News Focus

The Campaign invites social scientists to contribute their views on current events

The Oscars and inequality that stubbornly persists

March 14, 2017

As the dust settles on last month’s Oscars ceremony, Sara De Benedictis of City University London and the London School of Economics, and Dr Anne Graefer of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Studies, analyse the event’s political undertones,… Read more »

Martin McGuinness’s resignation and the prospects for change in Northern Ireland

January 12, 2017

Martin McGuinness’s resignation has prompted reactions ranging from accusations of political sabotage to speculation about his ailing health. Here, John Brewer, Professor of Post Conflict Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, examines what this means for Northern Ireland’s future, and whether… Read more »

‘Fake news’–why people believe it and what can be done to counter it

December 13, 2016

In the wake of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump in the US, “fake news” has emerged as a pervasive, and potentially subversive, phenomenon. In an article promoted by the Campaign and originally appearing in The Conversation, Professor Simeon… Read more »

From Rabbits to Ubers: What the ‘new’ gig economy means for employment, education and politics

November 7, 2016

The ‘#gigeconomy’ has rapidly transformed how people work. Professor John Bryson, Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography at the University of Birmingham, traces the evolution of these transformations and their effect on the capitalist system, while setting out how education… Read more »

New constituency boundaries for the House of Commons: gerrymandering or independent process?

October 7, 2016

With Jeremy Corbyn’s re-election and ever-louder whispers of a possible snap election before 2020, the impact of last month’s new constituency boundary proposals could redefine the political landscape sooner than expected. Here, Dr Alistair Clark, Senior Lecturer in Politics at… Read more »

A second Corbyn victory will have significant consequences, both for the Labour Party and for British politics

September 22, 2016

With Jeremy Corbyn’s widely-expected landslide victory to be announced on Saturday, Dr Judi Atkins, Lecturer in Politics at Coventry University, assesses the implications of his re-election both for Labour and British politics more broadly. Following the EU referendum result and… Read more »

Terror, Republican values and a very French paradox

September 15, 2016

As France comes to terms with a series of major terrorist atrocities, its core Republican values are being tested by a prolonged national state of emergency and an increasingly security-driven public agenda. Professor James Shields FAcSS, Professor of French Politics… Read more »

The need for a whole system approach in prison reform

September 2, 2016

Professor Martina Feilzer, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice in the School of Social Sciences at Bangor University, looks at the challenges that lie ahead for the sweeping prison reforms announced in last May’s Queen’s Speech, and what the… Read more »

Understanding the (Rio 2016) Olympics

August 3, 2016

With the Rio Olympics kicking off this Friday, Professor John Horne FAcSS, Professor of Sport Sociology at the University of Central Lancashire, and author of Understanding the Olympics, looks at the challenges facing the Olympic brand and discusses some of… Read more »

Driverless cars and the society of traffic

May 27, 2016

Last week’s Queen’s Speech set out bold new technological initiatives that seemed reminiscent more of science fiction than practical policy. In the first of our series of responses to some of the government’s proposals, Dr Eric Laurier, Reader in Geography… Read more »

Study indicates immigration not to blame for terrorism

February 18, 2016

Migration is overall not a source of terrorism according to new research from the University of Warwick. In fact the study indicates that more migration could create a decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, not an increase. The research… Read more »

Four billion people affected by severe water scarcity

February 17, 2016

There are four billion people worldwide who are affected by severe water scarcity for at least one month a year. That is the conclusion of University of Twente Professor of Water Management, Arjen Hoekstra, after many years’ extensive research. This… Read more »

Media scepticism sows doubt, not progress, on climate change

December 11, 2015

In the third and final article of our COP21 commentary series, Dr. Catherine Happer, Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Glasgow, looks at why climate change still hasn’t captured headlines in the UK, and how the interplay between media… Read more »

What do belief systems have to do with climate change?

December 7, 2015

In the second article in our COP21 commentary series, Shonil Bhagwat, Senior Lecturer in Geography at the Open University, looks at the similarities between belief systems and climate change, and how their interconnectedness helps reinforce climate change as an idea,… Read more »

The ‘issue from hell’

December 2, 2015

From November 30 to December 11, the eyes of the world will be on Paris as leaders from around the globe convene to agree historic measures aimed at reducing carbon emissions. With COP21 now in full swing, the Campaign takes… Read more »

We need to invest in early intervention services to improve lives and save money

May 7, 2015

Dr Sajid Humayun, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich, writes about a recent letter in the press from charities saying that early interventions to stop young people getting into serious difficulties could save £1.7bn a year: Persistent… Read more »

Schools need to do more to tackle bullying

May 1, 2015

Dr Loretta Trickett, Senior Lecturer in Criminal Law, International Criminal Law and Criminology, at Nottingham Trent University, writes about a recent important study on the effects of bullying, and her own childhood experiences It is perhaps unsurprising that a longitudinal… Read more »

European governments are responsible for the Mediterranean death toll

April 24, 2015

Dr Tom Vickers, Lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences and Languages at Northumbria University, writes about the recent migrant deaths in the Mediterranean: 24.4.15:  The deaths of at least 1,200 people in the last week, as they attempted to… Read more »

Sex crimes not being recorded: the police need to believe allegations

November 18, 2014

Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has today published a damning report on police crime recording. It estimates that, each year, almost a million crimes are missed out of official figures. It points particularly to violent and sex crimes that… Read more »

Multiculturalism promotes better exam results

November 18, 2014

Dr Caroline Howarth, of the London School of Economics, argues that multiculturalism itself is part of the reason for good exam results in London: Recent research discussed in The Guardian last week shows that schools with higher numbers of ethnic… Read more »

Plebgate: Andrew Mitchell was right to resign

September 2, 2014

Professor Saville Kushner has 30 years’ experience working with the Home Office and the police service on policing culture and national police training. He has served as advisor on a ministerial working party on police training. He has worked at… Read more »

Sexual exploitation of young people in Rotherham

August 28, 2014

Professor Robert Dingwall, a part-time adviser to the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University, writes about the Rotherham sexual abuse scandal: Alexis Jay’s report on the sexual exploitation of young people in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 has… Read more »

Harassment, monitoring and verbal abuse are not readily recognised as criminal offences

August 21, 2014

The Government has begun a consultation process on changing the law surrounding domestic abuse to establish whether we might move towards a specific offence covering this commonplace crime. Feminist groups have long emphasised the prevalence of verbal abuse and controlling… Read more »

Israel and Gaza

August 15, 2014

The death toll in the conflict in the Gaza Strip has risen to over 1,000, as Israeli forces undertake military operations in response to Hamas rocket attacks. As part of a series of News Focus articles, in which we draw… Read more »

Social sciences ‘will become more unified over next 10 years’

July 16, 2014

The social sciences will become more unified in their methods and conclusions under the influence of big data, software developments and innovation from STEM subjects, Professor Patrick Dunleavy told the Academy of Social Sciences annual lecture. “A lot of new… Read more »

Social science is needed for social change

January 16, 2014

In this article Dr Lok Bhattarai, of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Leeds Metropolitan University, uses his expertise on Nepal to show how policy advocacy fails to deliver the desired outcome when social science is not made an… Read more »