First call for Papers: SPA Conference 2019, Durham University

Securing the Future: the Challenge for Social Policy

We are delighted to have the 2019 Social Policy Association Annual Conference at Durham University. This year’s theme is ‘Securing the Future’, and the conference promises to bring together a wide variety of leading thinkers and progressive ideas to enable us to connect current experiences and challenges with possibilities for change and improvement in crucial area of contemporary social policy.

Call for Papers:

We would now like to invite papers for presentation at the Social Policy Association Conference 2019. As indicated, the overall theme of the conference will be ‘Securing the Future’, so we are particularly interested in papers which are forward-looking, and consider policy issues in terms of the opportunities provided for improvements or transformation in one field or another.

We expect to organise a number of specific streams for presentations, including one concerned with policy responses to violence and abuse, one on the state of and prospects for youth policy, and another picking up the theme of ‘race’ and social policy, which will be the focus of the opening plenary session.

Other streams will be determined according to the submissions we receive, but are likely to include incomes and poverty, health and housing, given the prominence that these issues currently occupy in the social policy arena. This is not an exclusive list, however, and submissions on any aspect of national or international social policy are welcome.

However, we invite papers on any aspect of social policy within any country/countries of the world and stress that papers from outside the conference theme will be accommodated, as is the usual practice for the SPA annual conferences.

In addition to single papers, we would especially welcome proposals for symposia, whereby three or more papers linked to a particular theme, are submitted together for consideration. Symposia will allow participants to engage more deeply with their special interests and create a space for focused debate on a specific theme. Ideas for symposia will need to be submitted by the panel organiser in the first instance.

For papers, abstracts should be 200-400 words and proposals for symposia should consist of a title and 200 word outline of the aims of the symposium as well as details of both the organiser and contributors’ names and email addresses. All abstracts and symposium proposals will be reviewed by reviewers from our Programme Committee prior to acceptance.

Confirmed plenary speakers:

Plenary Round Table “Race, Racism and Social Policy” on 8thJuly *

Claire Alexander is Professor of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester. She has researched, written and published on issues of race, ethnicity, youth and migration in Britain for over 25 years.

Gary Craig is Emeritus Professor of Social Justice at the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, Hull, UK, Honorary Professor at the University of York, UK and Visiting Professor at Newcastle University, UK. His major research interests are in ‘race’ and ethnicity, social justice, community development, poverty and inequality and local governance. He chairs the North East Regional Race Crime and Justice Research Network, co-convenes the Modern Slavery Research Consortium and is a Trustee of the Tutu UK Foundation.

Nasar Meer is Professor of Race, Identity and Citizenship at the University of Edinburgh. He was previously Professor of Comparative Citizenship and Social Policy at Strathclyde University, and a co-Director of the Centre for Civil Society and Citizenship (CCSC) at Northumbria University. He is Co-Chair of the Young Academy of Scotland (YAS) and both a Trustee and Director of Publications of the British Sociological Association (BSA).

Coretta Philips is Associate Professor (Reader) in the Department of Social Policy at the London School of Economics, where she has worked since 2001. She is involved in teaching both Social Policy and Criminology in the department and is a member of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology. Coretta’s research interests lie in the field of race, ethnicity, crime and social policy.

Plenary Speakers on 9thand 10thJuly *

Daniel Béland is Director of the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and Professor of Political Science at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). He has held visiting positions at Harvard University, the University of Bremen, the University of Southern Denmark, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Professor Béland currently serves as Editor (French) of the Canadian Journal of Sociology, Co-Editor of the journal Global Social Policy, and President of Research Committee 19 (Poverty, Social Welfare and Social Policy) of the International Sociological Association.

Ellen M. Immergut is Professor of Political Science at the European University Institute in Florence and Humboldt University Berlin, having previously held professorships at the University of Konstanz and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her research interests include the impact of electoral and political competition on social policy outcomes, policy responsiveness and policy feedback effects, health politics in Europe, and the consequences of right-wing populism for social policies. She has published on Health Politics, Pension Politics, and more generally on welfare state reform, and institutionalist theory.


Abstracts and Symposium proposals can be submitted electronically from
Monday 7thDecember 2018 using the following link:


The deadline for the submission of abstracts and proposals is:
Thursday 28thFebruary 2019.


The Durham Conference Team:


(* Scheduling of plenary talks subject to change)