Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR) newsletter - January 29 2021

Published on 29 January 2021

Our ISSR newsletter from January 15 2021, including items on ISSR engagement, research, impact, and our Graduate community

On this page

ISSR Seminar Series (Spring) 2020/2021 Programme

A National Care Service? But what do we mean by care? held Thursday 28 January 2021.

We held our first seminar of the spring series yesterday with just over 40 guests in attendance. Many thanks to all who participated and we hope that you found the talk very informative.

An article, published today by Nick Kemp, might be relevant and of interest to those who attended.

Nick Kempe was Head of Service for Adults and Older People in Glasgow and convenes Common Weal’s Care Reform Group which is developing a blueprint for a National Care Service in Scotland.

A recording of the event can be viewed for those who could not attend. If you have any trouble accessing the seminar recording, please let us know and if you need the code to join ISSR channel on Teams please click create or join team and enter code e2wv1jf.

If you have any queries regarding this event or in general and would like to take an idea forward, ISSR are happy to support and facilitate these opportunities. Visit our webpage and check how we can support you.

We always welcome feedback to help us deliver events that meet your needs. Please let us know what you would like to see at future events by contacting us.

Call for speakers!

We are currently planning a third panel in the pandemic series highlighting COVID related research that’s going on across our community called ‘Covid: One Year on from Lockdown’.

Dr Joanne McPeake, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, University of Glasgow will give the keynote:

‘Navigating the long-term consequences of Covid-19 in Scotland’

The short-term health and social impact of Covid-19 in Scotland has been well documented. Less is known about the long-term consequences of Covid-19 for patients and the healthcare system.

The event is planned for the afternoon of March 2nd, 2-4pm. If you would like to present your Covid research at this event, please contact us.

Once we have the whole presentation line up completed, the event will be promoted with a link to sign up to attend.

In the meantime, you might like to put a note in your diary for what will, I’m sure, be a fascinating afternoon.

Publishing News

(Un)constitutional Change Rooted in Peace Agreements

Dr Tarik Olcay is a lecturer in Dundee Law School in the School of Social Sciences and shares with you a co-authored paper (with Dr Asli Ozcelik, University of Glasgow), published in the International Journal of Constitutional Law.

Peace agreements aiming to end intra-state armed conflicts often provide for radical constitutional change, with more than 100 peace agreements concluded since 1989 containing provisions on constitutional reform. When such constitutional change is envisaged to take place within the framework of an existing constitution, as opposed to the making of a new constitution, hard-achieved deals between peace-making parties are exposed to “the unconstitutionality challenge.” Although there is ample literature on the making of a new constitution during transitions from conflict to peace, implementing a peace agreement within an existing constitutional framework and “the unconstitutionality challenge” to peace reforms has not been fully examined to date. In this article, we first identify the modalities in which “the unconstitutionality challenge” is directed at constitutional change rooted in peace agreements. We do so through a comparative survey and by particular reference to peace processes in Colombia (with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People’s Army, FARC) and the Philippines (regarding the Mindanao conflict). We then examine the promise and limitations of three legal strategies in addressing the unconstitutionality challenge:

  1. recourse to international law in assessing unconstitutionality,
  2. transitionalism in judicial review, and
  3. attributing supra-constitutional or international legal status to peace agreements

We conclude that while each strategy has some merit, their effectiveness may be limited where they lack legal feasibility or political purchase. The resulting intractability of the unconstitutionality challenge, particularly in jurisdictions where there is a strong commitment to legalism, warrants a rethinking of the relationship between peace-making and existing constitutional frameworks in transitional countries.

Multilingualism and Social Inclusion in Scotland: Language Options and Ligatures of the "1+2 Language Approach"

Dr Argyro Kanaki, Lecturer in Education in the School of Education and Social Work has published a new paper.

Recent global trends in migration, trade and overall mobility have continued to transform our objective realities and subjective experiences around linguistic diversity. More broadly, in many countries, the politics of multilingualism seem to have changed the old links between language and nation-state. In this context, Scotland is studied in this article as a case study as it acts to dispel the myth of a ‘monolingual country.’ Its recent language policy, the “1+2 Language Approach” (Scottish Government, 2012b), including regional languages, modern foreign languages and heritage languages of migrants have created opportunities as well as imbalances and issues of equity in the Scottish language habitus. Drawing on Kraus’s work (2018), this article demonstrates how the policy creates language as ‘options’ and as ‘ligatures.’ However, these ‘options’ and ‘ligatures’ are not salient and straightforward. The policy is explored on three different levels: (1) on its potential for allowing the development of multilingual communication strategies such as intercomprehension, code-switching and mixing, (2) on its commitment to linguistic justice avoiding language hierarchies and (3) on its links with dominating, neoliberal approaches to education and the economy. The article finally concludes that options and ligatures visible in language policy impose some semantic order on the confusion of layered co-occurrences of various hegemonies, or the general strain between macro and micro distinction.

The paper can be viewed on

Funding Awards

Assessing the Human Rights Potential in Scotland's External Relations

The RSE Research Awards have supported Professor Kurt Mills, Politics and International Relations in the School of Social Sciences in collaboration with Dr Andrea Birdsall, University of Edinburgh.

The project will develop a baseline to understand the current situation of human rights, what can be learned from other, similar sub-states, and finally, what can and should be done in the future.

Congratulations Kurt and Andrea!

The evaluation of the impacts of the Dundee Community Custody Unit (CCU)

Dr Matt Maycock and Dr Fernando Fernandes from Community Education have recently been successful in funding for a fully funded supervisor led PhD project funded by SGSSS in partnership with Apex Scotland.

This PhD project entails the evaluation of the impacts of the Dundee Community Custody Unit (CCU) in the context of a new approach being adopted by the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) for women in custody in Scotland. The CCU is expected to provide women in custody closer connections with local communities and is expected to have a strong focus on partnership working and co-production. The CCU is part of a wider strategy adopted by SPS in transforming the female prison with focus on rehabilitation and re-integration. The CCUs are of international significance, and have the potential to place Scotland at the forefront of criminal justice reform. In order for the potential of the CCUs to be realised, independent evaluation and analysis is critical, and this PhD project has strong support from various agencies involved in the development of the CCUs.

The research will focus on analysing the CCU model developed by the SPS and will investigate whether the implementation of the CCU has the potential to set a new modus operandi in criminal justice not only in Scotland but also internationally. As a consequence of the CCU model being rooted in community proximity, partnership and co-production, this will be investigated through the critical perspective of Community Education.

And finally...

National Research Awards 2020 - Best Published Research Paper

Congratulations go to Dr Husam AlWaer, Architecture and Urban Planning in the School of Social Sciences on receiving the award for best published research paper (co-authored) in the Energy and Industry Sector. The award was presented by the Ministry of Higher Education at a ceremony in Sultanate of Oman.

The paper was published in Sustainable Cities and Society Journal by Elsevier publisher. One of the most prestige journals in sustainability (Q1 with very high impact factor 5.268).

The paper can be viewed on

Share your research

If you would like to be featured in the ISSR newsletter please send any 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 so please get in touch if you have an idea or project that you would like support in promoting and/or help facilitating with.

Our next newsletter will be published on Friday 12 February. If you know anyone who would like to receive information please ask them to contact ISSR to be added to the distribution list.


Donna Hendry

Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer

+44 (0)1382 388173
Story category Public interest