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Measuring the impact of devolution : a discussion

Clark, Colin (2008) Measuring the impact of devolution : a discussion. Radical Statistics, 97. pp. 4-9. ISSN 0268-6376

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The central theme of the 2008 Radical Statistics conference, held in sunny Leith on Saturday March 1st, was examining 'A Decade of Devolution' and offering critical comment on how it 'measured up'. What had devolution promised and what had it actually delivered, in Scotland and elsewhere? In total eight papers were delivered by speakers from a range of institutions and organisations and, in different ways, they all covered aspects of the 'new politics' of governance in what used to be called the 'United Kingdom'. In many ways the papers, in addition to covering their specific topics such as child wellbeing, the costs of care, national identities or migration patterns, were also asking some fundamental questions that are important to all social researchers: examining the way we ask the questions we construct for surveys or interviews; the way we try and visually and textually present the data we capture and, perhaps most importantly, what we read from the data and how we can then use this empirical material to challenge day-to-day inequalities and social exclusion.