Critical Research in Social Policy (CRISP)

The Critical Research in Social Policy (CRISP) research subgroup within the Political Economy of Resources, Environment and Population (PER) research programme focuses on interdisciplinary, critical approaches to the deconstruction and analysis of social reproduction and social provisioning within a context of development.

Social policy is conceptualised as a field of power. The group gives emphasis to the question of how social policy can be used as a force for progressive transformation and for sustainable, equitable, generational and gender-aware, and socially-just development within a context of contemporary globalization and profound population transformations such as migration and urbanization.

The research of CRISP broadly falls into three areas:

  • Inclusive Growth and Social Protection, with a focus on poverty, hunger and food security, inequality, vulnerability, marginalisation, social exclusion, discrimination, disadvantage, unemployment and insecure informal employment, and the roles of productivity and redistribution in inclusive growth strategies at both local and global levels.
  • Children and Youth Studies (CYS), with a focus on: Agency and Vulnerability; Governmentality and Social Policy; Identity and Belonging; and Young People in Place and in Motion. The CYS focus takes a relational approach to development, primarily through the mainstreaming of generation in development studies – while also privileging children and youth studies as a distinct and vibrant emerging field of scholarship in its own right. This approach takes into account broader concerns with intersectionality, life course, family, and community in development strategy (see annex 1 for further details on CYS).
  • Body, Nature and the State in contemporary population policy and practice, with a focus on sexuality, gender, bio-politics, queer theory, sexual rights and reproductive health.

The CRISP group shares with AFES a privileging of critical political economy, political ecology, and post-structuralist approaches, drawing from economics, sociology, politics, anthropology and human geography, as means to most appropriately address issues of social justice and equity in social policy.