Researching local elites: Reflexivity, ‘situatedness’ and political-temporal contingency

Kevin G. Ward, Martin Russell Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (SciVal)


Since the late 1970s, the UK has experienced a series of changes in the mechanisms of governing local economic development. This paper considers the methodological consequences of these recent changes. Drawing on two local elite-based case studies, involving semi-structured interviews, we reflect on our acquired ‘situated knowledge’ and argue that this is related to the contingent nature of our respective research access. We advocate that an approach sensitive to ‘research situatedness’ (with respect to the politics of time as a ‘research moment’) is essential to avoid over generalising from our experiences. To address this concern, the paper offers two concepts for debate – political-temporal contingency and the mode of entry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-312
Number of pages12
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999


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