I joined the university in 2016, having previously taught at the University of South Wales. After a PhD in philosophy, my work has grown to focus on the intersection between theory and practice in various areas of contemporary policy and social concern, most recently on social mobility, the family, childhood, disability and the ethics of care.  I am author or editor of nine books and over thirty articles, and have supervised several PhD theses to completion.

In 2010 I helped set up the South Wales Equality Group, a broad-based organisation committed to campaigning for greater awareness of the social costs of increasing income inequality.  I have been a member of the Newport Fairness Commission since its inception in 2012, and am a former Trustee of the Bevan Foundation. I am a Fellow of the RSA, and also co-edit the journal Ethics and Social Welfare

Areas of Expertise

  • social and political theory
  • professional ethics
  • social justice
  • social mobility
  • childhood
  • families
  • well-being policy
  • ethics of care
  • life chances
  • co-production


  1. Family autonomy and class fate. Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3(2), 131-149.
  2. Local natures? Climate change, beliefs, facts and norms. Climatic Change 133(3), 525-533.
  3. 'Of course we do': inequality, the family and the spell of social mobility. Soundings: a journal of politics and culture(64), 117-127.
  4. & Les familles dans la philosophie normative, entre groupes et individus. Raisons politiques 66(2), 143
  5. Competence, Ethical Practice and Professional Ethics Teaching. Ethics and Social Welfare 9(3), 297-311.

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  • ASP100 The Sociology of Social Policy

    This module aims to provide an introduction to the subject of social policy from a sociological perspective and to provide a basic understanding of the origins, organisation, operations and outcomes of welfare institutions. The module explores the meaning of social policy and introduces students to sociological conceptualisations of the social construction of social problems, human needs, citizenship rights and equalities. It then considers key areas of the welfare system including education, health, social care, housing and social security, through a sociological lens.

  • ASP106 The Politics of Social Policy

    The module explores the development of recent UK Social Policy and the post-war welfare state through a political lens. It does this firstly by setting out key issues at the heart of debates on social policy, and then by comparing a series of key political approaches to those issues. The module considers liberalism, socialism, and conservatism, alongside recent critical approaches including feminism, environmentalism and the New Right. The aim is to provide an introduction to why social policy matters politically, and how our understanding of problems and priorities in welfare provision will be shaped by the dominant political perspectives of our time.

  • ASP255 Equality, Diversity and Citizenship

    This module explores the important concept of citizenship and its applications in social policy. It does this by examining equality and diversity policies, focusing on different theoretically-driven debates about the need for, and impact of, such policies. Building on level 4 social policy modules, students will also have the opportunity to gain more understanding of key concepts such as rights, justice, fairness and equality. As a further aim, the module sets out to help students develop a critical awareness of issues associated with applying equality and diversity policies in the workplace and to the topic of asylum. A particular focus is given to recent legislation dealing with age discrimination, and comparisons are drawn with other national contexts.

  • ASP300 Dissertation in Social Policy

    The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to analyse and report on a social policy question of their own choosing.

  • ASP305 Advocacy, Rights and Representation

    Advocacy has been increasingly recognised within Social Policy as being a means of securing and exercising the rights of citizens, particularly those subject to discrimination, marginalisation and abuse. This module explores conceptual, ethical, policy and practice perspectives of advocacy. The influence of social movements in the development of advocacy is considered, along with official policy responses of Government and professionals. Whilst the focus is upon developments in the UK, examples are also drawn from North America and Scandinavia. The module examines advocacy with a variety of social groups, including children, disabled adults and older people; settings such as care homes and hospitals; and situations such as instances of abuse and making decisions or choices.

  • ASP356 The Family and Children: Ethics and Policy

    This module critically explores why the family and children matter to social policy, through an analysis of various contexts in which relevant issues arise, and of the implications of how they have been tackled in recent policy across a range of policy spheres in Wales, the UK and beyond. Throughout, there is a focus on questions of ethics and social justice. Thus it addresses why families, parenting and the interests of children raise pressing and challenging questions concerning rights, responsibilities and the nature of well-being ¿ and provides critical tools with which to assess how these questions have been answered in social policy.


  • The nature of ethical dilemmas in disaster response (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Gideon Calder
    Other supervisor: Dr Hugh Upton