Dr Claire Edwards joined the School of Applied Social Studies in 2004. Her background is in urban and cultural geography and social policy. Following completion of her doctorate at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2000, she spent three years working in applied social research, firstly at the Disability Rights Commission, and then as a Senior Research Officer at the Department for Work and Pensions in the UK.
Claire’s research interests stem from her doctoral work, which explored the involvement of disabled people in urban regeneration initiatives in Britain, and her roles working in applied social research. These include (i) the participation of disabled people in society and the disability rights agenda; (ii) urban regeneration and the effectiveness of urban policy, particularly in terms of its ability to provide benefit for excluded communities; and (iii) the politics of knowledge production, and the relationship between social research and policy.
Claire’s most recent research has been concerned with exploring how patients’ organisations (and specifically, organisations representing families of children with ADHD) seek to influence the production of medical knowledge about health conditions, and the barriers disabled people face in accessing the criminal justice system as victims of crime in Ireland. Theoretically, Claire is interested in exploring cross-disciplinary linkages between geography, social policy and sociology, and in particular, examining the potential of social and geographical theory to illuminate understandings of disability and health and illness in society.