My research interests lie in the dynamic relationship between the state and civil society in the development and delivery of public policy, particularly as it relates to communities and social care. I am interested in issues of governance, citizenship and third sector policy and the shifting institutional formations that shape them.
I started as a Researcher at WISERD in March 2017 on the ESRC funded research project, Territoriality and Third Sector Engagement in Policy-Making and Welfare Provision. This project is investigating the extent to which policy developed at the devolved Welsh level is creating divergent patterns of welfare pluralism, and what this might mean for our theorising about the welfare state. Through this work I have undertaken documentary research of historical records of the third sector organisations in Wales and carried out qualitative case study research focused on how a unique clause in Welsh social care legislation is shaping state-third sector relationships.
Working with the Wales Council of Voluntary Action and the National Library of Wales, we have created a historically significant digital archive of the Annual Reports of WCVA and its predecessor organisations. This archive is now publicly and freely available to social historians and researchers here.
I am currently working on a Civil Society project Trust, Human Rights and Civil Society within mixed economies of welfare; a critical examination of the role of civil society in the development and delivery of community based care services for adults in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and England.
Before working at WISERD I led research at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, investigating issues of community and parental engagement in schools.
I completed my doctoral research, Community Partnership-Making in South Wales: Mediations and Manipulations in 2014. This was an ethnographic study exploring the on-going accomplishment of partnership as a public policy instrument in a community setting. It found a complex dynamic at play, in which the prescriptive nature of public policy in shaping community action was present, but also considerable space for resistance as community activists harnessed policy for their own ends.
I have also worked as a freelance researcher, a lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University (BA Youth and Community Work and MA professional programmes) and had a number of development roles in the third sector.Christala Sophocleous Bio