This studentship is part of the cross-national €1.5m NORFACE research project WelfSOC. The project uses innovative methods (deliberative democratic forums and a qualitative cross-national focus group survey) alongside analysis of quantitative survey data. It is the first project to use qualitative methods on such a scale in the comparative study of European social policy. The studentship offers:
- The opportunity to work as part of a team on a major international project.
- The opportunity to spend time as an academic visitor to various projects in Denmark, Germany, Norway and Slovenia.
- Supervision with leading international scholars.
Possible research topics:
- What is the impact of immigration on attitudes?
- How are the attitudes of middle class people changing?
- Does the public support social investment for welfare states?
- How can effective policies be developed when many people distrust welfare claimants?
- How has increased inequality affected welfare attitudes?
The applicant may also propose a different topic in the field of public attitudes towards the welfare state.
The project will contribute to theoretical work on the main cleavages and solidarities driving social policy in different European welfare states and to more practical consideration of the parameters of acceptable policy change. It will supply new findings relevant to the politics and sociology of welfare and provide data for reanalysis and as a base-line in future studies. It is one of 14 funded as part of the €18m Norface Welfare State Futures Initiative and is led by the UK team. The researchers have led a number of major cross-national projects and will press home findings in national and EU-level policy debate.
Our School at the University of Kent has a worldwide reputation for excellence. The 2014 Research Excellence Framework ranked us second in the UK for research power and awarded our research environment the highest rating possible of 4*.