School of Social and Political Science

SPS response to Covid 19


Our researchers adapted rapidly to the Covid-19 pandemic, turning their attentions swiftly to addressing one of the major challenges of our times. As well as launching new research covering the range of social sciences, they've been offering expert insight into its impact on society.


SPS news and research on Covid-19

25 August 2021 – Asia experts urge better post-Covid labour deal

Politicians in South Asia should act swiftly to better protect labour rights during the Covid-19 pandemic, Edinburgh research suggests.

30 June 2021 – Can leaders’ missteps guide Africa’s Covid path?

Power has offered politicians precious little protection from the pandemic but lessons learned could be of lasting benefit, Jean-Benoit Falisse writes for Edinburgh Impact.

20 May 2021 – Kerala’s Covid story serves as a cautionary tale

The best of intentions can easily be undone when complacency, callousness and incompetence are rife at the highest level, Dr George Palattiyil, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, writes for Edinburgh Impact.

21 April 2021 – Care home study highlights Covid's mental toll

Covid-related restrictions have caused mental distress to three out of four people who have relatives in care homes, a study shows.

19 April 2021 – Personal burden of Covid-19 testing needs to be addressed to avoid testing fatigue

Despite the inconveniences and personal sacrifices involved, people in Scotland are willing to go to considerable efforts to make the Covid-19 testing system work, but more needs to be done to recognise and reduce this burden, say researchers.

15 March 2021 – Using network visualization to understand the spread of Covid-19

Tod Van Gunten, a lecturer in Economic Sociology at SPS, shows the spread of Covid-19 in Singapore using data visualization, on the CAHSS Covid-19 Perspectives blog.

15 February 2021 – Covid-19 and football finance

Science, Technology and Innovation Studies' (STIS) Mason Robbins, Global Program Manager of the University of Edinburgh - FC Barcelona Partnership, reflects on the effect of Covid-19 on football in Europe on the CAHSS Covid-19 Perspectives blog.

18 January 2021 – Households, bubbles and hugging grandparents: caring and lockdown rules during COVID-19
Jackie Gulland, Lecturer in Social Work at SPS, discusses the implications of UK legislation around ‘households’ and ‘bubbles’ for gendered caring roles and inequalities on the CAHSS Covid-19 Perspectives blog.

9 December 2020 – Scotland must learn from testing system failures to ensure mass vaccination is a success

The School of Social and Political Science's Alice Street discusses the burden that Covid-19 testing places on members of the public on the CAHSS Covid-19 Perspectives blog.

3 December 2020 – Resilient childcare solutions to protect family wellbeing in times of crisis

Researchers at the School of Social and Political Science (SPS) have won new funding from the Economic and Social Research Council to address the urgent need for effective childcare solutions for families during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.

3 December 2020 – Edinburgh researcher to give a feminist perspective on the impact of COVID-19 in Africa
Dr Rama Salla Dieng at the School of Social and Political Science (SPS) and international collaborators will begin a new project tackling the social, economic and political impact of COVID-19 in Africa with a feminist, intersectional perspective. 

25 November 2020 – Edinburgh researchers part of ESRC-funded study on global responses to domestic violence and abuse under Covid-19
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science (SPS) are part of a new international study launching later this month to examine global responses to domestic violence and abuse during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

23 September 2020 – Big brands cashed in on Covid-19, study finds

Major producers of alcohol, junk food and soft drinks have used Covid-19 to promote products at the expense of public health, research suggests.

7 September 2020 – Researchers to investigate impact of Covid-19 on African elections with UK Government funding

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science (SPS) have received £367,000 from the UK Government to investigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on elections in Africa.

6 August 2020 – SPS Social Work graduates fast tracked for a key role in the community

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s cohort of Master of Social Work students qualified early from the School of Social and Political Science, to give their support to the people, communities and families in Scotland. They share their experience in a new article in the University’s Edit magazine.

16 July 2020 – How to survey citizens’ compliance with COVID-19 public health measures

SPS’ Jean-François Daoust proposes a set of 'face-saving' questions to help researchers working on compliance with preventive measures using survey data to reduce social desirability bias.

13 July 2020 – Elderly people and responses to COVID-19 in 27 countries 
In a new paper for the PLOS ONE journal, Dr Jean-François Daoust covers his research into improving understanding of elderly people’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic using data from 27 countries. 

3 July 2020 – Care home study maps lockdown impact on families

A new study is to gauge how lockdown restrictions have affected the families of care home residents.

2 June 2020 – Social work students qualify early to join fight against Covid-19
Social work students are graduating early to help deliver health and social care services during the pandemic.

26 May 2020 – Recovering Edinburgh’s cultural spaces during a global pandemic
University of Edinburgh researchers are leading a project to tackle the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the city’s culture sector, creating new cultural events throughout and beyond the lockdown.

19 May 2020 – SPS study investigates public understandings, expectations and experience of Covid-19 testing in Scotland 

Dr Alice Street has launched new research into how testing strategies for Covid-19 are influencing public trust in health services and government response.

18 May 2020 – Has the Ebola epidemic in West Africa prepared Sierra Leone’s health system for Covid-19?

Social anthropologists at the School of Social and Political Science will investigate whether technology-focused responses to the 2014 – 2016 Ebola epidemic in West Africa prepared Sierra Leone’s health system for Covid-19.

12 May 2020 – Two SPS researchers to collect video diaries from residents in Edinburgh and the Lothians

A new project, Recording Life during a Pandemic: The Lothian Diary Project, will investigate questions of public health, media, and communication among residents of Edinburgh and the Lothians in relation to COVID-19.

12 May 2020 – CAHSS researchers write about the pandemic on new blog 

Researchers from SPS and the other schools in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences are writing about the pandemic on a new blog, Covid-19 Perspectives.

12 May 2020 – New microsite to document the University of Edinburgh’s reaction to the pandemic 

The University of Edinburgh has set up a new microsite to share stories of how it is reacting to the Covid-19 pandemic.

12 May 2020 – Sociology department launches new blog: Edinburgh Decameron: Lockdown Sociology at Work 

The School’s sociology department is recording, documenting and commenting on Covid-19 through stories and accounts, as the pandemic unfolds. 

9 April 2020 – SPS lecturer creates coronavirus tracking tool for Scotland

Dr Tod Van Gunten, a Lecturer in Economic Sociology at the School of Social and Political Science has created a tool aiming to provide a visualisation of the spread of coronavirus in Scotland.