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Genomics Forum · News

Forum Researchers receive ESRC award to investigate the politics of monitoring



Eugénia Rodrigues and Steve Yearley to be co-investigators in a major new research initiative.


Two of the ESRC Genomics Forum’s researchers are among a team of academics from the University of Edinburgh who have received a responsive-mode award from the ESRC for an innovative investigation into the “the politics of monitoring”.

Genomics Forum Director, Professor Steve Yearley, and Forum Research Fellow, Dr Eugénia Rodrigues, will form part of a group of co-investigators – led by Professor Christina Boswell from Edinburgh University’s Department of Politics and International Relations, and also including Dr Graham Spinardi, Senior Research Fellow at STIS – that will embark on the three year research project in April 2013.

The project relates to the politics of monitoring. Specifically, it will examine the way in which assessments – made by independent bodies, think-tanks, commentators or experts – are used by officials, politicians and the media to determine how performance actually relates to targets set in a number of varying policy areas in the UK. These areas include: climate-changing emissions; defence procurement; and immigration.

The research will investigate how information derived from such monitoring is used in the assessment, implementation and potential reformulation of policy within these fields. The Economic and Social Research Council is supporting the project with a significant award, totalling around £325,000 (equivalent to over £400,000 at full economic costs).

Speaking about the new research project, Steve Yearley said:

“This research will provide invaluable insights into how public policy in key areas such as climate change, defence and immigration responds to and is influenced by independent assessment of its effectiveness.

“It is exciting to be working with such esteemed colleagues from across the University of Edinburgh in investigating the importance of the politics of monitoring, and we are extremely grateful that the Economic and Social Research Council has recognised the importance and innovative nature of our work in this area by supporting the project over a three year period.”