Today’s conference ‘Trust-Transparency Paradoxes’ marks the beginning of a formal collaborative agreement between WISERD and TRIANGLE in Lyon, France. The memorandum of Understanding, signed on the eve of the conference, will support the development of exciting joint research projects, future academic exchanges and collaborative publications.
TRIANGLE and WISERD are both cross-institutional, multi-disciplinary centres of research excellence.
While WISERD brings together researchers from the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, South Wales and Swansea, TRIANGLE spans the Universities of Lyon, Lyon 2, Ecole Normale Superieure, Sciences-Po, Jean Monnet in St Etienne and the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS). Both institutions include researchers in the fields of sociology, social policy, politics, economics and education.
Future collaborations will be focused around three main areas of interest – education; public policy and governance, associations and civil society. Lyon hosts the National Institute for Pedagogical Research (Institut National de Recherche Pédagogique) and TRIANGLE hosts an important cluster of education researchers who will build on links already established with WISERD Education. Science Po Lyon, a member of TRIANGLE is in the process of launching the Public Factory, a Fab Lab for policy innovation that will be housed in former military barracks provided by the city of Lyon. WISERD researchers will be able to hot desk in this new facility. WISERD Civil Society research already draws on governance expertise in Lyon and this formal relationship will support the development of this research.
The collaboration between TRIANGLE and WISERD has the potential to provide new and important insights into enduring and emerging political, social and economic issues in France, Wales and the UK. It builds on long-standing relationships between researchers in Cardiff and Lyon. WISERD Education Director, Professor Sally Power, has regularly been invited to the Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) over the past decade, one of the most prestigious institutions in French higher education. She has worked closely with ENS researchers on several projects, including an EU-funded project on compensatory education policies and the impact of marketisation. Current research involves comparative explanations of the changing frontiers of the state and civil society in education in Britain and France.
Professor Alistair Cole has been Professor at Sciences Po Lyon since 2015, on secondment from Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics. He sits as an elected member of the TRIANGLE Scientific Committee and has a long-standing association with WISERD. He has been involved in joint work on Cities and Metropolitan Governance; Comparative Regionalism and Trust and Transparency, most recently as part of WISERD’s ESRC Civil Society Research Centre.
WISERD Director Professor Ian Rees Jones comments: “WISERD provides an innovative model of collaborative, multi-institutional and multidisciplinary research. Our research has a deep concern for contemporary policy challenges and with Europe, and the UK in particular, facing a period of considerable uncertainty it is vital that we work with European partners to address the consequence of social, economic and political change. This agreement between TRIANGLE and WISERD offers a unique and exciting opportunity to build on our already close working relationships and to deepen and extend our joint activities in key areas including education; policy innovation; comparative research on multi-level governance, trust and civil society and city regions.”
The Director of TRIANGLE, Professor Claude Gautier, will be welcoming the delegation from WISERD to the conference. Professor Gautier commented “I look forward to fruitful future collaboration, especially in the context of TRIANGLE’s cross-cutting priority in the field of education and learning, as well as in the respective converging interests in cities, regions, governance and public policy.”
Professor Alistair Cole, who has organised the conference, comments: “There is a very good fit between these two multi-disciplinary research centres and the prestigious institutions they represent. Today’s conference represents an important opportunity to discuss interim findings from the WISERD Civil Society research projects represented and is a concrete realisation of a shared internationalisation strategy that will benefit both TRIANGLE and WISERD.”