Call for papers: Equality and Diversity Research Network


Seminar series on the New Regulatory Framework for Equality

Since 2001 we have seen massive changes in the way in which society understands and regulates equality. The legal framework has been through significant change culminating in the 2010 Equality Act both in terms of duties and in terms of the scope of legislation. What is our experience of the legislation and the current changes? What effect can the legal framework have on securing continued change? What has been the experience of managerialist approaches to equality? Who will drive change in the future and how will it be driven – through professionals and managers or through activists and communities?
We are planning a series of interdisciplinary seminars through 2011 to explore these issues. The first seminar will be in July at a venue to be announced in London and the programme will continue in October and December.
We are keen to receive papers or contributions for this series and you are invited to submit, by e-mail, a short proposal (abstract) of no more than 300 words to

Stuart Speeden
Dr Karen Leeming

Deadline for call for papers: 31 January 2011

Please contact us if you wish to discuss a proposal or the seminar series.

Next Equality and Diversity Research Network Meeting


The next meeting of the Equality and Diversity Network will take place at Wychwood Park Hotel, Crewe on 21st June 2010, at 10.00a.m.  There is good access by train to Crewe and it is close to the M6.  See for details of the hotel and directions.

The meeting will have two main agenda items:

Review the future of equality and equality research in a period of austerity.

Clearly, the change of government and the appointment of Theresa May to the Home Office with responsibility for Equalities sets a new context within which equality and diversity policy will be developing. This meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the changes and the role that research could and should play in this changing context. The aim of the discussion would be to map out a research agenda for wider discussion through the network. Continue reading

Equality in uncertain times

Listening to the election broadcasts of the three major political parties you would be led to believe that all parties were committed to a greater degree of ‘fairness’. What this means and how it translates into policy and practice may be very different things. The successful passage of the Equality Act 2010 may have put in place a new legal framework but much hangs now on the development of the specific duties that will be placed on public sector bodies. Continue reading

Call for Articles

Themed edition on Equality and Public Service Management

I am planning to edit a themed edition of the International Journal of Public Sector Management focusing on ‘Delivering equality through public sector management’. I am inviting possible contributions to the journal of 4-6,000 words in length. If you have a proposal that you would like to discuss or a short synopsis please contact Stuart Speeden


Equality and the public sector: Delivering equality in a time of austerity
We are organising a panel on the above theme for the Public Administration Committee Conference in September. There is an opportunity here for a range of papers presentations looking at the implications of the Equality Bill, the future of public sector duties and an examination of equality policy and practice for the different equality strands. A further theme for discussion would be ‘equality in a time of austerity’. If you have a paper or an idea for a paper or presentation please get in touch with Stuart Speeden
The PAC conference will take place 6-8 September and will be hosted by Nottingham Trent University. Details of the PAC conference can be found at

DON’T LOSE THE SPECIFIC DUTIES – CLPS Response to the Government Consultation.

CLPS has responded to the consultation on the Specific Duties through a detailed response that is contained in two attached documents, and the covering letter below.  In our supplementary submission we set out a framework for the Specific Duties and what they should contain. We think that this framework could be the basis for refinement and further submissions to Government Equality Office over the next few weeks. Please have a look at these documents, respond and debate through the blog.

Head of Centre

Supporting Document – Comparing the specific equality duties

Response Proforma Eq Bill

Consultation on the Equality Bill

Government Equality Office

I am writing in response to the Government’s consultation on the Equality Bill following our discussions within the Centre. The response is based on our extensive experience working with the public and voluntary sector on the implementation of the duties and in developing national equality standards. Continue reading

Equality and Diversity Research Network Meeting 3rd July 2009

Equality Bill

A substantive part of the Equality and Diversity Research Network Meeting on the 3rd of July focused on the new Equality Bill and the Policy Proposals for specific duties, as any responses to it have to be submitted by the 30th of September 2009.  There was an intense debate by the members who attended the meeting on the specific and general duties outlined by the Policy proposal  and areas that are being omitted, overlooked, dropped or excluded such as the equalities provisions not being applicable to those under 18.  Chapters four and five were highlighted as being of particular interest.

There was also a worry that local authorities could read the Bill in such a way that instead of mainstreaming equality of opportunity within all their structures, they would focus on what they can actually demonstrate they have achieved.  In essence, fostering a tick box compliance culture that has little real benefit.  It was felt that this would be especially prevalent in rural areas where mainstreaming could be dismissed as unworkable in a number of situations.

Several members of the group proposed that they collaborate on producing a brief on the Equality Bill and the , links to appropriate documentation and a draft response.  These will be disseminated to the network members for comment and the finalised response will be submitted in due course on behalf of the network.  If you would like to be formally identified as a member of the network in this response please e-mail Karen Leeming who will be collating the list.  You may also want to consider submitting a personal response to the Equality Bill.  The points raised and the proposed outcomes from the rest of the meeting will be available shortly.

Please contribute to the debate on this blog..

Equality and Diversity Research Network

The purpose of the Equality and Diversity Research Network is to encourage an interdisciplinary perspective on equalities research in the complex area of policy and practice.  This is because as measures to promote policy in these areas have developed, they have demonstrated a need to draw upon a range of knowledge across a wide variety of disciplines such as sociology, legal studies, governance and politics, organisation and management, community studies and research methods.


Our aims for the Network are: to generate new opportunities for collaborative research; to stimulate debate between academics and practitioners; and promote new opportunities for published output.


How will it work?


We are establishing a database and contact list of network members. This will be developed over the next year into a basic platform for the exchange of ideas and information that this blog will be a part of.


To promote the development of interdisciplinary research the next event we are holding will be on the 3rd July 2009 and is free for network members.  The event details and agenda can be found on this blog under ‘Next Network Event’.

Send your details

If you are interested in participating in the network please drop an e-mail to Dr Karen Leeming at leemingk [at] We will then send out a short pro-forma to put your details on the database.


Stuart Speeden, Director, Centre for Local Policy Studies, Edge Hill University.



We have had reports that a number of people did not receive the last newsletter reporting on the meeting that took place on 3rd February. There was a good response to the meeting, but on the day we were affected by dire warnings of snow which affected attendance. There was however, a productive discussion and some of the key issues coming out of the meeting were as follows:
•   The Network was welcomed as the basis for encouraging inter-    disciplinary dialogue and research on equality and diversity.
•   A website would be developed to support communication with and between members of the network. This would support on-line information exchange, debate and facilitate research partnership.
•   The network would establish links with other key networks involved in equality and diversity policy.
•   The roundtable discussion on the Equality Bill would be postponed to the next network meeting.
•   At the next network meeting we would discuss the possibility of an international conference.