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Dr Michael Orton

Research interests

Michael's primary focus in recent years has been social security (welfare benefits).

One strand of Michael's work has been about using approaches that are solutions focused, participatory and based on consensus building, particularly through the Commission on Social SecurityLink opens in a new window project which culminated in publication of The Plan: for a decent social security systemLink opens in a new window.

A second strand of work has developed around how to talk about social security, in conjunction with Nicky HawkinsLink opens in a new window. This includes publications (by Nicky Hawkins) called Talking about social security effectivelyLink opens in a new window and How do young people think about social securityLink opens in a new window This work now forms a project called Aligning a pro-social security drumbeatLink opens in a new window, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Selected publications

Academic profile

Michael joined IER in 2002. Prior to that he worked for over 15 years in the voluntary sector and local government. This included Citizens Advice Bureau (from being a volunteer through to Bureau Manager), an anti-poverty policy role in a local authority Finance Department, and being an Investigator for the Local Government Ombudsman - with the latter including a year working for the New South Wales Ombudsman, Sydney.

While Michael's current work focuses on social security, other research areas have included active labour market policy, personal debt, taxation/fiscal welfare, public attitudes to economic inequality and Sen's Capabilities Approach.

Michael's work has been published widely in journal articles, research reports and book chapters. He has appeared as an expert witness before a Parliamentary Committee Inquiry, and his work has featured in Parliamentary Questions and attracted a variety of media coverage.

All publicationsLink opens in a new window

All projects







Senior Research Fellow/Assistant Professor

Institute for Employment Research
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL

@MichaelOrton9Link opens in a new window (Twitter - in a personal capacity)

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