Elizabeth Bailey

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Research interests

Her research focuses on continuity and change in educational policy (particuarly in the UK) and in voluntary sector policy. Her research interests include social policy history and the mixed provision of welfare, and she is a strong advocate for understanding the historical context of policy issues.


Her work at the London School of Economics and Political Science focused on ideological influences on the direction of education policy as part of the Education Research Group. Her work in this area utilised historical methods and core political science theory around the role of the actors and the development of policy ideas. She was also involved in service evaluations of the university's widening participation programme and a government pilot of a primary school intervention in Hampshire schools. She also contributed to work on early years education and childcare policy in England and a cross- European study of women's labour force participation. 


At the University of Birmingham, she was a research fellow with the Third Sector Research Centre on a Leverhulme Trust funded project "Community-level perspectives on post-war change in the British voluntary sector". This project investigated the extent of change and stability in the voluntary sector and its response to socio-economic change and changes in funding; the interdependence between statutory bodies and the third sector; and what constitutes success for voluntary organisations. She led on the Bethnal Green (East London) case study with specific focuses on migration, ethnicity, education and advocacy work. 


Currently, she is co-editing the new textbook on Understanding Public Services, contributing chapters on the creation and evolution of public sector organisations and institutions and the role of the mixed economy of welfare in the delivery of public services. She is also co-PI on a project exploring changes in advocacy activities of voluntary sector organisations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic comparing England, Wales and Scotland.



Advanced knowledge of historical methods and archival research skills (including extensive work with the UK National Archives and the US Library of Congress)


Qualitative research methods (semi-structure interviews, systematic reviews and thematic analysis) and basic quantitative research methods (survey analysis and regression models)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Social Policy, PhD, London School of Economics

Award Date: 31 Dec 2016

Social Policy and Planning, MSc, London School of Economics

Award Date: 31 Dec 2009

Government and History, BA (Hons), Cornell University

Award Date: 31 May 2005

External positions

Research Fellow, University of Birmingham

15 Sep 201731 Dec 2019

LSE Fellow, London School of Economics and Political Science

1 Sep 201615 Sep 2017


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