My research examines inequality and poverty in the UK. I study the design and delivery of welfare services, social security, labour market programmes, and anti-poverty initiatives for the working-age population. I have an interest in place-based approaches and regional inequalities. I predominately use qualitative methodologies and specialise in participatory and collaborative research approaches.
I am the co-convener of the Social Policy Association's 'Employment and Social Security' Policy Group with Elke Heins. Twitter: @SpaEmploySocSec
- PhD Social Policy, University of Edinburgh (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)
- Course organiser & lecturer: Qualitative Research: Principles and Practicalities for Social Policy (UG)
- Teaching contributions: Policy in Action (PG), Politics of the Welfare State (UG), Labour Market Policy in Europe (UG), Social Inequality and the Life Course (UG).
- Member of the Research Training Centre
- Personal Tutor: MSc Public Policy, and Government, Policy and Society MA(Hons)
(see Edinburgh Research Explorer for a detailed list)
Bennett, H., Escobar O, Hill O’Connor C, Plotnikova E, Steiner A. (2021) Participation Requests: A Democratic Innovation to Unlock the Door of Public Services? Administration & Society. (Early online view)
Bennett, H., and Brunner, R. (2020) ‘Nurturing the Buffer Zone: Conducting collaborative action research in contemporary contexts’ Qualitative Research Journal (Early online view).
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.
- 'What Works Scotland': Public Service Reform in Scotland to tackle 'wicked issues'. (Funded by Scottish Government, ESRC, 2015-2019)
- 'Combating Poverty in Europe': Comparative European social policy examining minimum income provision and multi-level governance in six European Countries; Germany, Italy, Poland, Norway, Sweden, and United Kingdom. (Funded by EU FP7, 2013-2015)
- 'Labour market activation policies in times of austerity' (UK case study). (Funded by the European Trade Union Institute 2015)
- 'Blessed are the poor': Exploring the role of Faith Based Organisations in anti-poverty work since 2010. (Funded via UoE, SSPS, Strategic Research Grant, 2014-2016)
Topics interested in supervising
Unemployment and poverty (UK), low-income work, employment support, Welfare-to-work, Active Labour Market Policies, Local anti-poverty initiatives, UK social security (design and implementation), UK third sector, UK policy-making (poverty, welfare state), Scottish policy-making, Policy implementation (eg street-level bureaucracy in welfare services).
Knowledge Exchange and Impact
(selected, see Edinburgh Research Explorer for up to date list)
- IAA Poverty Alliance (2021-2022)
- Special Advisor to the Scottish Affairs Committee (UK Parliament) for the Welfare Inquiry (consultancy Nov 2020-April 2021)
- UOA20 REF Impact Research Fellow for Social Policy and Social Work (2019-2020)
- Member of the Scottish Parliament's Expert Panel on Social Security (2017-2019)
- Founded and run the 'Let's discuss poverty' Blog Collection for the Poverty Alliance's Challenge Poverty Week 2014 and 2015, 2017
- Recent activities: Covid Realities blog, Nov 2020: Precarious work, precarious research?
Social Policy Association (SPA), Regional Studies Association, The Poverty Alliance, University of Edinburgh's 'Work, Economy and Welfare research group'.