School of Sociology and Social Policy

The Bauman Institute

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Research - Impact Blur

Our research is organised around four interrelated and complementary themes:


In this section:



    Years of global financial turmoil have thrown open major questions around mainstream banking, lending and the international money markets. One response has been the emergence of “democratic finance” models such as crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and community debenture schemes. Some suggest that these can be inclusive instruments of social change, delivering the power of money back to the public and their local communities. But do these schemes work? If so, how and for whom? And how does the vision driving the entrepreneurs and activists making them happen match up with what is already known about local economic resilience and community development?

  • SLED tidal lagoon (artist's impression)

    SLED (2013 - 2015)

    There is a pressing need to develop new energy infrastructure in the UK to meet low carbon targets and future energy needs/security.  But what role is played by local people in terms of consultation and input, and to what extent do they benefit from local energy infrastructure developments?  How do communities perceive and engage with private sector developers and projects, and how are local preferences balanced with national needs and commercial interests?

  • The Social Life of Money (2011 - 2013)

    Some of the greatest economic innovations came from sociologists…

    Increasing access to and use of the Internet, Social Media and Smartphones means we are rapidly moving away from a ‘coins and notes’ economy to one that features evermore ‘digital transactions’, and this is changing both our understanding and use of money in everyday life.

    As a response to this shift from 'solid' capital to 'liquid' finance, innovative minds in the business community have created ‘democratic finance’, which seeks to harness the new social and technological connectivity of individuals, typically through ‘communities of interest’, community-owned assets, or ‘crowd-funding’.

    Through applying Bauman's unique analysis of contemporary social and economic life, we aim to develop a new sociology of money that can help to create a fairer financial world for all.

  • Shared Social Responsibility (2008 - 2011)

    This new concept of shared social responsibility was developed by an Expert Advisory Group to the Council of Europe, in which the Bauman Institute was the only academic participant from the UK.

    Addressing key strategic challenges outlined in the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy and building upon important work done by the Council of Europe on the theme of social cohesion, this project looks to explore ways of implementing practically the notion of shared social responsibility into social and economic policy, as well as practices within both the public and private sector, in order to address the democratic deficit within modern nation states.

Doctoral Research

Completed Doctoral Research Projects

Dr. Natasha Barnes (2016)
Love: A Frame Analysis – Exploring the Organization of Emotion.
Funding: University of Leeds Teaching Scholarship

Dr. Laura Cartwright (2015)
‘Permanently Temping? Learning, Earning and Precarity amongst young people in Yorkshire’
Funding: Frank Stell Research Award

Dr. Jasna Balorda (2013)
Genocide and modernity: A comparative study of Bosnia, Rwanda and the Holocaust
Funding: University of Leeds Research Scholarship

Doctoral Research Projects In Progress:

Mr. Robert Lee (2015-)
The Anonymous Function: Assessing the historical, social, and political importance of anonymity and its function in a digital age
Funding: University of Leeds Research Scholarship

Mr. Ben Hirst (2014-)
Putting creativity to work in the British art school, 1962-1997
Funding: ESRC 1+3

Mr. Jack Palmer (2013-)
What are the links between modernity and specific instances of colonial and postcolonial genocide in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa?
Funding: University of Leeds Research Scholarship

Mr. David Wingate (2013-)
Towards a genealogy of sustainable consumption: its representation and problematisation in semiotic discourse
Funding: ESRC WRDTC +3

Roundhouse Journal

Roundhouse is a student-led postgraduate journal in The Bauman Institute, University of Leeds. Roundhouse aims to provide students with the opportunity to publicize their work in an annually released peer-reviewed journal whilst developing their research interests through a series of workshops, film screenings and symposiums hosted by the journal’s editors.

Roundhouse’s main directives are student inherited research and horizontal learning. It aims to spread communicative practices in higher education, create a more flexible style of learning and directly challenge the image of undergraduate students as ‘passive consumers’.

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