Department of Social & Policy Sciences

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Research student community

Research student insight

Sophie Olver

Sophie Olver

Sophie is conducting research into changes in the labour market and governance in the Middle East.

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We have a vibrant and growing research student community, which forms a vital and highly valued part of the research life of the Department.

Our current research students are studying a wide range of topics, often at the leading edge of their field, and their research represents the breadth of research interest across the four disciplines in the Department. 

Our students come from a very wide range of backgrounds and many already have established careers in research, policy, consultancy and other fields, and they bring this experience to their research as well as contributing more broadly to our research student community.

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When in Bath, our research student community life revolves around our very well-attended  Thursdays seminars. These run from September to July, and involve presentations from students on their current research, as well as peer-led sessions on 'tricky issues' of PhD research - from structuring the thesis, to managing fieldwork abroad, ethical issues, and understanding supervision styles. We hold bi-annual forums for discussing plans and events over the year, and most distance and part-time students attend these, too.

When students are away from Bath, they receive a regular newsletter updating them on events and achievements of their colleagues, and stay in touch with activities and funding opportunities, too. For more informal get-togethers, there is a monthly coffee meeting and many student-organised social events too.

Our students are also encouraged to present their research at conferences and to prepare their work for publication. In addition, many of our research students make a highly valued contribution to teaching in the Department, as well as participating in the departmental research groups, seminars, and training run by the Faculty Graduate School, the University, and the South West Doctoral Training Centre.

Recent publications 

Acuna-Merino, R., 2015. The politics of extractive governance: Indigenous people and socio-environmental conflicts. The Extractive Industries and Society, 2(1), pp. 85-92.

Bressa, D., 2016. Between policies and life: the politics of Buen Vivir in contemporary Ecuador. Working paper, Centre for Wellbeing in Public Policy: University of Sheffield.

Gearon, A.., 2015. 'Child trafficking' moral panic: blame, disrepute and loss. Tor: Journal of  the South West Doctoral Training Centre, 1, pp. 2-8.

Godwin, B., 2015. Hogewey : a 'home from home' in the Netherlands. The Journal of  Dementia Care, 23(3), pp. 28-31.

Griffin, T., Aked, H. Miller, D. and Marusek, S., 2015. The Henry  Jackson society and the Degeneration of British Neoconservatism: Liberal Interventionism, Islamophobia, and the 'War on Terror', Public Interest Investigations/Spinwatch, June 2015.

Agyei, A. Y., Kumi, E. and Yeboah, T. 2015. Is better to be a kayayei than to be unemployed: reflecting on the role of head portering in Ghana's informal economy. Geojournal.

Králová, J., 2015. What is social death? Contemporary Social Science, Vol. 10(3): 235 – 248.

Králová, J., and Walter, T., eds. 2015. Themed Issue: Social Death. Contemporary Social Science, Vol. 10(3): 235-335.

Kumi, E. & Diamond, A.., 2015. Farmers' perceptions of  the effectiveness of the Cocoa Disease and Pest Control Programme in Ghana and its effects on poverty reduction. American Journal of Experimental Agriculture, 7(5), pp. 257-274.

Muazu, I., Kumi, E. and Yeboah, T.,  2015. Greasing or Sanding the Wheels? Effect of corruption on Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. African Journal of Economic and Sustainable Development, pp. 1-17.

Leyer-Velazquez, R., 2015. The Development of  Housing in Mexico: A welfare regime approach. Social Policy & Society, 14(4), pp. 523-539.

Long, S., 2015. Squashed dreams and rare breeds: ableism and the arbiters of life and death. Disability & Society, Vol. 30(7): 1118-23.

Pitts, F. H., 2015. The critique of political economy as a critical social theory. Capital & Class, Vol. 39(3): 537-44

Pitts, F. H., 2015. Form-giving fire: creative industries as Marx’s work of combustion and the distinction between productive and unproductive labour. In E. Fisher and C. Fuchs, eds. Reconsidering Value and Labour in the Digital Age, London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Pitts, F. H., 2015. Review of Shipp & Fried. eds. Time and Work. Time and Society. 24 (3). pp. 390-395.

Pitts, F. H., 2015. Review of Matthews and Smith Maguire. eds. The Cultural Intermediaries Reader. Cultural Trends. 24(4), pp. 330-33.

Pitts, F. H., 2015. The critique of the Equation and the Phenomenology of Production. Historical Materialism, 23(3), pp. 228-239.

Pitts, F. H., 2015. Review of  Paul Mason, Postcapitalism. Marx  and Philosophy:  Review of  Books. 4th September.  

Pitts, F. H., 2015. Creative industries, Value theory, and Michael Heinrich's new  reading of  Marx.. tripleC, 13(1), pp. 192-222.

Pitts, F. H., 2015. A hidden history: defining and specifying the role of creative industries. Creative Industries Journal, 8(1), pp. 73-84.

Pitts, F. H., 2015. Five more years of this: Introduction to a post-election symposium. Tor: Journal of  the South West Doctoral Training Centre, 1, pp. 19-24.

Pitts, F. H., 2015. Normalisation, exclusion, commensuration: work, economics, and the possibilities of  political economy . ENQUIRE, 7(1), pp. 1-12.

Pitts, F. H., 2015. Creativity and the Commodity in the Automotive Industry. International Journal of Cultural and Creative Industries, 2(2).

Pitts, F. H., 2015. Review of Christian Lotz, The Capitalist Schema: Time, Money and the culture of Abstraction. Marx  and Philosophy:  Review of  Books.

Scandone, B., forthcoming. Social class, ethnicity and the process of 'fitting in’. In N. Ingram, R. Waller & M. Ward, eds. Higher education and social inequalities: getting in, getting on and getting out. London: Routledge.

Scandone, B., 2015. Review of Palash Kamruzzaman, Poverty reduction Strategy in Bangladesh: Rethinking participation in policy-making. Journal of International Development. 27(2), pp. 307-8.

Schaub, J., 2015. Issues for Men's Progression on English Social Work Honours and Postgraduate degree courses. Social Work Education, 34(3), pp. 315-327.

Williams, P. T., 2015. Great expectations: children's education in rural Rwanda. Reading: CfBT Education Trust.

In the media

Králová, J., 2015. “Living longer”, is that good news? gw4dyingwell

Leyer-Velazquez, R., 2014. Hunt for missing students goes on as citizen rage grips Mexico. The Conversation, 2nd December 2014.