Lecturer in Public Policy, University of Edinburgh, and Co-Director of What Works Scotland
Beltane Fellow: 1 Sept 2009-28 Feb 2010
Oliver Escobar is Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of Edinburgh and Co-Director of What Works Scotland. His main areas of research are citizen participation, communication, and policy practice. Oliver has experience in acting as a facilitator in a variety of contexts.
What Works Scotland is an ESRC/Scottish Government funded program to connect research, policy and practice on public services and policy innovation. As Co-Director of the initiative, Oliver’s contribution builds on his previous research on collaborative governance and participatory policy making.
In his role as Beltane Public Engagement Fellow, Oliver has developed courses, forums, and activities in the areas of dialogue, policy, and public engagement. Oliver has developed a theory of dialogue that demonstrates to researchers why a dialogic approach to public engagement is effective (download here).
Oliver received his PhD in Politics from the University of Edinburgh, where he held a Principal’s Career Development Scholarship. He is also a former researcher and now honorary member of the Centre for Dialogue at Queen Margaret University. Oliver’s other current roles and responsibilities include:
- Convenor of the Citizen Participation Network
- Project Director, ‘Citizens’ Juries about Onshore Windfarms’ research project, funded by ClimateXChange
- Steward of So Say Scotland
- Trustee of Democratic Audit UK
Oliver was born in Galicia (Spain) and educated at the University of Santiago de Compostela, where he obtained degrees in politics, policy, and public management. Besides academia, he has worked as a labourer in harbours, warehouses and building sites. He has also been a retail team manager, published three poetry books, and contributed to various radio shows. He loves travelling, playing football, and watching Northern Exposure.