2019 Annual Report

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Independent Social Research Foundation


Annual Report

Independent Social Research Foundation


Annual Report

First published January 2020 Copyright Š 2020 Independent Social Research Foundation Cover Photo Credit: Matt Smith

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.



Sheila Dow

Elizabeth Frazer

Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Stirling

Associate Professor of Politics, University of Oxford

(From 1st January 2018)

Kostas Gavroglu

Emmanuel Lazega

Professor of History of Science, University of Athens

Professor of Sociology, L’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (From 1st June 2018)


Jayne Raisborough

William H. Sewell Jr.

Professor of Media, Leeds Beckett University

Emeritus Professor of Political Science & History, University of Chicago

(From 1st June 2018)

Charles Stewart Professor of Anthropology, University College London and UCLA

Marilyn Strathern Formerly William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology, Cambridge University (Until 30th June 2019)



THE ISRF FOUNDATION BOARD Dr Lorenzo Bernasconi Kohn Treasurer

Ms Ingrid Mulder Secretary

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 Lars Cornelissen Academic Editor (from October 2018) As Academic Editor, Lars Cornelissen is responsible for assisting the Director of Research in academic matters, editing the termly Bulletin, assisting in the academic management of competitions and commissioning and producing content for the Foundation’s website. One of his key tasks is to encourage and facilitate the wide dissemination of research funded by the ISRF. To this end, he works closely with The Conversation.

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.

2019 Annual Workshop Clockwise from Top-Left: Jamie Morgan; Josephine Lethbridge; St Hugh’s College, Oxford; Francesca Gagliardi; Brendan Ciaran Browne; Casey Asprooth-Jackson.



2019 Annual Workshop Clockwise from Top-Left: Sarah Marie Hall; Martin Thomas; an evening panel discussion; Jonathan Saha; Catherine Charrett. Photo Credit: Matt Smith


2019 Annual Workshop Clockwise from Top-Left: Sophy Gardner; Greg Constantine; Catherine Charrett, Beth Epstein & Rachel Kowalski; Rita Floyd; Alexander Stingl. Photo Credit: Matt Smith



2019 Annual Workshop Clockwise from Top-Left: Trenholme Junghans; Craig Jones; Ivano Cardinale, Roberto Scazzieri & Alice Baderin; Cian O’Driscoll; Lauren Martin, Robin Smith & Ilay Ors; Peter Newell.


2019 ANNUAL REPORT ISRF GRANTS COMPETITIONS POLITICAL ECONOMY RESEARCH FELLOWSHIPS In January 2019, the ISRF launched its third Political Economy Research Fellowship competition. Having received a number of strong proposals, the Selection Panel met in July 2019, and voted to make three awards. The recipients were: Dr Lauren Martin (Durham University) Economies of Exclusion: Money, Labour and Value in Immigration and Asylum Politics Dr Robin Elizabeth Smith (Independent Scholar) Hostage barter in the EU: an ethnography of a Balkan corporation Dr Oane Visser (Erasmus University Rotterdam) Digital farms, tinkering farmers, and enlightened hackers: Farmers as the vanguard of data activist movements?

EARLY CAREER FELLOWSHIPS In January 2019 the ISRF launched its fifth Early Career Fellowship competition. Having received a number of strong proposals, the Selection Panel met in June 2019, and voted to make four awards. The recipients were: Dr Alice Baderin (University of Reading) - Anticipatory Injustice Dr Aoife Daly (University of Liverpool) - Children’s 11


Competence in Context: Advancing Interdisciplinary Approaches to Practical and Legal Questions Dr Craig Jones (Newcastle University) - Wounds Without Borders: War, Injury and Care in the Middle East Dr Henrique Randau da Costa Carvalho (University of Warwick) - The Dangerous Essence of Criminal Law: Redefining Criminalisation

INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR FELLOWSHIPS In July 2019, the ISRF launched its sixth Independent Scholar Fellowship competition. Having received a number of strong proposals, the Selection Panel met in December 2019, and voted to make three awards. The recipients were: Dr Veysi Dag - Refugee Governance from Below: Kurdish Diaspora Associations and the Incorporation of NewlyArrived Refugees in Europe Dr Sarath Jakka - Negative Capabilities: Rethinking the phenomenal and relational aspects of the therapeutic encounter Dr Manjeet Ramgotra - Postcolonial Republicanism: The Indian Founding and its Impact

FLEXIBLE GRANTS FOR SMALL GROUPS In September 2018, the ISRF launched its fifth Flexible Grants for Small Groups competition. Having received a number of strong proposals, a pool of independent external assessors supported the funding of ten projects.


The successful projects were: *Citizen Forensics: Materializing the Dead from Grave to Gene – Dr Layla Renshaw (Kingston University) *Commemorative Cityscape: Understanding Practices of Street Renaming in European and Non-European Locations (COCIENEL) – Dr Malgorzata Fabiszak (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań) & Professor Isabelle Buchstaller (University of Duisburg-Essen) Crossing Visionary Boundaries: A Transdisciplinary Photovoice Project of Race and Markets – Dr Guillaume Johnson (Paris Dauphine University) & Dr Francesca Sobande (Cardiff University) *Eco-communities: Inclusive, Creative and Selfprovisioning Approaches for an Ecological Urban Future – Professor Jenny Pickerill (University of Sheffield) *Economy of Violence: Objectification, Psychoanalysis, and the Challenges of Recognition – Dr Jeffrey Murer (St Andrews University) Economy Studies: Building the Next Generation of Economists – Joris Tieleman (Erasmus University, Rotterdam) ’Madness’ After the War – Exploring Alternatives to Dominant Understandings of Mental Health in the Context of Political Conflict – Dr Reima Maglajlic (University of Sussex) Race Matters: A New Dialogue Between Criminology and Sociology – Dr Alpa Parmar (University of Oxford) The Concrete and Everyday Reality of Financial Subordination in Developing and Emerging Economies – Dr Annina Kaltenbrunner (University of Leeds) *Using the Shame/Violence Model to Address the Root 13


Causes of Extremism: An Interdisciplinary Residential Workshop Dr Roman Gerodimos (Bournemouth University * Residential Research Projects which were based at the Max Planck Institute’s Harnackhaus in Berlin, 5-9 August 2019.

In September 2019, the ISRF launched its sixth Flexible Grants for Small Groups competition. It is intended that a number of awards be made by the end of February 2020.

ISRF ESSAY COMPETITIONS 2019: INTERDISCIPLINARITY The 2019 ISRF Essay Prize in Interdisciplinarity ‘Interdisciplinarity: The New Orthodoxy?’ - closed on 31st December 2018. However, no essay was judged prizeworthy, and no award was made.

2020: SOCIAL THEORY The ISRF intends to award the 2020 ISRF Essay Prize in Social Theory for the best essay on a topic within the area of social behaviour and its investigation. The competition formally launched in March 2019 and will close on 31st March 2020.

ISRF-SUPPORTED PROJECTS ‘ECONOMICS &...’ WORKSHOP SERIES January 2018 The second workshop in the series, Economics and the Plastic Arts, took place at Goldsmiths, University of London on 4-5 July 2019, organised by Constantinos Repapis. A final workshop in the series, Economics & Semiotics, will take place on 13-14 July 2020.


A NETWORK FOR LEMONS?: CHALLENGES TO FINANCIAL RESILIENCE IN THE POST-CRISIS COLLATERALISED LOAN OBLIGATION (CLO) MARKET September 2019 Former ISRF Political Economy Research Fellow Adam Leaver (University of Sheffield) is leading a project aiming to build a unique database of structuration participants, which will form the basis for a subsequent project phase using social network analysis to analyse the effect of social network change on security quality.

 Since April 2017, Josephine Lethbridge has been The Conversation’s Interdisciplinary Editor, funded by the ISRF. Two ISRF-sponsored writing workshops were conducted - at the University of Glasgow and the University of Hertfordshire by Josephine in 2019, and further such workshops are planned for 2020.

 29 September - 2 October 2019 At the ISRF Annual Workshop the ISRF’s Fellows reported on their work, to each other and to a wider audience. 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 The Question of Violence, and the four-day event combined Fellows’ research presentations with panel discussions and audience participation.

OTHER ISRF WORKSHOPS The ISRF supported two smaller workshops in the second half of 2019: on 9 July, a workshop on Money & Finance in a Time of Flux took place at the Museum of London, convened by former ISRF Political Economy Research Fellow Adam



Leaver; and on 11 July, a workshop on Economics in Law: Law in Economics took place at the University of Leicester, convened by Dr Richard Craven & Dr Olivia Hamlyn (University of Leicester).

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. 2019 issues were:

Issue 18: Here & Now, Then & There

This Bulletin asks how we are to make sense of the complex relationship between spatiality and temporality. Featuring contributions from Athena Hadji (Athens School of Fine Art), Paul Dobraszczyk (Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL), Giulia Rispoli (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science), Chris Hann (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology), and Rachael Kiddey (University of Oxford).

Issue 19: Mind and Violence

This issue of the ISRF Bulletin invites its readers to linger a while in the unsettling problem of violence. Featuring contributions from Deana Heath (University of Liverpool), Brendan Ciarán Browne (Trinity College Dublin), Casey Asprooth-Jackson, Keir Martin (University of Oslo), Erin Kavanagh (Sheffield Hallam University), Cian O’Driscoll (University of Glasgow) and Charles Stewart (University College London).

Issue 20: Society and Violence This issue seeks to continue the line of questioning set out in the former. Featuring contributions from Henrique Carvalho (University of Warwick), Beth Epstein (NYU Paris), Jonathan Saha (University of Leeds), Andrew Robertson, and Elizabeth Frazer (University of Oxford).


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