Emeritus Professor Fiona Williams OBE

Emeritus Professor Fiona Williams OBE


I am Emeritus Professor of Social Policy. I am also Honorary Professor at the Social Policy Research Unit, University of New South Wales, Australia, and Research Affiliate at COMPAS (Centre on Migration, Policy and Society) at the University of Oxford. My previous roles at Leeds were Director of the ESRC CAVA Research Group on Care, Values and the Future of Welfare and Co-Director of CIRCLE

I am an elected Fellow of the British Academy of Social Sciences, and a Fellow of the RSA. In 2004 I was awarded an OBE for services to social policy.

Until 2014 I was co-editor of Social Politics, International Studies in Gender, State and Society, I am now one of its trustees.  I am Social Sciences editor for the Journal of the British Academy.

Research interests

I have written widely on gender, 'race' and ethnicity in social policy, and I’m currently writing an analysis of the past forty years of critical thinking in social policy. Recent research has been on the employment of migrant care workers in Europe and the transnational political economy of care. A key concern of my work is about the place of care in contemporary society and the possibilities for a political ethic of care. My work is informed by an attempt to understand how individuals, groups and social movements articulate their needs and how policy responds to this.

I am also interested in art and poetry. In 2017 a piece of mine on migration was included in the Tunisian delegation’s contribution to the Venice Biennale. I also perform and publish poetry.

I am a member of a number of international research networks and recently worked on an Australian Research Council funded project on how parents on low incomes make decisions about work and care. I sit on the international advisory boards of The Welfare Bricolage Project (UPWEB) University of Birmingham, and the project on Gender, Migration and the Work of Care, University of Toronto.

Recent publications include: 'Care: ‘Care: intersections of scales, inequalities and crises’ Current Sociology (online 23-4-18) http://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/G5JNhfGSSdFpK2hBEkc7/full .' Critical thinking in social policy: the challenge of past, present and future’, Social Policy and Administration, Vol.50, No.6, November, 2016: 628-647

<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>


  • B.Sc (Hons.) London
  • Ph.D Open

Professional memberships

  • British Academy
  • Academy of Social Sciences
  • Royal Society for the Arts
  • International Sociological Association
  • ISA RC 19 on Poverty and Social Welfare