Up Close and Personal with Government Elites: the fear and fun of “being there”’

A lecture by Rod A. W. Rhodes, Professor of Government from the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Southampton.

| Katrine Terkelsen

Dato man 07 dec
Tid 12:00 14:00
Sted Auditorium 3 (1441-113)

Ethnographic research is rare in political science. This lecture argues the case for using it in the study of governmental elites. I asked the simple question, ‘how do things work around here?’ to explore the everyday life of senior bureaucrats and ministers. I illustrate the lecture with stories drawn from two projects: an observational study of three British central government departments; and ethnographic interviews and focus groups with the Chiefs of Staff of Australian prime ministers. I conclude that such fieldwork has many advantages including moments of epiphany, recovering recovers the beliefs and practices of actors, and getting inside the black box of government.

This event is co-sponsored by CESAU and Contemporary Ethnography.

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