what kind of politics are we doing when we teach politics? what does how we understand politics mean for how we teach it?

if we are to take seriously new ways of knowing and new objects of knowledge in our research, then these must radically reconfigure the politics classroom.

if we reject abstract and large-scale political analysis in favour of practice, ethnography and the everyday in our research, then we should reject abstract knowledge 'delivery' by the expert lecturer.

instead, like research, learning about politics should begin with practice.

there must be many ways to do this. our way is to use collaborative case-based teaching and learning.

what we're teaching in 2014-2015:

  • 'Policy Work'. Masters in Public Policy core course, University of Edinburgh.

what we've taught previously:

We ask our students to go out and conduct their own case studies of 'doing politics'. Read some our students' essays.

we also work with political actors, practitioners and workers of various kinds to develop new ways of knowing and doing politics. Get in touch for more details.

Really, really, really interesting course. Like no other course I’ve taken before. Best class discussions and atmosphere I’ve had in four years at my 4 years at uni
— Political Work student, 2015
I find it interesting to think of politics in a different way: more interdisciplinary, more embodied, more localised, more concrete... The question ‘What is politics?’, central to this course, will accompany me when approaching everyday instances of what I now know as ‘political work’
— Political Work student, 2015
... the hidden, taken-for-granted routines: the almost unthinking actions, tacit knowledge, fleeting interactions, practical judgments, self-evident understandings and background knowledge, embodied standards and warrants, shared meanings, personal feelings, and small rituals that constitute the core of administrative work
— Wagenaar, ''Knowing' the rules: administrative work as practice', 2004
Not, however, as if to this end we had to hunt out new facts; it is, rather, of the essence of our investigation that we do not seek to learn anything new by it. We want to understand something that is already in plain view. For this is what we seem in some sense not to understand
— Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, 1953