IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Knowledge mobilisation and the social sciences: dancing with new partners in an age of austerity


  • Jon Bannister
  • Irene Hardill


The social sciences hold the potential to help interpret and address the complex challenges confronting society. The impact agenda actively encourages the social sciences to make and demonstrate a difference; to justify and protect social science funding. Knowledge mobilisation (KM) can be thought of systematically as a process, encompassing the co-production and channelling of knowledge that can enable the social sciences to gain purchase and voice in the policy-making and delivery process, and supports the endeavour to make a difference. This article serves as an editorial introduction to a special issue in two parts: 'KM: Research Impact' and 'KM: Engagement'. It sets out to outline the forces leading to the rise of the impact agenda and the questions it poses for the social sciences. Particular attention is given to the changing policy context that has reshaped the academy. The article then progresses to outline debates on research and impacts and the forms of engagement that are needed to demonstrate and deliver impact beyond the academy. The article examines the ways in which impact is defined, measured and 'delivered' within the social sciences. This is followed by a section on the ways in which social science knowledge is mobilised. The penultimate section addresses the co-production of social scientific knowledge and this is followed by a brief conclusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Jon Bannister & Irene Hardill, 2013. "Knowledge mobilisation and the social sciences: dancing with new partners in an age of austerity," Contemporary Social Science, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 167-175, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:8:y:2013:i:3:p:167-175
    DOI: 10.1080/21582041.2013.770910

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:rsocxx:v:8:y:2013:i:3:p:167-175. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.