‘The Search for the Social Contract in England’s Regions’
This project will use Social Contract theory to investigate (the lack of) engagement with sub-national institutions and policies in England.It will do this by using a case study of the Leicestershire region and analysing data through the lens of Social Contract Theory (principally through the work of Rousseau, Hobbes and Locke). The project is one of the first to use Social Contract Theory to analyse regional studies data and this will develop our empirical understanding of how sub-national governance can engage with the local population and business community in these ways to form the networks that drive local economies. The use of Social Contract Theory allows for new theoretical insights which will extend regional studies theories relating to network building, trust and regional leadership. Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau argued that it is only when it is clear to the population that a government or institution can provide them with protection and prosperity that they will submit to their authority.
Read more about this research here: https://regions.regionalstudies.org/ezine/article/between-liberty-and-regional-leviathan-establishing-engagement-with-local-governance-in-leicestershire/
“Perhaps the biggest impact of the RSA EC grant on my career has been the confidence I have gained from being awarded the grant. Since winning the grant I have gone on to secure a number of other grants with colleagues meaning that I am now fully ensconced in the research community at both my institution and the wider academic community. Though this I have been involved in the launch of the INCITE (Innovation and Creativity in Transformational Economies) Research Group which I now co-direct. We have gone on to carry out extensive research in Vietnam, resulting in collaborations with local academics and Government Ministries on the economic development of Vietnam as well as emergent research in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan where the knowledge I developed during the RSA grant directly informs our work. In addition, I am now working with the Anthropocene Research Group based in the Geology Department at Leicester on projects exploring how the scientific data on the climate crisis can be translated into public policies to address that crisis and gain the support of the public and business. These research activities and the associated grant capture led to my successful promotion to Associate Professor at the start of the 2019/20 academic year. I do not believe that any of the research work I have done since 2018 would have been possible without the RSA EC grant.”