Institute for Social Sciences Research (ISSR) newsletter - November 27 2020

Published on 27 November 2020

Our ISSR newsletter from November 27 2020, including items on ISSR engagement, research, impact, and our Graduate community

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ISSR Seminar Series

Monday 30 November at 3pm

We welcome our final speaker of the series, Morris Altman, Professor, Chair of Behavioural & Institutional Economics, & Co-operatives and Dean, Dundee Business School.

The importance of ethics to economics and the economy has been a long-standing concern and debate amongst scholars and public policy pundits. A key contribution of this book is to model ethical behaviour, demonstrating why ethical behaviour can have serious positive economic and wellbeing outcomes and be consistent with competitive market economies. Contrary to conventional economic theory, which has a profound effect on policy, being ethical can be an engine of economic growth and development.

This aligns with our Innovation in Methods and Data Analytics and Health and Wellbeing themes. The seminar is chaired by ISSR Co-Director and seminar lead Professor Judith Sixsmith.

Newly announced

TCELT Seminar Series

TCELT next seminar will be held on Tuesday 2nd December, 12-1 pm UK time using Teams. Presenter is Professor Michael Gratzke.

TCELT is an international, interdisciplinary research centre hosted by the School of Education and Social Work. Its vision is to have an impact on international research, policy and practice.

To find out more and if you would like to join the network contact Divya Jindal-Snape.

Disability Consciousness-Raising and COVID-19: Possiblities and Challenges

Disability History Month continues next week. On 2 December, Professor Fiona Kumari Campbell (FRSA) explains that, while the COVID-19 epidemic has had horrific consequences in terms of life, social isolation, the demonization of disabled and aged people, and challenges to the economy; it has also acted as a moment to reappraise the meaning of ‘disability' and affords the opportunity to build up the disability rights movement.

The highlight of the series is The University of Dundee Annual Disability Awareness Lecture, in honour of Eddie Small and this takes place next Thursday 3 December from 4-5 pm.

ISSR Interdisciplinary Incubator Grant (IIG) award

The Extractives Hub project led by Professor Peter Cameron, CEPMLP in the School of Social Sciences received IIG support to promote active conversation about the topic of mining, water and health, characterised by a variety of environmental, social, legal and technical concerns. The webinar gathers academics and stakeholders from different disciplines across ISSR member schools, School of Social Sciences, (CEPMLP, CWLPS, Law, Geography and Environmental Sciences), Health Sciences, Education and Social Work and beyond.

The event will now take place online via Zoom and all are welcome to attend. Places are limited.

Publishing news

Conservation agreements and environmental governance: The role of non-governmental actors

Recent PhD graduate Dr Surasak Boonrueang & his supervisor, Prof Colin Reid recently published examining land-based conservation agreements & non-governmental organisations & role in the governance of biodiversity and conservation.

The Effects of Limited Work Opportunities on Transitions to Adulthood among Young Refugees in Uganda and Jordan

Professor Lorraine van Blerk, Janine Hunter and Laura Prazeres co-authored a paper recently in the Journal of Refugee Studies.

Young people constitute more than half of global refugee populations, yet there is limited research into the impact of displacement on transitions into adult life. With the average period of protracted displacement extending beyond 20 years, insight is needed into how the experience of being a refugee shapes the expectations and lives of young people. This article examines the effects of weak and restricted labour markets on the transitions of young refugees into adulthood. Drawing from research undertaken with displaced children and youth in Uganda and Jordan, the article explores how a lack of work opportunities affects individual ability to achieve financial independence and, more widely, to obtain the social recognition associated with adulthood. The research finds how dependence on precarious work and the effects of legal restrictions on employment curtail transitions to adulthood, highlighting the importance of national and humanitarian policy support to help young refugees establish stable livelihoods.

The article can be seen on the Journal of Refugee Studies.

Research and Impact

Lightning Talks Forum - new PhD with Q & A held on 18 November

Many thanks to all who attended the lightning talks. The event was well received and gave a flavour of the wide variety of research topics going on across our member Schools. For those who could not attend, a recording is available to watch in the ISSR teams channel. See below, a few more abstracts taken from the lightning talks.

Get in touch if you are having trouble accessing the link Videos- Seminar and Panel Section

Policing everyday cybercrime: the geographies and culture of local cybercrime policing

Craig Thomson, Geography/ES - Social Sciences

The internet and the creation of online spaces have become an integral part of life. Individuals across multiple generations engage with networks every day: from teenagers playing online video games, to the sending of work-related emails, engagement with social media and the tourism information and advertisements. It is therefore not surprising that cybercrimes have also become a part of everyday life.

The internet has created a vast pool of individuals to target and has resulted in crimes such as identity theft, piracy, social engineering and cyberstalking. While policing and police culture, in particular, have been studied for decades, these works largely focus on policing in a physical context and neglect the increasing importance of cybercrime in local policing. It is therefore important to understand the impacts of cybercrime in everyday life, how cybercrimes come to the attention of local police officers and the processes in place to assist officers in their attempts to interpret and respond to these crimes. This work will deepen our understanding of the geographies of cyber policing and how the intersections of the physical and virtual worlds are manifest in policing practice.

These crimes, such as email phishing scams or online harassment, may not require specialist policing skills but do require an informed response. This research comes at a key moment for Police Scotland as it has recently released a detailed Cyber Strategy to address its cybercrime capability and outline the aims moving forward. This research will therefore support Police Scotland in this work through an in-depth assessment of how officers encounter low-level (but high volume) cybercrime, interpret it and respond to it.

Investor sentiment, limit-to-arbitrage and the UK stock market anomalies

Yazeed Alburaythin, Dundee Business School

My thesis will attempt to shed light on two prominent concepts in finance: the role of limit-to-arbitrage and investor sentiment in asset prices. The Efficient Market Hypothesis (EMH) asserts that, at every point of time, stock prices reflect all available information and the effect of irrational behaviour on stock prices will be eliminated by sophisticated arbitrageurs (Fama, 1970). However, given the theoretical and empirical challenges to the EMH, academic interest in the area has broadened to question the setting in which only economic and firm-specific factors influence asset prices.

Behavioural economists have suggested that real-world arbitrage is both risky and expensive and, therefore, that it is ineffective in eliminating sentiment-driven mispricing. Instead, they have suggested that a theory that combines limit-to-arbitrage and investor sentiment may explain more precisely the behaviour of stock prices (Shleifer and Summers, 1990; Shleifer, 2000; Barberis and Thaler, 2003). This thesis aims to explore the effect of investor sentiment on equity market anomalies using data for a broad cross-section of UK stocks.

An exploration of the cultural and historical journey of Educational Psychology practice and training: Implications for future directions

Gillian Horribine, Education and Social Work

Educational Psychology (EP) practice, and subsequent training, has been through several iterations since its development in Scotland in the 1920s. My own training and activity as an EP have been quite different from my predecessors and of those globally. This research aims to generate historical and cultural analysis of Educational Psychology practice and training in Scotland and bring implicit tensions to the fore, using Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) tools. CHAT has been chosen because of its focus on the analysis of the whole system within which activity occurs and to build on early studies which have applied it to other aspects of Educational Psychology e.g. consultation. This study will also consider the utility of CHAT tools to analyse professional practice and explore concepts of expertise.

A framework synthesis of key literature, as well as the views of influential Educational Psychologists and those in related disciplines (e.g. neuropsychologists), will form the initial focus of the study. It is hoped that this will lead to a process of Developmental Work Research and facilitate expanded learning for key stakeholders of Educational Psychology practice, including myself. My own voice will be present in the research and writing, as someone who is part of, and invested in, the profession and it's future.

Future-proofing Scotland’s water security: delivering safe and resilient water supplies

Sayali Pawar, Geography/ES - Social Sciences

Water supply in Scotland is largely managed by Scottish Water (SW) through their network of drinking water supply catchments. However, private water supplies are also critical. While they provide drinking water for 3.6% of the Scottish population, they are of strategic importance for tourism, as some of these water supplies serve hotels and tourism accommodation.

In recent years, concerns over the drought resilience of these supplies have emerged. The research aims to relate past drought periods to observed water quality in drinking water supply catchments (chemical and biological status) to examine empirical evidence of drought impacts in Scotland with a special focus on private water supplies and users. It will also evaluate the effectiveness and resilience of water quality mitigation measures for key nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, organic carbon) and faecal contamination under drought conditions in two contrasting study catchments in the context of changing climate, water demand and land-use change in the near (up to 2040) and medium (2050 to 2100) term, considering the potential cost-effectiveness and environmental trade-offs of grey and green solutions.

Ultimately, the focus is to develop a national-scale risk-based decision support tool to evaluate the vulnerability of water supplies (quantity, quality) to drought, including socio-economic and environmental drivers, to provide an evidence base to target investment and sustainable mitigation measures.

Progressive Fiscal Regimes in the Oil and Gas Sector

Sumret Jane Dabin, CEPMLP - Social Sciences

This research provides a critical and comprehensive analysis of the concept of progressivity in the taxation of oil and gas activities. Policymaking regarding the taxation of natural resources is of optimal importance to the government and citizens of oil-rich nations as it ensures and provides instruments that guarantee the maximization of revenue influx from this sector. The effective design of a nation’s tax regime can lead to a stable, sustainable and flourishing economy; in the same vein, an ineffective tax system can leave a country marred with corruption and poverty amid vast natural resources wealth.

Progressive regimes are aimed at the achievement of economic growth, sustainability, stability, flexibility and equity to promote the social and economic well-being of citizens, at every level, in a host nation. Fiscal progressivity goes beyond the acquisition of revenue, it also relates to the allocation, monitoring and expenditure of economic rent raised from the taxation of national resources. This research intends to investigate the issue of progressivity of fiscal regimes. Why is progressivity important? Why should oil rich countries integrate components of progressivity in the design of their fiscal regimes? And how these elements of progressivity complement a regressive structure.

Graduate Community

Finally...Well done to Tanya Jones, PhD student in Law on her recent Pecha Kucha talk organised by Creative Dundee on exploring the application of restorative justice to climate injustice.

ISSR Engagement

Share your research

If you would 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 to facilitate with.


Donna Hendry

Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer

+44 (0)1382 388173
Story category Public interest