I am interested in the politics of policy-making and the ‘gap’ between formal roles and informal practices in policy-making. More specifically, I’m interested in the following areas at the moment:
- The public governance and administration of culture
- Policy learning and transfer
- New institutionalism
- European Union politics and institutions
- The use of observation in studying policy-making
- Broadcasting policy and regulation
- Academic labour
My PhD research examined the process and outcomes of policy coordination in the governance of a limited but politically charged competence in the European Union: culture. It looked at the Open Method of Coordination (OMC) working groups associated with the Council of the European Union’s 2011-2014 Work Plan for Culture and used Priority A’s (cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue, and accessible and inclusive culture) groups as case studies. I studied both how the OMC works as well as what outcomes it produces.
I approached my research from the theoretical perspective of sociological new institutionalism and also drew on insights from the literatures on policy learning and multi-level governance. I used a combination of research methods, including document analysis, semi-structured interviews with key actors, and participant observation.
My findings make contributions to several multi-disciplinary areas of academic research. They add most directly to the literatures on EU cultural policy, specifically on the processes and outcomes of policy coordination in the field, and contribute a new sectoral case study to the existing literature on the OMC. They also make broader contributions to the study of cultural policy (in particular cultural policy approached from a political science/public policy perspective), policy learning, and European governance and integration.
1) Television broadcasting regulation
Alongside my PhD research I have been developing a longstanding interest of mine, the politics of television broadcasting regulation and policy. Most of my experience in this field is in the Canadian context: I worked as a broadcasting and regulatory affairs researcher for a Canadian television and film production company on-and-off for several years. I also completed my Masters dissertation on the impact of Canadian content regulations on Canadian film and television production. I currently have two papers in progress on different aspects of broadcasting regulation, one to do with regulatory independence and one on changes in Canadian cultural policy more broadly.
2) Academic labour (particularly ECR academic labour)
With my friend and colleague Shardia Briscoe-Palmer of the University of Birmingham, I undertook, in late 2015, a small project on equality and diversity in doctoral study in the discipline of political studies in the UK. Our paper was published in European Political Science in December 2016. (See also my book review of The Slow Professor). In early 2018 we started a second, more expansive project looking at Early Career Academics. Results will be published in a forthcoming special issue of Political Studies Review.
Last updated 30.3.18