School for Policy Studies Lecture Series 2016

Monday 25 January 2016

`State Crime: Australia’s abuse of asylum seekers’

Time: 12.50 to 1.50 pm
Location: Room 7G1, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, 8 Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TZ
Speaker: Professor Linda Briskman, Swinburne Institute, Melbourne, Australia

Event overview: Australia’s mandatory immigration detention regime is continually on the move in a downward human rights trajectory. Despite strident criticism by human rights groups in Australia and internationally, abuse continues unabated with violations of international norms such as those enshrined in the Refugee Convention, the Convention against Torture and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The presentation provides an overview of the excesses of Australia’s asylum seeker policies and practices and how insidious conflation of asylum seeking with terrorism creates a fearful and compliant Australia. Among measures discussed are: ‘offshore detention’ in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, temporary visas for those found to be refugees, and a standstill in refugee processing. Narratives from asylum seekers, advocates, and health and welfare professionals will be presented.

Linda Briskman is Professor of Human Rights at the Swinburne Institute in Melbourne Australia. As an ‘academic activist’ her main areas of research and advocacy are the spheres of Indigenous rights and asylum seeker rights, with more recent work on Islamophobia.  Books include: Social Work with Indigenous Communities: A human rights approach (2014) and the award winning Human Rights Overboard: seeking asylum in Australia (2008 with Susie Latham and Chris Goddard). Current research includes community building by asylum seekers in protracted situations in Indonesia, and ethical issues of health provision for Afghans in Iran. Linda is co-founder of Social Work Without Borders and Voices Against Bigotry. 

Please visit Eventbrite to register for this free event.

Thursday 18 February 2016

`Integrating Social Cognitive Theories for tailored Ehealth programmes’ (Jerry Morris Memorial Lecture)

Time: 5.30 to 6.30 pm
Location: Peel Lecture Theatre, School of Geographical Sciences, University Road, Bristol, BS8 1SS

Event overview: Several social cognitive theories can be used for understanding health behaviour and for developing interventions in order to motivate people to adopt healthy behaviour. Yet, reliance on one theory only can be a limitation as some core factors may not receive attention. Assessing how factors operate as well as the additive effects of these factors for changing behaviour is important for the development of interventions that are tailored to the needs of a specific target group. The first part of the lecture will discuss studies that evaluate these integrations. Next, applications of the I-Change Model for eHealth will be discussed. In the past years our group has tested several tailored eHealth interventions using randomised control trials for a variety of health behaviours. Findings of (recent) studies will be discussed, including cost-effectiveness of these programmes and whether the addition of certain factors (such as action planning and ecological feedback) can increase the effects. Additionally, discussion will explore whether these programmes may or may not contribute to increasing the digital divide.

Hein de Vries is a professor in health communication and health promotion at Maastricht University. His recent research focuses on the efficacy of computer tailored projects for realising various health behaviors, such as nutrition, physical activity, smoking cessation, COPD, type 2 diabetes prevention and sexual health. Integrating findings of relevant health behaviour (change) models led to development of the dynamic I-Change Model. He is a member of several international scientific committees, and co-editor of Health Education, Preventive Medicine, and Psychology and

Please visit Eventbrite to register for this free event.

Thursday 10 March 2016

`Self-determination and citizenship: out of reach for disabled people?’

Time: 4 to 5 pm
Location: The Common Room, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, 8 Priory Road, Bristol, BS8 1TZ
Speaker: Professor Jenny Morris

Event overview: If self-determination (autonomy) is a key aspect of equal citizenship, what are the implications for disabled people? Is self-determination achievable for all disabled people? Is our society making progress towards equal citizenship for disabled people, or are we losing ground?

Dr Jenny Morris retired in 2010 having worked as an independent research consultant, policy analyst and trainer since 1990.  She wrote the chapter on independent living in Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People, a 25 year government strategy published in 2005, and led the Independent Living Strategy, a five year strategy published in 2008. She also carried out research on disabled parents, young disabled people with significant support needs, disabled children, and on various aspects of independent living. She writes a blog at

Please visit Eventbrite to register for this free event.

Thursday 7 April 2016

`Domestic violence, family law proceedings, and children’s victimization at school’

Time: 1 to 2 pm (Followed by discussion session from 2 to 3 pm)
Location: Room 10G4/5, School for Policy Studies, 10 Woodland Road, Bristol, BS8 1TZ
Speaker: Professor Maria Eriksson, Mälardalen University, Sweden

Event overview: This presentation discusses what the practices of family law social workers and school staff mean for children’s vulnerability and victimization at school (including preschool). While there has been considerable discussion of issues about child protection and the cooperation between school and social services in that context, studies on the intersection between school and family law proceedings seem virtually non-existent. This is also the case when it comes to family law proceedings, school and different forms of childhood adversity.

Please visit Eventbrite to register for this free event.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

`Directing Public Health in Bristol and South Gloucestershire’

Time: 6 to 7 pm
Location: Old Council Chamber, Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol, Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1RJ
Speakers: Becky Pollard, Director of Public Health, Bristol and Professor Mark Pietroni, Director of Public Health for South Gloucestershire

Event overview:

'After a 40 year hiatus, public health is back at the heart of local government. That’s where it needs to be' (Professor Kevin Fenton, Public Health England, 2014)

Come and hear about the reality of public health in the heart of local government. We are delighted to welcome the Directors of Public Health from our local area to talk about their role, and their experience over the last three years.  What have been the challenges and opportunities presented by the move? What does this mean for people and services locally? How should our local authorities act to improve and protect the health of local populations? 

Professor Mark Pietroni is Director of Public Health for South Gloucestershire since January 2013, he is also a practicing consultant physician. He worked in public health in Bangladesh for 15 years, latterly as Medical Director of icddr,b an international public health research centre in Dhaka. Becky Pollard is Director of Public Health for Bristol City Council, coming from the same role in North Somerset Council. She and has worked in public health for over 28 years. Mark and Becky will speak about their roles, experiences and aspirations for our city and region, and answer questions from the audience. 

Please visit Eventbrite to register for this free event.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

The Financialization of Housing: Mechanisms, Sectors, Geographies

Time: 1 to 2 pm 
Location: 7G1, 7 Priory Road, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TZ
Speaker: Professor Manuel Aalbers, KU Leuven, University of Leuven, Belgium

Event overview: A global wall of money is looking for High-Quality Collateral (HQC) investments, and housing is one of the few asset classes considered HQC. This explains why housing is increasingly becoming financialized, but it does not explain its timing, politics and geography. Examples from the US, the UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain illustrate not only the emergence and commonalities of housing financialization but also the continued relevance of national as well as local histories and institutions. Due to the financialization of housing, housing risks are increasingly financial market risks these days—and vice versa. Yet, the relations between housing and financialization remain under-researched and under-theorized. Since the 1970s, mortgage markets have been transformed from being a ‘”facilitating market” for homeowners in need of credit to one increasingly facilitating global investment. Likewise, subsidized rental housing has become exposed to global financial markets through the use of social housing bonds and financial derivatives as well as through the rise of financialized landlords such as private equity firms and real estate firms listed at the stock exchange.

Manuel B. Aalbers is associate professor of Human Geography at KU Leuven/University of Leuven (Belgium). Manuel leads an ERC project and research group on the intersection of real estate, finance and states []. He has also published on financialization, redlining, social and financial exclusion, neoliberalism, mortgage markets, the privatization of social housing, neighbourhood decline and gentrification. He is the author of Place, Exclusion, and Mortgage Markets (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011) and The Financialization of Housing: A Political Economy Approach (Routledge, 2016) as well as the editor of Subprime Cities: The Political Economy of Mortgage Markets (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012). He is also the associate editor of the Encyclopedia of Urban Studies (Sage, 2010) and of geography journal TESG.

Please visit Eventbrite to register for this free event.

Wednesday 21st September 2016

Locked in Place: Neighbourhood deprivation, Networks and Unemployment

Dr Leen Vandecasteele, University of Tübingen, Germany

3.30pm in Room 7G1, School for Policy Studies, 7 Priory Road, Bristol

In this presentation, we bring together research on social networks and neighbourhood disadvantage to examine how they jointly affect unemployed individuals’ probability of re-entering employment. Drawing on data from the UK Understanding Society panel survey we show that neighbourhood employment disadvantage prolongs unemployment, but only for individuals who report that all of their friends live in the same neighbourhood. By contrast, living in an advantaged neighbourhood with all of one’s friends in the neighbourhood increases chances of exiting unemployment. Consequently, not just residing in a disadvantaged neighbourhood, but actually living there with all one’s friends, prevents individuals from re-entering employment while neighbourhood location is not associated with exit from unemployment if one’s friends do not live in one’s own neighbourhood. We conclude that neighbourhood effects critically depend on individual’s social embeddedness in the neighbourhood. It matters not just where one resides, but where one lives.  Local social ties have a multiplier effect in reinforcing advantage in resourceful environments, but this is not true in poor areas.

Leen Vandecasteele is a Junior Professor of Sociology at the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen. Before, she was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Manchester and a member of the survey quality team of the European Social Survey. Her research is driven by an ambition to uncover the mechanisms of social inequality in the life course and how these are influenced by the institutional and social context.

All UoB staff and students welcome. Please book via Eventbrite  

Edit this page