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My PhD is titled ‘Rawls’ Difference Principle: A test for social justice in contemporary social policy’. I engage with John Rawls’ difference principle and argue that, with modification, it provides a useful analytical tool to assess social justice in contemporary social policy. I suggest that Rawls’ principle should be interpreted with reference to the Capability Approach so that agency is the appropriate metric used to measure social justice. After using this to look at the process of welfare reform driven by the UK Government, I will apply this test to the Housing (Wales) Bill which is to be published in autumn 2013. This work explores both the transition between rhetoric and legislation in terms of the Welsh Government’s commitment to social justice, and the relationship between the UK and Welsh Governments regarding these commitments. My thesis is therefore a work of applied philosophy which uses philosophical theories of justice to engage with contemporary policy.
Distributive justice; social justice; welfare; housing; social policy; devolution; Rawls.
As well working as a researcher for a political monitoring company, I am also a member of the steering committee for the School’s Gendered Research Opportunities (GRO) research unit and a trustee for the think tank GORWEL. My first paper with GORWEL, looking at the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Bill will be published in summer 2013