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Gayle McPherson


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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline


My interests revolve around the public policy interventions of the local and national state in events and festivity of all types and the social and cultural impact of events and culture on communities. I am also interested in the role of art, sport and culture in creating soft power change through cultural diplomacy, both through state and non-state actors. 


Current research activities

I am currently a co-investigator on an SSHRC international collaborative research project Leveraging Parasport Events: for sustainable community participation. This has produced a series of outputs in public policy, impact and media analysis of parasports representations.  I am currently the Principal Investigator on a British Council project examining evidence for art and culture's role in cultural diplomacy. I am also acting as an expert advisor to the OECD on their draft recommendation on Global Events and Local Development for member countries


Research areas: GV recreation Leisure - mega events, cultural policy, cultural diplomacy, sport, disability, digital media

Desired research direction

My future research will continue to focus of the social and cultural impact of mega events on communities and on their role in leveraging wider impact. I will develop further how mega events contribute to creating public value and how these can or are being used for progressive opportunity. I will continue my work in cultural diplomacy and I am interested in looking at cities who failed to win City of Culture titles and what they do next.

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

I have expertise and experience of monitoring, evaluation and impact of arts, culture and sport and have worked for a range of agencies. Recently these have included: Creative Scotland, British Council, Renfrewshire Council and the OECD. I have expertise in events, sport and cultural policy impact evaluation and transformational change.

External positions

Visiting Professor, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy

1 Mar 2014 → …

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event Social Sciences
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sport Earth & Environmental Sciences
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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1997 2018


Events Policy in Theory and Strategy

McGillivray, D. & McPherson, G. 2018 (In preparation) London: Routledge.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Failure to win the City of Culture: emotion, resilience and what comes next

Ryan, A. & McPherson, G. 10 Jun 2018

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Leveraging Disability Sport Events: Impacts, Promises, and Possibilities

Laura Misener, McPherson, G., McGillivray, D. & Legg, D. 24 Sep 2018 London: Routledge. 176 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

disability studies

Arts, Culture and Soft Power: Developing an Evidence Base

McPherson, G., McGillivray, D., Mamattah, S., Cox, T. & Norrman, K. E. 31 Mar 2017 University of the West of Scotland. 57 p.

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

cultural relations


Research Impact Award - Gold Medal

Gayle McPherson (Recipient) & David McGillivray (Recipient), 3 Apr 2014

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Commonwealth of Nations
local participation
Community participation

Activities 2013 2018

  • 3 Participation in conference
  • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
  • 1 Consultancy

The Contribution of Art and Culture to Global Security and Stability

McPherson, G. (Consultant), Mamattah, S. (Consultant)
Feb 2018Jul 2018

Activity: Consultancy

The Challenges of Evaluating Soft Power, Cultural Diplomacy and Cultural Relations

McPherson, G. (Keynote/plenary speaker)
Jun 2017

Activity: Participation in conference

UK Government Committee on Soft Power

McPherson, G. (Invited speaker)
11 Oct 2017

Activity: Participation in conference

Battle of Ideas. Can Culture Save the City?Institute of Ideas, London and University of the West of Scotland

Kosmala, K. (Invited speaker), Brick, C. (Organiser), McPherson, G. (Invited speaker), Pauline Hadaway (Invited speaker), Christine Hamilton (Invited speaker), Alistair Donald (Chair)
28 Nov 2017

Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course

National Museum Conference 2013

McPherson, G. (Keynote/plenary speaker)
Sep 2013

Activity: Participation in conference