2017 Annual Report

Page 1

Independent Social Research Foundation


Annual Report

Independent Social Research Foundation


Annual Report

First published January 2018 Copyright © 2018 Independent Social Research Foundation

ABOUT THE ISRF The Independent Social Research Foundation (ISRF) is a public benefit foundation funded by a group of private philanthropists with interests in academia and social science, founded in 2008. It is dedicated to advancing the social sciences through the promotion of new modes of inquiry and the development of interdisciplinary expertise and methods, and through better understanding of social entities and processes. To achieve this objective it intends to provide a series of research grants, enter into partnerships with academic institutions and support research activities that promote development in its field. ACADEMIC BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES There is an increasing recognition — both within and outside academic organisations — that the most pressing social and research challenges are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research. There is evidence of this in universities, key funding bodies and the users of social science research. This is particularly true of fundamental questions in the social sciences: How do societies evolve? Why does hunger persist? How do people make decisions? What are the causes of war? These questions are inherently complex and call for diverse insights. A particular challenge created by this complexity is the need to understand the implicit content of the models employed in social science and to ensure that it is appropriate for social analysis. The ISRF believes that interdisciplinary research — understood here as not just the simple combination of traditional approaches, but the conversation between established disciplines and the introduction of new modes of inquiry — is critical for the advancement of new knowledge and for solving contemporary theoretical and practical problems. 3

ISRF ACADEMIC ADVISORY BOARD Olivier Favereau - Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Paris Ouest (Until 30th September 2017)

Elizabeth Frazer - Associate Professor of Politics, University of Oxford

Kostas Gavroglu - Professor of History of Science, University of Athens

Andrew Graham - Former Master of Balliol College, University of Oxford (Until 30th September 2017)

William H. Sewell Jr. - Emeritus Professor of Political Science and History, University of Chicago

Charles Stewart - Professor of Anthropology, University College London

Marilyn Strathern - Formerly William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University



2017 ANNUAL REPORT ISRF GRANTS COMPETITIONS POLITICAL ECONOMY RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS In August 2016, the ISRF launched its first Political Economy Research Fellowship competition. Having received a number of strong proposals, the Selection Panel met in February 2017, and voted to make five awards. The recipients were: Dr Jurgen De Wispelaere (Independent Scholar) - Varieties of Basic Income: The Political Economy of Universalism in European Welfare States Dr David Elder-Vass (Loughborough Constructing Financial Value



Dr Emanuele Lobina (University of Greenwich) - Reorienting Industrial Organisation Theory: From Necessary to Possible Outcomes Professor Keir Martin (University of Oslo) & Professor Adam Leaver (University of Manchester) - A Theory Of The Financialized Firm Dr Gábor Scheiring (University of Cambridge) - The Political Economy of the Rise of Illiberalism in Post-Socialist Central Europe market reforms

EARLY CAREER FELLOWSHIPS In January 2017, the ISRF launched its fourth Early Career Fellowship competition. Having received a number of strong


proposals, the Selection Panel met in July 2017, and voted to make six awards. The recipients were: Dr Matthew Burch (University of Essex) - The Theory of Risk and the Practice of Care: Bridging the Gap Dr Catherine Charrett (Queen Mary, University of London) - Performing Technologies in EU, Israeli and Palestinian Security Cooperation Dr Beverley Clough (University of Leeds) - The Spaces of Mental Capacity Law: Moving Beyond Binaries Dr Julien-François Gerber (Erasmus University Rotterdam) - When Economic Expansion Transgresses All Limits: Indebtedness and Extractivism as Two Major Causes of Social Unrest in the Coming Decade Dr Jill Gibbon (Leeds Beckett University) - The Etiquette of the Arms Trade Dr Jessie Hohmann (Queen Mary, University of London) Objects of International Law

INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR FELLOWSHIPS In July 2017, the ISRF launched its fourth Independent Scholar Fellowship competition. Having received a number of strong proposals, the Selection Panel met in December 2017, and voted to make two awards. The recipients were: Dr Greg Constantine - A Visual Archaeology of Genocide and Slow Violence in Myanmar Dr Athena Hadji - Graffiti and street art as a phenomenon and consequence of urban crisis: the case of Athens 6


Dr Alexander Stingl bioeconomy?

- What and whose justice in the

FLEXIBLE GRANTS FOR SMALL GROUPS In July 2017, the ISRF launched its fourth Flexible Grants for Small Groups competition. Having received a number of strong proposals, a pool of independent external assessors supported the funding of twelve projects. The successful projects were: Dr Vanessa Beck (University of Bristol) - Reconceptualising Underemployment Professor Mary Bosworth (University of Oxford) - Beyond Critique: Reimagining Penal Power at the Border Dr Brendan Browne (Trinity College Dublin) - The ‘Forgotten Victims’: Violent Displacement in the Northern Ireland Conflict Dr Luke Cooper (Anglia Ruskin University) - Moving Beyond Opposition: Constructing Tangible Alternatives to the Corporate Investment Consensus in Regional and Global Institutions Dr Isabel Crowhurst (University of Essex) - Comparing the Taxation of Prostitution in Europe: Experiences and Negotiations With Laws and Fiscal Arrangements Dr Jan Fichtner (Universiteit van Amsterdam) - The Evolution of Economic Power in the Age of Globalization: the Rise of Transnational Corporate Elite Networks Dr Desiree Fields & Dr. Rachel Macrorie (University of Sheffield) - Toward a Platform Urbanism Agenda for Urban Studies


Dr Catalina Goanta (Universiteit Maastricht) - DIY (DoIt-Yourself) Marketing: Influencer Endorsements and the Regulation of Social Marketplaces Dr David Hugh-Jones (University of East Anglia) & Dr Fabian Winter (Max-Planck-Institut für Gemeinschaftsgüter) Cultural Transmission and Social Norms Workshop Dr Helen Johnson (University of Brighton) - Realising the Potential of Collaborative, Artsbased Research Dr Michal Onderco (Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam) Private Actors and Enforcement of Foreign Policy Professor Alfredo Saad Filho (SOAS, University of London) Corruption Scandals, Moral Panics and Neoliberal Reforms: Contrasting ‘Mani Pulite’ and ‘Lava Jato’ Dr Anne Touboulic (University of Nottingham) - Human Experiences of Transitioning to Sustainable Agricultural Practices Professor Martin van Hees (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam) Moral Responsibility and Mechanism Design Project participants include scholars from University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Western Switzerland, University of Birmingham, City University of Hong Kong, Coventry University, University of Derby, Indiana University, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, University of Leeds, London South Bank University, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, University of Porto, Queen’s University Belfast, Stockholm University, University College London, University of Virginia, University of Warwick, and University of York



ISRF ESSAY COMPETITIONS 2017: SOCIAL THEORY The Independent Social Research Foundation and the Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour awarded the 2017 ISRF Essay Prize in Social Theory to: Dr Dominic Holland (Nottingham Trent University) - The Nature of the Political Reconsidered - Published online in October 2015 and in print in March 2017.

2018: ECONOMICS The Independent Social Research Foundation and the Cambridge Journal of Economics intend to award the 2018 ISRF Essay Prize in Economics for the best essay on the topic ‘What is the place of Digital Information Technology in the Economy?’. The competition launched in February 2017 and will close on 28th February 2018.

ISRF-SUPPORTED PROJECTS ECONOMICS: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. AN INTERVIEW PROJECT July 2016 Economics education has been debated for a long time, but since the Global Financial Crisis it has come under public scrutiny. This project aims to provide an accessible way for new generations of economics students and scholars, as well as the general public, to get acquainted with different schools of economic thought and their bearing on economics teaching. PI’s Dr Constantinos Repapis and Dr Ivano Cardinale have interviewed distinguished economists on the plurality of analytical traditions within economics and how these have 9

informed their own work. The interviews range from longstanding debates to current issues, and provide first-hand access to the thought of key contemporary economists. Video interviews published in 2017 Sheila Dow on Pluralism in Economics Sheila Dow is Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling and Adjunct Professor of Economics at the University of Victoria, Canada. Geoff Harcourt on Keynesian Theory Geoff Harcourt is Emeritus Reader, University of Cambridge and Professor Emeritus, University of Adelaide. Charles Goodhart on Economic Policy Charles Goodhart is Emeritus Professor at the London School of Economics and former member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.

LIMITS OF THE NUMERICAL September 2015 - August 2018 The project Strand 2: Healthcare is now in its final year at the University of Cambridge, and continues in working contact with its partner projects at the University of California, Santa Barbara (Strand 3: Education), and University of Chicago (Strand 1: Climate Change). The Cambridge project has been consolidated with researchers’ publications, and a workshop attended by scholars and policy-makers from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence and Scottish Medicine Consortium. ISRF Research Fellows: Dr Gabriele Badano & Dr Trenholme Junghans (Girton College, University of Cambridge) Co-principal Investigators: Dr Anna Alexandrova (University of Cambridge) & Dr Stephen John (University of Cambridge). 10


 From April 2017, Josephine Lethbridge will be The Conversation’s Interdisciplinary Editor, funded by the ISRF. Josephine’s role will include working with scholars at The Conversation’s member universities, as well as past and present Fellows of the ISRF, to bring interdisciplinary social research to readers worldwide. Josephine will encourage researchers to write short newsworthy articles, working with them to produce pieces with journalistic flair but no loss of academic rigour. The ISRF hopes that, by promoting interdisciplinarity through this partnership with The Conversation, the usefulness of interdisciplinary approaches will reach broader audiences, and that knowledge of such work will spread beyond the confines of academia.

 21-22 June 2017 At the ISRF Annual Workshop the ISRF’s Fellows reported on their work, to each other and to a wider audience drawn from the University of Amsterdam and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, who co-hosted the event at Het Scheepvaartmuseum. The Workshop focused on the ISRF’s requirement that the research should be interdisciplinary, innovative and critical. The topic for this year’s Workshop was ‘Today’s Future’, and the two-day event combined Fellows’ research presentations with panel discussions and audience participation.

ISRF BULLETIN The termly Bulletin presents the interdisciplinary research of Fellows, and other aspects of the ISRF’s work. Each issue is themed around a topic or debate of interest for the social sciences, with articles by ISRF Fellows on their research, as well as by ISRF Academic Advisors and others. 2017 issues were: 11

Issue 12: Quantitative/Qualitative - Challenging The Binary

The theme for this issue arose from the recognition that often (but not always) social researchers define themselves by whether or not they use broadly quantitative or qualitative analytical approaches. Contributors were: Gabriele Badano (CRASSH; Girton College, Cambridge), Trenholme Junghans (CRASSH; Girton College, Cambridge), Patrick Overeem (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), and Sherrill Stroschein (UCL).

Issue 13: Today’s Future- Challenges & Opportunities Across the Social Sciences Based on the 2017 Workshop the Bulletin asks ‘what does the future look like from where we are now?’. Featuring contributions from András Bozóki (Central European University), Elizabeth Chatterjee (University of Chicago), Jurgen De Wispelaere (University of Bath), Adam Leaver (Alliance Manchester Business School), Emanuele Lobina (University of Greenwich), and Keir Martin (University of Oslo).

Issue 14: ‘So Far, So Good..?’ - Conversations on Today’s Future The theme answers to the focus of the ISRF on ‘real-life’ problems; the ones we have now, and the ones we might encounter in the future having all too often brought them upon ourselves. Featuring contributions from Annelien de Dijn (University of Amsterdam), Alessandra Gribaldo (University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Erin Kavanagh (Independent Scholar), Josephine Lethbridge (Interdisciplinary Editor, The Conversation), Ian Loader (University of Oxford), Emanuele Lobina (University of Greenwich), Nina Moeller (University of Manchester), Patrick Overeem (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Murray Pratt (Amsterdam University College), Jayne Raisborough (Leeds Beckett University), William H. Sewell Jr. (University of Chicago), Charles Stewart (UCL), Sherrill Stroschein (UCL), James Symonds (University of Amsterdam), Jay Wiggan (University of Edinburgh) and Hansjakob Ziemer (Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte). 12


THE ISRF FOUNDATION BOARD Dr Lorenzo Bernasconi Kohn Treasurer

Mr Thijs Clement Secretary (until January 2018)

Mr Edmond Hartsuiker Secretary (from January 2018)

Dr John Latsis Chairman

THE ISRF EXECUTIVE TEAM Dr Louise Braddock Director of Research Louise Braddock works with the ISRF’s Foundation Board to direct all academic work within the Foundation, in consultation with its Academic Advisors. She proposes, implements and assesses the Foundation’s funding strategy and activities.

Dr Rachael Kiddey Editorial Assistant Rachael Kiddey is primarily responsible forthe ISRF Bulletin, assists in the running of grants competitions, workshops, and leads on generating content for the ISRF website.

Stuart Wilson Administrator Stuart Wilson oversees the general administration of the ISRF’s operations. He supports the Director of Research in the implementation of the Foundation’s funding strategy and activities, and is the first point of contact for all general enquiries. 13

London Office 62 Bayswater Road, London, W2 3PS Tel: +44 (0) 20 7262 0196 Head Office Johannes Vermeerplein 11, 1071 DV Amsterdam Registered in The Netherlands RSIN: 856534912

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