Moving policy out of time - commentary to Refstie

Lorne, Colin (2022). Moving policy out of time - commentary to Refstie. Fennia – International Journal of Geography, 200(1) pp. 81–85.



This paper is prompted by Hilde Refstie’s lecture on co-production and the role of academia in the search for sustainability in times of fast policymaking. My aim is to keep the conversation going by reflecting on how policy researchers negotiate all kinds of tensions and contradictions when traversing academic and policy worlds. It seems to me that those involved in making and researching fast policy are – in rather different ways – moving out of time: there is an urgent search for ‘solutions’ to the many, different crises we are now facing. Yet, the very existence of political alternatives requires holding open the possibility of interrupting the now all-too-familiar rhythms of fast policy. While calls for ‘slow scholarship’ may push back against the increasing tempo of the neoliberal academy, if we are not careful such appeals risk reproducing existing exclusions and inequalities, not least among those struggling by on temporary contracts. Confronting these dilemmas and antagonisms may help go some way towards reconfiguring research relevance in the present political moment.

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