Shaping debate on religion in public life.

New William Temple PhD Scholarship

26 Oct 2017

Applications are invited for a further William Temple Scholar to join the existing four at Goldsmiths, University of London.

This is a fully-funded PhD in Progressive Localism: the search for new partnerships and forms of co-production between local authority, faith sector, and third sector actors as a response to ongoing austerity, increased despair and inequality, and decline in institutional resources and knowledge.

Three years full-time to start January 2018. The PhD scholarship is for a total of £25,170 over three years to cover fees (£4,195 p/a) and maintenance (£4,195 p/a).

2 – 3,000 words proposals are invited from prospective candidates to develop new critical thinking and empirical research around the concept of progressive localism in UK settings. The concept, devised by David Featherstone et al., recognises that policies of ‘Localism’ have been associated with pushing responsibility for policy and funding away from the centre to local authorities and settings, thus connecting localism with austerity and neo-liberalism. Yet localism has the potential – and track record – for driving genuinely empowered, localised resilience and flourishing. Progressive localism is ‘outward looking and creates positive affinities between places and social groups negotiating global processes. These affinity groups and networks are expansive in their geographical reach … and productive of new relations between places and social groups.’ (2011)

We are looking for innovative and empirically based research that critically tests out the ideas behind this concept, addressing issues of power and partnership; leadership and change management; the postsecular, co-production, performative apologetics, etc. We are interested in how new policy landscapes create or inhibit an ‘outwards facing approach’ to working alongside increased diversity, as part of ethical and tactical approaches towards increased engagement, leading to new and sustainable forms and expressions of progressive localism.

The proposal should outline how the candidate would construct a research thesis on this area, addressing issues of research questions, methodology, public impact, and publications. A bibliography should be submitted as an appendix.

Deadline for applications: 12 noon, 1st December, 2017.

Successful applicants will be called to interview on 12th December, 2017.

Applications to Thomas Greenwood (
Further queries to Professor Chris Baker (

More background and details here.

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