Last week we reiterated how here at AntipodeFoundation.org we welcome what political scientists and academic bloggers Patrick Dunleavy and Chris Gilson call the communication of “bottom-line results and ‘take aways’ in clear language, yet with due regard to methods issues and quality of evidence”.
Why? Because it’s our contention that the value of research is underdetermined by its author; plainly, we don’t know and can’t control how our labours will be used, where and when. And despite (or because of) that, if they are going to be put to work, then they need to be publicised. What’s more, if our work is to be ‘germinal’ rather than ‘terminal’, then arguably we should be prepared to “look forward and speculate in evidence-based ways” (to quote Dunleavy and Gilson again), suggesting how it might speak to ‘live’ events, help others understand and explain the world around them, and thus be drawn out and spun on.
Here Leah Horowitz (formerly at Rutgers, now at Hawai’i Pacific University) speaks about her paper, ‘Translation Alignment: Actor-Network Theory, Resistance, and the Power Dynamics of Alliance in New Caledonia‘, which is forthcoming in Antipode 44(3) in a week or two. The video abstract is a great example of what we’re talking about: it outlines the paper’s thesis, introducing us to the literature it builds on/contributes to and the empirical material it marshals, before stepping back, as it were, and sketching out some of the questions it enables students of similar (and, indeed, not-so-similar) phenomena to ask, some of the problems it abstracts into focus, etc.