PhD Position: Public Attitudes Towards Social Inequality and Preferences for Redistribution in the Age of Inequality: Britain and Scotland in Comparative Perspective

This studentship is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) through the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS), supervised jointly by Dr Christopher Deeming and Professor Sir John Curtice at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

Project details

This is a call for a PhD position in Social Policy and Political Science at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. This comparative secondary datasets analysis project addresses a number of pressing theoretical and policy related questions of relevance to policy-makers and social scientists given the emergence of different models of welfare following devolution in the UK. Social democracy seemingly flourishes in Scotland, as the Scottish SNP Government looks to the Nordic countries for policy solutions to tackle entrenched inequality in society. This raises a number of important questions. Firstly, to what extent is the SNP following or leading public attitudes towards in/equality in Scotland? While this vexing question is much debated, the survey evidence is far from clear at present and requires further investigation to help understand attitude formation and change. Second, the idea or notion of growing policy divergence between the UK-nations implies that values and attitudes in Scotland may be becoming more solidaristic and less individualistic given the direction of SNP policy, but are they? According to social/political theory, we might expect to find Scottish attitudes and values are now increasingly comparable to those found in the Nordic nations (i.e., the more egalitarian of the OECD member countries), while attitudes towards in/equality in the Nordic countries should be distinct from social attitudes found in the liberal Anglo-American world, where citizens are more accepting of the advantages of markets and the inequalities they generate. However, such notions are vigorously contested at present and new empirical comparative and secondary data analysis research is needed to shed important light on the issues.

Application deadline: 4pm, 14 April 2022