Deciphering Museums, Politics and Impact

Andrew Hammond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper makes a contribution towards deciphering the relationship between
museums, politics and impact. I suggest that this is akin to that between three
languages in the early nineteenth century: Greek, Demotic and Hieroglyphs. I
argue that museums should be taken much more seriously by the discipline of
politics and international relations. This paper begins with an analysis of the REF
2014 Impact Case Studies submitted under the Politics and International Studies
Unit of Assessment. Thereafter, it looks at how museums have been examined in
the field of politics and international relations. Finally, it outlines some of the
benefits and opportunities of scholars in the field engaging with museums in
terms of their research, as potential collaborators, and as partners for knowledge transfer and impactful activities – within and outwith the strictures of the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)409–431
JournalBritish Politics
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2018

Bibliographical note

© 2018 Springer Publishing. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedited version of an article published in British Politics . The final authenticated version is available online at:

Funding: Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Glasgow City Council.


  • Museums; history; politics; impact; public history; knowledge transfer


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