View the latest news from departments within the Faculty of Social Sciences below.
Following the success of its inaugural summer school course in 2017, Applied Linguistics will, once again, be running its Leadership, Communication and Culture course between 15 July and 4 August.
Enjoy a 10% early booking discount and 20% discount for groups and partner institution bookings (plus tuition fee waivers for teachers) and loyalty bookings. For more information and details on how to apply, visit the Warwick in London website.
Graduation Ceremony - Summer 2018
The date for the CES Graduation Ceremony this summer is Tuesday 17th July in the afternoon (3pm ceremony).
Professor Richard Hastings was one of the keynote speakers at the launch of Mencap NI’s new Family Support Programme, designed to help families and improve outcomes for young children with a learning disability across Northern Ireland: https://warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/warwick_academic_helps/
Professor David Stark (CIM) and Professor Nick Chater (WBS) Event
From August 2018, Student Finance will also offer eligible part-time students maintenance loans to help cover living costs during their period of study.
Professor Vera Troeger talks about research on maternity leave in academia
What research projects are you currently involved with?
I’m looking into questions of how work-life balance policies, particularly maternity and parental leave policies, affect the career paths of women. In the UK statutory maternity provisions are very low compared to the EU standard, but because this is the case, we find a big variation in occupational and contractual maternity benefits. I can exploit this variation to do my research.
My main project is looking at the higher education sector in the UK where we have a large variation in maternity benefits across universities. We undertook a large-scale survey of all female academics in the country so we have very rich individual level data and can do a whole lot of analysis.
We have done the analysis at the aggregate level to understand why maternity leave differs across universities. It’s not the case that richer universities have more generous leave policies – it really depends on how research-intensive these universities are, their size, the staff costs, the staff-student ratio, but also the bargaining processes that are going on between the staff and the leadership.
At the aggregate level we have found that more generous maternity leave leads to a much larger proportion of female professors with higher salaries, and a lower share of women on non-permanent contracts.
Now we have cleaned up and matched the individual level data and we are starting to look at productivity and individual career outcomes. We are looking at career paths among female academics, salaries, and productivity - whether a generous maternity leave leads to female academics staying more connected to their research and therefore being more productive when they return from leave.
It’s a very large project – it includes five research assistants from this department, people at Strathclyde and the University of Liverpool and it will go on for quite a while.
What impact do you hope this research will have on society?
In general I want to do research that has relevance for public policy-making. I’ve already been contacted by many Athena SWAN representatives from other universities who want to use these findings to lobby their own universities to increase the generosity of maternity provisions and in general to look into work-life balance policies.
In my own career I have observed a gender imbalance on the academic side. As soon as women have children, they slow down. They don’t have to – they are still equally bright and have good ideas, they just have a little bit less time. I feel like there has to be a cultural change, and my research, because it is rigorous and rooted in actual data, could help to inform evidence-based policy change.
I was in the Cabinet Office a couple of weeks ago talking about this project – they are very interested in the productivity effect, because the UK has a productivity gap compared to other advanced economies. This would be one way of – not completely closing the productivity gap, but keeping female talent in the labour market and increasing productivity to some extent. I was asked to extend the research from the HE sector to industry and the civil service, and that will be the next step.
Why did you decide to become an economist?
I’m very interested in the political decision making mechanisms behind economic policies. I consider myself an applied political economist - my background is in both economics and political science.
Why did you join the Economics Department at Warwick?
I came here because of CAGE, the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy. It was set up as a centre in Economics but with a very applied, policy-oriented and interdisciplinary focus. That seemed like the perfect home for me, because I had this economics background but was very much interested in policy-making. It was absolutely perfect.
The combination of people working in CAGE – economic historians, applied economists, and people who work on the development side – fits very well with my interests. I enjoy working with people who are interested in a rigorous approach, but also in policy-relevant outcomes.
And it’s close enough to London to reach policy makers – that’s important for the kind of research that I am doing. We are involved in policy making, where it’s clear that the Warwick brand stands for quality and good advice and good consultancy.
There are many good universities in this country but clearly Warwick is one that is at the top – Economics is a top five department, it has many people that are internationally renowned, especially in the US, where they are kicking the frontier in Economics. Several Nobel prize-winners visited this department and I could talk to them personally – these are significant benefits.
What has been your most memorable experience during your time in the department?
A student of mine last year did a very political science-y topic in his final year thesis – he went to the Carroll Round conference – we worked very closely together and he did a great, great job and went on to Oxford. I met him every week for a year and had a lot of input in his work, and he was very receptive to my comments – that was absolutely great.
The other thing I have achieved, with support from CAGE, is to pull this maternity project off the ground. Over the last month I got a lot of media attention for the project – I spoke on Women’s Hour, I was in the Guardian – and that makes me really proud. But this couldn’t have happened without being in this Department and having its support around me. We have to do so many things – teaching, and admin, and research, and promotion of our research, and it’s very difficult for one person to do this – you need a whole machine. And Warwick Economics Department is a very well-oiled machine when it comes to trying to generate these opportunities for our research to be seen.
Collaborative & Joint Studentships available for Oct 2018 entry with the Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP
Dr David Owen comments on the UK monthly unemployment figures
The UK unemployment rate for 16-64 year olds increased very slightly over the last 3 months (November to February compared with August to October 2017), but this was composed of a small fall for men and a slightly larger increase for women. For the West Midlands, the unemployment rate fell very slightly for both men and women over this period, but the fall was larger for men than for women.
In the UK as a whole, the percentage of both men and women in the labour force and the percentage of men and women in work increased slightly. However, in the West Midlands, the percentage in work did not change, but the percentage of men in the workforce fell, slightly more than the fall for women. This suggests that the more favourable trend for the West Midlands may be the result of formerly unemployed people (mainly men) no longer looking for work.
At the local scale, unemployment has been increasing sharply (568 more JSA claims in February 2017 than December 2017 - an increase of 20.6%, but only 25 more than 1 February 2017) in Coventry during 2018 (for both men and women), but has fallen in Birmingham (by 783 or 3.6% and by 2.6 thousand or 11.3% 2017-18). However, the unemployment rate for Coventry is 2 per cent, less than half that for Birmingham (4.1 per cent).
Vanessa Munro’s project on jury decision-making for the Scottish Government has hit its first milestone. An Evidence Review on The Impact of the Use of Pre-Recorded Evidence on Juror Decision-Making has now been published on the Scottish Government website, along with a research findings summary.
The National Student Survey (NSS) is now open at the link below. In partnership with our students, we have built the department together. Thank you! We’d love your feedback on the three or four years you have spent with us.
Why else complete the survey?
- Treat Yourself – each online participant will receive £5 Eating at Warwick credit, as a thank you
- Help Someone Else – for each response, PAIS will donate £5 to the Warwick Cancer Research Centre, our finalists chosen charity
- Shape the Department - your feedback will help shape the future of the PAIS department
It will take just 5 minutes to complete. Your feedback matters and makes a huge difference as shown on our You Said We Did page.
Please remember the £5 credit only applies to those who complete online so please complete early to ensure you do not lose out.
Simply send your confirmation email – after completing the survey - to NSS-Promotion@warwick.ac.uk to receive your £5.
The results are highly visible, often reported in the media and used by prospective students to help make their university choices. Their high profile has delivered positive, progressive change for PAIS students.
Last year PAIS achieved 94% for overall satisfaction. In recent years PAIS has often had the highest participation rate across the University.
Symposium: 'Books Out of Place: The Reception and Circulation of Fiction Outside its National Context' Friday 11 May 2018
The recent critical success enjoyed by Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan Novels and Karl Ove Knausgård's six-volume My Struggle in the English-speaking world raises questions about how fiction circulates and is received outside its national context. Ferrante's novels began their global success story in the United States, where translator Ann Goldstein, an editor and Head of the Copy Department at The New Yorker, undoubtedly played a role in bringing them to prominence. The Anglophone Ferrante phenomenon means that the novels are now gradually finding their way into other European languages such as German, where they were previously unavailable. Reviews of Ferrante's work in the UK and the US have struggled to situate her feminism, to locate the novels generically and to mark them as high- or low-brow. Ironically, given the novels' "Italian-ness", little attention has been paid to their position in the Italian literary system or to their reception in Italy.
For further information: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/arts/hrc/confs/books/
A workshop titled ‘Chaos and Crisis: Can Prison Be Better Than This?’ took place on Wednesday 17th of January 2018 at the University of Warwick. This event was co-organised by the Howard League for Penal Reform, Safe Ground, and the Department of Sociology and the Criminal Justice Centre at Warwick. It was supported by an ESRC Impact Acceleration Account fund that seeks to raise public engagement on current issues inside English and Welsh prisons. The workshop was designed to be an interactive, day-long encounter that brought together a range of prison practitioners and employees, former prisoners, criminal justice charities and NGOs, media, researchers, campaigners and others interested in issues of criminal justice. An impressive range of panelists, all having substantial experience and knowledge of prisons attended.