In this talk, the authors reflect on an expressly interdisciplinary and international collaborative research project that has been in progress since 2013. The project is funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council and the Department for International Development with the PI located at King’s College London (Herrick) and the Co-PI at the African Centre for Cities (Susan Parnell). It set out to explore two interlinked questions: first, how are the lived experiences of drinking understood and taken up in the policymaking process? And second, how, why and where do the poor drink and under what conditions do these practices become “problematic”? These questions aim to help deepen our understanding of the complex relationships between alcohol (production, consumption and retailing), poverty and development in the context of Cape Town where, arguably, most progress has been made in moving forward an alcohol control agenda that reflects the aspirations of the World Health Organisation’s 2010 Global Strategy. The Western Cape Liquor Act and the City of Cape Town’s bylaws have not been without their debates, controversies, proponents and detractors and, as result, have provided a truly fertile research setting in both regulatory and geographic terms.
Herrick, C. Creating interdisciplinary and international research: crossing the public health/ social science gap. (2013) 29 pp.