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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Ewan Robertson

Ewan Robertson
Ewan Robertson
Social Policy School of Social and Political Science University of Edinburgh
Edinburgh Scotland, UK
Research Interests
United Kingdom, European Union, Social and Public Policy, Labour Market Policy, Economic Security, In-Work Benefits, Non-Standard Employment, Welfare Reform, Welfare States

PhD Title

The Politics of Supplementing Wages: Accounting for In-Work Benefit Reforms in the United Kingdom, France and Spain



I am a doctoral researcher in the field of social policy at the University of Edinburgh. 

My research examines the political dynamics and wider causal trends driving the adoption and reform of in-work benefits in European welfare states. The selected cases for the doctoral study are the United Kingdom, France and Spain. 

My research interests broadly focus on the changing economic and social structures of European and OECD countries, and how and why public policy regulates the concomitant labour market risks and incentives experienced by working age people. 

I have a professional background in the United Kingdom of communications and policy analysis in the fields of economic development and regeneration, and interests in politics and public policy in both Europe and Latin America. I have also contributed to research on the use of data by urban regeneration policy-makers in Scotland, published in the journal Scottish Affairs.



Findlay, A. Jackson, M., McInroy, N., Prentice, P., Robertson, E. & Sparks, L. (2018). Putting Towns on the Policy Map: Understanding Scottish Places (USP). Scottish Affairs, 27(3), 294-318.


Academic Presentations

'Elites, Interests and Ideas: ‘Make Work Pay’ and the Politics of In-Work Benefit Expansion under New Labour 1997 - 2001'. Presentation for Social Policy Conference Symposium: ‘Pro-work, pro-business or pro-poor? Making sense of in-work benefits’. Durham University, 9th July 2019

'The Politics of Supplementing Wages'. Presentation at the III PROMEBI Summer School, University of Oviedo, 7 September 2018.

‘Accounting for the Implementation of In-Work Benefits’. Presentation at Comparing Apples with Pears early career academic workshop, 19 April 2018, MSSP & KU Leuven, Belgium.


Funding Awards 

Grant Award to participate in the III PROMEBI Summer School, University of Oviedo, 3 - 7 September 2018.

Economic and Social Research Council +3 Award (funding award for PhD in Social Policy, University of Edinburgh, 2017 - 2020)

Carnegie-Cameron Taught Postgraduate Bursary (tuition fee bursary for MSc in Policy Studies, University of Edinburgh, 2015 – 2017)

University of Aberdeen College of Arts and Social Sciences Postgraduate Funding Award (tuition fee award for MLitt Latin American Studies, 2009 – 2010)


Academic Prizes 

MSc Policy Studies Prize for Best Performance (awarded for best academic performance in the MSc Policy Studies, class of 2017, University of Edinburgh)

Caithness Prize in History  (awarded for achieving the highest grade in the examinations for history honours, class of 2009, University of Aberdeen)



MSc Policy Studies, 2017, University of Edinburgh (Distinction)

MLitt Latin American Studies, 2010, University of Aberdeen (Distinction)  

MA History & International Relations, 2009, University of Aberdeen (1st Class Honours)