OECD Conference




Professor Mark Shucksmith OBE

Professor Mark Shucksmith is the Director of NISR. Mark writes this blog on the potential of combined authorities following his attendance at the OECD conference in Bologna, Italy 23rd-25th October 2013.

As the North-East prepares to establish a new Combined Authority, covering the seven council areas of Northumberland, Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland from April 2014, what lessons might be learned from experience elsewhere? Last week I attended the OECD’s conference on Rural-Urban Partnerships, which presented lessons learned from case studies in 11 countries around the world. Most interesting were the experiences of Nuremberg in Germany (which I studied as one of OECD’s experts), Geelong in Australia, and Rennes in France.

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Feminist Activism as a Location of Social Renewal

Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth

Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth is a member of Newcastle Law School and is our Social Justice and Injustice Theme Champion. Kathryn writes this blog on the increased visibility of feminist activity in the UK and why it’s a significant aid to social renewal with a contribution from Dr Elizabeth Sharp, Texas Tech University. Follow Kathryn on twitter @KathrynHollsNCL.

During periods of rapid social change we are presented with opportunities to alter the status quo: to move towards a more equal society, to address the oppressive conditions experienced by those lacking economic, social, political, and cultural power and to engender social renewal.  However, times of change also generate new contexts for the power structures of the past to be perpetuated and further entrenched, creating more – not less – oppression.  This we can see when we consider the position of women in the UK, in 2013. 

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What is Justice? Unachievable – without Social Justice


Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth

Professor Kathryn Hollingsworth is a member of Newcastle Law School and is our Social Justice and Injustice Theme Champion. This blog from Kathryn follows her participation at the Howard League for Penal Reform Conference 1-2nd October 2013. Follow her on twitter @KathrynHollsNCL

What is Justice? Well, where do we start?  Perhaps, as Professor Matt Matravers noted at the Howard League for Penal Reform conference (‘What is Justice? Reimaging Penal Policy’), it is easier for us to identify and agree on what is injustice rather than what is justice (a stance that Steve Crossley will be arguing when he gives a paper to the Human Rights and Social Justice Forum as part of the NISR series ‘Social Justice and Social Renewal’ on December 4th).  Despite the difficulty of answering a question that has long vexed philosophers, the gauntlet was thrown down to academics and practitioners of criminology/criminal justice at the international conference held last week at Keble College, Oxford University.

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Labour Party Conference 2013

Last week Professors Mark Shucksmith and John Goddard headed to the Labour Party Conference in Brighton to take part in a fringe event organised by the University. This panel debate on “The University in the City” was chaired by local MP Chi Onwurah and featured contributions from shadow ministers Gordon Marsden MP and Gareth Thomas MP. Read the transcripts of their speeches, highlighting the role of universities in cities and how this relates to social renewal.

Professor Mark Shucksmith:
Newcastle University is well-known for its vision to be a world-class civic university. This means not just being excellent in our research and in our teaching and learning, but being part of the wider community and putting our excellence to a purpose. We strive to address the major societal challenges of our time by asking not just what are we good at, but what are we good for?

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What is the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal trying to do?

Across Newcastle University, colleagues are working to realise the vision of a world-class civic university, relevant to the intractable challenges facing humanity in the 21st Century. The University’s vision of the civic university, pursuing “excellence with a purpose” is the institutional raison d’etre for the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal (NISR). Our intention is to explore new ways in which a research intensive university – its staff and students – can connect with society in order to make a difference.

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Welcome to the blog for the Newcastle Institute for Social Renewal!

Social Renewal is a wide and varied term, and sometimes it’s not easy to understand what it really means. By hosting this blog we’re hoping to show that Social Renewal is important to each and every one of us, in ways you might not realise.

We’re really interested in hearing your thoughts, so please get involved! Use the comments button on any of the upcoming posts to have your say on the important issues facing society today. Also, if you have any ideas for future blogs just let us know. Email socialrenewal@ncl.ac.uk and we would love to have you as a guest blogger! You can also follow us on Twitter or visit the main website for more information on our research activities.

Coming soon… Our first blog by our Director Professor Mark Shucksmith.