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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Dena Arya

Dena Arya
Dena Arya
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
07850 653 313
Research Interests
Britain, youth, austerity, political studies, Participation, Scotland, inequality

PhD Title

Power in the peripheries: Youth non-mainstream political participation and economic inequality in the UK

Dena's research comparatively explores youth experiences of non-mainstream political participation and economic inequality in Scotland and England. Her research intersects austerity and participation and engages in the fields of both social policy and political studies.


  • Dr Jan Eichhorn -Senior Lecturer in Social Policy - School of Social and Political Science
  • Dr Oliver Escobar - Lecturer in Public Policy - Politics & IR -- School of Social and Political Science

Professional Background

Dena has worked for over a decade in the  youth and community sector. Her journey began at London Borough of Enfield’s Children’s Services. Following this, her passion for working in community engagement and social research led to working for organisations such as Migrant Voice, Vinspired and Girlguiding. More recently at Kaizen Partnership she has managed large-scale public consultations and community engagement projects and managed the London Legacy Development Corporation’s youth-led communications programme representing youth voices on the re-generation of east London. She has also volunteered as a researcher with Care4Calais, DIFD, UCL and Coram.


PSA conference 2019: Specialist Group Young People's Politics (Panel 1) 

"A youth practitioner’s view of young people’s politics"

ECSWR Conference 2019

"A Critical Examination of Local Community Youth Organisational Resistance to Post-2010 Austerity in Brixton (London) & Leith (Edinburgh)" (Co-authored paper with Luke Campbell - Social Work PhD)

University Teaching experience

Tutoring (Undergraduate)

  • Social Policy and Society (Social Policy Course - University of Edinburgh)
  • Evidence, Politics and Policy (Social Policy Course - University of Edinburgh)

Lecturing (Masters)

  • Global Childhoods MA - Young Refugees and Migrants (Kings College London)


NottinghamUniversity,Jan 2011–Feb2012

MA International SocialPolicy -2:1 


From childhood to adulthood – an examination of the transition period to 18-years old for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children from Afghanistan

University College London, Sept 2004 –Jun 2007

BA (Hons) Ancient History

Research Groups

Dena is amember of the following Social Policy research groups at the University of Edinburgh:

  • Work, Education and Welfare
  • Education and Society