Room B, City Hall
Time Slot: 
Monday 26th March 09:30 - 11:00
Panel Chair: 
  • Dr Susan Hodgett (Ulster University)
Panel Members: 
  • Dr Susan Hodgett (Ulster University)
  • Dr Marguerite Cassin (Dalhousie University)
  • Professor Yiannis Gabriel (University of Bath)

Susan Hodgett

School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences,

Ulster University


Novel Times for the Public Good?

This paper reflects on the use of novels and narratives to explore what we know, or don’t know, about the effect of public policy interventions especially in liminal places. It considers what we might learn if government and the public service listened more closely to what citizens need in their everyday lives. It contemplates whether listening more effectively might help us better appreciate public needs; and therefore maximise the old fashioned concept of the public good.  The paper explores the motivation to consider evidence from the edge, including local culture and novels, and whether the use of such evidence could help citizens better understand government and government better understand citizens?


Yiannis Gabriel 

School of Management,

University of Bath

Narrative ecologies in post-truthful times


Narratives and counter-narratives can be viewed as features of narrative ecologies which, by analogy to natural ecology, can assume different configurations, such as narrative mono-cultures, narrative deserts, narrative jungles and narrative temperate zones. I will argue that the concept of narrative ecology has tremendous potential in accounting for the different narrative patterns we encounter in different organizations and societies and will explore some of the narrative ecologies we encounter in post-truth times.




A Marguerite Cassin,

School of Public Administration

Dalhousie University

Halifax Canada


Stories, Everyday Life and Public Policy


With the advent of evidence based policy as a standard for professional policy advice, the question of what counts as evidence is an increasingly important and relevant research and policy issue. This paper explores what ‘stories’ are, how they come to be relevant to public policy related research analysis and explores questions in field study techniques. This is discussed with reference to the author’s current field research on economic development and public policy in rural Nova Scotia Canada.