Comparing the changing fortunes of trade unions across Great Britain

In our last blog post we looked at how WISERD’s free interactive mapping tool UnionMaps reveals the complex patterns in trade union membership that exist across Great Britain. Analysis revealed that the overall downward trend in union density that is observed across Great Britain as a whole masks very different local fortunes for the trade…

Mapping the uneven decline of union membership in Great Britain

Recent waves of strike action by nurses, train drivers, ambulance drivers, university lecturers, teachers and others besides has highlighted the prominent position that trade unions continue to hold within the UK. An important factor that determines the power and influence of trade unions, either within an organisation or across a sector, is the proportion of…

Mode of transport influences access to recreational opportunities

A new WISERD paper by Andrew Price, Mitchel Langford and Gary Higgs at the University of South Wales has recently been published in the journal, Case Studies on Transport Policy. Using sports facility data from Sport Wales and open-source data on green spaces, the team examine variations in potential access to recreational opportunities by different…

IMAJINE Scenarios presented to EU Cohesion Policy Conference

Professor Michael Woods presented findings from the CWPS-WISERD-led Horizon 2020 project IMAJINE to the Third Joint EU Cohesion Policy Conference in Zagreb in November. Jointly organized by the European Commission Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG-Regio), the Regional Studies Association and the Croatian Government, the conference brought together 150 academics, EU policymakers and member…

New WISERD report on North Wales Growth Deal

As part of WISERD’s ESRC-funded Civil Society Centre research programme, a team of WISERD researchers have published a new report on the process of developing and implementing the North Wales Growth Deal (NWGD), based on observations from a series of interviews with stakeholders between July-December 2021. Fifteen remote interviews were conducted by three researchers: Dr…

Welsh teachers lose hundreds of working hours acting as translators

Hundreds of working hours are wasted due to schoolteachers lacking a centrally shared language resource. Despite recent developments in use of the virtual learning platforms like Hwb (available to Welsh schools for free since 2012), teachers lacking Welsh-language resources for their classroom are unable to access translations of other resources. Under the current system, if…

ADR Wales unveils programme of work at Welsh Parliament

ADR Wales has today (Thursday 1 December) unveiled its Planned Programme of Work that will help to provide an insight on the key issues facing Wales and the UK. The ADR Wales Planned Programme of Work 2022-2026 outlines the ten thematic areas that the ADR Wales team will focus their research on to help government…

WISERD welcomes international visiting scholar, Professor Charles Sabel

In early November 2022, we were delighted to welcome Professor Charles Sabel from Columbia Law School as WISERD international visiting scholar. Professor Sabel joined us in sparcIspark for a week of events and discussions about his work on experimental governance. The visit kicked off with an intensive workshop addressing “Industrial Policy for Climate Change and…

Discussing and dealing with issues of race and racism: WMCS survey reveals wide variations between schools in Wales

In October 2022, the Welsh Government announced that anti-racist professional learning would be mandatary for all school teachers in Wales as part of its Anti-Racist Wales Action Plan. Evidence from the latest sweep of the WISERD Education Multi-Cohort Study (WMCS) suggests that such universal and compulsory training is badly needed. In the summer of 2022,…

WISERD researchers create new website to examine access to key services in Wales

A prototype website has been developed by WISERD researchers based at the GIS Research Centre at the University of South Wales (USW) which examines access to key services in Wales. This is part of an ongoing research programme investigating geographical access to services in Wales. The website allows users to see indicators of accessibility to…

Poverty in the classroom: School pupils in Wales are acutely aware of hardships experienced by their classmates

There is widespread and growing concern that the increasing cost of living will severely impact on the poorest families and communities this winter. Things were pretty bad last winter. A report by the Bevan Foundation revealed that nearly four in 10 Welsh households struggled to make ends meet. The Bevan Foundation’s Snapshot of Poverty this…

New research examines impact of devolution on social policymaking in Wales

A new book features research by WISERD co-director, Professor Paul Chaney on the impact of devolution on social policymaking in Wales. “Social policy” here refers to government policy interventions to improve social well-being. It includes most of the policy areas devolved to Wales under successive devolution Acts since 1998, including health, housing, education, youth justice, social…

New chapters for CWPS-WISERD on language policy and planning

Three Aberystwyth University academics have written chapters in a new book that celebrates Professor Colin Williams’ contribution to the field of language policy and planning. Language, Policy and Territory contains 18 chapters by Williams’ former students, colleagues and collaborators. These include Professor Rhys Jones, Dr Huw Lewis and Dr Elin Royles, who are based at…

WISERD Annual Conference 2022

On the 6th and 7th of July, over 140 delegates, presenters and exhibitors from across WISERD’s five partner universities and beyond gathered at Swansea University to hold the first WISERD Annual Conference since the start of the pandemic. The theme of this year’s conference was ‘Civil society and participation: issues of equality, identity and cohesion in…

Engagement with the Hwb virtual learning environment during Covid-19 school closures

A new Data Insight from Dr Alexandra Sandu and Dr Jennifer May Hampton from the WISERD Education Data Lab and produced by the ADR Wales education research team is now available: Engagement with the Hwb virtual learning environment during Covid-19 school closures. This report outlines preliminary findings on engagement with the Hwb virtual learning environment…

New civil society research highlights state repression of human rights defenders in South Asia

New research by WISERD co-director, Professor Paul Chaney examines state and civil society organisation (CSO) perspectives on the contemporary situation of human rights defenders (HRDs) in South Asia using data submissions to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the United Nations five-yearly monitoring process. “Human rights defender” refers to anyone acting to: address any human right on…

New article published on measuring accessibility to banking services

A new, open access journal article on measuring accessibility to banking services by Dr Mitchel Langford, Andrew Price and Professor Gary Higgs from the University of South Wales, has been published in the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information. The article demonstrates how accessibility can be measured to bank branches by different times of day and…

Citizen science group welcomes next stage in investigations of local air quality

Cardiff University researcher, Dr Nick Hacking, along with members of the Barry Citizen Science Group, recently oversaw the installation of a high-quality air pollution monitor from Think Air Ltd, which marked a new stage in the group’s investigations of local air quality. This ongoing investigation by the local community group is the focus of a…

From the House of Lords to a Senate of the Nations and Regions?

On 4 July It was reported on the Welsh news website Nation-Cymru, that Anas Sarwar, the leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, and a member of the Scottish Parliament, has called for a new Senate of the Nations and Regions to replace the House of Lords. Speaking to the Fabian Society at Westminster, Anas…

A decade after deadly Ali Enterprises fire, Pakistan’s garment workers report shocking lack of fire exits

New research from the Clean Clothes Campaign and WISERD at Cardiff University reveals the urgent need for expansion of the International Accord in Pakistan, a legally binding safety agreement to protect workers. 2022 marks 10 years since the horrific Ali Enterprises fire that killed over 250 garment workers in Pakistan yet rights for workers in…

IMAJINE: Rethinking territorial inequalities through spatial justice

The persistence of inequalities between regions despite over three decades of interventions under the EU Cohesion Policy is a wicked problem for Europe and there is growing appetite to rethink approaches. Over the last six years, WISERD at Aberystwyth University has been leading a major project, IMAJINE (Integrative mechanisms for addressing spatial justice and territorial…

Alan Felstead gives evidence to the Senedd

On 11 July 2022, Professor Alan Felstead gave evidence to the Equality and Social Justice Committee on legislation currently before the Senedd. The legislation puts social partnership at the heart of the Welsh government’s approach to how it, and public bodies it supports, promote the well-being of its citizens. This approach follows recommendations given by…

sbarc|spark launch celebrates innovation

Luminaries from the worlds of social science research, government, industry and the voluntary sector gathered to mark the arrival of sbarc|spark – Cardiff University’s Home of Innovation. Described as a ‘society’s superlab,’ the building locates the research groups and external partners that comprise SPARK – the world’s first social science research park – alongside spinouts,…

Understanding Geographical Variation in Union membership: a patchwork quilt or a regional divide?

Today (25th May), the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) released its latest figures for trade union membership. The long-term downward trend in union membership in the UK is well known.  Based on union records, trade union membership within the UK peaked in 1979 at approximately 13.2 million. Since then, there has been…

Professor Sally Power on BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement

Professor Sally Power joined Vaughan Roderick on 15th May 2022 for the BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement. The programme features political news, discussions and analysis, plus a round-up of the Sunday papers. As a guest reviewer of the papers, Professor Power discussed a variety of current affairs, including fairness in education. You can listen to…

New research reveals civil society perspectives on LGBT+ rights violations in Caribbean Community countries

As part of the project Trust, human rights and civil society within mixed economies of welfare in WISERD’s civil society research programme, I’ve been analysing the human rights situation of LGBT+ people in Caribbean Community countries – alternatively known as CARICOM. Founded in 1973, it is an organisation of fifteen states and dependencies designed to…

The more types of special education needs a pupil has, the more at risk of exclusion they are

The presence of special education needs (SEN) and variations in school-level provision can cause disruptions in a pupil’s educational journey, especially when that child’s needs change as they progress through key stages. This may especially be the case when pupils have multiple needs, including mental health and communication difficulties. Furthermore, gaps between the time of…

‘Sustain our Common Humanity’

Professor John Morgan makes the plea ‘Sustain our Common Humanity’ in his latest addition to international journal, Weiterbildung. The article considers examples of idealism and realism in international intellectual cooperation and educational exchange. Professor John Morgan will also give a presentation on this subject, on 7th June 2022, as part of the WISERD online seminar…

Dr Igor Calzada awarded Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence

Dr Igor Calzada has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (SIR) at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) for the 2022-2023 academic year by the U.S. Department of State and coordinated by US-UK Fulbright Commission. The Fulbright SIR Program review committee convened by IIE’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) and Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (FFSB)…

Deprived areas hit hardest by changes in access to bus services during the pandemic

Public transport was severely impacted during COVID-19 as people’s daily mobility patterns changed. This led to a substantial drop in demand as many workers were instructed to work from home and social distancing measures were introduced on existing services. Department for Transport statistics show a decline from 91 to 26 million passenger journeys on local…

I Remember Mariupol: A civil society destroyed

I remember Mariupol. I visited the Russian-speaking port of around 500,000 people in the summer of 1983. It was then Zhdanov, a city of the Soviet Union on the Sea of Azov, adjacent to the Black Sea. Named, as were many Soviet cities and towns, after a prominent Communist: Andrei Zhdanov, a close associate of…

Examining the Welsh third sector response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis

This latest blog post in WISERD’S series on the Ukraine crisis examines what we know so far about the response of the third sector in Wales. The prevailing Welsh policy framework and emerging actions of the third sector matter – foremost for the welfare of Ukrainian refugees arriving in Wales – and allied to this,…

How the Ukraine crisis is laying bare the consequences of the proposed new rights regime in the UK

The situation in Ukraine is changing hourly but the indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, the brutality of laying sieges to cities and the recklessness of attacks on nuclear facilities are likely to continue, as will the untold suffering and mass population movements among the Ukrainian people. Responses by Western governments, in terms of economic sanctions,…

Investigating geographical inequalities in access to residential and nursing home provision

A new WISERD paper draws attention to how geographical approaches can contribute to an understanding of inequalities in access to nursing and residential care places in Wales. This research has been carried out by WISERD co-directors, Professor Gary Higgs and Dr Mitchel Langford, along with WISERD Associate, Professor Mark Llewellyn, Director of the Welsh Institute…

WISERD Research – Covid-19: policy responses and social consequences

The arrival of Covid-19 to the UK in early 2020 led to rapid and far-reaching changes in the way we live our lives. ‘Lockdown’ led to school closures and working from home became the norm for many workers. And while most shops and businesses closed, ‘key’ workers and services experienced unprecedented pressures. For the last…

A National Conversation on Wales’s Constitutional Future

In the latest issue of The Welsh Agenda, Dr Anwen Alias, WISERD co-director, Matthew Jarvis, CWPS Executive Board member, and Mike Corcoran and Noreen Blanluet discuss what form a national debate about the constitutional future of Wales should take. The discussion is based on the ‘Constitutional Futures’ project based at Aberystwyth University, led by Dr Anwen…