Swansea University’s social science research showcased in new publication

Studies conducted by researchers at Swansea University feature in a new booklet showcasing the impact social science research in Wales has had on a national and international scale.

Making the Case for the Social Sciences‘Making the Case for the Social Sciences in Wales’ was launched on 14 July by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Wales Office and Department of Energy and Climate Change at the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Conference Centre in London before an audience of policy makers, civil servants, MPs and social scientists.

The booklet comprises 14 case studies of research carried out by Welsh institutions that have influenced national and international governments as well as highlighting the benefits of social science research on public policy.It is the tenth in the Making the Case for the Social Sciences series, and is a joint collaboration between the Academy of Social Sciences, the Research Institute for Applied Social Sciences (RIASS) at Swansea University and the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD).

The publication showcases three areas of policy-changing research taking place within the social sciences at Swansea University:

  • ‘Improving the evidence base for policy in the areas of employment and public sector pay’: Conducted by Professors David Blackaby and Phil Murphy with Dr Nigel O’Leary and Anita Staneva at the Department of Economics, Swansea University, this research influenced the announcement by the Chancellor in his autumn 2012 statement that he would not be pursuing market-facing pay in the public sector.
  • ‘Human rights of children and young people in Wales’: Dr Simon Hoffman and Jane Williams of Swansea University who are co-Directors of the Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People have carried out research that has confirmed the need for a variety of legal and administrative mechanisms to ensure that political and executive decision-makers pay proper attention to children’s rights. In May 2012 the Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011 came partly into force and the research carried out by Dr Hoffman and Jane Williams was instrumental in securing support for it.
  • ‘Reframing the way drug policy is talked about’: David Bewley-Taylor, Professor of International Relations and Public Policy at Swansea University is the founding Director of the Global Drug Policy Observatory (2013). His research has enhanced understanding of policy change within high-level debates on international drug control policy. Through presentations and consultations in national capitals and at the UN in Vienna, he has helped change the way national, UN and EU drug policy officials, national ambassadors and representatives of non-governmental organisations understand and describe the history, current dynamics and future transformation of the multilateral drug control system.

Making the Case for the Social Sciences 2Professor Judith Phillips, Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor and Director of the Research Institute of Applied Social Sciences (RIASS) at Swansea University (pictured above), Professor David Blackaby (pictured left) and Professor Phil Murphy spoke at the launch alongside colleagues from the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD), highlighting the key contributions that researchers in Wales have made and the impact they have achieved.

The Making the Case booklets are produced by the Academy of Social Sciences and the Campaign for Social Science to demonstrate the power of social science research to improve lives: http://campaignforsocialscience.org.uk/publication-category/making-the-case/