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Helen Taylor

Research student, School of Law and Politics


My PhD is a piece of applied philosophy. It explores the use of John Rawls’ difference principle as a test for social justice in contemporary social policy. I am using the Housing (Wales) Bill as a case study to test whether the policy does indeed deliver on commitments to social justice. I hope to show an insight into the use of Rawls’ principle as a tangible policy test, and also comment on the Welsh Government’s commitment to social justice.

My general academic interests lie in using philosophical theories to explore questions of justice in contemporary society, with an emphasis on engaging with stakeholders. I currently work for newsdirect wales, a political monitoring company, and have a particular interest in the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Bill and the impact of welfare reform. In previous work I have looked at the impact of welfare reform on effective agency, including conducting research in frontline homelessness organisations.


Research interests


I have presented wide range of my research in a number of formats and have taken part in, and organised, a variety of events.

Conference papers

Academia's Duty to the Third Sector – presented at the Degrees of Impact Conference at Nottingham University in September 2012

Housing (Wales) Bill: Delivering Social Justice? - presented at Shelter Cymru's From Evidence to Action Conference in November 2013

Do Consultations Matter? The Case of the Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Bill – co-written and presented with Dr Axel Kaehne at the Political Studies Association Conference 2014


Wales: Doing Things Differently? - University Graduate College funded conference with keynote speech from Leanne Wood AM, leader of Plaid Cymru, conference organiser

Transitions Conference – University Graduate College funded interdisciplinary postgraduate seminar event, conference organiser

Changing Union Conference 2012 – workshop on the devolution of welfare in Wales, workshop organiser and presenter

Published papers

The Social Services and Wellbeing (Wales) Bill – working paper with Dr Axel Kaehne published through GORWEL

The Housing (Wales) Bill: Making a difference? - published in Welsh Housing Quarterly January 2014

Wales' First Housing Legislation: A Game of Two Halves – published on the IWA Click On Wales blog November 2013

Welsh Government's legislation needs more focus – published on the IWA Click On Wales blog March 2013

The Face of Homelessness - annual report for Doorway Wiltshire Ltd. on profiles of service users, June 2011

Needs, Impact, and the Future Report – annual report for Doorway Wiltshire Ltd. on the initial impact of the welfare reform, September 2012

The Real Impact of Welfare Reform – annual report for Doorway Wiltshire Ltd. on the impact of welfare reform, January 2013

The Cost of Social Justice? Just 5p! - article on the Bevan Foundation blog, October 2012

Capability, Winning and Work – article on the Bevan Foundation blog, September 2012