My research is situated at intersection points between Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology. Over the last three decades I have been studying the impacts of risk on everyday life across a range of domains, including national security, crime, politics, welfare, work and the environment.
During the course of my career, I have been motivated to explore the ways in which threats and harms are socially produced and symbolically represented. I am interested in how risks are perceived by different cultural groups, the ways in which risks are politically managed and the modes of regulation deployed by government and criminal justice agencies seeking to control risks.
I have an established international reputation in the field of risk research, delivering lectures and papers in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Oceania. I have authored several books focussed on the societal impacts and effects of risk and my work is published in a range of high impact social science journals, including the British Journal of Sociology, the British Journal of Criminology, Sociology, Sociological Review and Security Dialogue.
My work is underpinned by a critical focus toward elucidating the myriad ways in which risk and vulnerability are both socially constructed and enacted in policy within a variety of contexts, including social work, environmental regulation, safeguarding of young people, anti-terrorism legislation and counter radicalisation strategies.
In my strategic management role at the University of Liverpool I am Director of the pan-institutional ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP), representing the interests of the four HEIs which constitute the consortium: Keele University, Lancaster University, the University of Liverpool and the University of Manchester. This regional collaboration is supported by over 25 million pounds of ESRC investment and is the largest Social Science Doctoral and Postdoctoral Training Centre in the UK. As Director, I implement the strategic vision of the consortium, liaise with exec-PVCs at the partner HEI and provide leadership for the senior management team, institutional leads and thematic pathway representatives.