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GW4 Social Protection Research Symposium

Register for a one day research seminar on social protection for PhD students from the four GW4 universities, SWDTP and IDS (University of Sussex).

  • 22 Jul 2019, 9.30am to 22 Jul 2019, 5.00pm BST (GMT +01:00)
  • 8 West, 2.34, University of Bath
  • This event is free


We are pleased to announce a one day research seminar on social protection for PhD students from the four GW4 universities, SWDTP and IDS (University of Sussex) on Monday 22 July at the University of Bath. The aim of this event are to provide a space for PhD students from across the South West of England and IDS to share insights from their research and develop their capacity to present their work effectively. It is also an opportunity to network with other PhD students and academics working in the field of social protection. The day will be run by Rana Jawad (Senior Lecturer in Social Policy as the University of Bath and PI of the GW4 Social Protection Project).

The seminar seeks to engage with the following questions: How can researchers critically engage with the social protection paradigm in both Global North and South contexts? How can they make sense of the social protection agenda in a manner which effectively engages policy-makers and practitioners? In what ways does it replace or reinforce pre-exiting social policy structures? More importantly how can social policy change be managed in this time of social transformation? Can low and middle countries engage in policy learning? How does policy learning happen in order to foster more effective, efficient and inclusive social protection policies? Other relevant themes are also welcome.


During the 21st Century, a notable shift has occurred in international development and social policy discourses and practices concerning social protection, in the narrow sense as one that mitigates against social and economic risks, and in the broad sense as one that leads to social transformation. Goal 1.3 of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals Agenda firmly established the provision of effective systems of social protection as a key function of the contemporary state. Not only does the idea of social protection have a long history in international donor interventions dating backing to the late 1980s, it also reinforces the pre-existing mechanisms of social welfare and social security provision in all regions of the world.

Yet, new policy shifts are occurring simultaneously with a global trend of state transformation, and increasing diversity in state forms. In an era of multi-level governance, it is important to provide a more sophisticated understanding of the nexus between the diverse configurations and practices of contemporary statehood and the effective provision of social protection. These matters are rendered every more urgent by the changing nature of work due to globalisation, technological change and the terms of international trade that impact directly on social protection. At the same time, existing studies have been highly state-centric, missing the more nuanced local level understandings of social solidarity and social protection which may include civil society actors. Shifting institutional structures associated with the state in the Global North have accompanied the rise of ‘welfare pluralism’ – including contributions by community, faith-based, voluntary and private sector actors complementing state-centric welfare delivery.

To address these issues, The GW4 Social Protection project was set up in 2016 with the aim of extending academic collaborations across the GW4 universities (Bath, Bristol, Exeter and Cardiff). In addition, the collaboration has been extended to incorporate the Centre for Social Protection at the Institute of Development Studies (University of Sussex).


Please register via the Eventbrite page. The organisers will be in touch to confirm your participation and request an abstract. Funding is available towards travel and accommodation up to the amount of £30 per person. Please contact Tara at for details of how to claim this. Deadline for registration: 15 July at midnight.


The event will take place in 8 West room 2.34. If you have accessibility requirements, please contact

8 West, 2.34 University of Bath Claverton Down Bath BA2 7AY United Kingdom

For more information on how to register or claim for funding:

Please contact Tara Jessop.