Oxford Brookes Business School

Roundtable on Austerity and its Consequences

Friday, 06 October 2017


Roundtable on Austerity and its Consequences: What can Interdisciplinary Research Tell Us? Organised by Rozana Himaz (Senior Lecturer in Economics Oxford Brookes Business School).

What did austerity mean for child poverty, the welfare of the elderly, regional inequality, the dynamics within various layers of government and to urban politics in the UK and other European countries? How severe was UK’s most recent austerity episode compared to other episodes in the past and that of other countries? How was blame and credit diffused? What are social attitudes to austerity and how are they changing?

The Roundtable on Austerity held at St. Cross College, University of Oxford on 4 October 2017 looked at some of these issues. It aimed to develop a shared understanding of the findings, insights and challenges various austerity based projects in the UK faced, to enable networking and future collaborative research.

The event was chaired by Sir Christopher Hood (Oxford) and started off with four presentations showcasing examples of what inter-disciplinary research has actually taught us about understanding austerity and its consequences. The presentations were given by Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby (Kent, ESRC Priority Network Director); Dr. Kat Schezen (UNICEF), Dr Gill Maine (Sheffield Hallam), Professor Jonathan Bradshaw (York); Jonathan Davies (DeMontforte) and Dr. Rozana Himaz (Oxford Brookes). This was followed by a lively roundtable discussion that reflected the complexity of the issues involved and the diversity of the participants’ disciplinary backgrounds that ranged from Economics to Political Science, to Social Policy, Geography, Public Sector Accounting, Law and Urban Studies.

Some key themes that emerged were that in spite of all the discussion in the UK regarding austerity, the most recent episode may not have been as severe, on average, compared to previous episodes in the UK or compared to some other countries, although it has been one of the longest in the century. Its consequences have been uneven in terms of who it hurt and how much although the issue of finding clear causal links and measuring the extent of such consequences remains difficult. Interdisciplinary work is hard and risky but can provide substantial insights that can have useful policy implications.

The event was organised by Dr. Rozana Himaz, Senior Lecturer in Economics (Oxford Brookes) and was funded by the Brookes Business School Internal Small Grants Scheme.

List of participants
ParticipantsKey DisciplineInstitution
Dr Lucy BarnesPolitical ScienceUniversity College London
Professor Christina BeattyGeographySheffield Hallam University
Professor Jonathan BradshawSocial PolicyUniversity of York
Dr Yekaterina ChzhenEconomicsUNICEF
Dr Sebestian DalapienePolitics/GovernmentUniversity of Strathclyde
Professor Jonathan DaviesPublic PolicyDe Montfort University
Dr Sally GainsburyPolicy AnalysisThe Nuffield Trust
Dr Mia GrayGeographyUniversity of Cambridge
Professor Annette HastingsUrban StudiesUniversity of Glasgow
Professor John HillsSocial PolicyLondon School of Economics
Dr Rozana HimazApplied economicsOxford Brookes University
Professor Christopher HoodPolitical ScienceOxford University
Dr Pete KenwayEconomicsNew Policy Institute
Professor David HealdPublic Sector AccountingUniversity of Glasgow
Andy KilmisterEconomicsOxford Brookes University
Dr Gill MainSocial PolicyUniversity of Leeds
Professor Simonetta ManfrediLawOxford Brookes University
Stuart RustJournalistOxford Mail
Professor Pritam SinghEconomics-ecosocialismOxford Brookes University
Professor Frances StewartDevelopment EconomicsOxford University
Professor Peter Taylor-GoobySocial PolicyUniversity of Kent