IPR Global Chair

Professor Janine Wedel, George Mason University

Professor Janine R. Wedel is an award-winning author and University Professor in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University (also affiliated in 2015-2016 with the Hertie School in Berlin and Kyiv-Mohyla Academy in Ukraine). She writes about governing, corruption, and influence elites through the lens of a social anthropologist. A five-time Fulbright fellow, she is the first anthropologist to win the Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, an honour typically reserved for political scientists (previous recipients include Samuel Huntington and Mikhail Gorbachev). She also has won awards from the MacArthur Foundation, National Science Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Institute for New Economic Thinking, among many others.

A public intellectual, Professor Wedel is a pioneer in applying anthropological insights to topics dominated by political scientists, economists, or sociologists. Her most recent book is Unaccountable: How Elite Power Brokers Corrupt our Finances, Freedom, and Security (Pegasus, 2014) was named in Bloomberg’s survey of 2014 favourite reads. Her other prize-winning books are Shadow Elite: How the World’s New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market (Basic Books 2009); and Collision and Collusion: The Strange Case of Western Aid to Eastern Europe (Palgrave 2001). She has contributed analysis pieces to more than a dozen major outlets, including the Financial Times, New York Times, Foreign Policy, Washington Post, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal Europe, and her work has been reviewed or translated into more than a dozen languages.

Professor Wedel is co-founder and president of the Association for the Anthropology of Policy (ASAP), a section of the American Anthropological Association.

IPR Sabbaticals

Dr Felicia Fai, School of Management, University of Bath

Dr Felicia Fai's work with the IPR centred on the development of the UK’s industrial strategy, a key priority of Theresa May’s government. Using data from regional audits, Dr Fai first developed an overview of innovative capabilities in five regions of the UK, before bringing in ideas from the academic literature to make recommendations as to how each region could build on its current strengths. Finally, she suggested methods and policy approaches by which this ‘smart specialisation’ might be affected. This work was summated in her policy brief Place-Based Perspectives on the UK Industrial Strategy.

About Dr Fai:

Dr Fai is Associate Professor of International Business and Innovation at the University of Bath’s School of Management. Her expertise in the development of corporate technological competence, and the core competences and technological base required for corporate longevity in a range of manufacturing industries, has led to her focus on how ‘openness’ enables innovation to drive economic growth.

Dr Kate Woodthorpe, Department of Social and Policy Sciences, University of Bath

Dr Kate Woodthorpe was on sabbatical with the IPR between March 2017 - September 2017. During her sabbatical she carried out research on Death, Dying and Devolution. As part of her project she produced an IPR Policy Brief taking a look at the policy around death and dying, and how it varies across the nations of the UK.

About Dr Woodthorpe:

Since joining the University of Bath in 2010, Dr Woodthorpe has completed funded research on funeral costs and practice and professional development for staff in the deathcare industry. She acted as a Special Advisor to the Work and Pensions Select Committee Inquiry into Bereavement Benefits in 2016, and her work has been widely disseminated through the media, including numerous appearances on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme and BBC Breakfast, and features in The Guardian and The Telegraph. She has undertaken consultancy work with Royal London, Axa SunLife and Volunteer Cornwall.

Externally she is co-editor of the journal Mortality and sits on the editorial board for the journal Sociology. Internally, she is the Director of Teaching for the Department of Social & Policy Sciences. She supervises two PhD students and was twice voted Supervisor of the Year by the University of Bath and Students' Union (2013/14 and 2014/15).

She is a member of the Centre for Death and Society (CDAS), the UK’s only research centre devoted to the study of social aspects of death, dying and bereavement.

Dr Susan Milner, Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies, University of Bath

During her IPR Sabbatical, Dr Milner will worked closely with the Government Equalities Office, the Women and Equalities Committee and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to develop an evidence-based strategy for supporting working parents in a post-Brexit landscape. The government’s current Brexit strategy leaves open many questions about the future of social rights, which will be protected during an initial period but vulnerable subsequently.

About Dr Milner:

Dr Milner is Reader in European Politics at the University of Bath’s Department of Politics, Languages and International Studies. Her research focuses on employment and social policy in Europe, with a particular emphasis on work-family policies, employment relations and the future of work.

IPR Visiting Fellow

Dr María Balarin, Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)

Dr María Balarin was an IPR Visiting Fellow between September - November 2018. During her time at the IPR, María developed her research on youth transitions in Peru, focusing on young people who are not in education, employment and training (NEETS) or who are in highly precarious forms of employment. At the end of her fellowship, María Balarin presented her research at an IPR seminar.

About Dr Balarin:

Dr Balarin is a Senior Researcher at the Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE) where she has a broad portfolio of both applied and academic research.

Her applied work focuses on the analysis and qualitative evaluation of educational and social policies, with a special focus on processes of policy implementation. Her academic work has mostly focused on the field of education, where she has been concerned with understanding how educational processes mediate relations between the state and society. Her recent work focuses on the impact of educational markets on patterns of social segregation; and on vulnerable youth transition processes in the context of exclusionary citizenship regimes, where she also brings a strong gender perspective. She has also developed a strong interest in understanding the conditions under which social research is conducted in developing countries, and on the way in which gender relations underpin research careers and processes of knowledge production as well as the visibility of women’s work in the public sphere.

Dr Ian Kearns

Dr Ian Kearns was an IPR Visiting Fellow between March - September 2018. During his fellowship, Dr Kearns conducted research into data-driven policing and public value. The research focused on identifying leading data-driven policing initiatives in the UK and overseas, and assessed their potential to impact positively on crime prevention and detection outcomes, police efficiency, and the relationship between the public and the police.

At the end of his fellowship, Dr Kearns wrote and published a report 'Data-Driven Policing and Public Value' which he presented at an event, co-hosted with The Police Foundation.

About Dr Kearns:

Dr Kearns is Senior Associate Fellow at the Police Foundation and has 25 years of experience working in the public, private and NGO sectors. He is a former Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) where he provided strategic direction on digital government, the new digital economy, national security and crime.

Prior to this Dr Kearns was a Director of the Global Government Industry Practice of Electronic Data Systems (EDS), an IT services firm with a $20bn turnover. Dr Kearns also co-founded and served as the first Director of the European Leadership Network, a network of former Prime Ministers, foreign and defence ministers and other senior figures focused on security issues. He now serves on the organisation’s Executive Board of Directors.

Jeong Soo

Jeong Soo was an IPR Visiting Fellow between January 2017 - December 2017. During his one-year fellowship, Jeong Soo pursued a programme of research based on the comparative study of unemployment benefits and active labour market policy across several countries including the UK and Korea. At the end of his fellowship he presented his research at an IPR seminar.

About Mr Jeong Soo:

Keum Jeong Soo is an experienced policymaker who has held a number of prominent positions in the Korean government. Before joining the IPR he was Regional Director of the Ministry of Employment and Labour (MoEL) for the Gunsan Region, but he has also held the position of Director of International Relations in the Republic of Korea's Economic and Social Development Commission, and worked in various fields for the MoEL. His particular expertise lies in policy areas relating to labour standards, minimum wage, ageing societies and in-work benefits.