Women vs. Spy Cops: Hearings in High Court

Seated at wooden benches, with a cop right behind me. Was he reading over my shoulder? I don’t know. When I sit back, I crumple his notes. That’s how close we are. Streets around the High Court were riddled with police, awaiting the student protests. The London School of Economics is just around the corner. The helicopter hovering low all morning just adds to the atmosphere.

This is the legal cases of the women who were deceived into having relationships by undercover police officers. Last week saw the first set of hearings devoted to the technical procedures. If the Met has its way, this could be the only public hearings in the entire case.

Two days of hearings were not enough, the Court needed more time on Friday. The judge has now retired, as the women write at PoliceSpiesOutofLives.org, to consider the issues raised and has not yet indicated when the judgement is likely to be handed down.

The Case

The legal claim is about the extent of damages for the harm caused, which is of course difficult to translate into financial figures. The women are also bringing claims for deceit, assault, misfeasance in public office and negligence. They seek to highlight and prevent the continuation of psychological, emotional and sexual abuse of campaigners and others by undercover police officers. Continue reading “Women vs. Spy Cops: Hearings in High Court”

John Kenneth Galbraith rules!

Originally posted at my blog spin.off , while working on the book.

John Kenneth Galbraith has recently written an essay that has been published under the somewhat misleading title “The Economics of Innocent Fraud”.

Dealt with in this essay is how, out of the pecuniary and political pressures and fashions of the time, economics and larger economic and political systems cultivate their own version of truth. This has no necessary relation to reality. No one is especially at fault; what it is convenient to believe is greatly preferred. (Galbraith, 2005, p2)

All of who have some interest in economic and political life should be aware of this, he warns. Continue reading “John Kenneth Galbraith rules!”

Deconstructing Public Relations

Originally posted at my blog spin.off , while working on the book.

In his book Deconstructing Public Relations, Thomas Mickey  emphasizes the need for a critical look at what we assume to be accepted and unquestioned ways of functioning of PR in the society. He proposes cultural studies as an approach to critical theory for PR.

I have read this book to see if deconstruction as a method could be of any use for my research. Although I agree that critical theory on PR needs to be confrontational and eventually may help to raise social consciousness, I’m afraid that it is not enough to explore the practice of PR by deconstructing its public appearances only. Continue reading “Deconstructing Public Relations”

Shifts in governance

Originally posted at my blog spin.off , while working on the book.

My research has a fair amount of overlap with the Dutch Shifts in Governance NWO research programme, as it is also dealing with the control mechanisms between governments, NGO’s and private actors in national and international settings.

Last month I wrote them a letter and asked them to consider to support the last year of my research, running from September 2006 to September 2007. In order to profile myself and my work I proposed some research questions that were not included in the NWO outline. You can read them in this posting. 

Unfortunally, the NWO contact person insisted their pot of gold was empty; if I’d have a Dutch supervisor I could give it another try elsewhere. Continue reading “Shifts in governance”

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