How anthropologists work in and change government 
Kathryn Tomlinson (BBC Media Action)
Stevenson Lecture Theatre
Start time:
9 June, 2012 at 9:30 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

In two linked sessions, a roundtable of anthropologists working in government will discuss how their work has influenced government policy and practice, and will run a workshop to advise on how academically trained anthropologists can work in government.

Long Abstract

1. How anthropologists change government - roundtable 

At this session a panel of anthropologists currently working in government will each speak for 5 minutes about how their work has influenced government policy and practice. They will then debate the role of anthropologists influencing government among themselves, before opening the discussion to the audience. 

-  The deconstruction of the widely-used local government concepts of 'community' and 'development' to better appreciate the worldviews of residents in the context of a neighbourhood renewal programme in Great Yarmouth: Robert Gregory, Great Yarmouth Borough Council

- How does anthropology influence working as an analyst in the contested world of counter terrorism?: Andrew Garner, Home Office

- Anthropological engagement with domestic drug policy and treatment of drug-misusing offenders: Sara Skodbo, Home Office

- Understanding social relations and inceptives to manage upwards - meeting commitments to gender equality within DFID: Andrew Long, DFID

2. How anthropologists work in government - workshop

A number of anthropologists currently working in government will talk briefly about particular issues that academically trained anthropologists may face when applying for or working in government (such as writing styles, short timescale research, scepticism about qualitative work). The audience will then break into smaller groups to engage with individual anthropologists about the issues raised - or their own questions about working in government.  

- Communication problems between anthropological and governmental discourse and language: Margaret Bullen, University of the Basque Country, Donostia-San Sebastián

-  The adaptations necessary to respond to a local government environment: Robert Gregory, Great Yarmouth Borough Council

- What are the practices of knowledge that work and don't work in shaping policy? Andrew Garner, Home Office

- The training and skills that anthropologists need to work in their own societies and governments: Sara Skodbo, Home Office

- Agency and structure: People and institutions - ensuring the client group stays represented in large scale macro contexts of intervention: Andrew Long, DFID

Accepted papers: