Dr Daniel Edmiston

Dr Daniel Edmiston


I joined the School in March 2017 as a Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy. Prior to this, I worked for the Economic and Social Research Council, the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit, the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE and the University of Oxford.

My research is academic and applied in nature, covering key areas of social policy, political science and economic sociology.

Research interests

Overall, my programme of research is motivated by two inter-linked questions: What is the relationship between social policy, welfare politics and inequality? And in light of this relationship, how should welfare (state) interventions be configured to effectively tackle poverty, inequality and disadvantage? To explore these questions, I have undertaken national and comparative research drawing on mixed methods approaches to pursue three strands of work. 

The first strand explores what opportunities social innovation and public service reform present for institutions and citizens seeking to tackle disadvantage across domestic and international contexts. The second strand concerns the distributional and symbolic effects of welfare state development and, in particular, the changing relationship between poverty, inequality and social citizenship in advanced capitalist economies. The third strand of my research explores shifts in welfare reform and activation policy and how these have played out in different time periods and countries.

My current research engages with questions across these areas, through the following projects:

Determinants, Dynamics and Policy Implications of Deep Poverty

Considerable shifts in the depth and socio-demographic composition of UK poverty are not currently captured by dominant methods of poverty measurement across central government. Funded by a British Academy/Wolfson Fellowship, this project explores the changing significance of deep poverty in the UK and the varying ways in which it is distinct from the more general challenges of life on a low income. Drawing on a mixed methods longitudinal design, this project will generate a new evidence base on the extent, causes and consequences of deep poverty.

Welfare at a (Social) Distance: Accessing social security and employment support during the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council as part of UKRI’s rapid response to COVID-19, Welfare at a (Social) Distance is a major national research project investigating the role of the benefits system during and beyond the pandemic. As part of this project, we are undertaking large-scale national surveys of benefit claimants, 160 in-depth longitudinal interviews and around 50 interviews with local stakeholders and support groups. I am Co-Investigator on this project, leading a programme of work on income, crisis and employment support provided to benefit claimants locally over time.  

From Poverty to Participation: Learning from Leeds Poverty Truth

Leeds Poverty Truth Commission is a local initiative seeking to improve the representation of people struggling against poverty in public and political life. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, this project sought to combine the expertise and experience of testifying commissioners with academic research, to co-produce a range of resources and materials. Activities and events were focused on enhancing opportunities for the civic representation and participation of marginalised citizens and to improve public understandings of welfare, poverty and inequality in the process. 

Remembering and Re-thinking Social Divisions of Welfare

In 1958, Richard Titmuss published Essays on the Welfare State - a seminal text underlining the moral and functional interdependency between citizens. Titmuss argued for an expansion and re-visioning of public understandings of ‘welfare’ to highlight fiscal and occupational fields of state assistance that run alongside public social transfers and services. Funded by the UK Social Policy Association, I recently coordinated a workshop series to re-think the social divisions of welfare thesis and its application to the present context.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • Bsc Social Policy & Administration
  • Msc Social Policy (Research)
  • PhD Sociology and Social Policy

Professional memberships

  • UK Social Policy Association

Student education

I currently teach in specialist areas across social policy and sociology at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I would be glad to consider proposals from candidates interested in pursuing postgraduate research in an area that aligns with my own research interests. Please email me if you would like to explore this.

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>