Dr Matthew Donoghue

My work focuses on how to understand and address division and uncertainty, alongside how governments and other bodies can support households and communities in dealing with these problems. In particular, this involves examining the role of belonging and integration socially, economically and politically, and how welfare state institutions can best support people and help people support one another. 

Previously I was a Research Fellow on the FP7 funded project, RESCuE, which examined socio-economic household resilience in 9 European countries in the wake of the financial crisis, looking at how households could make ends meet, the practices they employed to do so, and the support they received (or didn't) from their governments. My PhD (Oxford Brookes) examined New Labour's approach to Community Cohesion and how it related to the party's welfare reform agenda. 

I have expertise in a range of qualitative methods, particularly household and expert interviews, focus groups, and various forms of documentary analysis (e.g. content anlaysis and discourse analysis).


My research draws inspiration from political economy, political sociology, and critical/interpretive policy studies. My fundamental interest lies in the nature and dynamics of citizenship, particularly regarding social citizenship and integration and the institutions that sustain them in the context of deep uncertainty and overlapping political and economic crises. This includes research on the politics of social/community cohesion, the future of European welfare settlements in the post-crisis and (post-) Brexit landscape, and the use of resilience as a social policy strategy.

I am happy to talk to students interested in carrying out research in these areas.

  • Gritty Citizens? Exploring the Logic and Limits of Resilience in UK Social Policy During Times of Socio-Material Insecurity

  • Back to the future of community cohesion? Learning from New Labour

  • Beyond Hegemony: Elaborating on the Use of Gramscian Concepts in Critical Discourse Analysis for Political Studies

  • Resilience, Agency and Coping with Hardship: Evidence from Europe during the Great Recession

  • When rhetoric does not translate to reality: Hardship, empowerment and the third sector in austerity localism

  • The narratives of hardship: the new and the old poor in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis in Europe

  • Cohesion as ‘common sense’: Everyday narratives of community and cohesion in New Labour’s Britain

  • Resilience, Hardship and Social Conditions

  • Welfare and cohesion contested: A critical discourse analysis of New Labour's reform programme

  • More
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