Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR) newsletter - February 12 2021

Published on 12 February 2021

Our ISSR newsletter from February 12 2021, including items on ISSR engagement, research, impact, and our Graduate community

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Please join us next Thursday as we welcome Dr Raza Mirza, University of Toronto

To learn about the ways in which we can promote and implement intergenerational living, this talk presents the successful piloting of the Toronto HomeShare Programme. Canada HomeShare began as a pilot project created in May 2018 as a City of Toronto initiative arising out of the Toronto Seniors Strategy, with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Seniors Affairs. You can register for this event on EventBrite.

This aligns with the ISSR theme Health and Wellbeing.

ISSR Seminar programme - Save the Date!

Funding Awards

INTERACT - Investigating New Types of Engagement, Response and Contact Technology in Policing

A major new research project will examine how police-public engagement is being changed by the use of new technologies and Dr Megan O'Neill, together with a consortium led by Dr Liz Aston, Associate Professor of Criminology at Edinburgh Napier University, will be contributing to this exciting £862,000 ESRC funded project.

Over the next three years, INTERACT will consider the perspectives of both police and public. The study will consider ways in which the police can and should design their communication systems and engagement strategies to better reflect people's needs and expectations. Megan will lead Phase 3 of the project on police interactions with the public.

Read recent coverage in Edinburgh News.

Dr Megan O’Neill is a Reader in Geography in the School of Social Science and an Associate Director of the Scottish Institute for Policing Research.

Publishing News

Atmospheric effects in Scotland of the AD 1783–84 Laki eruption in Iceland.

New paper led by Prof Ali Dawson and Dr Martin Kirkbride in Geography and Environmental Sciences in the School of Social Sciences, published in The Holocene. Ali and Martin presented their findings last spring at an ISSR seminar titled 'Historical Icelandic Volcanism and Air Pollution in Scotland'.'Daily weather diaries and meteorological records from Scotland reveal complex weather patterns following the 1783–84 fissure eruption of the Laki volcano, Iceland. Four diarists in eastern and northern Scotland describe the near-simultaneous occurrence of discrete groups of days characterised by ‘foggy’, ‘gloomy’ and ‘hazy’ conditions during June and July 1783'.

The paper can be read in The Holocene.

Extractives Hub webinars

The Extractives Hub hosted 3 seminars in January 2021 

  1. Gender Justice & Extractives
  2. Transparency & Accountability in the Extractives
  3. Oil Petroleum Negotiating Petroleum Agreements & Stabilization Clauses

The next scheduled webinar on 19th February at 12 noon is 'State Sovereignty vs. Stabilization & Arbitration Clauses in Petroleum Agreements.


International organisations, non-State actors, and the formation of customary international law

Dr Sufyan El Droubi, Dundee Law School and Jean D'Aspremont have recently edited a book by the Manchester University Press.

The volume offers new practical and theoretical perspectives on one of the most complex questions regarding the formation of international law, namely that actors other than states contribute to the making of customary international law. Making extensive reference to the case-law of international law courts and tribunals, as well as the most recent scholarly work on customary international law, this volume provides a comprehensive study of the contribution of international organisations and non-state actors to the formation of customary international law. With innovative tools and guidance for law students, legal scholars, and researchers in law, as well as legal practitioners, advisers, judges, arbitrators, and counsels, this collection is essential reading for those wishing to understand and address contemporary questions of international law-making.

Analysing the views of people in custody about the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Scottish Prison Estate

A new paper recently published (co-authored) by Dr Matthew Maycock in the School of Education and Social Work.

The purpose of this paper is to foreground and analyse the views of people in custody about the management of the COVID-19 pandemic within the Scottish Prison Estate. The project is unique in using a correspondence participatory action methodology to engage with a group of people in custody at one Scottish prison. At the time of ethical approval (early April 2020), all face-to-face research projects facilitated by the Scottish Prison Service were paused. In response to these methodological challenges, a participatory correspondence methodology was designed to allow people in custody to influence the direction of this project by suggesting research questions and themes. Eight participants were selected due to previous participation in research projects at one Scottish prison. All participants were adult males and serving long-term sentences. After consent was given via post, eight letters were distributed to participants with questions about their COVID-19 experiences. Methodologically, this project illustrates the potential for correspondence methods to facilitate insights into life in custody during what emerges as a particularly challenging time.

The paper can be seen in the International Journal of Prisoner Health.

Newly Announced

Law Seminar - Wed 17 Feb 3pm

The Law Research Seminar Series resumes next week. If you would like to attend please join next week on Teams (the link will become active at the time of the seminar).

Gail will discuss the Treaty on Non-Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and reflect on its impact on international law. With Honduras ratifying the Treaty in October 2020, the countdown for its entry in force has begun. Gail shows that the Treaty is a major step in the banning of nuclear weapons. Who should attend? Staff, students (LLM and PhD) with interest in the field.

InterLaw Guest Lecture, 24 Feb at 4 - 5.30pm

For the first 2021 InterLaw Guest Lecture, Dundee Law School will be hosting Professor Katharina Pistor, Edwin B. Parker Professor of Comparative Law at Columbia Law School.

Professor Pistor will be discussing her new and much-acclaimed book, The Code of Capital: How the Law Creates Wealth and Inequality, by Princeton University Press.

You can register to attend through EventBrite.

Public Engagement

Brownfield Land Conference

Professor Colin Reid was the first speaker at this year's Brownfield Land Scotland conference organised by Environment Analyst. He spoke about the new environmental watchdog that is being established and other aspects of environmental governance in Scotland post-Brexit to an audience of professionals involved in treating and developing contaminated and derelict land.

Share your research

We would like to hear your news so if you would to be featured in the ISSR newsletter please send items to me. This could be any staff/RPG articles of funding successes with a social science interest, COVID-19 research, awards & recognition, progress on existing work. All news welcome!

(100-250 words will be fine – excluding links, one line intro about yourself, title and image by no later than 11am Friday). *Do not include hyperlinks. Heading/text in full and separate full link in your content please.

Access support and facilitation from ISSR
I am available on Teams on Tuesday afternoons from 2-4pm.

Please get in touch if you would like to chat in general or to discuss an idea or project that you would like support with. I can assist in promoting and facilitating.

Next issue Friday 26 February. If you would like to be featured in the newsletter, please send your content by no later than 22 February.

Please contact ISSR to be added to the distribution list.


Press Office, University of Dundee
Story category Public interest