Research projects

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Territoriality and Third Sector Engagement in Policy-Making and Welfare Provision

This project has three components. The first two combine archive work, case studies and interviews to investigate how the territorial administration of the third sector in Wales has changed over the post-war period in response to shifting patterns and processes of governance – and how this has affected the way third sector organizations shape and…

Redefining Local Civil Society in an Age of Global Inter-connectivity

Overview This project will explore how imaginaries and practices of local civil society have been stretched and reconfigured by global interconnectivities, including both the reorientation of local civil society activities around global issues and concerns, and participation in local civil society by individuals outside the locality, for instance through social media. The research will focus…

Building Trust? Institutions and interactions of multi-level governance in the UK Germany and France

Overview This project utilised a mixed-methods design incorporating interviews, focus groups, a scoping analysis of secondary quantitative data and a cross-national survey to explore the role of trust and transparency within the context of multi-level governance. The core research question focused on the extent to which a pan-European convergence in norms of trust has emerged and its…

Young People and the EU Referendum

This project is a study of young people’s attitudes towards and engagement with the EU referendum campaign. Using data from a dedicated UK-wide survey of under 30s and a wide range of publicly available data and academic research we will address four key themes.

Equality, Diversity & Third Sector Welfare Provision

Overview This project builds on previous research undertaken by the team. It will utilise a mixed methods approach, combining secondary analysis of existing datasets, development of case studies, documentary analysis and a series of interviews to investigate the impact of Faith-Based welfare provision on social cohesion. The project will proceed using a mixed methods design…

Wellbeing, Deprivation & Social Cohesion

Overview This project utilised a range of econometric techniques to investigate the nature of the relationship between the domains of individual subjective wellbeing, individual and household characteristics, work/life circumstances, and a range of indicators related to the measurement of social cohesion and civil society. The main UK data sets used by the WP included: Understanding…

Education, Language & Identity

Overview The project used interviews and questionnaires to investigate the types of civic participation and conceptions of language and identity promoted within the statutory education system, and within civil society organisations working with young people, in both Wales and Scotland. In the project’s initial stages the four co-Is undertook around a total of 15-20 interviews with national-level elite…

Implications of Spatial & Temporal Variation in Service Provision for Inequalities in Social Outcomes

Overview  The study carried out analysis of existing secondary sources of quantitative data in order to investigate levels of social capital within communities in relation to changing levels of provision of key public services. The  study built on research conducted in Phase 1 of WISERD on the use of enhanced two step floating catchment area (E2SFCA) techniques to examine…

Improving the Social Welfare System in China: Urbanization, Community Development, and Social Participation

During rapid urbanization and marketization, China has experienced unbalanced economic and social development – both between and within cities – and social groups. To promote social justice and sustainable development, not to mention political stability, the establishment and improvement of the prevailing social welfare system is crucial. However, the demographic transitions and social changes during…

The intergenerational transmission of ‘civic virtues’: the role of the family in civil society engagement

Overview Within the social science literature, the relationship between the family and civil society is complex and contradictory. While some theories place the family as the cornerstone of civil society, others put the family firmly outside civil society. Indeed, it is often argued that strong family ties weaken, rather than strengthen, the development of a…

The involvement of grandparents in the early years: a geographical comparison

Overview This project utilised two key large-scale secondary data sets in order to undertake detailed analysis of what impact grandparents can have on their grandchildren’s cognitive, social and emotional development. Through this analysis the project attempted to explore the complex relationships between social mobility, spatial mobility and intergenerational transmission. This study primarily used two existing large-scale…

Migrants, Minorities and Engagement in Local Civil Society

Overview This project combined quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to examine the participation of European migrants from the A8 countries in local civil society. Fieldwork took place in three localities across Wales; one urban, one rural and one semi-rural. The project employed a mixed-methods approach. The research was conducted in two stages. The team will conduct 80 hour long…

Trade Union Membership, Associational Life and Wellbeing

Overview This project builds on previous WISERD research into geographical variations in trade union membership in Wales. (Beynon, Davies and Davies, 2012). The research programme derives from this analysis, which suggested that in South Wales collective understandings, rooted in an earlier period of unionisation, are spilling over into the contemporary period. This work was supported…

Higher Education and Civil Society

Overview This project explored the relationships between participation in higher education and engagement in civil society, especially at the local level. Do university graduates play a distinctive role in the institutions of civil society? More specifically, it examined the extent to which the institutional shift from an elite to a mass system of higher education has…

Spaces of New Localism: Stakeholder Engagement and Economic Development in Wales and England

Overview This project will utilise a series of interviews and document-based analysis to explore the notion of stakeholder involvement in Local Employment Partnerships (LEPs), Enterprise Zones (EZs), City Deals and City Regions. Fieldwork will take place in four city regions, two within Wales and two within England. 100 semi-structured interviews will be carried out. Two…

Generativity Social Participation & Later Life

Overview This project undertook a programme of quantitative data analysis, using the prism of ageing, to address the effects of and responses to nascent globalization for civil society and social participation at national and local levels. This work package comprised a series of projects aimed at addressing specific research questions relating to later life and social…

Trade unions and social media

This project is currently considering the potential value of an analysis of virtual patterns of trade union organisation and mobilisation and specifically the contribution of social media to the rescaling of trade unionism. This includes both: the virtual linkages of the trade union movement with other forms of social and political activism; and the virtual…

Social Enterprise in Wales, the UK and Europe

This project utilised a range of econometric approaches to analyse entrepreneurial activity, the growth in Social enterprise and the changing role of the third sector. Research focused on the early stages of entrepreneurial activity and also on the survival and performance of small businesses in Wales (and beyond) as a means to contribute to economic growth…

Researching Civic Participation in Wales in place and over time

Overview This project has examined experiences of participation at the local level and what they tell us about the changing patterns of mobilisation in particular places in Wales. Fieldwork took place in North and South Wales in three stages. 1. Mapping local level civil society groups. 2. Life history/narrative interviews, which will capture experiences and biographies of…

Strong Communities Healthier People

Funding: £343,384.25 This Engagement project will build on a legacy of social science informed community-based research over the last 10 years in two of the Welsh Government’s Communities First Clusters.  The aim is to build on these past and current research projects and programmes to develop and pilot a sustainable model of collaborative research, education, engagement,…