‘Irish in Britain’ – Census Analysis

I am really pleased to announce my new research project – working alongside Neil Kaye, Alastair Munro and Louise Ryan. We are partnering with ‘The Irish in Britain’ to map and analyse the recently released Census 2021 data. This will enable Irish organisations across the UK to update and integrate their understanding of the demographic profile of Irish communities and use this to underpin their future organisational activities. (Project website launching soon!)

For info:


Interdisciplinary Partnership on Health Inequalities and Race

In Summer 2022 we are launching the Interdisciplinary Partnership on Health Inequalities and Race (IPHIR). This initiatives – promoted by Dr Lopa Leach and me – brings together academics and researchers from across disciplines and faculties at the University of Nottingham. It aims to encourage the exchange of knowledge and perspectives, to promote the dissemination of research findings, and to support the development of collaborative, interdisciplinary research agendas on health inequalities and race in the UK and beyond.

On 15th July 2022 we will hold our first networking event. This will be an opportunity to showcase some of the expertise and ground-breaking research currently being undertaken at the university of Nottingham by academic staff, researchers and post-graduate students. For further information about the event: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/iphir-first-networking-conference-tickets-371113920727

Mapping Community Networks

We are delighted to announce our new project on “Mapping Community Networks in Post-Pandemic Urban Spaces”. The project involves a team of researchers across the University of Nottingham and London Metropolitan University, working in partnership with a range of Third Sector organisations in London and Nottingham (including Nottingham Citizens, Transforming Notts Together, The Brixton Project, The Latin Elephant).

For further information and updates, please visit the project website: https://mappingcommunitynetworks.wordpress.com/

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a dramatic and unique social experience, with major effects on personal and community networks across the world. In the UK, lockdowns and other restrictions have impacted enormously on family and work routines, access to services, ties of mutual support and use of private and public spaces in urban settings. The pandemic has intensified pre-existing urban inequalities – particularly those affecting ethnic minorities and other vulnerable groups – but also created conditions for new place-based relationships of care and solidarity.

The University of Nottingham and London Metropolitan University are aiming to work together and with civil society partners to develop and pilot innovative methods to map community networks in post-pandemic urban spaces. These methods aim to highlight existing and potential networks of stakeholders and their relations to local areas, in order to support the development of locally-grounded initiatives that can improve local lives and facilitate a socially just urban recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With this first, small-scale project, we are undertaking a pilot of our methods in three highly diverse areas which have been going through significant processes of urban change and regeneration: Nottingham city, Brixton (London) and Elephant and Castle (London). The project revolves around the development and organisation of three local workshops (one in each location) in Spring/Summer 2022.

Sustainable welfare, care and racial justice

The 2022 Annual Lecture of ‘Social Policy and Society’ will take place on June 17th. This year’s speaker is Professor Fiona Williams, who will talk about ‘Aligning arguments for sustainable welfare with care and racial justice’. Discussant: Dr Fiona Dukelow. Hosted by: Social Policy Association, Cambridge University Press, University of Nottingham.

This event will also be an opportunity to celebrate the journal’s 20th Anniversary! Join the celebration with Ruby Chau and me (Editors); Colleen Cusworth (Editorial Officer); our amazing Editorial Board (chaired by Mhairi Mackenzie); and all our colleagues at SPA, CUP, UoN!

For information about the event and to book a place: https://lnkd.in/eDDJBy5v

Social Policy teaching in HE

This week we are launching our survey on Social Policy teaching in the UK. Please share and – if you teach Social Policy in UK universities or colleges – please take part! For info, follow the link below. This survey is part of the third study in a series of five-yearly reviews commissioned by the Social Policy Association (SPA). The study aims to provide a platform for social policy teaching staff to share their views on the issues and challenges they are facing at work. By comparing the findings with the previous studies conducted in 2011 and 2016, the study will enable the observation of changes in the discipline over time and potential trends in the future. The data will be used by the SPA to develop strategies in supporting the teaching and learning of social policy.

For further info and to take part:

(Photo by Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash)

‘Race’ in Social Policy Teaching

Our International Centre for Public and Social Policy (icPSP, University of Nottingham) is hosting a day-long event on ‘Race’ in Social Policy Teaching and Learning”. That’s on Friday 30th May 2022. The event is sponsored by the Social Policy Association (SPA) – and you can join either online or on-site. Visit the event webpage (click here) for further information.

The event builds on our recent Social Policy and Society special issue, guest edited by Bankole Cole, Gary Craig, and Nasreen Ali.

Social Policy and Society – One year on

[From a Twitter thread] It is one year since Ruby Chau and I started in our role as editors of the journal Social Policy and Society (SPS). Here’s a few highlights from the last 12 months.

First of all, a huge thank you to the Social Policy Association (SPA), Cambridge University Press, the Editorial Board, our editorial officer Colleen Cusworth – and of course all the authors, guest editors and reviewers. Without them (and the work of our predecessors), none of this would have been possible.

So much going on in Social Policy, with our themed sections, those of 2021 have included: Austerity; Populism and Religion; Migrants access to services; Longitudinal research. No way to summarise all the amazing stand-alone articles. But the list is here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-policy-and-society/all-issues

The SPS website now includes special collections of articles old and new. We started with one on ‘Food Poverty’, which is still available online. More coming out soon! https://cambridge.org/core/journals/social-policy-and-society/food-poverty-collection.

The forthcoming issue on “Race, Learning and Teaching in Social Policy” also has a special webpage – with articles, video-interviews and extra content from The Social Policy Blog. This ground-breaking issue is guest edited by B. Cole, G. Craig, N. Ali. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-policy-and-society/special-issue-race-learning-and-teaching-in-social-policy

Submitting (and peer-reviewing) articles for Social Policy and Society is even easier now that the journal has moved to ScholarOne. If you want to write for SPS, please check our detailed guidelines available here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-policy-and-society/information/instructions-contributors

One of SPS key features are its ‘Themed Sections’. (The first in the series ‘Towards the Centenary of the Beveridge Report’ will be out in 2022). We welcome proposals on a range of Social Policy issues. See guidelines above – or get in touch to informally pitch an idea.

SPS is an academic journal, but we also aim to develop a community of scholars and practitioner. Key to this are its Annual Lectures. The 2021 lecture by Kevin Farnsworth and Zoe Irving – Austerity, toxicity, hostility’ – is still available here: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/social-policy-and-society/sps-lectures.

… and yes, stats and metrics are looking good. Though that’s not the main point, is it? 😉

Linking-up with the Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre

I am really pleased to announce that I am now an associate member of the Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre. I look forward to more collaborative work between our icPSP (international centre of Public and Social Policy) at Nottingham University and colleagues at London Metropolitan University! Thanks to prof. Louise Ryan and Dr. María Encarnación López for getting me on board.

‘Race’ Learning and Teaching in Social Policy

As editors of Social Policy and Society (SPS), Ruby Chau and I are extremely pleased to announce a special issue of Social Policy and Society on “Race’, Learning and Teaching in Social Policy”. Guest-edited by Bankole Cole, Gary Craig and Nasreen Ali, the issue builds on a study previously commissioned by the SPA (Social Policy Association) on the lack of a ‘race’ dimension in social policy learning and teaching. As stated by the guest editors: “This collection is an important contribution to the decolonisation of the curriculum in social policy and offers detailed examples of work going on in universities to challenge the racism still underpinning much university teaching”.

The special issue is open access till May 2022. To access click here.