2019-2021: Individual postdoctoral grant Juan de la Cierva Incorporacion, Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (PI)
2017-2019: Individual grant for postdoctoral research, The Leverhulme Trust (UK) (PI)
2010-2014: MSc and PhD scholarship, Economic and Social Research Council (UK)
Awarded the 2018 Herbert Gottweis Prize for the overall best article published in Critical Policy Studies journal.
Awarded the William Vaughan Lewis prize in 2009 for an outstanding undergraduate dissertation by the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge.
Politics of Scale in Policy
The main theoretical contribution of my research to date has been to extend understandings of politics by highlighting the relationship between politics and space. This has involved innovative interdisciplinary work drawing on theories from politics, public policy, and political geography where I have specifically developed the concept of ‘scalecraft’. Scalecraft is a concept which reveals why scales – such as the ‘local’, ‘national’, and ‘global’ – are far from natural features of policy and that scales are instead essential to the strategies of policy practice. My work proposes scalecraft to be a new dimension of policymaking which exposes how the meaning of scales is deeply political and related to the production of hegemony.
This theme is the focus of my monograph, The Politics of Scale in Policy: scalecraft and education governance (Policy Press, 2019).
I continue to build on this work through my ongoing research activities, for example, as a co-convenor of the Political Studies Association’s Specialist Group Space, Politics and Governance.
Knowledge, practices, and expertise in policymaking
A postdoctoral project funded by a competitive two-year research grant from the UK’s Leverhulme Trust (2017-19) has enabled me to develop a second research strand related to the area of knowledge and expertise in policymaking. The project has explored the practices through which ‘best practice’ policies are shared, defined, and developed in international policymaking contexts. The project engages with literatures on epistemic practices, policy learning, and international organisations to understand the practices through which best practices come into being and to reveal the political logics which sustain its status as a powerful form of knowledge. An additional interest is to explore the role of international organisations in coordinating international policy learning forums which are geared towards the production of best practice.
I have pursued this research focus by conducing extensive participant observation and interview fieldwork of an expert group coordinated by the European Commission which develops best practices for governing school systems. My papers currently under review and my Juan de la Cierva Incorporacion postdoctoral grant will be building on this work further.