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Research Profile

Mr Steve Davies 

Memberships / External Activities

I convene the Global Labour University/ILO research group on ‘Union Organising around mega-sports events’.

Network Membership

  • Steering Group for Social Market Foundation research project on Flexible New Deal
  • Alliance for Innovation Academic Network
  • Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM)
  • European Group for Organisational Studies (EGOS)
  • British Universities Industrial Relations Association
  • Critical Labour Studies Network
  • Eurocadres Knowledge Society project network
  • Global Union Research Network (sponsored by ILO-ACTRAV)
  • Union Ideas Network (Sponsored by TUC)
  • Member of two Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) working groups which led to the publication of Time to Deliver: The Third Term and Beyond: Policy Options for Wales in November 2006.


  • Reviewer for British Journal of Industrial Relations, Urban Affairs Review and Utilities Policy
  • Reviewed bids for ESRC and NHS funded programmes
  • Member of Corporatewatch Steering Group
  • Judge for Wales TUC Rep of the Year Awards
  • Contributor to Health Matters, New Statesman, People Management, Planet, Public Finance, Red Pepper, Tribune and Unions Today



  • ‘Contracting out employment services to the third and private sectors’. Presentation to Centre for Disability and Social Inclusion at City University, London. 10 March 2010.
  • ‘Taking stock: results of the survey of library staff’. Presentation to Love Your Libraries - The People’s Inquiry. The British Library, London. 11 February, 2010.


  • ‘Blue sky thinking and clear red water’. PCS Wales Privatisation Forum, Cardiff, 18 November 2009.
  • ‘Making the Connections: Hospital Cleaning and Infection Control’. UNISON Cleaners’ Conference, Congress House, London, 3 November 2009.
  • ‘Union organising around mega sports events’. Global Labour University summer school, Berlin, September 2009. ‘Impact of recession and government policy on the voluntary sector’. Presentation on
  • Voluntary sector research project to UNISON National Community and Voluntary Sector Forum, London, 9 July 2009.
  • Speaking tour of Canada on the subject of ‘Hospital cleaning and infection control’, organised by the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
    o Evening public meeting at Annual Health Care Council Conference of Saskatchewan CUPE. 12 May 2009. Ramada Hotel, Regina, Saskatchewan.
    o Evening public meeting. 13 May 2009. Radisson Inn, Calgary, Alberta.
    o Multi-union meeting hosted by Manitoba Health CUPE. 14 May 2009. Union Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    o Public forum. 19 May 2009. Holiday Inn Express, Moncton, New Brunswick.
    o Town hall meeting. 20 May 2009. Hotel Delta, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
    o Town hall meeting. 21 May 2009. Citadel Hotel, Halifax,  Nova Scotia.


  • Taking stock: the future of our public library service.’ Launch of report commissioned by UNISON at House of Commons. Other speakers included Ed Balls, Secretary of State for Children and Schools and Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, 15 December 2008. ‘A National Joint Council for Wales?’ Presentation to UNISON Cymru/Wales Local Government Executive, Llandrindod Wells, 28 November 2008.
  • ‘Union organising around mega sports events.’ Presentation to Global Labour University summer school, Berlin, 17 September 2008.
  • ‘Apprenticeships: a firm foundation.’ Launch of report for UCATT with presentation to MPs, House of Commons, 9 July 2008. With David Lammy MP, Minister for Skills.
  • ‘Origins of trade unionism and its relevance today.’ UNISON Cymru/Wales Young Members’ Forum, Cardiff, 6 July 2008.
  • ‘The fragmentation of the UK construction sector and its impact on skills and training.’ Presentation to Centre for Labour Market Studies, Leicester University, 3 July 2008.
  • ‘Contracting out Employment-related Services.’ Welfare reform conference, Cardiff, 26 June 2008.
  • ‘Union Learning Reps in a high tech industry.’ Presentation at Ruskin, Oxford 16 May 2008.
  • ‘Working with Government’. Presentation of a report on the Working with Government conference, to the Wales Public Service Workforce Forum, Welsh Assembly Government. 15 May 2008.
  • ‘Outsourcing to the Voluntary Sector: An Overview’. Research Seminar - Outsourcing to the Voluntary Sector: The Employment Implications. Strathclyde University, 29 April 2008.


  • ‘Valuable public service or ‘A service in distress’. UNISON UK Library Service Seminar. London, 29 October 2007.
  • ‘Making the Connections’. UNISON Cymru/Wales Policy Weekend. Llandudno, 19-20 October 2007.
  • ‘Contracting out employment services to the Third Sector’. Joint PCS Scotland/STUC seminar on the Freud report. Glasgow, 5 October 2007.
  • ‘Health challenges for UNISON in Wales’. UNISON Cymru/Wales Health Service Group. Llandrindod Wells, 3 September 2007.
  • ‘Making the Connections’. UNISON Cymru/Wales Regional Committee. Llandrindod Wells, 18 July 2007.
  • ‘The union response to regional pay’, PCS fringe meeting at Wales TUC annual conference. Llandudno, 24 May 2007.
  • ‘Hospital contract cleaning and infection control’. PSI Health Service Task Force. Geneva, 22 May 2007.
  • ‘Making the Connections’. UNISON Cymru/Wales Regional Seminar, Cardiff (facilitation of workshops). 23 March, 2007.
  • ‘Third sector provision of local government and health services’. UNISON Community and Voluntary Sector Group Briefing, UNISON HQ, London. 9 March 2007.
  • ‘Privatisation’. PCS public meeting, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. 24 January, 2007.


  • Facilitator at Welsh Public Service Human Resources Symposium. Public Service Management Wales/Welsh Assembly Government. 14/15 September 2006.
  • ‘Third sector provision of public services’. PCS fringe meeting at 2006 TUC Conference. 13 September, 2006.
  • ‘Third sector provision of employment services’. PCS Department for Work and Pensions Group Executive Committee. 8 August 2006.
  • ‘Third sector provision of employment services’. Platform speaker at PCS press conference. 29 June 2006.


  • Facilitator at UNISON Cymru/Wales Regional Policy Weekend, Newport 14-16 October 2005.
  • ‘Children are what they eat’. UNISON fringe meeting at 2005 TUC Conference. 12 September 2005
  • ‘Contract cleaning and infection control in hospitals’ (address to full conference). UNISON Health Conference, Plymouth. 25 April, 2005.
  • ‘Quality vs Cost: Inflexibility of Externally Contracted Services’. Fringe meeting at UNISON 2005 Health Conference, Plymouth.
  • ‘Contract cleaning and infection control in hospitals’, UNISON Breakfast Briefing, Commonwealth Club, London. 13 January, 2005


  • ‘Unions and the internet’. Global Civil Society Seminar: International Labour Movements and Global Civil Society. London School of Economics. 23 October 2003


  • ‘Alternative Models of Provision’. Roundtable discussion on public-private partnerships for the Commission on the Future of Health Care in Canada. Hosted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. 27 November 2001.

Conference Papers

  • ‘Organising Networks and Alliances – International Unionism between the Local and the Global’. Paper presented at the research workshop on ‘Shaping Global Industrial Relations: The impact of cross-border social dialogue and agreements’, ILO Geneva, 29 September 2009. With Nik Hammer and Glynne Williams.
  • ‘International Union Strategies in Construction. Voluntary Agreements vs. Regulation in the Global Value Chain’. Paper for the 15th IIRA World Congress, Sydney/Australia, 24-27 August 2009. With Nik Hammer and Glynne Williams.
  • ‘Organising Networks and Alliances – International Unionism between the Local and the Global’. Paper presented at the BUIRA conference, Cardiff, July 2009. With Nik Hammer and Glynne Williams.
  • ‘Transfer, Transformation or… Trauma? Outsourcing Public Services to the Voluntary Sector’. Paper presented at the International Labour Process Conference, Edinburgh. 6-8th April 2009.
  • ‘Labour Standards in Global Subcontracting Chains: Evidence from a Construction MNC’. Paper presented to the Global Labour University conference at the State University of Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil, 28-30 April 2008. (With Nikolaus Hammer, Glynne Williams, Rajeswari Raman, Clair Siobhan Ruppert, and Lyudmila Volynets.
  • ‘Politics and Markets: UK Municipal Waste Management’. Paper presented at the Local Services Privatization: International Perspectives panel, APPAM Fall 2007 Conference. Washington DC, 8 November 2007.
  • (With Wilfried Schwetz) ‘Verdi auf dem Weg zur ‘organizing union’? Die Lidl Kampagne als Chance zur Erneuerung’, Papier für Konferenz Revitalisierung von Gewerkschaften: Aus der Krise zur Erneuerung? FSU Jena, 1 December 2006.
  • (With Glynne Williams), ‘Negotiating Local Unionism: Making sense of international union responses to globalisation’, Paper presented at the EGOS Conference, Bergen, 6-9 July 2006.
  • (With Glynne Williams) ‘From Global Union Federations to Global Unions?’, Paper presented at the Global Challenges to Labour workshop, Kassel University, Germany, 5th-6th April 2006
  • (With John Fitz, Thakir Hafid and Peter Fairbrother) ‘PFIs: Forms, Functions and Their Implications for Workplace Relations’. Paper presented at the ESRCPrivatization of Education’ Seminar, Institute of Education, University of London 16th January 2004.
  • (With Dave Hall, Jane Lethbridge, Emanuele Lobina and Steve Thomas) ‘The UK Experience - Privatised Sectors and Globalised Companies’, Paper presented at the CESifo/Warwick conference on ‘Privatisation Experiences in the EU’, Munich, 10-11 January 2003.

Teaching Profile

I teach on the module, ‘Theories and Issues about Globalisation and Political Economy’ on the Masters in Social Science Research Methods and the third year undergraduate module, ‘Globalisation and Social Change’. I also teach on the HR module for Cardiff Business School’s Masters in Public Administration.

For three years I taught ‘Trade Union Strategies in a Global Economy’ - a module in the Global Labour University (GLU) Masters programme, ‘Labour Policies and Globalisation’. During the course of the three years, together with Glynne Williams, I substantially amended and updated the original module. This postgraduate course consists of 70 lectures/seminars annually. The GLU MA, ‘Labour Policies and Globalisation’ is an international project, supported by ILO/ACTRAV, most of the Global Union Federations (GUFs) and several national trade union centres, including the TUC. It is hosted in Germany by the University of Kassel and the Berlin School of Economics. In September 2007 I also taught at the Global Labour University’s Summer School in Beverungen near Kassel in Germany.

I have taught on the MA in International Labour and Trade Union Studies at Ruskin College.

I co-wrote the Industrial Relations module for the Masters Programme at the Centre for Labour Market Studies (CLMS) at the University of Leicester, and am a marker for the CLMS Masters in Industrial Relations.

I have given occasional lectures and seminars on the Comparative Political Economy Masters at Cardiff and the undergraduate module ‘Social and Environmental Policy in the European Union’.

I have also sat on an undergraduate dissertation panel for the Cardiff Business School.