About Us

The group represents researchers concerned with how political agents interpret the world and how their actions generate meaning. We seek to encourage interpretive analyses in all forms, particularly those which apply interpretive ideas to the empirical study of government and governance.

The group takes a broad view of interpretation as encompassing all those interested in exploring beliefs, languages, traditions, and practices as they appear in and construct the political. Relevant approaches include the history of ideas, constructivism, the study of political ideologies, poststructuralism, and qualititative methodologies such as ethnography and narrative analysis. The group also includes researchers studying public policy in ways that reflect an interest in meanings, such as the ‘dramaturgical’, ‘dialogic’ and ‘bottom-up’ models of policymaking.

The aims of the specialist group are:

  • To encourage research deploying interpretive approaches especially historical and ethnographic studies of political beliefs, traditions, and practices.
  • To support the development of collaborative research projects that use interpretive approaches to examine a wide range of cases and materials.
  • To build links with colleagues in continental Europe and the USA.
  • To build links with colleagues employing interpretive approaches in other human sciences such as anthropology, social policy, and sociology.

For further information contact:
Professor Rod Rhodes
Division of Politics and International Relations
University of Southampton
School of Social Sciences
Southampton SO17 1BJ
Email: r.a.w.rhodes@soton.ac.uk

Dr Nick Turnbull
Politics, School of Social Sciences
University of Manchester
Oxford Rd
Manchester M13 9PL
Email: nick.turnbull@manchester.ac.uk

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