Friday, August 10, 2007

Not Immediately Personally Worrying, But Nonetheless...

When I saw this, I first thought this is probably not good news for future graduate political theorists at Oxford, because they are likely to be in the politics department, and so may get left out of a block grant as they are ostensibly social scientists (as if a social science is even possible; bah). Then I remembered that the AHRC has funded at least two studentships in the political theory DPhil intake alone - so not including any at masters level - in each of the past two years, and was comforted, since presumably the university will include and also get some studentships for the politics department in its bid. Still, it is presumably not good news for graduate political theorists in other politics departments, since they will almost certainly lose much of their access to one source of funding, as Thom points out. It seems likely to me to also have the effect of concentrating decent political theory in a smaller number of departments, since any department which does not have guaranteed studentships is going to be at an obvious disadvantage in attempting to attract graduate students and so presumably also faculty. This would not be a good thing, I think, since it would mean less political theory would be taught, and there would, all other things be equal, consequently a smaller population moving into graduate political theory. I do not want my field to shrink because it falls between the stools of the two potentially relevant funding bodies.

2 comments:

rachele said...

Apart from your more specific concerns about the fate of your discipline, it generally sounds like a very complicated proposal...

Rob Jubb said...

I think it's basically the same as what the ESRC does; departments get funding to allocate. Presumably the advantage is that the Research Council doesn't have to run a time-consuming competition each year.