There is a strong culture of research activity in the Department of Social and Political Science which informs academic teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Staff are engaged in research of both national and international significance and are also involved in publication, peer review, professional practice, postgraduate training and Knowledge Transfer activities. A number of PhD students supervised by Social Studies and Counselling staff also contribute to the vibrant research culture of the department and are usually offered both teaching and publication opportunities. There is an active research culture in the department with regular research seminars at which staff and postgraduate research students present their most recent work. Research and scholarship has developed and flourished around a number of key areas in the department: Criminology; Sociology, Health and Social Policy; International Development; Political Communications; Counselling and Trauma.

Recent Submissions

  • Health and Trust Relations

    Powell, Jason; University of Chester (Sryahwa, 2018-09-13)
    The paper is a critical review of the problems and implications of trust and in managing health in the British health system. It is a system in need of strong management in the light of the global downturn in recently. Despite of policies on leadership in health in the UK, the macro issues for why the needs of diverse groups are not met are difficult to understand at particular levels of analysis. The central problem has been lack of ‘trust’ relations. The paper detangles the implications of different forms of trust in order to understand health relations in health contexts which has implications for practitioner, policy makers and medical personnel.
  • Aging, Healthy Families and Narrative Approaches

    Powell, Jason; University of Chester (Lupine Publishers, 2018-09-21)
    Due to the mounting importance of recent research in the areas of healthy families and aging, the paper assesses the particular relationship between old age, health and family life by means of studying the role of grand-parenting and the way it is perceived by older people, the family, and the society at large. The study applies a narrative approach; hence, telling the meaning of the family and grand parenting through personal stories and public discourse, based on the theory of Michel Foucault. The findings put forth suggest that identities of health and family and grand-parenting are built on multiple grounds, and that therefore theory should be sensitized accordingly, as identities are managed at different levels, for different audiences and at different levels of awareness.
  • The effects of the international economic crisis on Spain’s environmental policy

    Fernandez, Rosa M.; University of Chester (Oxford University Press, 2018)
    The economic crisis has had a profound effect upon Spanish environmental policy. The government abandoned its once praised support schemes and instead adopted measures that penalise the development of renewable energy. This chapter provides an in-depth investigation of environmental policy implementation since the crisis, focusing on renewables, biodiversity, energy efficiency, and climate change. These four policy areas are compared in order to outline differences in policy approaches and the possibility of differentiated influential factors for policy change. The chapter identifies structural barriers as the main cause of recent policy reversals. Political preferences and decentralisation of the Spanish government system emerge as central explanatory variables for environmental policy implementation and change. The chapter also looks ahead into the possible future development of environmental policy in Spain. Governmental instability may mitigate against future investment, exacerbating existing problems of poor environmental policy integration, and a lack of civil society engagement with the environment.
  • Where do we go from zero?

    Reeves, Andrew; University of Chester (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, 2018-09)
    When writing about working with suicide risk, the temptation is to focus only on the practical details – contracting, managing confidentiality and so on – as these are often at the forefront of practitioners’ minds. However, in this article I want to explore working with suicide potential from a more relational perspective – once we move beyond the risk assessment tools and questionnaires, where do we go next?
  • Out of the frying pan into the fire. Education, counselling and target-driven culture.

    Egeli, Cemil; University of Chester (PCCS Books, 2018-06)
    I write my review as a conversation between three aspects of my working self - a teacher, lecturer (in counselling skills) and a counsellor, I shall abbreviate these to T L C – I think the world needs more of it.
  • Conflicting energy policy priorities in EU energy governance

    Fernandez, Rosa M.; University of Chester (Springer, 2018-06-06)
    In the last decade, energy policies across EU member States have shifted, with fears emerging over the feasibility of the decarbonisation targets set up at European level. In many cases, the changes have been triggered by weakened economic conditions linked to the last international economic crisis (2008), but in some others they respond to national political preferences that have been given priority over long term goals related to sustainability. The second half of 2016 was particularly full of events that on one hand, introduced uncertainty over markets, and on the other hand, may condition the progress (both weakening it and leaning it towards the wrong path) towards the Energy Union, the latest attempt to achieve energy markets integration by the EU institutions. This paper will focus on three events to analyse their influence over EU’s energy governance patterns: The first is the Brexit vote and the implications over budget availability for emissions reduction projects. The second is the election of Donald Trump as president of the USA, with his declared disbelief in climate change. Finally yet importantly, is the latest decision by OPEC to cut production in order to increase oil prices. With the exception of Brexit, these events are external to the EU, but all of them will have an impact over EU energy policy decisions. Bearing in mind that goals set up for 2030 are already ‘softer’ than expected compared to the 2020 ones, the question is whether those events could push policymakers more towards European targets concerned with security of supply, conflicting with emissions reduction goals.
  • Impeachment as an accountability measure in a presidential system. Views from Nigeria's Fourth Republic

    Francis, Suzanne; Fagbadebo, Omololu; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal (University of KwaZulu-Natal and University of St Thomas, 2014)
    Extant provisions of Nigeria’s presidential constitution seek to promote a culture of accountability through a system of checks and balances. Since Nigeria’s return to civil rule in May 1999, promotion of good governance through accountability government continues to be a challenge. All indications point to a worsening governance crisis in the midst of abundant resources. Besides, Nigeria’s socio-economic performance and visible poor service delivery depict a deepening governance crisis occasioned by mismanagement of public resources. The data collected by means of documents and literature indicates that the presidential system has checks and balances as measures to prevent the abuse of power. Impeachment is the major institutionally recognised legislative mechanism to hold the executive accountable. The puzzle since the inception of Nigeria’s Fourth Republic is the failure of the legislature to appropriate this statutory authority to police the execution of public policies in a manner that will conform to the constitutional requirements. While there are requisite constitutional provisions that mandate the legislature to ascertain its power over the executive, indicating Nigeria’s commitment to the promotion of good governance, the legislature has failed to appropriate these instruments to stimulate a responsible government that is open to promoting good governance. Using the theories of structural functionalism and elites, this paper argues that this legislative failure to appropriate the instrument of impeachment to instil the culture of responsible executive in policy process engenders the prevailing governance crisis in Nigeria. The paper concludes that a political system where systemic corruption prevails will reduce impeachment to a mere instrument of political vendetta.
  • Power relations among institutions in Nigeria's Presidential System: Issues and Contentions

    Francis, Suzanne; Fagbadebo, Omololu; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal (International Journal of Politics and Good Governance, 2016)
    The principle of separation of powers and the doctrine of checks and balances are the two major mechanisms that define power relations among branches of government in presidential system. These institutional control measures are meant to avert disproportionate exercise of power. The assumption of the culture of presidential system is the near absence of personalization of power. In Nigeria, power relations among the three branches of government are clearly defined to ensure the promotion of good governance. Nevertheless, residual and inherent powers of the executive tower above the other two branches of government. This paper discovered that the uneven distribution of powers among the arms of government hampers the operation of a system of checks and balances. Thus, the institutional safety valves become ineffective in the face a rising culture of corruption and impunity. The outcome is the preponderance of governance crisis and abuse of state power. Competition for power among political elites endangers good governance. The paper submits that an informed public capable of enforcing accountability is a sine qua non for a redirection of the culture of accountability in Nigeria’s presidential system.
  • Processing perceived parental rejection through personal development

    Clare, Tracey; University of Chester (Karnac Books, 2016-08-28)
    An exploration of processing the effects of perceived parental rejection in childhood through participation in the personal development aspect of a person-centred counsellor training course.
  • A person-centred approach to breaking the trans-generational cycle of parental rejection

    Clare, Tracey; University of Chester (PCCS Books, 2018-03)
    This article uses a case study to explore the concept of self-worth as related to perceived parental rejection in childhood, and the process of becoming a parent oneself.
  • The Symbiotic Relationship Between Mindfulness and Person-Centred Therapy

    Clare, Tracey; University of Chester (BACP Publication, 2018-04)
    The article is an examination of the relationship between the two, and how client use of Mindfulness may expedite the therapeutic process when engaging in person-centred therapy.
  • Policing the Neoliberal Crisis’: An Introduction to my PhD Research

    White, Holly; Edge Hill University (European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control, 2014-07)
    In ‘Policing the Neoliberal Crisis’ Holly White utilises the theoretical insights of Stuart Hall to explore how neoliberal elites have seized upon the current economic crisis to legitimise an increasingly punitive welfare system and a broader ideological narrative of a ‘ war against the poor’. Drawing upon her experience as a volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau, Holly White makes explicit connections between changes in the macro political economy and micro policy developments in the UK concerning homelessness and the ‘Bedroom tax’. As her conclusion indicates, her work is interventionist, focusing upon the current operationalization of neoliberal hegemony and how alternative critical imaginaries and social movements are being either nurtured or suppressed.
  • Positioning and strengthening Africa's development through innovative educational policy on science, technology and innovation.

    Olaopa, Olawale; Uzodike, Nwabufo; Francis, Suzanne; Siyanbola, Willie; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal; University of Obafemi Awolowo (Mediateam IT, 2012)
    This article explores ways in which to position and to strengthen Africa's development through innovations in educational policy on science and technology.
  • Science, technology and innovation promotion: An alternative and new strategy for youth empowerment for Africa's development

    Olaopa, Olawale; Uzodike, Nwabufo; Siyanbola, Willie; Francis, Suzanne; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal; University of Obafemi Awolowo (Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, 2013)
    This chapter explores the promotion of science, technology and innovation as a new and alternative strategy of youth empowerment for Africa's development.
  • Selected themes in African Development Studies: Economic growth, governance and the environment

    Francis, Suzanne; Asuelime, Lucky; Yaro, Joseph; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal; University of Ghana (Springer / Palgrave Macmillan, 2014-07-01)
    A growing number of scholars acknowledge the interconnectedness of the myriad of problems and prospects across Africa as a relevant part of a global development discourse. Given the ever-increasing importance of knowledge for the scholarly agenda and practice of African Studies, we present a picture of contemporary issues in African development. This work presents a multi-disciplinary deeply contextual text on the important themes in development studies covering land questions, housing, water, health, economic liberalization, climate, environment, and gender. Though Africa’s problems transcend these basic sector issues, they still remain at the core of development concerns given the fact that many in Africa are food insecure, have poor access to health, water, housing, and are increasingly affected by global environmental change and global neoliberal economic policies. These themes are a microcosm in the general understanding and study of global development issues that confront humanity. This contribution, it is hoped will lead to new novel analytical frameworks, the emergence of new conceptual approaches, and empirical accounts of relevance to scholars studying Africa as well as practitioners in African development.
  • Selected Themes in African Political Studies: Political Conflict and Stability

    Francis, Suzanne; Asuelime, Lucky; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal; University of Lagos (Springer / Palgrave Macmillan, 2014-08-19)
    Africa has a long, and contemporary, record of political instability. Any political history of the continent of Africa is incomplete without contextual accounts of these exchanges; that is, processes in which governments are over-thrown, borders are shifted, countless human lives lost, property and infrastructure worth millions irreplaceably damaged, the forced displacement of untold numbers of people, and economic meltdown. In this book, the authors explore a range of political and conflict situations, discuss efforts to develop indigenous conflict resolution mechanisms and consider some of the key political and economic issues facing the continent.
  • The IFP Campaign: Indlovu ayisindwa kawbaphambili!

    Francis, Suzanne; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal (Jacana, 2010)
    The paper explores the alternative vision adopted by the Inkatha Freedom Party in their 2009 campaign. It focused on core supporters, local democratic branch structures and processes, a re-assertion of core values as central, and a re-casting of public policy to meet the needs of a heterogeneous society. Most importantly, it was a campaign that, win or lose, they fought alone without an ally or an impending coalition, and they fought it as a coherent party for the first time since 1994. The IFP, in the campaign, offered an alternative vision of ethics, etiquette and respect in government which was to speak to well educated, illiterate, wealthy and impoverished voters alike across the ideological spectrum. This was a new vision of integrity and public service that would pull South Africa back from the ‘brink of a crisis of governance’ and was rooted in the IFP discourse of etiquette and respect of customary good manners in a method of politics that spoke directly to political behaviour and transcended ideological divisions. Framed in the spirit of ubuntu-botho and the discourse of self-help, the IFP were to offer this alternative vision of as their method of governance. Unlike other parties, the IFP campaign set itself apart by its very political culture and not simply in its ideological and policy positions.
  • Political violence and conflict transformation: The African National Congress - Inkatha Freedom Party peace process in KwaZulu-Natal.

    Francis, Suzanne; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal (Gandhi Peace Foundation, 2010)
    For almost two decades, an unofficial civil war ravaged the Province of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the Reef in the Province of Gauteng in what became known as black-on-black violence. It is estimated that approximately 20,000 people died, tens of thousands more were injured, and hundreds of thousands were displaced, rendered homeless and transformed into political refugees as a consequence of a conflict involving the African National Congress (ANC) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP). In this paper I examine the national institutional attempts at peace making that included the ANC and the IFP and I show why they failed to transform the ANC-IFP conflict in KwaZulu-Natal. I claim that the failure of these processes lay in a flawed understanding of the root causes of political violence which included a misunderstanding of the strategy of the ANC. I show how conflict has subsequently been transformed in KwaZulu-Natal, through a party initiated process that included hiding each other’s secrets. The implications of this include the institution of a culture of peace in the province, but one that is threatened by the specific nature of the process that was followed.
  • Expanding the frontier's of Africa's political environment

    Francis, Suzanne; Asuelime, Lucky; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal (Springer, 2014-08-19)
    The realities of conflicts, economic growth without development, policy development and the impact of capitalism and globalization continue to challenge existing theoretical and conceptual approaches. After several decades of independence and governance in the post-colonial period in Africa, many of the political and economic indicators are still not encouraging, despite important strides towards democratic consolidation and economic development. A country study approach to the continent of Africa illuminates the diversity of the African continent and indicates the ways in which the political and socio-economic contexts of African states bear directly upon the ability of states to solve the various political and economic challenges that they face.
  • Expanding the Frontiers of African Development Studies

    Francis, Suzanne; Asuelime, Lucky; Yaro, Joseph; University of Chester; University of KwaZulu-Natal; University of Ghana (Springer, 2014-07-01)
    A growing number of scholars acknowledge the interconnectedness of the myriad of problems and prospects across Africa as a relevant part of global development discourse. Given the ever-increasing importance of knowledge for the scholarly agenda and practice of African Studies, we present a picture of contemporary issues in African development. These themes are a microcosm in the general understanding and study of global development issues that confront humanity. This is hoped will lead to novel analytical frameworks, the emergence of new conceptual approaches, and empirical accounts of relevance to scholars studying Africa as well as practitioners in African development and policy makers.

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