Gender, geography and policy:: The conundrums of engagement

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This paper contemplates the relationship between the discipline of geography, and the making of public policy. It is particularly concerned with the compatibilities and incompatibilities of the nature of academic knowledge production and public policy development. As such, we contribute to an ongoing debate among geographers regarding whether and how they should engage with policy, and utilize examples from our involvement in the Metropolis Project, a Canadian initiative based on interdisciplinary research networks linked to government and public service agencies involved in immigrant settlement. We argue ultimately that geographers do need to engage politically with policymaking, but that the manner in which to do this is never straightforward, but rather takes place across institutional, ideological, and political landscapes that are perpetually shifting. Finally we suggest some helpful tools from feminist methodologies with which to approach policy-related issues.

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