Making social science accessible

Health Governance after Brexit: Law, Language and Legitimacy


Professor Tamara Hervey, from the University of Sheffield’s School of Law, led a two-year project with Queen’s University Belfast looking at post-Brexit governance in an area that was critical in the referendum debates: Health and the NHS.

The project compared legal language, the ‘elite language’ used in health contexts, and the language of the public, focusing on metaphors and stories, to uncover the extent to which post-Brexit health governance can be said to be legitimate.

Guided by co-producers from the health policy sector, the project analysed implications for health and the NHS of new post-referendum legal texts as they emerged. By gathering views from the public in the North of England and Northern Ireland using ‘hit and run’ street conversations – a novel form of ethnographic research was created.

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