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.


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Rod Rhodes

Role: Convenor
Institution: University of Southampton

Dr Yongmei Li

Role: Convenor
Institution: University of Southampton




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Group Events

Specialist Group event
26 Oct

Organised by NCRM, University of Southampton and presented by Professor Rod Rhodes, Professor Jack Corbett, Dr John Boswell and Dr Tamara Metze