I am a Departmental Lecturer in Comparative Social Policy in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford. My research interests are relatively broad and intersect social policy, politics and sociology. In a nutshell I’m interested in the policy and politics of social citizenship and social cohesion, participation and integration, particularly in the context of developed welfare states such as the UK. Issues of discourse, ideology and power relations are also prominent in my research.
My most recent work has been as a Research Fellow on the FP7-funded project RESCuE. The project investigated the ways in which households across nine European countries responded to the financial crisis. A key objective was to see if, and how, households have been able to develop resilience to socio-economic shocks, and the institutions, networks and capacities needed to support this process. I am an expert in qualitative methods, particularly semi-structured everyday and expert interviews, and (critical) discourse analysis. I am also experienced in some visual methods. I’m currently exploring the advantages that using more causally driven qualitative methods can bring to my work.
My PhD critically assessed New Labour’s Community Cohesion and welfare reform policies, and their impact on communities in Bradford and Birmingham. I employed a Gramscian theoretical framework that argued these reforms could be seen as part of a wider hegemonic project designed to legitimise and naturalise an ideal citizenry amenable to the globalised (neo)liberal market economy.
Recent financial, political and social shocks and instability have had a profound impact on the reach and impact of social rights, as well as on social cohesion, participation and inequality. My future research will explore these pressing issues.
You can use the links at the top of the page to find out more about me, as well as links to social media.