Conflict Sites: Negotiating a Space and Place for Travellers

Event Date: Thursday May 12, 2016
Time: 12:00-1:00 PM
Location: Hauser Hall 102, Harvard Law School Campus

The Program on Negotiation is pleased to present:

Conflict Sites:
Negotiating a Space and Place for Travellers



Jo Richardson

Professor of Housing and Social Research,
De Montfort University, Leicester, UK


Thursday, May 12, 2016
12:00-1:00 PM
Hauser Hall 102
Harvard Law School Campus


Free and open to the public. Lunch will be provided.

About the event:
A host of demands are placed upon people and physical spaces to perform in a particular way; but can conflicting demands be negotiated to allow our spaces to accommodate different people, ideas and issues?

In her research over the last 15 years, Jo Richardson has worked with some of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society, in particular Travellers. Like other indigenous, traditionally nomadic, communities across the world, they face poorer health, education and employment outcomes and are perceived as ‘others’ in media, public and political discourse. Conflict arises when Travellers stop on the roadside, or other public spaces, and create unauthorized encampments. There is often disagreement, objection and conflict during planning consultation for the delivery of permitted sites, and low-level conflict can also be seen on existing sites between residents and managers.

This presentation will focus on emerging findings from Jo’s current research project which seeks to understand the different levels of conflict within Traveller site delivery and management in order to suggest how improved outcomes in three case study areas might be negotiated. She will discuss what lessons might be drawn from this research for resolving conflict more broadly and negotiating a space and place for marginalized groups in society.


About the Speaker:

Jo Richardson is a Professor of Housing and Social Research based in the Department of Politics and public Policy at De Montfort University, Leicester, U.K. Her current research projects include a study funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation examining conflict resolution in site management and delivery for Gypsies and Travellers. She is also working on a project evaluating asset based community development approaches in a northern British city, and an evaluation of a back-to work-scheme for a rural local authority.

She has published widely on issues such as the impact of the recession on public services, housing and customer services, and media representation of minority groups. She is the author of Gypsies and Travellers: Empowerment and Inclusion in British Society (Policy Press, 2012) and a chapter for the forthcoming book, Sites of Protest (2016). Jo has discussed her research over the last 15 years in various print and broadcast media outlets, most notably on national BBC TV breakfast news. She has also worked with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Roma, Gypsies and Travellers. Her blog can be found at She is on Twitter @socialhousing.




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