Lee Gregory is a lecturer in Social Policy at the University of Birmingham in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work. His interest in Social Policy started when at 17 he was encouraged to go to University and having heard the term “social policy” went and brought a book on the subject. and instantly found a subject he was interested in. The focus of social policy is the analysis of social problems and the proposed solutions (and the mechanisms by which solutions are enacted). The appeal of the subject at this young age has influenced his teaching and research interests which encompass the subject of social policy itself but in particular are concerned with the range of social problems linked to poverty and inequality alongside the influence of welfare ideology and efforts to promote alternative forms of welfare provision. This latter is important because social policy is not just about analysing social problems and solutions but about creating change. It is implicitly about the future and pursuing policies which change our society and therefore change our future. As such Lee’s specific interests are in the role of welfare policies in perpetuating and challenging contemporary social problems and creating a site of resistance to neo-liberal economics which includes analysis of complementary currencies and the social theory of time in the analysis of social policy. Part of this interest includes consideration of policy making and analysis (including the roles of evidence and ideology in policy change) alongside the use of the “mixed economy of welfare”. As such his research is interested in policy interventions to create change and the underpinning values and ideologies which drive these interventions. In his teaching he seeks to not only promote the subject of social policy (engaging in a range of widening participation initiatives) but to enthuse students to study social policy and to go out and create change after graduation.
Additional interests include “youth policy”, with consideration given to how young people navigate the transition to adul
thood and the policies that support them in doing so. This is underpinned by a broad range of research interests including: poverty, asset-based welfare, credit unions, young people and social policy, welfare ideology and the mixed economy of welfare and alternative forms of welfare provision.
He has previously worked at the Welsh Assembly Government which, along with completing his degrees at the Cardiff University has underpinned an interest in devolution within social policy. At present he has completed a range of research and publications on a number of topics which include: asset-based welfare, time banking and co-production, credit unions and youth justice.
His broader research interests, including areas for dissertation and PhD supervision include: Poverty, Income Maintenance and financial exclusion; Policy Analysis; Voluntary Sector and Self-help initiatives; Welfare Theory; Young People and Social Policy; Environmentalism and Social Policy, History of Social Policy; Eugenics and New Genetics; Scandal and Social Policy; HIV/AIDS Policy; Devolution.
His future research plans are to build on the foundations of my PhD and previous research, to further investigate alternative forms of welfare provision (both in the UK and internationally) to build upon the theoretical framework developed in the PhD.
His random efforts at blogging can be found at a separate blog (Game of Thoughts – link in the tabs above) and occasional podcasts via Audioboom (see links). There are plans of more regular updates from October 2015.