I have been invited to write for the British Politics and Policy at LSE blog on the controversy surrounding the Arts and Humanities Research Council's decision to include the "Big Society" - a Conservative Party campaign slogan - in its delivery plan for strategic research funding priorities. My essay can be found here and this is an excerpt:
"[. . .] There should be no further delay. The AHRC must act now. There is unprecedented support for change from across the sector that bridges disciplinary and political divisions. Many have supported this campaign because so many of us care deeply about the AHRC. If this campaign does not succeed, the AHRC will risk alienating a great many it should serve. The Guardian has correctly noted recently that my fellow AHRC Peer Review College members are organizing a possible en masse resignationfor next week if there is no clear developments on removing the Big Society from the AHRC delivery plan. This story has also caught the attention of the Shadow Universities Minister who has now taken up the campaign. I can speak for all Peer Review College members that have contacted me about resigning that this is a last resort. This can be avoided and the ball is in the AHRC’s court. I am very hopeful that the unity amongst the academy is now crystal clear and the case for change highly compelling. It is time we come together to face critical times ahead and I have every faith that the AHRC will soon accept this wise change."