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Accepted Paper:

has pdf download The Making of Local Government Policy in an English town: how councillors play their part in participation at meetings. An ethnographic study by a reflective practitioner.  


Bryony Rudkin (University of Birmingham)

Paper short abstract:

Policy making UK local government is carried out in part by locally elected representatives taking part in formal meetings. This paper seeks to explore how an ethnographic study of one English municipality, carried out by a reflective practitioner, might increase understanding of this process.

Paper long abstract:

With over twenty years service as a local councillor herself and experience of a variety of leadership positions and engagement with fellow elite practitioners at local, regional, national and international level, the author of this paper seeks to explore in detail what takes place when local councillors speak in formal meetings and exercise their roles as democratically elected representatives. Part of a wider PhD research project which is considering in detail the work of councillors in a northern English authority, this paper considers the value of an ethnographic methodology to a piece of work rooted in practice and performance. The wider PhD project is looking in detail at full council meetings in the municipal year 2019/2020 with verbatim transcripts created from observation of webcasts. In addition data is being gathered from observation in person and interviews with participants and other elite practitioners in this field which will be subjected to further analysis. The paper considers the value of such observation and analysis and the impact of webcasting and archiving of meetings. In addition there is consideration of the impact and value of reflective practice and the privileged access this allows to individuals and settings where policy is debated.

Panel AA11
Anthropologists and geographers engaging in public policy and practice