research students

III Doctoral Programme

Meet the doctoral students and read about their research projects


The III Doctoral Programme consists of an interdisciplinary seminar for students holding Leverhulme Scholarships or "Analysing and Challenging Inequality" Scholarships, alongside a small group of doctoral students from across the School with funding from other sources who are also working in the area of inequalities.

The overarching aim of the programme is to increase our understanding of the mechanisms that link the economic dimensions of inequality with their social, cultural and political dimensions at the global level.

Read more about the programme here

Read interviews with our alumni here.


Analysing and Challenging Inequalities Scholarship students

Camilo Acera-Vargas, International Development

Maya Adereth, Sociology

Amal Ali, Methodology

Margarida Bandeira-Morais, Geography and Environment

Chris Bick, European Institute

Eugenia Bilbao-Goyoaga-Zabala, Social Policy

Miro Born, Sociology

Asif Butt, Sociology

Julia Buzan, Psychological and Behavioural Science

Donna Carmichael, Sociology

Possapon Charoenporn, Geography and Environment

Julia-Clara Cirdan, Sociology

Anne Della-Guardia, International Relations

Arnaud Dyevre, Economics

Sara Esteves-Cores, Psychological and Behavioural Science

Fiona Gogescu, Social Policy

Victoria Gronwald, Sociology 

Yuanmo He, Methodology

Asha Herten-Crabb, International Relations

Andrés Irarrazaval Garcia Huidobro, Economic History

Diwakar Kishore, Social Policy

Mina Kozluca, International Development

Kuhlmann Finia, Accounting

Katharina Kuhn, International Relations

Xizi Luo, Economic History

Richard Mallett, International Development 

Davi Moura, Economics

Gabriela Neves-De-Lima, Geography and Environment 

Aurelius Noble, Economic History

Jasmine Oware, Methodology 

Marta Pagnini, Sociology

Martina Pardy, Geography and Environment

Kandya Obezo-Casseres, Social Policy

Sabrina Paiwand, Psychological and Behavioural Science

Ilona Pinter, Social Policy

Magdalena Rossetti-Youlton, Social Policy

Adil Sait, Geography and Environment 

Aniruddha Talukdar, Social Policy

Juliet-Nil Uraz, Social Policy

Hillary Vipond, Economic History

Anran Wang, Media and Communications 

Melissa Weihmayer, Geography and Environment

Hannah Wilson, Sociology

Eliz Wong, Social Policy

Doctoral Programme Participants 2022-2023

Jakob Dirksen

Jakob Dirksen is an Analysing and Challenging Inequalities Scholar based at the Department of Social Policy. His research focuses on the measurement of welfare, poverty, and inequality. Among his key research interests are the development and use of conceptually and normatively sound metrics for evidence-based policy-making. Jakob is also Research and Policy Officer with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative within the Department of International Development at the University of Oxford, Lecturer at Leuphana University of Lüneburg, and Seminar Leader at the Blavatnik School of Government. He studied Liberal Arts & Sciences (BA), Political Philosophy (MA), and Public Policy and Human Development (MSc & MPP) with Social Protection specialisation in Germany, Spain, and at the United Nations University.

Previously, Jakob held research and teaching positions with the Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford and worked for the German Federal Foreign Office. He regularly works with governments, UN agencies, and other partners around the world on the development and use of prosperity and poverty indices as yardstick indicators and policy tools. Among his most recent publications are reports for and with the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Programmecalls for action and policy briefs for the G7, as well as academic articles and book chapters on multidimensional poverty, health equitychild poverty, and metrics of welfare and development.


Hobeth Martínez Carrillo is a PhD student based at the Sociology department. He works under the co-supervision of Professor Mike Savage and Dr. George Kunnath, researching on rural elites and their role in the reproduction of socioeconomic inequalities. Hobeth is interested in the study of social class, elites, land issues, human rights, conflict/peace, and transitional justice.

He holds a law degree from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL) an MA in Socio-legal studies from the Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law (IISL), affiliated to the University of the Basque Country, and an MSc in Inequalities and Social Science from LSE. He currently researches under the Atlantic Equity Grant funded project ‘Peace and Gender (In)equality: Lessons from the Colombian Peace Agreement of 2016’, linked to the Politics of Inequality research theme of the LSE International Inequalities Institute. 

Doctoral Programme Participants 2021-2022

Eugenia Bilbao-Goyoaga

Eugenia Bilbao-Goyoaga is a is an Analysing and Challenging Inequalities Scholar based in the Department of Social Policy. Her research will focus on the effects of guaranteed minimum income schemes on income and social inequality, poverty and labour market outcomes. Eugenia holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in Public and Economic Policy from the LSE and a BSc in Politics with Economics from the University of Bath. She previously worked as a Policy Officer at the European Commission (within DG Reform and DG Research & Innovation) and as a Research Assistant at the Bank of England. 


Camilo Acero-Vargas is an Analysing and Challenging Inequalities Scholar based in the Department of International Development, where he works under the supervision of Professor Catherine Boone and Professor Jean Paul Faguet. In his PhD project, he will explore how rural inequalities are reproduced in Latin America, and how this relates to the broader processes of state building, political representation and social conflict.

He was awarded an undergraduate degree and master’s degree in political science at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Before starting his doctoral studies, he worked for six years as a researcher in the Observatory of Agrarian Property Rights focusing on land politics/policies in Colombia. He remains affiliated as a Research Associate. Since 2018, he worked as a researcher in Drug(s) and (dis)order, a Global Challenges Research Fund Project interested in the transit of drug economies into peacetime economies in the aftermath of war with a focus on Afghanistan, Myanmar and Colombia. He was also a Lecturer at Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá. His most recent co-authored publications include an article in World Development on land formalization and counter-narcotics, an article in the International Journal of Drug Policy on peace and the illicit crop substitution program in Colombia, and a forthcoming article in Third World Quarterly on the peasantry and state legitimacy in the coca frontiers.

Jasmine Oware

Jasmine Oware is an Analysing and Challenging Inequalities Scholar based in the Department of Methodology, where she is supervised by Professor Jonathan Jackson and Dr Kristzian  Posch, UCL. Jasmine is interested in police studies. Her doctoral research focuses on the disproportionately in police use of force, using advanced quantitative techniques. This is a collaborative research project with the non-academic partner being the College of Policing, the professional body for everyone who works for the police service in England and Wales.


Doctoral Programme Participants 2020-2021


Victoria Gronwald 400 x 400

Victoria Gronwald is an Analysing and Challenging Inequalities Scholar based in the Department of Sociology, working under the supervision of Mike Savage and Andrew Summers. Her PhD research focuses on international tax governance and financial sector regulation. She previously worked in the development sector, most recently in a consultancy firm specialised in governance, social and environmental issues in the mining sector. Victoria holds an MA in Anthropology and Sociology of Development from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies Geneva and the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú in Lima, as well as an LLM in Diplomacy and International Law from Lancaster University.

Julia Buzan 400 x 400

Julia Buzan is an Analysing and Challenging Inequalities Scholar based in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. Her PhD research investigates how the contexts of poverty and inequality shape cognition and decision making. Prior to joining the LSE, she worked as a Senior Research Associate with Innovations for Poverty Action and the Gender Innovation Lab at the World Bank on a project that explored redistributive pressures from kinship networks in Côte D'Ivoire. She also previously worked as a Consulting Director with Vera Solutions to support the design and implementation of data systems for social impact organizations in India and Southern Africa. Julia holds a BA in Political Science with a Concentration in International Economic Development from Yale University, and she is an MSc candidate in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE. 

Diwakar Kishore 400 x 400

Diwakar Kishore is an Analysing and Changing Inequalities Scholar and is interested in accountability, political participation and their impact on social welfare outcomes. Prior to starting his doctoral research at LSE, Diwakar worked with the Development Economics Research Team at the World Bank in Washington DC where his research focused on improving learning outcomes for children in Sub-Saharan Africa, reducing maternal mortality in Central Asia and increasing food security in South-East Asia. Previously, Diwakar worked with the Research on Improving Systems of Education (RISE) Programme at the University of Oxford. Before shifting to international development, he used to work as a commercial lawyer (Private Equity) and served the courts in Bihar (India) as a legal aid advocate.  Diwakar holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from the National Law School of India University, a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Oxford and a Master’s in International Educational Policy from Harvard University.

Gabriela Neves de Lima 400 x 400

Gabriela Neves de Lima is an Analysing and Challenging Inequalities Scholar in Human Geography and Urban Studies at the Department of Geography and Environment, supervised by Dr Romola Sanyal and Dr David Madden. Her PhD research project focuses on interrelations between housing, gender and domestic violence in urban contexts in Brazil. Gabriela holds a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Sciences Po Paris and a Double Master’s degree in Urban Policy from Science Po Paris and the LSE. Before starting her doctoral studies, Gabriela has worked as Graduate Teaching Assistant at the Bartlett Development Planning Unit at University College London and been an Oram Research Fellow at the LSE’s Department of Geography and Environment. 


Adil Sait is a PhD candidate in Economic Geography at the Department of Geography and Environment, LSE, supervised by Prof. Simona Iammarino and Dr. Richard Perkins. His doctoral research is on natural resource dependence and economic development in Sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on the case of conflict minerals. He has a First Class BSc. (Hons) in Urban Planning from UCL (2015-18), and was an Erasmus Exchange student at the University of Amsterdam (2017). His LSE masters’ (2018-19, with Distinction) research on Local Economic Development in Liberia, featured on the Africa@LSE Blog. It was funded by the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and co-sponsored by Habitat for Humanity International and Liberian National Housing Authority. Adil served as rapporteur for the Network of Excellence in Land Governance in Africa (NELGA) representing North African universities (2019) and was a high level panel speaker at the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi (2020). Adil worked as a consult analyst with BuroHappold on issues of city planning and regeneration, urban governance, and economic development – based in London and Riyadh. His co-authored publications include a UN-Habitat sponsored report on land and natural resource tenure in Eastern and Southern Africa and an EPSRC-funded research project on  Renewable Energy as an Underutilised Resource in Cities.

Magdalena Rossetti Youlton

Magdalena Rossetti-Youlton is based in the Department of Social Policy. Her PhD research, supervised by Professor Stephen Jenkins and Dr Berkay Özcan, focuses on multidimensional poverty and its relation to inequality in Latin America. Magdalena holds a degree in Social Anthropology from Universidad de Chile and a Master of Public Administration from LSE. She has worked in the public sector, international organizations, and research institutions. She was an advisor for the Chilean Ministry of Finance focusing on gender inequalities in the educational system and job markets, as well as worked on the reform to the national child protection system. Additionally, she was a consultant for UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean on projects centred on school segregation and fiscal sustainability in Latin America. 


Felix Schaff is a PhD candidate in Economic History. His research focuses on the long-term development and the historical roots of economic inequality. He is particularly interested in the political economy of wealth inequality in pre-industrial times.

He combines archival primary-source research with econometric applications to, first, reconstruct long-term inequality-trends since the Middle Ages, and, secondly, study how warfare, religious confession and political institutions have shaped the distribution of wealth in historical perspective. In his first PhD-paper he tests the “war-reduces-inequality”-hypothesis in preindustrial Germany.

Before joining the London School of Economics Felix has obtained a bachelor’s and a master's degree in economics and management from the University Witten/Herdecke (Germany) and Bocconi University (Italy), and a master’s degree in economic history from the University of Cambridge (UK).

Marta Pagnini

Marta Pagnini is a PhD candidate in Department of Sociology, working under the supervision of Mike Savage and Milena Tsvetkova. 

Maya Adereth

Maya Adereth is a PhD student in the Sociology Department. Her research is on the role of interest group politics in shaping national healthcare systems, focusing on a comparative history of labor movements, mutual aid organizations, and medical societies in the early 20th century US and UK. Prior to her PhD, she completed an MSc in Comparative Politics with a specialism in Comparative Political Economy at LSE.


Doctoral Programme Participants 2019-2020


Rahma Ahmed

Rahma Ahmed is a Analysing and Challenging Inequality Scholar based in the Department of International Development. She will be studying the political economy of inequality and in particular, analysing the macroeconomic methods suited to reducing it in low-resource settings. Rahma holds a double Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Yale University and an MPA from Columbia University. She previously worked for the World Bank’s Africa Research Group as well as the International Finance Corporation’s Thought Leadership Unit.

Margarida Bandeira Morais

Margarida Bandeira Morais is a doctoral student at the Geography and Environment Department, supervised by Prof. Simona Iammarino and Dr. Neil Lee. Her research focuses on how economic complexity, a measure of the knowledge embedded in products and services, impacts regional disparities and income inequality within countries. She holds an MSc Local Economic Development from the LSE and previously studied at Utrecht University and Trinity College Dublin.

Anthony Miro Born

Anthony Miro Born is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology and the Cities Programme, supervised by David Madden and Sam Friedman. His PhD research focuses on the intersections of social mobility, housing inequality and territorial stigmatisation. He previously worked at Humboldt University in Berlin and at the European Parliament in Brussels. Miro holds an MSc in Inequalities and Social Science from the London School of Economics (Winner of the Atkinson Prize 2017). 

Chris Bick

Chris Bick is a Challenging and Analysing Inequalities Scholar based in the European Institute. His research focuses on the interaction between financialisation, inequality and party politics across the European Union. His interests include international political economy, financialisation, varieties of capitalism and the relationship between capitalism and democracy. Chris holds an MA in the History of Capitalism from the New School for Social Research as well as a BA in Anthropology and International Development from Washington University in St. Louis. He recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Economics at Birkbeck, University on London.

Donna Carmichael

Donna Carmichael is a doctoral student in the Sociology Department, under the supervision of Sam Friedman and Mike Savage.  Her research examines understandings and processes of wealth accumulation arising from the financial investing strategies and behaviours of affluent individuals.  Donna holds a B.Sc. in Psychology from University of Toronto, and an M.B.A. from York University (Toronto).  Prior to joining the PhD program at the LSE, Donna spent many years in industry in a wide variety of senior roles with large global corporates, including IBM and Grant Thornton.  

Possapon Charoenporn2

Possapon Charoenporn is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography and the Environment under the supervision of Professor Simona Iammarino and Dr Neil Lee. His research focuses on territorial inequalities of multinational corporations and innovation in Southeast Asia. He is also interested in socioeconomic deprivation and spatial health inequalities in the Global South. Possapon holds an MSc in Local Economic Development and an MSc in Health and International Development from the LSE. He received his BA in Geography from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Previously, he worked as a researcher and spatial analyst in the Urban Age project at LSE Cities.

Fiona Gogescu

Fiona Gogescu is an ESRC funded doctoral student in the department of Social Policy, supervised by Anne West and Sonia Exley. Her research explores the mechanisms by which institutional features of different education systems exacerbate or reduce inequality of opportunity. Her PhD project entails a mixed methods study analysing the extent to which education systems in the European Union vary in terms of institutional characteristics associated with educational stratification. Fiona holds a BA in Political Science from the National University of Political Studies and Public Administration in Romania and an MSc in Social Policy from the LSE. Before starting her PhD, Fiona worked as a Researcher in the Policy Research Centre at NatCen Social Research, where she was involved in a range of qualitative and mixed methods research projects on topics related to socio-economic inequalities, mental health and well-being, education and labour market policies.

Rich Mallett

Rich Malett is an ESRC-funded PhD candidate in the Department of International Development with an interest in cities, informal work, and the link between livelihoods and politics. His doctoral research looks at what happens when new ‘disruptive’ technologies and programmes of employment come into contact with precarious livelihood systems. Ethnographic fieldwork for this project is being carried out in Kampala throughout 2020.

Prior to joining the LSE, Rich was a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute where he worked on state-building, post-conflict livelihood recovery, and displacement / migration. He still remains affiliated as a Research Associate.

Rich holds a BA in Geography from University College London, and an MSc in Violence, Conflict and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies.


Magda Muter is a doctoral student in the Department of Gender Studies. Her research examines the process of decision making in couples concerning division of labour between partners. Her work focuses on heterosexual couples in contemporary Poland, having their first child. Magda’s research interests include: inequalities on labour market, negotiations, parental employment and the combination of paid work and caring responsibilities. Before joining LSE Gender, Magda obtained her MA in Sociology at the College of Inter-Area Individual Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences with distinction and MA in European Studies at the Centre of Europe, both in 2012 at the University of Warsaw. She also holds a MA in Management from Warsaw School of Economics. In addition, Magda has a long history of project-based work, including more than 3-year experience in strategic consultancy.

Anri Van-Der-Spuy

Anri Van-Der-Spuy is based in LSE's Media and Communications Department, supervised by Profs Robin Mansell and Ellen Helsper. Her PhD project explores digital inclusion risks for diverse developmental contexts, including the impact of digital inclusion policies on overcoming inequality (offline and online). Before starting her PhD, Anri managed Research ICT Africa’s Digital Policy Project as a senior researcher, where she is still a senior associate. An admitted attorney (lawyer) with expertise in media law, Anri previously received an MSc degree (distinction) in Media and Communications Governance from LSE’s Department of Media and Communications. In her native South Africa, she also completed an MPhil in Media, Democracy and Development (cum laude), a BPhil (honours) in Journalism, and an LLB (law) degree at the University of Stellenbosch. She has consulted on Internet and digital policy challenges, with a development focus, to various United Nations and intergovernmental agencies (including UNESCO, the UN Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum, the UN Broadband Commission on Sustainable Development, the African Development Bank, and the World Bank); for stakeholders participating in processes/fora like the G20 and G7; for Internet-focused and related entities like the Internet Society and ICANN; and for global NGOs specialising in communications governance challenges. Anri is an associate of both the CyberBRICS initiative and the Fairwork Project (based at the Oxford Internet Institute); and serves on the advisory boards of the Freedom Online Coalition and Christchurch Call process respectively.

Eliz Wong 2

Eliz Wong is a MPhil/PhD student at the Department of Social Policy, supported by the LSE PhD Studentship. Her research focus on gender and LGBT policy. She have participated in different research projects related to the anti-discrimination ordinance on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, same-sex couples’ rights and recognition, and the legal gender recognition related to transgender and intersex individuals in Hong Kong and the Greater China region. Her research has been published in academic journals such as Journal of Homosexuality, edited volumes, and policy briefs. Eliz is also frequently asked to speak on LGBTI issues at universities and organisations around the world, including SOAS-University of London, Amnesty International, and AIESEC, Hong Kong. She holds an MPhil in Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies from the University of Cambridge, supported by The Women Foundation’s Hong Kong Scholarship.

Melissa Weihmayer

Melissa Weihmayer is an Analysing and Challenging Inequalities Scholar based in the Geography department's Regional and Urban Planning Studies program, supervised by Romola Sanyal. Her research focuses on responses to displacement and population movements in cities. She is interested in how evidence informs local government decision-making and the potential that data-gathering processes have for exacerbating or mitigating inequalities between displaced populations and their non-displaced neighbors. Melissa has applied a background in anthropological theory, development economics and conflict resolution to migration and displacement issues in her professional work in the legal and humanitarian fields since 2010, most recently in Geneva, Switzerland with the Joint IDP Profiling Service (JIPS). She holds a Bachelors in Anthropology and German from the University of Chicago and a Masters in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.


Doctoral Programme Participants 2018-2019


Gabriela Cabana

Gabriela Cabana Alvear is an MRes/PhD student at the Department of Anthropology. Her research is on the planning and implementation of energy generation in Brazil. Her ethnographic focus will be in the work of bureaucracy and processes of valuation of natural resources. She is also interested in how national energy policies are framed in international negotiations on climate change, and how discourses about inequality shape decision-making processes.

Picture of Giovanni Angioni

Giovanni Francesco Angioni is a doctoral student in the Department of International Relations, supervised by Professor Tomila Lankina. His PhD project examines inequality and its political outcomes. He is particularly interested in the ways in which perceptions of inequality – both economic and political – influence political participation, mobilization, and populism, encompassing also the role played by media and propaganda. Giovanni is trained in both Political Science and Economics, and has worked as a researcher on several projects about inequality and social mobility.

Gaby Harris

Gaby Harris was in the first cohort of III masters programme in 2015-16 and has now returned as an ESRC funded doctoral student. Her project focuses on young people’s experiences of social exclusion. Specifically, in how status and taste are displayed through branded clothing and the symbolic meaning behind brand choices. Her interests lie in how distinctions of taste are experienced and how these vary across intersections of class, race and gender. The research will take an ethnographic approach to explore this.

Rachna Matabudul picture

Rachna Matabudul is a doctoral student in the Department of Law, supervised by Eduardo Baistrocchi and Andrew Summers. Her research focuses on international cooperation in tax matters and explores the relationship between international tax law and policy and structural inequality within the multilateral tax framework.  Before joining LSE Law, Rachna completed an LLM in International Tax at King’s College London and worked as an adviser at the OECD Centre for Tax Policy on the BEPS Project.  She also holds a Chartered Accountant designation from the Quebec CPA Order and has worked previously as a tax professional in Montreal, Canada. 

Andrew McNeil bio pic

Andrew McNeil is a Analysing and Challenging Inequality Scholar based in the Department of Government. He will be exploring how different types of capitalism impact intra-generational social mobility in developed economies.  In particular, how the role of the formal education system in promoting mobility varies across countries. He previously worked in credit trading at Deutsche Bank.  He holds an MSc from the LSE’s European Institute in Political Economy of Europe and a BA from the University of Oxford.  Andrew’s interest in social mobility stems from his voluntary work as a school governor.

Picture of Frieder Mitsch

Frieder Mitsch is a Analysing and Challenging Inequality Scholar based in the Department of Government, where he is supervised by David Soskice and Neil Lee. He will study the consequences of economic change on inequality by exploring links between geographic, economic and political segregation in city-regions and the rise of knowledge economic activities. Frieder holds a BA from McGill University and graduated with a MSc Political Economy of Europe from the LSE. He previously worked as a trainee at DG Competition in Brussels and was a Graduate Intern at the LSE Research Division.

Alberto Parmigiani

Alberto Parmigiani is a doctoral student at the Department of Government. His project concerns economic and political inequality in advanced Western countries. More particularly, he is interested in the legislative processes that brought about the steep rise of inequality in the last four decades and their relationships with the change in perception of inequality by the general public. This project aims to scrutinize the political power of economic elites through campaign contribution and the effect of media and other cultural networks on citizens' opinion. Alberto graduated with a MSc in Economic and Social Sciences at Bocconi University with a thesis on the political economy of crime news in contemporary Italy. He worked as an intern at the Dondena Centre for Research and as a research consultant at UNRISD (United Nations Research Institute for Social Development).  

Daniela Pérez Aguilar

Daniela Pérez Aguilar is a doctoral student in the Sociology Department, supervised by Patrick McGovern and Ursula Henz. Her research studies the concept of residual inequality i.e. the portion of income inequality that cannot be explain by human capital, to  generate a better understanding on the dynamics of wage setting, using Chile as case study. This research raises questions on the concept of fairness and meritocracy in the labour market considering the increasing levels of income inequality within occupational groups.

Beatriz Jambrina Canseco

Beatriz Jambrina Canseco is a Analysing and Challenging Inequality Scholar based in the Department of Geography & Environment. Her research focuses on the intersection between the increasing flexibilization of work and spatial inequalities. In particular, she will be looking at how the gig economy, temporary agency work and other forms of non-standard employment impact wages and longer-term labour market outcomes in urban areas


Doctoral Programme Participants 2017-2018



Reuben Finighan is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar based in the Department of Government. His research aims to extend his study of interactions between capitalism and democracy, especially in light of behavioural limitations on human rationality. He hopes to improve our understanding of how high levels of inequality arise and persist despite the presence of democratic institutions that, since the dawn of democracy in ancient Greece, have been expected to produce egalitarian outcomes. This research may inform the design of democratic institutions that better reflect the capacities of our species.


Dominique Dillabough-Lefebvre is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar based in the Department of Anthropology. His research looks at agrarian change, in particular land alterations in legal land regimes and commercial land-grabs and how these affect long-standing inequalities among minority ethnic and peasant groups. The site for his research is among Karen smallholder farmers in southeastern Myanmar, with the aim of framing the present context within the longer history of the violent marginalisation of the Karen by state military and armed ethnic minority groups. Such discissions are to be situated within wider debates which problematise the often top/bottom approaches to statehood and resistance.

Hilke Gudel

Hilke Gudel is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar based in the Department of Government. She is especially interested in the labour-market integration of vulnerable groups under different varieties of capitalism; in particular, how their integration is either facilitated or hindered by different institutions. Her PhD thesis considers these issues in relation to the experience of humanitarian migrants in a number of different European countries.

Jon Barnes

Jonathan Barnes is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar based in the Department of Geography and Environment. His research explores how the concepts of justice and equity are negotiated, contested and/or silenced by actors involved in Green Climate Fund project development process and how this redistribution mechanism influences inequality. 

Liz mann

Liz Mann is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar based in the Department of Social Policy. Her research focuses on wealth inequality, exploring its interaction with income inequality and poverty, the extent to which people’s position in the wealth hierarchy is static over time and the extent to which this correlates to their income. It also looks at public attitudes towards both wealth inequality and the possible policy responses. 

Riccardo Jaede

Riccardo Jaede is a Leverhulme award doctoral student based at the Department of Anthropology

Yohan Iddawela 2

Yohan Iddawela is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography and the Environment. His research focuses on spatial inequalities and institutional quality in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has undertaken research projects for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the World Bank. He was previously a policy adviser for the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and served as an Attaché at the Australian High Commission in London. He holds an MSc in Local Economic Development from the LSE and is currently a Fellow at the Institute for State Effectiveness.

rafael carranza

Rafael Carranza is a doctoral student in the Department of Social Policy, supervised by Stephen Jenkins and Berkay Ozcan. In his PhD project, Rafael explores the concept of inequality of opportunity, its different definitions and how it is operationalized. His proposal seeks to quantify inequality of opportunity in the labour market by analysing the methodological issues related to its measurement, in order to understand its relation to economic growth and the role that policy interventions play in reducing it.

Rob Sharp

Rob Sharp is a doctoral student in the Department of Media & Communications under the supervision of Dr Myria Georgiou and Dr Shani Orgad. His research investigates how creative activists might use new forms of cultural citizenship to challenge entrenched inequalities of representation among migrant and diaspora groups in the transnational public sphere. He is a Teaching Fellow at the University of Sussex and a former staff journalist at the Independent and Observer newspapers in London, and has written for the New York Times, Guardian, and Prospect.

Simon Tawfic 400 x 400

Simon Tawfic is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology, supervised by Deborah James and Insa Koch. His research explores the everyday experiences of providing and receiving homelessness assistance in metropolitan England at a turbulent moment in political history. Discourses about homelessness - and marginalised/vulnerable populations at large - appear to be more humanitarian than before. The way that the state is organising social assistance for 'homeless people' and other care recipients is also changing, at once markedly decentralising welfare responsibility whilst at the same time remaining a vital node in coordinating and funding reforms in welfare policy. Against this backdrop, Simon seeks to understand the everyday politics and moralities in the homeless sector: the struggles, paradoxes and innovative strategies of frontline workers and aid beneficiaries alike. Simon is trained in both Anthropology and Law, having completed the BA joint honours programme at the LSE. He also has professional experience conducting casework in the homeless sector.


Doctoral Programme Participants 2016-2017


Imani Strong

Imani G. Strong is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar in the department of Anthropology, where she is supervised by Laura Bear and Deborah James. Her PhD research is focused on African-American entrepreneurship and affirmative action programs in the United States. She is especially interested in the social and political processes surrounding network and community formation, the role of the state and government intervention on capitalist markets, and racial identity as it relates to class and sociality. Imani holds an MSc in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford, Hertford College and she graduated summa cum laude from Mount Holyoke College with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology.

Joel Suss

Joel Suss is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar based out of the the department of Psychological and Behavioural Science. He will be researching the consequences of economic inequality for individual behaviour and decision-making. Joel graduated from LSE in 2013 with a Master's in Public Administration. Following graduation, he worked at the LSE Public Policy Group as Managing Editor of the school's British Politics and Policy blog. Since September 2015, Joel has been working for the Bank of England.

Goerge Maier

George Maier is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar researching the causality of digital inequalities in the contexts of wider systemic inequalities, but also with a focus on government policymaking and problematising the contemporary focus on neoliberal approaches to addressing inequality. George completed an MA in Critical Theory and Political Science at the University of Nottingham, and has previously worked as Director of Media and Communications for The Renewal Trust

Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar in the department of Sociology, co-supervised by Mike Savage and Rita Astuti (Anthropology). Her PhD research seeks to investigate how the (re)production of privilege occurs within an independent school setting in England through a specific focus on the concept of confidence. The study will explore how confidence is inculated as well as the ways in which it is articulated and embodied by students. Emma holds a BA in Geography from UCL and a PGCE from the Institute of Education; she has nine years of experience teaching in secondary schools. She also holds a MSc in Anthropology and Development from LSE for which she was awarded a distinction and the Lucy Mair prize for best dissertation.

Selena Gray

Selena Gray is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar in the department of Sociology, supervised by Suki Ali. Her PhD research seeks to investigate how some groups of adolescent girls become vulnerable to victimisation within gangs with a particular focus on street gangs and grooming gangs. Selena holds a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Goldsmiths, as well as a MSc in Political Sociology from LSE.

Celestin Okoroji

Celestin Okoroji is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science, co-supervised by Dr. Ilka Gleibs and Prof Sandra Jovchelovitch. His research aims to investigate the relationship between the UK social representation of unemployed benefit claimants and its impact on social identity, the ways in which this affects the unemployed person's sense of agency, unemployed persons' treatment by significant civil servants and ultimately their ability to find work. He has recently completed an MSc in Social and Cultural Psychology at LSE, where his dissertation was titled 'The Nadir of British Life: Social Representations of Unemployed Benefit Claimants'.

Celestin was also awarded the Popular Prize at the LSE Research Festival 2016, for his poster 'The Nadir of British Life: social representations of the unemployed'.

Laura Sochas

Laura Sochas is a PhD student in Population Studies, conducting a mixed methods study around the nature and effective response to inequalities in access to maternal health care in Southern Africa. Laura holds an Msc in Research Methods and an MPA in International Development from the LSE. She previously worked as a consultant on maternal and newborn health issues for clients such as DFID, UNFPA, and the UN Secretary General's office.

Maria-Christina Vogkli

Maria-Christina Vogkli is an ESRC doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. Her PhD research explores in a comparative way how socio-spatial inequalities imprint themselves in the public space of Athens and London under conditions of austerity urbanism from the perspective of the homeless. Maria-Christina holds a MSc in Social Research from Birkbeck College, University of London and a MSc in Sociology from LSE. Her broader academic interests include the study of inequalities and social exclusion, urban sociology and ethnographic research.


Doctoral Programme Participants 2015-2016


Kristina Kolbe

Kristina Kolbe is a Leverhulme Award doctoral student in the department of Sociology, supervised by Mike Savage and Fabien Accominotti. In her PhD project, Kristina looks at newly arising forms of cultural expression, production and consumption in contemporary urban spheres in light of an increasing sociocultural diversity. More specifically, her research focuses on emerging forms of cultural capital, aiming to examine the role of diversified settings for processes of cultural and social representation, exploring in particular the reformation of cosmopolitan urban elites. Holding a Master of Science from the LSE in ‘Culture and Society’ and having completed her undergraduate studies in musicology and social sciences at the Humboldt University Berlin, Kristina is especially interested in interdisciplinary approaches to cultural sociology and questions of social inequality.

Fabian Mushövel

Fabian Mushövel is a Leverhulme doctoral student at the European Institute, where he is supervised by Paul de Grauwe and Waltraud Schelkle. In his thesis, Fabian analyses how austerity policies affect inequality in Europe. His other research interests include the political economy of the welfare state and the Economic and Monetary Union. Fabian has previously worked as a research assistant and analyst at the European Institute and the Centre for Economic Performance, and as a consultant for Chatham House. He holds an MSc in Political Economy of Europe from LSE and a 1st State Examination from the University of Giessen, Germany.


Nora Ratzmann is a Leverhulme Research Student at the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion and the Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics. She holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the LSE, and an MSc in Global Governance and Diplomacy from the University of Oxford. She gained first work experience at the public policy research institute RAND Europe, the International Institute for Educational Planning IIEP-UNESCO and AEGIS Trust Rwanda. Her research examines EU migrants' (in)equalities of access to German social security, with a particular focus on their interactions with the street-level bureaucracy.


Nell Beecham is an ESRC doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. Her research spans the areas of culture, technology and emotions. Supervised by Prof Mike Savage, her PhD research explores the roles of technology and space in the formation of contemporary social relationships, and addresses issues of inequality formation and reproduction, valuation and socio-spacial dynamics. Nell holds a MSc in Contemporary Social Thought from the LSE, for which she received a Distinction, and a First Class Honours BA in Sociology from the University of York. You can follow Nell on twitter at @nellbeecham.

Fergus Green

Fergus Green is an MRes/PhD candidate in the LSE's Department of Government. His research focuses on transitional justice in economic policy reform - i.e. how governments ought to treat the winners and losers of such reforms - with particular application to climate change policies (such as pricing carbon) and inequality-reducing reforms (such as increased wealth taxation). He holds an MSc in Philosophy & Public Policy (distinction) from the LSE and undergraduate degrees in arts (political science) and law from the University of Melbourne. Before commencing his PhD research, Fergus was a Policy Analyst and Research Advisor to Professor Nicholas Stern in the LSE's Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.


Billy Holzberg is carrying out an LSE funded doctorate at the Gender Institute in which he examines what role public emotions play in the framing of and reaction to the 'refugee crisis' in Germany. He is interested in theories of affect, queer epistemologies, postcolonial studies and critiques of political economy. He holds a Bachelor in liberal arts from the Amsterdam University College and a MSc in Culture and Society from LSE’s sociology department where he was awarded the Hobhouse Memorial Prize for the best MSc performance and dissertation in sociology in 2014. He is a member of NYLON and an alumni of the German National Merit Foundation.

Tobias Kruse

Tobias Kruse is a PhD candidate in Environmental Economics at the LSE and is associated with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change. He holds a BSc and MSc in Environmental Economics from the LSE. His research focuses on distributional aspects of sustainable development. Furthermore, he focusses on estimating the distribution of benefits from natural resource extraction.

Winnie M Li

Winnie M Li is a 1st year PhD Researcher in the Department of Media and Communications, funded by the ESRC. She is exploring the impact of social media on the public discourse about rape, by providing a space for survivors to share their stories. She has a BA from Harvard University in Folklore and Mythology, an MA in Irish Literature from University College Cork (as a George Mitchell Scholar), and an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths. Prior to LSE, she worked for 13 years in the film industry as a producer and festival programmer, and more recently as an activist and author on the topic of sexual assault. Her debut novel, DARK CHAPTER, is due out in 2017.

Dan MacArthur

Dan McArthur is an interdisciplinary scholar of inequalities interested in the stigmatisation of poverty and welfare receipt, the effects of economic inequality on individuals’ values and behaviour, and the spatial concentration of poverty and disadvantage. He is currently completing an ESRC funded PhD in the LSE Sociology Department entitled ‘Economic position, inequality, and the stigmatisation of poverty and welfare receipt’.

Dan’s thesis uses British and European survey data, with a strong comparative focus, to examine the economic conditions under which individuals are more likely to believe that the poor are to blame for their situation. In particular, he focuses on income inequality, which is well known to decrease social trust, and potentially solidarity towards the poor. Specific chapters address the relationship between education and negative stereotypes about welfare recipients, whether higher income inequality is associated with individualistic beliefs about the causes of poverty, and how increases in local unemployment affect perceptions of unemployed people.

Øyvind Skorge

Øyvind Skorge is a PhD candidate in Political Science in the Department of Government, where he is supervised by David Soskice and Jonathan Hopkin. In his PhD thesis, Øyvind investigates how political and economic institutions, combined with income inequality, affect women’s access to leadership positions in politics and in the workplace. He is also involved in projects on the development of work-family policies; on social cohesion and trust; on crime and punishment; and on democratization in 19th-century Europe.

Sandhya Fuchs

Sandhya Fuchs is a Leverhulme Trust Scholar based in the department of anthropology. In her research she explores legal approaches to historically entrenched forms of structural violence and the complex interactions between state-law, local forms of alternative dispute resolution and culturally embedded ideas of justice and order. Her PhD work zooms in on the ways in which Dalit communities (former ‘untouchables’) in Northern India mobilize legal social protection measures like the 1989 SC ST Prevention of Atrocities Act to navigate continuing concerns of social, political and economic disadvantage and at times outright violent physical discrimination in an environment still strongly shaped by traditional caste hierarchies. Combining discussions about the effects of violence on the social imaginary of individuals and groups and ideas about law and human rights as institutionalised horizons of hope and justice, her work contributes to wider discussions about the role of state and human rights law in attempts to transform historical landscapes marked by socio-economic inequality.