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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Anna Pultar

Anna Pultar
Anna Pultar
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh EH8 9LD
Research Interests
Education Policy, comparative social policy, the politics of education policy making, political debates and politics in the welfare state, social inequality, political ideologies and history of political thinking

Research interests

I'm interested in political controversies in education policy. In my PhD research, I examined the political debates around academic selection and comprehensive secondary schooling from a comparative perspective. The PhD explored the diversity, ambivalence and tensions within perspectives on school policy on the political (centre-)Left by tracing how educational thought and policy positions of the British Labour Party and the Austrian Social Democratic Party have formed and evolved since the early 1980s.

PhD Supervision: Dr Sotiria Grek, Prof Jochen Clasen, Prof Lindsay Paterson


2013-2016 College Studentship, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Edinburgh


2008 Magister (BA+Msc) in Political Science, University of Vienna (2004-5 University of Valladolid, Spain)


In October 2017 I started a position as Career Development Fellow for Education Policy at the School for Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh.

Co-convenor of the research group Education and Society

Previous teaching:


  • on 'Political Perspectives in Social Policy' for Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy (UG honors, 3 lectures in 2016 and 2017)
  • on 'Comprehensive Schooling' for Education Policy and Politics (UG honours & PG course, 2017)
  • on 'Comparative Research' for Research Design (PG course, 2015 and 2016)
  • on 'Youth Transitions'  for Social Inequality and the Life Course (UG honors, 2014, 2015 and 2016; PG course 2015)


  • Social Policy Dissertation workshops (PG workshops, 2014, 2015, 2017),
  • Educational Politics and Policy (UG honors, 2017),
  • Analytical Perspectives in Social Policy (UG honors, 2014, 2016 & 2017),
  • Research design (PG course, 2015 & 2016),
  • European Social Policy (UG course, 2014)

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (2016)


Policy makers, the one-armed researcher and the use of evidence in highly politicised policy areas, presentation at the 'Knowledge, Organisations, and Policy Seminar', a collaborative event between the University of Liege and University of Edinburgh, 27 April 2017, University of Edinburgh.

Comprehensive schooling and competing visions and rationalities in centre-left parties’ education policy, presentation in the research group 'Education & Society', 22 February 2017, University of Edinburgh.

Centre-left parties and comprehensive schooling: understanding preference formation and change in education policy, paper presented at the 'Marie Curie Consortium Meeting & International Doctoral Colloquium', 15-16 September 2016, University Luxembourg.

Centre-left parties and comprehensive schooling. Changing perspectives on education and society in Austria and England, paper presented at the 'European Conference on Educational Research', EERA, 22-26 August 2016, Dublin.

Historical Awareness of Political Actors and Challenges for Historical Education Research, paper presented at the 'Conference of the Section of Historical Educational Research of the German Educational Research Association (GERA)', 17-19 September 2015, University of Vienna.

Youth transitions and social exclusion. Austria as a case of coordinated and inclusive transition policies? Paper presented at the 'International Workshop on Nordic model challenges in transition from school to work: gender, ethnicity and disability', NOVA & Reassess, 21-22 November 2012, Kopenhagen.

Youth transitions and social inclusion. Outcomes and determinants of transition policies in Austria, paper presented at the 'European Social Policy Network Conference', 6-8 September 2012, Edinburgh.

Publications / reports

Pultar, A. (2016). Politische Bildung in England - spät aber doch (nicht)? (Citizenship education in England), Erziehung und Unterricht, 166(3-4), pp. 214-224.

Pultar, A. (2015). Book Review: Marius Busemeyer: Skills and Inequality: Partisan Politics and the Political Economy of Education Reforms in Western Welfare States, Journal of European Social Policy, 25(3), pp. 355-35.

Fink, M.; Paterson, I.; Pultar, A.; Schönpflug, K.; Schuh, U. (2011): Study on Flexicurity: Measuring the impact of flexicurity policies on the EU labour market, Final report, commissioned by the European Commssion, DG EMPL/D/2.

Fink, M.; Pultar, A. (2011). Austria. Promoting Social Inclusion of Roma. A Study of National Policies, commissioned by the European Commission via the Network of Independent Experts in Social Inclusion.

Fink, M.; Pultar, A.; Schelepa, S.; Wetzel, P.; Mühlbacher, S.; Schuh, U. (2010). Armut und sozialer Zusammenhalt: Konzepte, Wahrnehmungen durch 'Betroffene' und Effekte der Wirtschaftskrise (Poverty and Social Cohesion: Concepts, Perceptions of People at Risk of Poverty and the Effects of the Financial Crisis), commissioned by the Austrian Federal Chancellery, Vienna.

Pultar, A. (2010). Book Review: Armando Barrientos and David Hulme (Hg.): Social Protection for the Poor and Poorest. Concepts, Policies and Politics,  Austrian Journal for Political Science, 1/2010, pp. 129-131.

Previous employment

2008-2013 Research assistant at the University of Vienna, Department of Government, with Dr Marcel Fink. Research & consultancy on labour market policy and poverty funded by the European Commission, the Austrian Federal Chancellery, and the Austrian Development Cooperation.

Teaching at the University of Vienna, Department of Politics & Government: co-convenor of The political systems of Austria and the EU (BA course, 5 semesters, 2010-2012) & Theory and practice of poverty reduction in development cooperation (PG course, 2010), guest lectures for Comparative Social Policy (BA/PG course, 4 semesters, 2010-2011).