Due to the restrictions on travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic, ACORE Cardiff team has organised an online project meeting. All project teams have participated in the meeting and contributed to the discussion on the progress of individual projects and the joint research.
The first-day programme focused on individual projects. Each researcher gave a brief account of the advancement of her/his research project, including advancing the theoretical argument, refining research questions, and settling the methodological framework. Moreover, they have summarised the progress of their empirical work and laid a plan for furthering field work, with a view of entering the analysis stage in 2020 and linking research to planned publication and dissemination activities. The discussion that followed the presentations revolved around the following key themes:
- conceptual issues such as defining change and development, relations of narratives and real-world processes, scalar-relational understanding of agency, and relating in-depth, locally-focused analysis to wider processes of change;
- Operationalising change, agency, structure and dealing issues of lagging indicator and attribution;
- problems of methodology such as choosing and combining relevant methods to grasp dynamic structure-agency relations, addressing gaps of data, and reflecting on the positionality of researcher and research ethics.
The second-day discussion focused on the overarching themes, joint publication and disseminations activities, and shared issues that researcher face during various stages of project work. The following topic appeared prominently in the discussion.
- developing the common conceptual framework further in order to respond to emerging issues, such as: agents and their relations, balancing national/locally focused case studies, and the overall international comparative approach;
- reflecting upon the emergent situations, such as the pandemic and its consequences, and the Brexit;
- planning and preparing joint publication activities, including an edited volume and a special issue.