Dr Laura Bainbridge

BA (York), MA (York), PhD (York)

  • Research Associate


Upon graduating with a BA in Politics in 2007 I was employed as a research manager by an award winning independent social research agency. As a member of the Children, Young People and Families team I conducted qualitative and quantitative research projects on behalf of clients such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, NICE, Action for Children, NESTA and The Prince’s Trust. Specialising in engaging ‘hard to reach’ groups I explored a range of complex issues including interpersonal violence, gang membership, youth leadership, child sexual abuse and the challenges surrounding being ‘NEET’.  

Following the completion of an MA in Social Policy in 2012 I began working for Independent Domestic Abuse Services where I coordinated Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) across York and North Yorkshire.  

I joined the SPSW Department in September 2013 as a result of being awarded an ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Centre +3 studentship. Positioned firmly at the nexus between social policy, political science, and criminology, my PhD thesis examined the occurrence and realities of the phenomenon of ‘international-subnational’ crime and justice policy transfer. Adopting a qualitative case study design that was exploratory in nature, it meticulously reconstructed the (in)formal events that led to the development and implementation of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime’s Alcohol Abstinence Monitoring Requirement (AAMR) Pilot by triangulating evidence obtained from three sources: elite interviews, documentary materials and unstructured naturalistic observation. In addition to making a series of empirical, methodological and theoretical contributions to existing academic knowledge, my thesis also bridged the gap between social scientific enquiry and public policy-making by identifying empirically grounded ‘lessons’ for policy practitioners and by forwarding a number of policy recommendations.

I am currently employed as a Research Associate in Social Policy.


Research interests

  • Policy transfer
  • The policy process
  • Violence reduction (including ‘mandatory alcohol abstinence’) 


Bainbridge, L. (2018). Transferring 24/7 Sobriety from South Dakota to South London: Facilitating and constraining factors. Presented at the Social Policy Association Conference, York, 11-13 July 2018.

Lunt, N. & Bainbridge, L. (2018). Place and asset-based approaches to social support: The case of Local Area Coordination. Presented at the Social Policy Association Conference, York, 11-13 July 2018.

Bainbridge, L. (2018). Transferring 24/7 Sobriety from South Dakota to South London: the case of MOPAC’s AAMR Pilot. Presented at The International Society for the Study of Drug Policy Conference, Vancouver, Canada, 16-18 May 2018.

Bainbridge, L. (2016). Less talk, more (inter)action. Presented at the White Rose Doctoral Training Centre Conference, University of York, 6 October 2016.

Bainbridge, L. (2016). Importation or speculation? Reconstructing the ‘international-subnational’ crime and criminal justice policy transfer process. Presented at the British Society of Criminology Conference, Nottingham Conference Centre, 6-8th July 2016.

Bainbridge, L. (2016). Abandoning echoed assumptions: A concise exploration of crime and criminal justice policy transfer.  Presented at the Social Policy Association Conference, Belfast Metropolitan College, 4-6th July 2016.

Bainbridge, L. (2016). Why (re)imagine policy when you can borrow it? What we know about crime and criminal justice policy transfer.  Presented at the Howard League for Penal Reform International Conference, Keble College Oxford, 16-18th March 2016. 'Runner-up' for the prize for best PhD paper.


  • Co-Founder and Advisory Board Member of The York Policy Review
  • Member of the Social Policy Association
  • Member of the British Society of Criminology
  • Member of the Tracking People Network
  • Editorial Associate for the Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy
  • Member of York Crimnet and Feminist Reading Group


I have taught on the following modules:

  • Exploring Social Policy and Society (Module Convenor) (first year undergraduate)
  • Politics and Economics of Social Policy (first year undergraduate)
  • Introducing Criminal Justice
  • Introducing Social Policy
  • The Policy Process (second year undergraduate)
  • Social Research Methods (second year undergraduate)
  • Research Design (postgraduate)

In addition, I was the SPSW GTA Mentor between 2013 and 2015.

Personal supervision

During 2017-2018 I supervised 21 undergraduate students.


Contact details

Dr Laura Bainbridge
Research Associate
Department of Social Policy and Social Work
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 321231