Appointment of new IPR Global Chair marks significant international milestone

Leading US academic, award winning author and public intellectual, Professor Janine Wedel, will on 27 April 2016, be announced as the new IPR Global Chair for the University of Bath’s Institute for Policy Research (IPR).

University Professor in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University and author of ‘Unaccountable: How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt our Finances, Freedom and Security, named in a Bloomberg survey of favourite reads, Wedel’s appointment marks a significant milestone for the IPR which over the past years has expanded its reach and influence both nationally and internationally.

As IPR Global Chair Professor Wedel will take part in a series of meetings with academic colleagues, and present an IPR Public Lecture on Thursday 28th April, entitled: ‘Meet the New Influence Elites: How Top Players Sway Policy and Governing in the Twenty-First Century’. She will revisit the University later in the year.

Commenting on her appointment she said: “I am honoured to be an IPR Global Chair at the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research.  The academics I know there - or whose work I know - are engaged in cutting-edge research and are leaders in their fields.  That speaks very highly of the university environment and I'm very much looking forward to my visits.”

Professor of Public Policy and IPR Director, Nick Pearce, expanded: “I am delighted that Professor Wedel is joining IPR as a Global Chair. She is a highly distinguished scholar whose work has considerable contemporary policy resonance. In particular, she helps us understand the challenge for citizens seeking to contest and constrain the power of big money and vested interests in politics and policymaking.”

Her specific areas of research include anthropology of policy, influence elites, corruption, Eastern Europe, foreign aid, governance and privatisation of policy and social networks. During her time in Bath this week she will meet leading University researchers to discuss areas including healthcare and lobbying challenges.

Also commenting on the appointment, Professor Jonathan Knight, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) added: “That the University is able to attract leading international academics, such as Professor Wedel, speaks volumes about the strength of our research base and our future aspirations. I look forward to welcoming her to Bath and seeing research collaborations that emerge from her visit coming to fruition.”

A graduate of the University of California, Professor Wedel was recognised as one of a handful of "Distinguished Alumni" PhDs chosen to speak at the Berkeley anthropology department’s Centennial celebration.

“We at Mason are not surprised to learn of yet another honour recognising the significant works of Professor Wedel,” said Mark Rozell, Dean of the School of Policy, Government and International Affairs. “Her research is at the intersection of social science and public policy and continues to make important contributions to public disclosure internationally.”

She is the co-founder and president of the Association for the Anthropology of Policy (ASAP), part of the American Anthropological Association.  ASAP was established to provide an institutional home for anthropologists studying policy issues to engage with their peers.

She was also the first anthropologist to win the prestigious Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. She has written 6 books, the most recent ‘Unaccountable: How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt our Finances, Freedom and Security’ in 2014.

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