The reproduction and politics of inequality

Project summary

The last decade has seen increasing concern about inequality, especially inequalities within countries. Concerns reflect ethical commitments to fairness and social justice but also that inequalities are increasingly having political effects – generating the sort of populism and social polarisation witnessed in the US, many European Countries and the UK. Such concerns also include the international effects of nationalism and fragmentation of processes of market and political integration (e.g. trade wars, Brexit etc). This topic is very broad and many different questions could be addressed in specific research projects, such as:

Consideration will be given to proposals that address these or similar research problems associated with the contemporary reproduction, or politics, of inequality. We are interested in projects that address inequalities (including intersections of race, class and gender) at a local (Derby/Derbyshire), national (UK) or international (relations between states/international organisations) scale.

Research cluster

Centre for Social, Cultural and Legal Research

Entry requirements

Students with a first or upper-second-class honours degree and in any social science or humanities discipline may apply. Preference will be given to candidates with a research proposal that contributes to the research environment at Derby and with existing research training, especially at PGT level.

International students may also need to meet our English language requirements. Find out more about our entry requirements for international students.

Project-specific requirements must align with the University’s standard requirements

How to apply

Please contact Professor Alex Nunn ( in the first instance.

The University has four starting points each year for MPhil/PhD programmes (September, January, March and June). Applications should be made at least three months before you would want to start your programme. Please note that if you require a visa additional time will be required.


Self-funded by student. There is a range of options that may be available to you to help you fund your PhD.


Senior Lecturer & Subject Leader in International Relations

Francesco Belcastro is a Lecturer and the programme leader of International Relations at the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences here at the University of Derby. He is currently the admissions tutor for International Relations and Diplomacy. He is also a Fellow of the Centre for Syrian Studies, University of St Andrews.

Sung-Hee Lee
Deputy Chair of the College Research Committee for BLSS & Programme Lead for MRes Social Sciences and Humanities

Dr Sung-Hee Lee has developed a broad understanding in sociology and social policy, mainly focused on care and gender issues within the context of comparative study between Europe and East Asia. Sung-Hee is currently commencing a research project investigating childcare policy development in East Asia and assessing the impact on working mothers' work-life balance.