FBL 2: ‘Is this the real life?’ Conditionality of social rights after Brexit

Faculty: Business and Law

Supervisors: Dr Eglė Dagilytė and Dr David Smith

Interview date: 29 March 2022

This cross-disciplinary project will build on existing knowledge on European Union (EU) social rights, using an original focus on ‘conditionality’.

The conditions under which European citizens become eligible for social rights - healthcare, welfare benefits, housing or education - differ across the EU. Often, such conditions constitute legal and administrative barriers to citizens’ social rights and access to social justice.

This project will investigate how such barriers could be overcome in line with EU law, informing the work of European, national and local stakeholders that regulate and apply the conditions under which EU citizens can access their social rights at home and abroad.

Despite its central importance, there have been few attempts to question what ‘conditionality’ means in the context of EU law policy and more systematically. Most attempts in literature focus on certain areas of EU law that have an external dimension, for example, EU accession, social and human rights conditionalities in the European Union’s free trade agreements and external trade relations. Therefore, there is a gap for a more careful theoretical multifaceted thinking and practical surveying on:

  • what social rights’ conditionality means;
  • how it impacts in practice the implementation of social rights for ordinary EU citizens;
  • how the EU legislators and courts should take this into account when shaping common European future.

In the UK, there is leading research on welfare conditionality, but no projects linking social rights to conditionality, despite the UK being a party to the ICESCR and the European Social Charter.

The successful applicant will adopt a mixed methods approach that will be supported by the supervisory team. The methods may include doctrinal, socio-legal or policy analysis, empirical fieldwork (interviews, focus groups, online surveys, FOI requests).

Supervisors Dr Eglė Dagilytė and Dr David Smith are highly experienced and cross-disciplinary (law, social policy, sociology). They also make a diverse team, combining different linguistic capabilities (English, Lithuanian, Russian Spanish) and experience in researching marginalised people and minority communities.

If you would like to discuss this research project prior to application, please contact egle.dagilyte@aru.ac.uk

Apply online by 27 February 2022.

Funding notes

This successful applicant for this project will receive a Vice Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship which covers Home tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. For 2022/3 this will be £15,609 per year. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the scholarship terms and conditions. Please note that the University asserts the right to claim any intellectual property generated by research it funds.

Download the full terms and conditions.