- Dr Hayley Bennett
- Lecturer in Social Policy
- 4f1, 18 Buccleuch Place Edinburgh UK EH8 9LN
- +44 (0)131 6511325 (currently unavailable, please email).
- Research Interests
- Contractualism, Welfare Markets, Unemployment, Labour Market, Poverty, Welfare reform politics, Welfare-to-Work, Regionalism, Third Sector, Inequality, public service reform, Public policy, social enterprise, Devolution and social security, Social Policy, Multi-level governance, Community Planning, local economic development, localism, policy implementation, social security
I am an experienced researcher of public administration focusing on the design and delivery of welfare services, social security, labour market programmes, and anti-poverty policies. I question how and why various levels of government, private, and third sector organisations are involved in designing and implementing public policies to address inequality in the UK. I was a member of the Scottish Parliament's Expert Panel on Social Security (2017-2019).
I predominately use qualitative methodologies and specialise in collaborative research approaches working with Scottish Government, third sector organisations, and local authority partners. This includes four years as a key member of the What Works Scotland team (WWS, Funded by Scottish Government and ESRC) . WWS was a large and intensive project conducting empirical research and generating impact on public service reform in Scotland. I led or co-led numerous workstreams, including designing and piloting a large, innovative, Collaborative Action Research programme (2015-2018) involving 90 policymakers and practitioners creating a series of research and evidence-use inquiries. Prior to this I worked on a comparative European social policy project (Combating Poverty in Europe) exploring minimum income provision from a multi-level governance perspective in six European countries: Germany, Italy, Poland, Norway, Sweden, and United Kingdom. (Funded by EU FP7). I have also worked in the public sector designing and delivering regeneration and economic development initiatives in post-industrial localities across the UK.
Other research activities (selected)
- Co-Investigator (2015) Labour market activation policies in times of austerity (UK case study) for the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI)
- Co-Investigator (2014-2016) 'Blessed are the poor'. This project explores the role of Faith Based Organisations in anti-poverty work since 2010. (Funded via UoE, SSPS, Strategic Research Grant)
- PhD, University of Edinburgh (2008-2013) (ESRC CASE studentship)
- MSc by Research in Social Policy, University of Edinburgh (ESRC CASE studentship)
- MA Local and Regional Economic Development, Aberystwyth University (IGES award)
- BA Human Geography (First class honours) Aberystwyth University (UWA scholarship)
Publications (selected, see Edinburgh Research Explorer for a detailed list)
Bennett, H., and Brunner, R. (2020) ‘Nurturing the Buffer Zone: Conducting collaborative action research in contemporary contexts’ Qualitative Research Journal (In-press).
Heins, E., and Bennett, H. (2018) ‘Retrenchment, conditionality, and flexibility- UK labour market policies in the era of austerity’ in Theodoropoulou, S. (ed) 2018, 'Labour reforms in the era of pervasive austerity: European perspective.’ Policy Press.
Bennett, H. (2017) Re-examining British Welfare-to-Work Contracting using a Transaction Cost Perspective. Journal of Social Policy, Vol 46, 1, 129-148
Heins, E., and Bennett, H. (2016) "Best of both worlds’? A comparison of third sector providers in health care and welfare-to-work markets in Britain." Social Policy and Administration, Vol 50, 1, 39–58.
Bennett, H. (2016) "Anti-poverty activities in a liberal welfare model: Local levers and multi-level tensions in Glasgow, UK" in Johansson, H., and Panican, A. Eds. Combating Poverty in Local Welfare Systems- Active Inclusion Strategies in European Cities. Palgrave
Angelin, A., Bennett, H., and Zielenska, M. (2016) "Provisions of relevance for lone mothers, long-term unemployed and working poor in five countries- are provisions multidimensional and integrated?" in Halvorsen, R. and Hvinden, B. Combating Poverty in Europe: Active Inclusion in a Multi-level and Multi-Actor context. Edward Elgar.
Recent knowledge exchange activities (selected, see Edinburgh Research Explorer for up to date list)
- Member of the Scottish Parliament's Social Security Committee Expert Panel (2017-2019)
- Speaker at various Scottish Government events on public service reform and collaborative governance
- Member of Poverty Alliance's national steering group for 'Challenge Poverty Week' (2017)
- Founded and run the 'Let's discuss poverty' Blog Collection for the Poverty Alliance's Challenge Poverty Week 2014 and 2015, 2017