Reader in Comparative and Global Social Policy
Zoë Irving is a Reader in Comparative and Global Social Policy in the School for Business and Society. She has previously researched and taught at Loughborough University, Leeds Beckett University, the University of Sheffield and been a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta. She co-founded and co-convened the International and Comparative Group of the UK Social Policy Association (2004-2011) and co-founded and co-directed the Centre for Research in Comparative and Global Social Policy until 2017. With Kevin Farnsworth, she is also co-editor of the Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy and they co-convene the MA in Global Social Policy course in SBS.
Zoë’s research interests span international, comparative and global study of social policy and the application of approaches from political economy, sociology and anthropology to better understand the expansion and retrenchment of social rights. Her work has focused on social policy development in small states and small island states with a particular interest in Iceland. She has previously conducted research and published on the topics of gender and employment, and the relationship between social policy and non-standard work in comparative context.
Currently, Zoë is undertaking work to better understand how social policy development differs between large and small states around the world, and how population size shapes the boundaries of welfare provision. With Kevin Farnsworth, she is also engaged in research examining the relationship between social policy and crises. This work broadly concerns the changing relationship between economics and politics and the consequences for welfare and they have published extensively on social policy responses to the global economic crises experienced since 2007, the impact of austerity on welfare states and the austerity agenda within the IMF. Their current projects include a study of the relationship between 'inclusive growth' and social policy within IMF discourse; and an exploratory modelling of philanthrocapitalist