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Michael Tomlinson

Professor

  • Room 02.007 - Sociology and Social Work

    United Kingdom

1980 …2016

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Research Interests

My research interests lie in two main areas: economic and social marginalization, and social control – specifically the workings of criminal justice systems. I have worked on unemployment, poverty and inequality, and have always been interested in how such problems impact on specific communities, families and individuals. Much of my work has focused on the political economy of the Northern Ireland conflict. I am particularly interested in the role of social policy and social control strategies in managing division and conflict. I have written on policing and penal policies, and have spent time in most prisons in Ireland – as an Open University tutor.

In the mid-1990s I carried out research on long-term unemployment in West Belfast for the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights. Since then I have worked with the Department for Social Development on a four year research programme using social security statistics to inform policy. I was part of the team that completed the first ever Poverty and Social Exclusion study in Northern Ireland, funded by the Office of the First Minister/Deputy First Minister and HM Treasury. Evidence from the PSE survey informed a subsequent research project, commissioned by Combat Poverty Agency, on the international evidence surrounding the relationship between poverty and armed conflicts, as well as the role of anti-poverty policies in peace-building. This led to work on the legacies of conflict, particularly the mental health impacts.  I carried out a systematic review of the literature on mental health, suicide and armed conflict for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. With colleagues from six universities across the UK, I am now participating in the Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK project, supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.

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