The SPA advances the role of social policy research within policymaking, practice and wider public debates. As part of this, we are organise a number of policy round table events pertinent to policymakers, practitioners, academics, think tanks and the general public. These events are held across the UK and hosted by universities, government departments and public institutions. Delegates are active contributors – their expertise is drawn upon to answer specific streamed questions. For further details, please see the schedule of events listed below. Keep track for regular calls for roundtable proposals.

Upcoming Events


Past Events

Making the case for social security in an era of welfare state myths and stigma, House of Lords, 13th December 2016

This collaboration between the SPA, Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and the Journal of Poverty and Justice, this policy roundtable was timed coincide with the launch of a special issue of the latter on ‘Exploring ‘welfare’ attitudes and experiences’.

Read more here.


Food Banks, University of Wolverhampton, 13th May 2016

The roundtable brought together around 40 people from food banks, statutory service providers, council cabinet members and other voluntary sector organisations.

Read more here.



Planning for the Future: Older People in Northern Ireland, 16 March 2016

Another great roundtable event on social policy and older people in Northern Ireland.

Full report here.




Welfare-to-Work Policy, London, 11th September 2015

British Library Conference Centre

There have been a number of significant changes to welfare-to-work and activation policy Jobcentre-plus-since 2010. This event drew on a range of social policy research to explore the impact of and lessons learnt from this development. Alongside academic experts and research groups, representatives from Citizens Advice, Policy in Practice, IPPR, Demos, and the New Economics Foundation the question was posed: “Does Welfare Conditionality Work?”.

Find information about the British Library Social Welfare Portal


After the Referendum: The Future for Scottish Social Policy, 25 February 2015

University of Strathclyde

Bringing together stakeholders, policy makers and researchers, the aim of the event was to highlight the contribution Social Policy research can make to the understanding of social policy questions in contemporary Scotland. Given the role of social policy issues in the recent debates over Scottish independence, the day explored options for Scotland by focusing on the history of Scottish social policy within the context of the UK; examining the role played by social policy questions during and after the independence debates; and asking what lessons can be drawn from continental European experiences for the development of a more devolved approach to social policy in the future.

Our facilitating talks comprised:

  • Bernard Harris (Strathclyde University)

The Road to 2014: Scottish Social Policy within the UK

  • Gerry Mooney (Open University)

Scottish State, UK State or Welfare State? Welfare Futures in Post-Independence Referendum Scotland

  • Bea Cantillon (Antwerp University)

Splitting Social Security: What can be learned from the Belgian experience?

Pensions Policy, London, 29th October 2014

Find the report of the event here.