LEAP, Uncategorized

Law, Experience and Practice (LEAP) Network Newsletter February 2017

LEAP: Law, Experience and Practice.

An AHSS network for interdisciplinarity in care research

February 2017 Update – read on for

  • Overview: Purpose and aims of this network
  • February 2017 Update – read on for
    • Overview: Purpose and aims of this network

    Info on next meeting 24th Feb and how to get involved

  • Summary of LEAP purpose and aims
  • What we’ve done so far … and future plans



LEAP: Law, Experience and Practice. The purpose and aims of this network

The need for interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of care research constitutes the central focus of LEAP. Through the network we explore how to research the place of public policy within research about the experience of care.  Our aim is the future design of research which can address questions about how to embed care within communities that are marred by inequality, yet are increasing deprived of caring resources in the context of demographic change and austerity.  These communities may be:

  • spatially constituted (eg de-industrialised towns or in private domestic households)
  • occupational communities of care professionals, care providers or care-givers
  • characterized by individual disadvantage (for example in relation to age, race, disability or gender)

The LEAP network will help members collectively learn how to investigate the impact of policy norms and regulation on the capacity for such communities to experience care, in ways which are enmeshed with research about the social meaning of care and its economic significance.

The location of this network at Cardiff University is significant.  Wales is a young legislature with growing autonomy, comparatively little organizational experience of policy making and few expert resources with which to support policy implementation.  Across the EU, member states face the challenge of formulating public policy to address a care deficit.  In Wales, this care deficit is coloured by deprivations which have accompanied recent deindustrialization, together with an entrenched legacy of health inequality and social exclusion.  Wales’ economy is particularly dependent on care and, for many individuals, access to paid work is often contingent upon the availability of care resources.  Indeed, care work itself is a key source of employment, yet it is often low waged.  The meeting of care needs is an important site of technological development as well as a source of small business growth and public services innovation.

The LEAP network brings together academics across AHSS and also draws in expertise from medicine and the health sciences.  Its purpose is to develop our collaborative capacity and collective expertise so that we might engage in interdisciplinary research which can significantly contribution to the development of public policy in Wales and lever research funds into Wales on the basis of its distinctive needs.



The aim of the LEAP network is to address methodological architecture before we get down to the technicalities of informing policy and or seeking regulatory innovation.  In this sense, we place emphasis on learning how to collaborate, how to work across disciplines, and how to develop cross-disciplinary collaborative project work that is co-constructed.

Progress to date …

The LEAP network grew from a series of successful workshops involving actors from across AHSS and the health sciences including Regulating Innovation (Priaulx and Krajewksa (LAWPL)) in June 2016, and Choosing to Care and Caring to Choose: An Interdisciplinary Conversation (Sakellariou (Heath Sciences) and Hayes and Priaulx, (LAWPL)) February 2016. Since then LEAP actors have sought to facilitate a range of further themed workshops within AHSS designed to draw together actors including Practicing Collaborative Interdisciplinarity: Ways and Means (April 2016), Regulatory Narratives around New and Emerging Technologies (February 2016) as well as a key ‘Meet and Greet’ event, to draw together actors with interests in policy around disability and social care, Connecting Research with Policy in Wales: Health, Disability & Social Care (November 2016).  LEAP also secured funding for a WG Hart Legal Workshop at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies in London which showcased work of Cardiff actors in SOCSI (Collins, Evans) and LAWPL (Syrett, Smismans) and centralized collaborative cross-disciplinary practice and collaborative methods, Valuing Expertise: Legal, Normative and Social Dimensions (September 2016). Alongside this LEAP actors across AHSS have also sought substantial funding on a number of projects including from the Wellcome Trust (‘Abortion Secrecy and Support: Mapping Knowledge and Attitudes to Inform Public Debate and Enhance Practice’; Evans, Priaulx, Weinel, Littleton-Smyth, Strange) and more recently, an ESRC Large Grant application was submitted for the project ‘Investigating the Delegalized Space and DIY Family Justice’ with GW4 actors (AHSS network actors involved include: L Smith, Douglas, Shelton, Priaulx, Evans, Weinel).


Next steps and key dates for your diary …

LEAP Meeting – 24th February 2017 – 12 noon – 2 p.m.  (Room 1.29, Law Building, Cardiff University).

An extended (and catered) lunch meeting.  In addition to a discussion about the aims of LEAP, Nicky Priaulx, Lydia Hayes, Steve Smith and scholars from the IMGAME team in SOCSI will briefly outline four key initiatives in which the involvement of actors across LEAP are sought and indeed, needed. Operating as a (friendlier) Dragon’s Den, these include:

  • A call for expressions of interest in a project which seeks to explore models for dealing with  the legal, ethical and healthcare issues which arise in neonatal death and dying cases in developing countries.
  • A pilot AHSS Athena Swan project in which LEAP actors participate in an IMGAME to investigate the extent to which male academics possess insight into the experiences of female academics in HE. IMGAME (short for Imitation Game) is a method developed at Cardiff by Collins and Evans to measures insight and understanding between different cultural groups.
  • Helping to develop a cross-disciplinary project around everyday insight and understanding between different socio-economic groups.
  • A call for expressions of interest in a project concerned with rising levels of abuse of older people in formal and informal care settings.

We hope this will be first of several such Dragon’s Den initiatives which are intended to encourage LEAP members to actively engage in working together to draw in expertise that might help seedling projects to flourish.  Our aim is to create an environment where LEAP network members can articulate their interests and projects for which they seek collaborators within AHSS/medicine/healthcare.

To sign up for this meeting, please follow this Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/building-interdisciplinarity-plans-and-project-ideas-tickets-31994725084