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Liz Dowler

Liz Dowler2


I no longer offer times for formal feedback and advice as I left Warwick in July 2015. However, I am happy to respond to emails.

Research Profile

Although I have now retired I continue with research and advocacy work on the social and policy dimensions of food and human nutrition. I continue to work in collaboration with colleagues from different disciplines and sectors in the UK, elsewhere in Europe and the global South. Current areas include food and poverty, household food security, food rights and justice, both nationally and internationally; local food initiatives; evaluating policy intervention at local and national levels; practice of food ethics. I have also explored consumer identities and perceptions of risk and trust in relation to food and new technologies, and the implications of negotiated new relationships with producers and the food system.

I have given expert advice to national commissions and research on food poverty based on my research and experience, as well as non-governmental organisations. I have been a member of several panels and committees giving advice to policy makers (e.g. the UK Food Standards Agency, Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, and NICE). In 2014 I was a member of the Expert External Panel evaluating Framework 7 programme 2006-2013 for Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology (KBBE), for the European Commission.

I am a member, and was until recently a Trustee, of the Food Ethics Council, a small ngo working for a more sustainable, just food system. I am also now a Trustee of The People's Health Trust, which supports local people to take action on the wider social determinants of health at a local level.

My recent publications, with colleagues, include: special themed issue (2015) Social Policy and Society on 'Hunger, Food, Social Policy in Austerity'; ‘Food banks and food justice in “Austerity Britain”’ (2014) in: Riches & Silvasti (eds) First World Hunger Revisited, Food Charity or the Right to Food? PalgraveMacmillan; ‘Food for Poorer People: Conventional and “Alternative” Trangressions?’ (2014) in: Goodman & Sage (eds) Food Transgressions, Ashgate; Reconnecting Consumer, Producers and Food: exploring alternatives (2008) Berg; Challenging Health Inequalties: from Acheson to 'Choosing Health' (2007) Policy Press; Welfare of Food: rights and responsibilities in a changing world (2003) Blackwellls; Poverty and Social Exclusion North and South (2003) Routledge; Poverty bites: food, health and poor families (2001) Child Poverty Action Group. I publish widely in specialized and professional journals and books, write technical briefings for non-specialists, and am a regular public speaker on nutrition and poverty, or on policy responses.

Research Groups

Food Global Research Priority group, a Warwick wide, interdisciplinary, cross-faculty initiative.

Centre for the Study of Women and Gender


I am a Registered Nutritionist (public health) working on the social and policy aspects of the food system; my PhD was in food and social policy (on lone parents in the UK). For many years I worked in the global South through the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and UN agencies; now I work more on food and social policy and social problems in the global North/Europe. I moved to Warwick in 2000 to the Department of Sociology, from which I retired in July 2015. Through the interdisciplinary Warwick Food group I also work with colleagues in the Warwick Crop Centre, PaIS, Maths & Stats and History. In 2008 I was a Senior Marie Curie Research Fellow at University College Dublin, working on implementing a rights based approaches to food poverty. Download 2pp CV


From the end of July 2015 I will no longer be teaching at the University of Warwick.
Former PhD Teaching:

I have supervised students on a number of aspects of the whole food system as well as household level relationships to food, including health; recent PhDs include: mothers' negotiations of 'healthy eating' (UK); health inequalities under neoliberalism (Chile); state & farmer relationhsips and food security (Tanzania); gender and food technology transfer (Ghana); evaluating obesity prevention (Greece/Europe); refugee & asylum-seekers' food security (UK); maternal time use in child care (Sudan).

Selected Publications

  • Dowler & Lambie-Mumford (2015) (eds) ‘Hunger, Food Poverty and Social Policy in Austerity’, special themed issue Social Policy and Society, vol14, no3.
  • (2014) ‘Food banks and food justice in “Austerity Britain”’ in: Riches & Silvasti (eds) First World Hunger Revisited: Food Charity or the Right to Food?, Basingstoke: PalgraveMacmillan
  • Caraher & Dowler (2014) ‘Food for Poorer People: Conventional and “Alternative” Trangressions?’ in: Goodman & Sage (eds) Food Transgressions: Making sense of contemporary food politics, Aldershot: Ashgate
  • Dowler & O’Connor (2012) ‘Rights-based approaches to addressing food poverty and food insecurity in Ireland and UK.’ Social Science and Medicine, 74, 44-51
  • MacMillan & Dowler (2012) ‘Secure and sustainable? Examining the rhetoric and potential realities of UK food security’ Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25, 2, 181-204.
  • Dowler,Kneafsey, Lambie, Inman, Collier (2011) 'Thinking about food security: engaging with UK consumers' Critical Public Health 21, 403-416
  • Dowler, Kneafsey, Cox, Holloway (2010) ‘Doing food differently: reconnecting biological and social relationships through care for food’ in: N. Charles & R. Carter (eds) Nature, Society and Environmental Crisis, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

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