Tag Archives: INCORE

The closure of INCORE

25 Sep

I am really disappointed to hear about the effective closure of INCORE at the University of Ulster and the redundancies of three members of the Politics Department there. INCORE (the Initiative on Conflict Resolution and Ethnicity) was established by the late John Darby – a truly far-sighted and humane scholar who was interested in the comparative lessons between peace processes.
I note that – as with the redundancies at the Department of Politics in Surrey – the managerial “academics” always seem to keep their jobs but the front-line teaching staff lose theirs. Has there ever – in the history of any university – been a case of a Dean losing his/her job due to “re-structuring”?
INCORE gave me my first job (twenty years ago) and was a vehicle for some really great research (on peace processes, social attitudes, reconciliation). It will continue in name but given the number of redundancies not in practice. Investing in education and research – especially in a society like Northern Ireland that lacks effective reconciliation – is a no brainer. Dis-investing in education – which seems to be the University of Ulster strategy – is not only harmful to the University but to the society itself.
There is a wider issue too. Dis-investment in one part of the social sciences is a dis-investment in all of it. We are seeing a new wave of cross-disciplinary research in which there are really fruitful collaborations between different social science disciplines. It is as though we are at quite a pivotal moment in methodology and epistemology whereby increasing numbers of scholars from across the social science disciplines are realising the potential of lending and borrowing from each other. An attack on one part of the social sciences is an attack on all of the social sciences.

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