Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Dr Andrew Williams

Dr Andrew Williams

Lecturer in Human Geography

Ysgol Daearyddiaeth a Chynllunio

Email:
williamsapj@cardiff.ac.uk
Telephone:
 +44 (0)29 2068 8680
Location:
1.57, Adeilad Morgannwg, Rhodfa’r Brenin Edward VII, Caerdydd, CF10 3WA
Sylwebydd y cyfryngau
Ar gael fel goruchwyliwr ôl-raddedig

My research interests centre on the relationships between welfare, ethics and care, religion, and neoliberalism. I pursue these through a series of ethnographic engagements in particular spaces in the city – drug and alcohol treatment, food banks, homelessness, protest, advocacy and care.

Current research projects:

Emergency Food Provision in the UK

Working with Prof. Jon May, Liev Cherry (QMUL) and Prof. Paul Cloke (Exeter), this research examined the geographies of food banking in the UK as part of the British Academy funded ‘Emergency Food Provision in the UK’. The project charted the changing nature of public and political debate surrounding food banking in Britain, and improved understanding of the nature and scale of food banking by examining the work of independent food banks as well as those established by Britain’s largest food bank provider the Trussell Trust. The research charts the important role food banks have played in highlighting the problems facing low income groups as a result of changes to state welfare provision and austerity, and significant changes to the government’s view of food banks as the sector has highlighted these effects: from a position of support, to increasing hostility towards both food bank providers and people using food banks. Through a national survey and web mapping of food aid providers, the research sought to better understand the nature and scale of food aid provision in rural and urban settings. The research also entailed long term ethnographic engagement in Trussell Trust and Independent food banks, combined with over 80 interviews with foodbank managers, volunteers and food bank users in 35 organisations. Working with food bank providers and users, and examining both more familiar and a range of alternative approaches to food banking, this project explores food banks as a response to food insecurity and as potential sites of challenge to neoliberal political and ethical values and practices.

Religion, spirituality and addiction treatment

This research examines the contemporary landscape of faith-based drug and alcohol treatment in the UK, and uses ethnographic approaches to foreground the differential ethics of care and experiences of those in recovery. Religion and spirituality have historically had significant influence on alcohol treatment and recovery provision. Yet the size, scope and significance of contemporary activities remain unclear. This research maps the size, scope and activities of faith-based alcohol services in the UK – including organisational ethos and theological/practical approaches. Particular attention is given to the ways in which religion and spirituality is positioned as an ‘active ingredient’ of treatment and the moral expectations and identities bound up with service-users access to, and experiences of treatment and recovery. My research to date has drawn on non-representational, feminist and post-phenomenological approaches to religion to address (i) the complex emotional, spiritual and therapeutic sensibilities people attach to, and derive from, practices of worship and prayer; and contextualise this within (ii) the micro-politics within recovery spaces. 

Somali community needs in Cardiff

Working with Dr Richard Gale, Ali Abdi, Sara Kalinleh and Samia Zarak, this project aims to provide a robust knowledge-base of Somali community needs in Cardiff that can be used as the basis of community-led projects and funding proposals. Cardiff hosts one of the largest Somali communities in the UK, with a population of c.10,000. The origins of the community are closely entwined with Cardiff’s emergence as a port between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries. Somali seaman, employed on British merchant ships, became pioneers of the settled Somali community in Cardiff throughout the 20th century. More recently, Somalis arrived in Cardiff as refugees fleeing the Somali Civil War. The community are concentrated in South Cardiff, experiencing the compound hardships of high unemployment, educational disadvantage and Islamophobia. Despite the history of the Somali presence in Cardiff, the community and its needs have not been extensively researched for several decades. To begin to fill this gap, this project works on a co-production model with several different Somali groups and organisations. The research focuses on a number of related topics, including migration, settlement and integration experiences; identity and place-attachment; health and wellbeing; housing needs; educational support; pathways to employment; and experiences of discrimination (e.g. racism or Islamophobia in the spaces of the city and/or the workplace).

  • PhD Human Geography, University of Exeter (2008-2012)
  • MSc Society and Space, University of Bristol (2006-2007)
  • BSc Human Geography, University of Bristol. Class: 1 (2003-2006)

 

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2010

2009

I teach on the following modules:

Undergraduate

  • Political Geography (CP0222)
  • Cities and Social Justice (CP0340)
  • Researching Contemporary Issues in Los Angeles (CP0359)

Postgraduate

  • Food Security and Justice (CPT906)

PhD supervision

I would welcome students wishing to work on the following themes:

  • Geographies of care, ethics and justice
  • Substance misuse and addiction
  • Foodbanks 
  • Homelessness
  • Urban and rural austerity
  • Neoliberalism, welfare reform and the third sector
  • Religion, civil society and urban politics
  • Geographies of post-secularity
  • Identity, belonging and youth transitions, especially with regard to Cardiff's Somali Community
  • Participatory and ethnographic approaches to urban marginality

Current PhD supervision:

  • Claire Forster, Evaluating the Impact and Improving Delivery of Public Services in Wales's Night-time Economy, ESRC (with Sergei Shubin and Matt Roach, Swansea University)
  • Rebecca Jackson, Homelessness prevention and the housing pathways of people experiencing domestic abuse (with Peter Mackie)
  • Jack Pickering, Neglected consumption sites: exploring ‘traditional’ markets and other related consumption sites within the food system, ESRC (with Mara Miele)

I would welcome students wishing to work on the following themes:

  • Geographies of care, ethics and justice
  • Substance misuse and addiction
  • Foodbanks 
  • Homelessness
  • Urban and rural austerity
  • Neoliberalism, welfare reform and the third sector
  • Religion, civil society and urban politics
  • Geographies of post-secularity
  • Identity, belonging and youth transitions, especially with regard to Cardiff's Somali Community
  • Participatory and ethnographic approaches to urban marginality

Current PhD supervision:

  • Claire Forster, Evaluating the Impact and Improving Delivery of Public Services in Wales's Night-time Economy, ESRC (with Sergei Shubin and Matt Roach, Swansea University)
  • Rebecca Jackson, Homelessness prevention and the housing pathways of people experiencing domestic abuse (with Peter Mackie)
  • Jack Pickering, Neglected consumption sites: exploring 'traditional' markets and other related consumption sites within the food system, ESRC (with Mara Miele)

Goruchwyliaeth gyfredol

Jack Pickering

Jack Pickering

Research student

Rebecca Jackson

Research student

Andrew Williams

Neil Turnbull

Research student