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Dr Anna Barford

Dr Anna Barford

Researcher, College Lecturer, Fellow of Girton College, and Bye Fellow of Murray Edwards College

Youth employment challenge of lower income countries and Regimes of Austerity: Economic Change and the Politics of Contraction


Research Interests

Currently I am working on two projects which concern the intersection of the economy, society and policy. One project looks at the youth employment challenge of lower income countries, where most young people are underemployed and are in working poverty. Taking a two-pronged approach I seek to understand youth experiences and aspirations surrounding work, as well as which obstacles they confront. Drawing on young people's perspectives on their own work, I seek to assess the structural causes and policy tools available to address this. This work is done in collaboration with colleagues from Cambridge and from the International NGO Restless Development. We are supported by funding from the ESRC and University of Cambridge.

I am also researching Regimes of Austerity: Economic Change and the Politics of Contraction. This research examines the politics of austerity in British and North American cities as they respond to recession, recovery, fiscal uncertainty, growing economic inequality, and changing policy demands. With Principal Investigators Dr Mia Gray and Dr Betsy Donald, I will: (1) Examine how inequality and the politics around the distribution of public resources have changed at the local level in mid-sized British cities over the last twenty years. (2) Investigate how a city's economic, demographic and political base can shape the newer politics of austerity. (3) Consider how economic change, inequality and the politics of redistribution inform traditional theories of urban political and economic geography. This builds on my earlier work mapping inequalities, analysing discourses about socio-economic inequality, and engaging with the work of The Equality Trust.