About our contributors


Lorenza Antonucci

Lorenza AntonucciI am a first year PhD student in Social Policy in the School for Policy Studies at Bristol University, where I’m researching youth transitions to adulthood among European graduates, funded by the publisher Policy Press. I have previously studied at the LSE (London), Bocconi University (Milan), Sciences-Po (Paris) and Yonsei University (Seoul) and worked at the EIPA (European Institute for Public Administration) in Maastricht. Because of my passion for comparative European social policy, and due to a personal inclination towards a fluid post-modern life, I tend to spend a consistent part of my time moving around Europe. My main research interest is in the comparison of the welfare sources used by young graduates across Europe. I attempt to connect studies on social mobility and equality in higher education with research on young adulthood, paying attention to the relationship between social needs and social rights. Moreover, I have a specific curiosity in the application of research methods and concepts from psychology to the realm of social policy.


Nick Bailey

Nick BaileyI am a Senior Lecturer in Urban Studies within the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow. I’m interested in poverty and inequality and, in particular, the influence of place or ‘neighbourhood’ on these. I’ve been involved in various studies including work on: spatial segregation; processes of neighbourhood change or neighbourhood dynamics; neighbourhood functioning and place attachment; and neighbourhood effects as well as area-based policies.


Ben Baumberg

I’m a Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at Kent, having studied for my thesis at the London School of Economics and having worked as a researcher for a couple of years before this. I’m interested in a pretty diverse range of things, including:

  • Disability benefits, working conditions and fitness-for-work (which is what my thesis investigates);
  • The relationship between evidence and policy;
  • Public health policy on alcohol and other addictions;
  • Attitudes towards inequality and towards people claiming benefits.

I’m interested in supervising PhD students and collaborating with other researchers on any of these topics – to find out more about me or get in touch, check out http://www.benbaumberg.com


Godfred Boahen

I qualified as a social worker at the University of York in 2006 and recently submitted my PhD thesis at the Open University. Influenced by relational sociology and departing from the prevailing understanding of mental capacity as predominantly a matter of cognition, my research focuses on how institutional contexts impact on professionals’ assessment of cognitive abilities. I am also interested in mental health policy and practice, research ethics, and how socio-economic inequalities manifest in social categorisations. I am a reviewer for the Open University Research Ethics Committee and a member of the Mental Health Reference Group of the British Association of Social Workers. Most of my posts on “inequality” will be reflections on front-line social work practice: on how professionals alleviate or maintain socio-economic inequality and the moral and ethical conflicts professionals are placed in as they attempt to navigate the care/control role of the state.


Craig Berry

I am a freelance public policy researcher, specialising in financial and economic issues, and a Lecturer in economic policy at the University of Warwick. I worked previously as a Policy Advisor on Older People and State Pensions at HM Treasury, and as Head of Policy at the International Longevity Centre. I completed my PhD in globalisation and UK trade policy at the University of Sheffield in 2008, and my book Globalisation and Ideology in the UK was published in 2011 by Manchester University Press.


Kendra Bischoff

I am a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. Before returning to graduate school I worked in the Education Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC. My research focuses on the causes and consequences of racial and economic segregation as well as the effect of school context on student outcomes. More recently I have become interested in how and why people select into voluntary programs, specifically in the case of school choice.


Diederik Boertien

I am a third year PhD student in Sociology at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona. My two main research interests are social stratification and the dynamics of couple behaviour. Currently, I am working on more micro-oriented questions of how positive income shocks influence the behaviour of couples, with special attention to “gendered” behaviour within couples. At the same time, I investigate more macro-oriented issues that regard the relationships between social structures, inequality and inter-generational mobility.


Colleen Carey

I’m a fifth-year doctoral candidate in Economics at Johns Hopkins University. My main reason for being is the industrial organization of Medicare. I also have been known to make some forays into income dynamics over the business cycle, and I’m working on some ideas about interstate migration. I live in Capitol Hill, where it is common to see men in suits riding bicycles.


Charlotte Cavaille

I am a doctoral candidate in Government (or Political Science as the rest of the world calls it) and Social Policy at Harvard. Before moving to the US, I did most of my undergrad at Sciences-po in Paris.

My interests are broad ranging from the impact of immigration on national politics in Europe and the US to the causes and consequences of income inequality in developed democracies. I have also done research in the UK and France on state policy towards Muslim minorities.


Owen Davis

I am starting a PhD in Social Policy at the University of Kent in September 2013 under the supervision of Ben Baumberg. I previously completed an MSc in Social Policy and Planning at the London School of Economics and my thesis develops out of work completed in that year. I will be investigating the relationship between work and health, examining who benefits most from work, and looking more broadly at the extent to which the modern labour market helps or hinders people with disabilities. Although I am particularly interested in work, health and social security, I am keen to contribute to other empirical and theoretical debates. Hence, I intend to write stimulating and unusual posts on the Inequalities blog and would be happy to hear from anyone who wishes to discuss my comments further.


Declan Gaffney

Declan Gaffney has worked in public policy and research since 1997, as an academic, as advisor to regional and national government and as a freelance policy consultant. He has written and published extensively on child poverty, public finance, social security and labour markets, and has published several articles correcting widespread myths about social security over the last eighteen months. As policy advisor on social inclusion at the Greater London Authority he oversaw the GLA’s policy and research agenda on income inequality and poverty, including managing and editing the production of major reports and designing the London childcare affordability programme. The organisations for which he has produced commissioned reports include the British Medical Association, the London Child Poverty Commission and trade unions. He has recently completed a report co-authored with Kate Bell for the Trade Union Congress on the contributory principle in social security.


Bill Gardner


Bill Gardner (Twitter: @Bill_Gardner)  is a psychologist and health services researcher. He is currently a Professor of Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, and Epidemiology & Community Health at Dalhousie University, and he also holds a professorship at the Ohio State University and a position at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the Center for Ethics and Human Values. Before 2012 he mainly posted (with Paul Kelleher) on the excellent Something Not Unlike Research blog, writing on economic mobility, applied ethics, health inequalities, and cross-national policy comparisons.


Kayleigh Garthwaite


Kayleigh is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Geography, Durham University. She is currently working on various projects related to health inequalities, health and wellbeing and employment for County Durham and Darlington Primary Care Trust. Her research interests focus on the relationship between health and disability, welfare-to-work policies, and self-identity, with a particular interest in spatial disadvantage in terms of worklessness. Kayleigh recently submitted her PhD in Human Geography (2012) from Durham University entitled ‘Incapacitated? Exploring the health and illness narratives of Incapacity Benefit recipients’. Kayleigh previously worked at Teesside University as a Research Assistant on a project for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which sought to understand the dynamics of poverty and marginal work across the life-course. .


Daniel Goldberg

Daniel S. Goldberg is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics & Interdisciplinary Studies in the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, USA. He integrates methods drawn primarily from applied ethics, law, public policy, and the history of medicine in a research agenda centered on population health issues. He is primarily interested in the ethical implications of the social determinants of health, chronic illness and public health policy (esp. chronic pain and type II diabetes), and health inequities. He also maintains an active research agenda in the history of medicine.


Pablo Gracia

Pablo GraciaI’m a Postdoctoral Fellow at the ‘Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies’ in the University of Amsterdam. I completed my MSc (2007) and PhD (2012) in Social Demography and Sociology at Pompeu Fabra University. My main academic interests are family and inequality. In my doctoral dissertation, I examined how mothers’ and fathers’ socioeconomic position influence parental care involvement across countries with different welfare and gender regimes. Currently, I am conducting research on how parenting practices and the household division of labor are associated with social and gender inequalities in the home. You can read more about my research here.


Timo Idema

Timo IdemaI’m a final year DPhil (PhD) student in Politics at the University of Oxford and for the first half of this year I was a visiting PhD student at Princeton University.

My research focuses on the political economy of higher education and analyses the political consequences of unequal access to higher education. I’m interested in individual preferences over government policies. Moreover, I’m interested in the reasons party policies favour certain groups of voters (those they can win votes from), over others.

Previously I was a lecturer in politics at University College, University of Oxford. In between my academic work I have managed several earthquake response programs for the International Organization for Migration in Indonesia.


Paul Kelleher


Paul Kelleher (Twitter: @Kelleher_) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical History & Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and he also holds an appointment in the Philosophy Department. Before becoming a co-editor in 2012, Paul has previously written guest posts on the inequalities on health equity (and other health policy topics) and on the Wisconsin union protests (where he had a front row seat). Before 2012 he mainly posted (with Bill Gardner) on the excellent Something Not Unlike Research blog, writing on economic mobility, applied ethics, health inequalities, and cross-national policy comparisons.


Stewart Lansley

Stewart LansleyStewart Lansley is a visiting fellow at Bristol University and the author of The Cost of Inequality: Why Economic Equality is Essential for Recovery (Gibson Square, 2012). He is also the co-author, with Joanna Mack, of Poor Britain. His personal website is http://www.stewartlansley.co.uk/.


Claire Leigh

Claire LeighClaire is a strategy and policy advisor specialising in the areas of foreign policy and international development. She has recently returned from Rwanda, where she worked as an advisor to the President’s Office on behalf of Tony Blair’s Africa Governance Initiative. Prior to Rwanda, Claire was a senior policy advisor in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. She has also worked for the Foreign Office, for UNICEF in New York and as a strategy consultant at Deloitte Consulting. Claire has an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Oxford and a first class BA in History from Cambridge.


Lindsey Macmillan
Lindsey Macmillan
I’m a final year PhD student in Economics at the Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO), University of Bristol. My research interests include intergenerational worklessness, youth unemployment, intergenerational mobility, and educational inequality. Alongside standard academic research, my work has contributed to various commissions including Alan Milburn MP’s Panel for Fair Access to the Professions, David Miliband MP’s Youth Unemployment commission and reports for charities such as JRF and Tomorrow’s People. During my PhD I spent a year as a pre-doc at the Harvard Kennedy School and will begin a post-doc in Sept as the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE) at the LSE.


Courtney McNamara
Courtney McNamara
Courtney is the founder of Healthy Policies, a blog directing attention to the political determinants of health. She has a Masters in Health Inequalities and Public Policy from the University of Edinburgh, and is continuing her research as a PhD candidate at the University of York (UK), investigating the ways in which trade and social policy interact to influence population health. Prior to her post graduate work, Courtney worked with community-based health equity organizations in Seattle, Washington.


Jenny Morris
Jenny Morris
I used to teach housing and social policy, then became a research consultant and policy analyst in 1990, doing work for a variety of organisations, including central and local government. I worked with the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit to help produce the strategy ‘Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People’ (2005), and was Executive Director of the cross-government Independent Living Strategy published in 2008. I helped to develop the Right to Control with the Office for Disability Issues. Having stopped work a week before the 2010 general election, I’m using my blog jennymorrisnet.blogspot.com to critique current policy developments, with an emphasis on learning from research and history – and am trying not to rant too much. Many of my publications are on the Leeds Disability Research Archive.


Kênia Parsons
Kênia ParsonsI am a doctoral candidate in Social Policy at the Centre for Social Exclusion (CASE/STICERD), London School of Economics and Political Science, currently a visiting scholar at the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales (SPRC-UNSW), Australia. I am interested in researches and practices concerning the welfare state, poverty, inequality, social protection and development. My research specifically investigates the impact of geographical location on participation rates and on the implementation of the conditional cash transfer Bolsa Familia in rural municipalities of Brazil. Previous to my PhD, I worked for the African Development Bank in Tunisia and for the World Bank in Washington-DC and Brazil. I hold an MPhil in Development Studies, University of Cambridge, and a B.A. in International Relations, University of Brasilia.


Joe Penny
Joe PennyI am a first year PhD candidate at the Bartlett School of planning, UCL. My main interests are in ‘austerity urbanism’, changing forms of neoliberal governance, local government and social policy. I also work at the new economics foundation (nef) as a researcher. Here my interests have focused on how spending cuts are affecting people, communities and civic action and how local authorities can commission for social, economic and environmental value. I tweet @Penny_Dropping


Fynnwin Prager

Fynn PragerI am a Postdoctoral Scholar at USC’s Price School of Public Policy. My research focuses on the policy and economics of disasters, particularly environmental and terrorism policy. In the area of terrorism, I have published studies on the London 2005 Bombings, transportation system resilience, and a hypothetical flu outbreak. I have also published an economic and equity analysis of California’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction bill. My dissertation analyzed the economic impacts of federal emissions trading policy across US sectors, households and regions.


Claire Preston

Claire PrestonI recently submitted my PhD thesis which examines online collective action in response to social care policymaking. I was awarded a studentship from Anglia Ruskin University to carry out this research. While waiting for my viva, I have started volunteering at Cambridge Online, one of the many social enterprises tackling digital exclusion. This is a major area of interest for me: one aspect being the relationship between the internet and political engagement. Shortly before doing my PhD, I carried out a research project in this area for the Carnegie UK Trust. This took me back to my original BA in Politics from York University. Another area which I have both studied and worked in is migration. The lecturing which I did as part of my PhD studentship included a module on migration and I also spent a couple of years teaching English to refugees and asylum seekers in North London. The final strand in my interests/career is journalism, again, specifically the impact of the internet on traditional media. This issue has particular resonance since I spent many of my early years working as a journalist both in the UK and overseas.


Dominique Riviere

I completed my doctorate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto (OISE/UT) in 2006. My dissertation research explored the ways in which drama pedagogy could be used to transform multicultural education into a critically reflective practice, which made central students’ lived cultural experiences in schools.

I now work as a Research Officer at the Centre for Urban Schooling, OISE/UT, where I continue to investigate issues of equity in urban education, through projects that investigate innovative models of school reform that support the academic and social success of underserved urban students; the impact of community outreach in urban schools; the relationship between culturally responsive pedagogy and student engagement; and the role of public arts education in resisting and/or reinforcing classed, raced, and gendered hierarchies.

I occasionally lecture in multicultural education, critical ethnography, research methods in urban education, and research ethics, and I have had articles published in Westminster Studies in Education (now the International Journal of Research & Method in Education), Research in Drama Education, Race, Ethnicity and Education, and Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.


Steven Roberts

Steven Roberts

I am a lecturer on Social Policy and Sociology at the University of Kent, having previously been a lecturer in the education department at the University of Southampton. My research interests primarily revolve around the youth stage of the life course, in particular the ways in which social class and gender shape young people’s experience all realms of the transition to adulthood. I’m also more broadly interested in the impact of labour market and higher education policy, both as stand-alone entities but also the ways in which they may or may not represent ‘joined up thinking’. I’m a convenor of the BSA youth study group and a board member of the ESA Youth and Generation Research Network. I also blog on political issues at http://theraggednotebook.wordpress.com/.


Daniel Sage

Daniel SageI am just embarking on PhD study at Stirling University, where I will be examining social and political attitudes about unemployment and benefit recipients. In particular, I am interested in perceptions about the relationship between ‘fairness’ and ‘social security’, as well as political philosophies of welfare from both the Left and the Right.


Brendan Saloner

I am a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program. I completed my PhD in health policy at Harvard in 2012. My current research focuses on children’s mental health, substance abuse treatment, racial/ethnic disparities, and public health insurance. I am also interested in ethical issues related to resource allocation, poverty, and the social safety net. I hold an undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and I have previously worked at the Urban Institute and the RAND Corporation. All views expressed here are my own. More about me: http://www.healthandsocietyscholars.org/1822/16821/284580


Harald Schmidt

Harald SchmidtI am a Lecturer at the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and Research Associate at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics, both at the University of Pennsylvania. My research interests are centered around personal responsibility for health, public health ethics and fairness in resource allocation. I completed my PhD in Social/Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science’s LSE Health, and previously, studied Philosophy at the Universities of Bremen, Oxford and Münster.


Rob de Vries

I’m an Early Career Research Fellow in the Sociology department at the University of Oxford. I’m mainly interested in how people are affected by concerns about their social status; how it colours the way they think, feel, and behave. I try and contribute here regularly, but my addiction to writing excessively long posts keeps getting in the way.

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