisations have on the environment and the economy. In this post, Andrew Day, presents evidence from a recent study into cultural change initiatives and argues that a social perspective of organisations as being, … Continued

The re-use of qualitative data is an under-appreciated field for innovation and the creation of new knowledge in the social sciences

The value and potential of data re-use and the associated methodology of qualitative secondary analysis (QSA) is often overlooked. Dr Anna Tarrant and Dr Kahryn Hughes propose, that as COVID-19 limits opportunities for qualitative research for the foreseeable future, now, more than ever the social sciences need to address the under-use of existing qualitative data. … Continued

Book Review: Muddied Waters: The Fictionalisation of Ethnographic Film by Toni de Bromhead

In Muddied Waters: The Fictionalisation of Ethnographic Film, Toni de Bromhead examines twelve documentary films about southern Italy to argue for a definition of ethnographic filmmaking as the ‘responsible and reliable’ gathering of footage through the avoidance of over-aestheticisation and other experimental aspects. While the book is of considerable disciplinary relevance and offers detailed and thought-provoking interrogations … Continued

Despite concerns, COVID-19 shows how social media has become an essential tool in the democratisation of knowledge

Social media has played a significant role in mediating the communication of information about COVID-19, although coverage of social media is more often than not negative. In this post, Ronnie Das and Wasim Ahmed, highlight some of the ways in which social media has become essential to societal responses to the crisis and how social … Continued

Three simple questions to re-define higher education

The purpose and future of universities, higher education and research has been subject to ceaseless debate, often focused on complex issues of the bureaucratic structure of universities and their relationship to the state. Matt Rosen argues that by returning to three basic questions about higher education – What should the end or aim of education … Continued

Book Review: Creativity in Research: Cultivate Clarity, Be Innovative and Make Progress in your Research Journey by Nicola Ulibarri et al

In Creativity in Research: Cultivate Clarity, Be Innovative and Make Progress in your Research Journey, Nicola Ulibarri et al emphasise the invaluable role of creativity for the academic researcher, focusing on the processes and contexts of research in order to help academics foster innovation and imagination in their practices. The book will be useful to … Continued