Creating the AHRC: An Arts and Humanities Research Council for the United Kingdom in the Twenty-first Century

This is the first complete account of the establishment of the Arts and Humanities Research Council among the Research Councils of the United Kingdom in 2005. It focuses on the campaign carried forward from the 1997 Dearing Report to the 2004 Higher Education Act to establish a public agency investing in humanities and arts research that would be equivalent to those funding natural and social science research - a campaign that can be emulated in other countries. Built on interviews with leading participants, regional and national press coverage, and analysis of influential national studies, Creating the AHRC shows how engagement with contemporary issues - the knowledge economy, devolution, and the expansion of higher education - as well as a long tradition of scholarly excellence led to fashioning a new model funding agency: an agency poised to address such frontier issues in the arts and humanities as increasing the scale of research, substantive collaboration with scientific fields, and explicit consideration of the results of research. Creating the AHRC will provide an enduring point of reference for those involved with the AHRC, the humanities, research policy, and the learning society.