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Care in and for Policy

Project: Research


This research programme aims to develop a network of researchers to explore contemporary, urgent concerns about policy as failing, marginalising ‘good’ practices and causing harm. While ‘policy’ can been seen as a historically, culturally and politically specific form of care, currently there is widespread concern that many ‘policies’ are not care-full enough. Often, it seems that policy looks after some things and neglects other things and the things that are neglected are those things most in need of ‘care’, such as inarticulateable practices, precarious relations and marginalised actors. Policies designed to protect, to nurture and to care for objects and subjects can inadvertently harbour and promote relations of harm derived from overly protective measures of control. And policies that ‘work’ within particular defined contexts can be seen to be dysfunctional within more complex contexts. Within Science and Technology Studies (STS) notions of care as socio-technical and relational are proving productive in thinking through diverse policy-related domains such as animal health and agriculture, biodiversity, human health care, emergency planning, waste management, energy production. This research programme explores ways to sensitize policy and practices to the specificities of location and the inevitability of excesses. It explores how policy could attend to those things often neglected, harmed or made invisible. The objective of the programme is to find out how ‘care’ could be effectively woven into policies as they are formed, developed and practiced. (Working with Dr Claire Waterton, Natalie Gill and others)
Effective start/end date1/03/13 → …


Research outputs