Emma Crewe is an anthropologist based at SOAS (University of London) working on politics, governance and identity in organisations, especially parliaments. She is currently co-ordinating a research coalition to support national scholars and artists in Myanmar and Ethiopia to undertake research on the relationship between politicians and society at SOAS with Enlightened Research Foundation Mynamar, Forum for Social Studies (Addis Ababa), Leeds University, JNU (New Delhi), Hansard Society. She teaches on an innovative course (Doctorate in Management by Research) as a Visiting Professor at the University of Hertfordshire and is Chair of the Royal Anthropological Institute's Committee on the Anthropology of Policy and Practice. She has recently embarked on a new European Research Council funded programme guiding a coalition of anthropologists to study parliaments in six countries and has nearly finished a new book: the Anthropology of Parliaments.

Parliamentary calls for evidence of interest to anthropologists

In November 2019 the Royal Anthropological Institute launched a new Committee on The Anthropology of Policy and Practice for both academic and policy/practitioner anthropologists, and those who consider themselves both, as well as social scientists interested in anthropology in the UK and overseas. We currently focus on five emergency themes: climate change, mobilities, impact of the coronavirus, ethics, and the state. 

We will periodically alert anthropologists to calls for evidence by the UK Parliament (and in time devolved parliaments) that relate to our themes or to social science in general. The UK parliament is keen to hear from a more diverse range of experts, especially women and those from the global south.

Parliament has provided information about how researchers can engage (e.g., asking experts on COVID-19 to sign up to a database, including non-medical researchers) and has published a guide for witnesses about giving evidence. The knowledge and exchange unit are offering training for academics about how to engage with parliament. Parliament has a new hub for all COVID-19 related work. You can find a short video explaining what committees do on youtube.

These are the current calls for evidence that relate to our committee’s themes and that may be of interest to anthropologsts. NB. Committees will often accept submissions late – if the date has passed but the inquiry is still open, then ask the committee staff whether they are still accepting evidence.

Key tips: keep the evidence short (no more than 3,000 words), put a summary at the beginning, explain who you are and why they should take your evidence seriously, use numbered paragraphs, including pithy quotable statements (so you are more likely to be quoted in their report), and make recommendations that the UK government can act on.




Select Committee



Link for details

COVID-19 related




International Trade

COVID-19 pandemic and international trade

24 April 2020



Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Impact of COVID on businesses and workers

30 April 2020



Women and Equalities

Unequal impact: COVID-19 impact on people with protected characteristics

30 April 2020



Housing, Communities and Local Government

Impact of COVID-19 on homelessness

1 May 2020



Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

COVID-19 and food supply

1 May 2020



International Development

Humanitarian crisis monitoring: impact of coronavirus

8 May 2020




Impact of COVID-19 on education and children’s services

31 May 2020



Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee

Impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors

19 June 2020



Human Rights (both Houses)

COVID-19: human rights implications

22 July 2020



Science and Technology

Role of research in addressing COVID-19

31 July



Other topics




International Development

Effectiveness of UK Aid

30 April 2020


Foreign Affairs 

Environmental diplomacy (incl COP26)

4 May 2020



Foreign Affairs 

FCO Review

8 May 2020


Environmental Audit Committee

Technological Innovations and Climate Change

15 May 2020



Science and Technology

A new research agency for science, engineering and technology ideas

30 June 2020





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