Steve Smith known as Professor of Political Philosophy and Social Policy
PhD in Philosophy (University of Warwick) 1996;
MSc Applied Social Studies (University of Oxford) 1988;
Certificate of Qualification in Social Work – CQSW (University of Oxford) 1988;
BA (Hons) Politics (University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne) 1983
In the 1980s Steve Smith trained as a social worker, after being employed in the social and psychiatric services. In the late 1980s he started his research career with Oxford University’s Welfare Benefits Research Team, and then in Scope’s Campaigns and Parliamentary Affairs Department. His teaching career began with the Open University in 1992, completing a PhD at Warwick University in 1996, and joining Newport University in 1998 as a senior lecturer. As well as teaching various undergraduate and post-graduate programmes, he has published prolifically, including three book-length research monographs, numerous articles in academic journals, chapters for books, and edited collections.
Professor Steve Smith leads and teaches a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules in courses across USW reflecting his expertise. He is also Research Excellence Framework (REF) lead for the Unit of Assessment ‘Social Work and Social Policy’ in USW, and in May 2018 has been appointed Faculty Head of Research for the Faculty of Business and Society.
Some key publications
S.R. Smith (2011) Equality and Diversity: Value Incommensurability and the Politics of Recognition. (Bristol: Policy Press).
S.R. Smith (ed) (2007) Applying Theory to Policy and Practice: Issues for Critical Reflection ((Aldershot: Ashgate Publications).
S.R. Smith (2002) Defending Justice as Reciprocity: An Essay on Social Policy and Political Philosophy (Lampeter: Edwin Mellen).
S.R. Smith (1998) The Centre-Left and New Right Divide?: Political Philosophy and Social Policy in the era of the Welfare State (Aldershot: Ashgate Publications).
S.R. Smith (2016) ‘W.B. Gallie, T.H. Marshall and the Contested Concepts of Fairness and Citizenship: Examining the Parameters of Debate in Newport City Council’s Fairness Commission and Citizens’ views of Fairness’ in Local Government Studies, Vol 42, No 3, pp. 485-505.
S.R. Smith and J. Deering (2016) ‘Revising Wolff’s support for Retribution in Theories of Punishment: Desistance, Rehabilitation, and Accommodating Individual and Social Accounts of Responsibility’ in Ethics and Social Welfare, Vol 10, No 4, pp.289-303.
S.R. Smith (2014) ‘Melancholy and Happiness’ in a special issue on ‘Happiness’ in The South African Journal of Philosophy, Vol 33, no 4, pp.459-471.
S.R. Smith (2013) ‘Citizenship and Disability: Incommensurable Lives and Well-Being’ in a special issue on ‘Citizenship’ in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol 16, no 3, pp. 403-420.
S.R. Smith (2013) ‘Liberal Ethics and Well-being Promotion in the Disability Rights Movement, Disability Policy, and Welfare Practice’ in Ethics and Social Welfare Vol 7, no 1, pp 20-35.
S.R. Smith (2008) ‘Agency and Surprise: Learning at the Limits of Empathic-Imagination and Liberal Egalitarian Political Philosophy’ in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 25-40.
S.R. Smith (2008) review article of Derek Edyvane’s ‘Community and Conflict: The Sources of Liberal Solidarity’ for Imprints: Egalitarian Theory and Practice Vol.10, No. 2.
S.R. Smith (2005) ‘Equality, Identity and the Disability Rights Movement: From Policy to Practice and From Kant to Nietzsche in More than One Uneasy Move’ Critical Social Policy, Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 554-576.
S.R. Smith (2005) ‘Keeping a Distance in Compassion-Based Social Relations’ The Journal of Moral Philosophy Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 69-87.
S.R. Smith (2004) ‘Left-Libertarianism and the Search for Consistency and Plausibility’ Res Publica: A Journal of Legal and Social Philosophy Vol. 10, No. 1, pp. 79-89.
S.R. Smith (2002) ‘Fraternal Learning and interdependency: Celebrating Differences within Reciprocal Commitments’ Policy and Politics Vol. 30, No. 1, pp. 47-60.
S.R. Smith (2001) ‘Distorted Ideals: The ‘problem of dependency’ and the Mythology of Independent Living’ Social Theory and Practice: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal of Social Philosophy Vol. 27, No. 4, pp. 579-98.
S.R. Smith (2001) ‘The Social Construction of Talent: A Defence of Justice as Reciprocity’ in The Journal of Political Philosophy Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 19-37.
S.R. Smith (1999) ‘Arguing Against Cuts in Lone Parent Benefits: Reclaiming the Desert Ground’ in Critical Social Policy Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 313-34.
S.R. Smith (1997) ‘Disarming the Ideological Conflict between the Centre-Left and New Right: The Implementation of UK Social Security Policy’ in The Journal of Political Ideologies Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 79-97.
S.R. Smith and M. O’Neil (1997) ‘Equality of What? and The Disability Rights Movement’ in Imprints – A Journal of Analytical Socialism Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 123-44.
Chapters for books:
S.R. Smith (2012) ‘What Rights for Disabled People in a Welfare State? Need-Fulfilment versus Identity-Assertion and the ‘Problem of Dependency’ in Gideon Calder, Jeremy Gass, and Kirsten Merrill-Glover (eds) Changing Directions of the British Welfare State. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
G. Calder and S.R. Smith (2011) ‘Differential treatment and employability: a UK case study of veil-wearing in Schools’ in Gideon Calder and Emanuela Ceva (eds) Diversity in Europe: Dilemmas of Differential Treatment in Theory and Practice. London: Routledge.
S.R. Smith (2010) ‘Social justice and disability: competing interpretations of the medical and social models’ in Kristjana Kristiansen, Simo Vehmas, and Tom Shakespeare (eds) Arguing about Disability: Philosophical Perspectives. London: Routledge.
S.R. Smith (2007) ‘Applying political and ethical philosophy to policy and practice’ for Steven R. Smith (ed) Applying Theory to Policy and Practice: Issues for Critical Reflection (Aldershot: Ashgate Publications)
S.R. Smith (2007) ‘Equality, Identity and the Disability Rights Movement: From Policy to Practice and From Kant to Nietzsche in More than One Uneasy Move’ in Nick Watson (ed) Disability: Major Themes in Health and Social Welfare. (London: Routledge).
S.R. Smith (1997) ‘Combining Disparate Disciplines’ in P. Burnham (ed), The Research Process in Politics and International Studies: New Agendas in Postgraduate Training (London: Cassell/Pinter, London)
S.R. Smith and M. O’Neil (1995) ‘Justice and Disability: A Discussion of Community Care and the 1990 NHS and Community Care Act’ in J. Lovenduski and J. Stanyer (eds), Contemporary Political Studies Volume 1 (Political Studies Association).
Social Policy Association
Higher Education Academy
Some examples of key roles:
(2018) Key note speaker: ‘Social Prescribing: theoretical modeling and some gaps in research’ for the All Wales Social Prescribing Network, Cardiff.
(2018) Key note speaker: ‘Theoretical frameworks for understanding wellbeing for youth work and youth policy’ University of South Wales.
(2014) Key Note Speaker: ‘Equality and Austerity’ to Welsh Local Government Association and NHS Centre for Equality and Human Rights Joint Annual Conference ‘Equality in March 2014: Luxury or Necessity?’ Cardiff.
(2012) Key Note Speaker: ‘What is This Thing Called Well-Being?’, Social Work and Users Conference on ‘well-being’, University of Wales, Newport.
(2017) Guest Speaker: University of Cardiff Philosophy Seminars on ‘Well-Being and Temporal Neutrality versus Temporal Partiality: Some implications for Pension Policy’
(2016) Guest Speaker: University Trinity St David (Lampeter) The Department of Philosophy on ‘Well-Being and Self-Interest: Personal Identity, Parfit, and Conflicting Attitudes to Time in Liberal Theory and Practice’
(2015) Guest Speaker: University Trinity St. David (Lampeter) The Department of Philosophy on ‘Melancholy and Well-Being’
(2007) Guest Speaker: Worcester University, Department of Health and Social Care on ‘Disability Rights for What and for Whom?’
(2007) Guest Speaker: University of Wales, Lampeter Philosophy Department on ‘Value Incommensurability: The Limits of Reason and the Role of Agency’
(2007) Guest Speaker: University of Brighton Philosophy Society on ‘The Incommensurability of Values: On the Nature and Causes of Individual Attachments’
(2006) Key panel discussant: University of Oxford’s Centre for the Study of Social Justice examining L. Mead and C. Beem (eds) (2006) Welfare Reform and Political Theory (Russell/Sage Foundation: New York – responding to Stuart White’s chapter/paper (University of Oxford) and Professor William Galston’s chapter/paper (University of Maryland).
(2006) Guest speaker: University of Wales, Lampeter Philosophy Department on ‘Agency and Surprise: Learning at the Limits of Empathic-Imagination and Liberal Egalitarian Political Philosophy’
(2005) Opening Plenary Discussant: for The 7th Biennial Conference for Society for Applied European Thought on ‘Notions of Belonging and Inclusion in the New European Union’.
(2005) Guest speaker: University of Cardiff, Philosophy Department on ‘Ideas of Compassion and Theories of Social Justice’
Journal boards and editorships
(2012-present) – editorial board member of Ethics and Social Welfare, Taylor and Francis.
(2007-present) – associate board member of Res Publica: An International Journal of Legal and Social Philosophy, Springer.
(2007-2010) – editor of Imprints: Egalitarian Theory and Practice, University of Bristol.
(1998-2007) – editorial board member of Imprints: Egalitarian Theory and Practice, University of Bristol.
Public engagement roles
(2011) All Things Considered BBC Wales
Discussion of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ idea and its implications for social policy and the welfare state
(2009) All Things Considered BBC Wales
A visit to the National Gallery in Cardiff to review and discuss issues arising from the photo exhibition “No Such Thing As Society”.
(2008) All Things Considered BBC Wales
A discussion on the financial crisis and the ‘credit crunch’ – implications for international poverty and social justice.
(2006) All Things Considered BBC Wales
A discussion of the Gleneagles Summit and the ‘Live G8’ – one year on for fair trade and social justice?
(2004) All Things Considered BBC Wales
A discussion on Health, Spirituality, and the politics of food consumption and production.
Other public engagement roles
(2012-present) Chair of Newport City Council’s Fairness Commission.
(2017-present) – Steering Group member of the Welsh Institute for Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD). The group has strategic responsibility for the delivery of social science research within each of the WISERD partner institutions. WISERD is a national, interdisciplinary, social science research institute. It has been designated by the Welsh Government as a national research centre, and is multi-million-pound project funded by, amongst others, the Welsh Government, and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), co-led by University of Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Bangor, South Wales and Swansea Universities.
External examiner MPhil Philosophy (Trinity St David) 2016
External examiner MA Politics (University of Leeds) 2009-2013
External examiner BA Politics and International Studies (University of Leeds) 2009-2012
External reviewer MA (University Trinity St David) 2012
External examiner PhD (University Trinity St David) 2010
External examiner MPhil (University College London) 2007
External reviewer BA programmes in Humanities, Philosophy and Critical Thinking (Brighton University) 2007
External examiner BA Social Welfare (University College Worcester) 2000-2004
External reviewer for BA Social Welfare (University College Worcester) 2000
Steve Smith has published in a variety of internationally renowned settings, including three book-length research monographs, and numerous edited collections, journal articles, book chapters, and commissioned reports.
His main overall research interest is in applying abstract philosophical principles and arguments concerning social values, to the formulation and implementation of social and professional policies and practices. The applied character of this research has related, for example, to the politics of disability and the disability rights movement; the political philosophies and ideologies of modern welfare states; the politics and philosophy of multiculturalism; liberal egalitarianism and the politics of ‘social justice’ and ‘fairness’; the philosophy, politics and policies associated with promoting the values of well-being, equality, diversity, social inclusion, reciprocity, agency, freedom, autonomy, resilience and citizenship.
More specifically, Professor Smith’s present research interests include, for example, examining different conceptions of self-interest and personal identity as related to the promotion of individual well-being; the role of co-production in the formulation and implementation of social policy in medical and disability care settings; theory-building concerning ‘social prescribing’ and the role of co-production in GP practices; the role of Fairness Commissions in developing and scrutinising Local Government policies and practices, and while significant cuts in Local Government budgets are implemented.
(2017-2020) Co-participant Welsh Government Grant for Wales Centre for Primary & Emergency Care Research (PRIME centre Wales) (total to consortium £2.7 million). This is a Health and Care Research Wales funded research centre. In this role Professor Smith has been appointed onto the management executive committee, responsible for identifying cross cutting themes in social care and policy, working alongside colleagues from USW, The University of Swansea, The University of Bangor, and The University of Cardiff. PRIME centre Wales aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Wales and internationally, through undertaking high quality research on topics of national policy priority which contributes to the evidence-base in primary and emergency care.
(2015-2017) Co-participant Welsh Government grant for Wales Centre for Primary & Emergency Care Research (PRIME centre) (total to consortium £2.3 million). This is a Health and Care Research Wales funded research centre. In this role Professor Smith was appointed onto the management executive committee, responsible for identifying cross cutting themes in social policy, working alongside colleagues from USW, The University of Swansea, The University of Bangor, and The University of Cardiff. PRIME centre Wales aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Wales and internationally, through undertaking high quality research on topics of national policy priority which contributes to the evidence-base in primary and emergency care.
(2009-2011) Co-participant European Union Grant: PROJECT RESPECT (total to consortium approximately 1.5 million Euros) ‘“Topography” of Tolerance and Equal Respect.’ In this role Professor Smith contributed to a comparative study of policies for the distribution of public spaces in culturally diverse societies – partnership with University of Pavia (lead institution), University of Zapadoceska, University of Rennes, University of Bremen, University of Ljibljana, University of Vercelli, University of Humanities Lithuania, University of Budapest, University of Ural, and University of Wales, Newport.
(2006-2009) Co-participant European Union Grant: PROJECT EuroEthos (total to consortium approximately 1 million Euros) ‘Exploring the Foundations of a Shared European Pluralistic Ethos.’ In this role Professor Smith contributed to a comparative investigation of religious and secular ethical values in an enlarging Europe – in partnership with University of Trento (lead institution), University of Bremen, University of Olomouc, University of Bratislavia, University of Ankara, University of Valencia, and University of Wales, Newport.
Since 1998 Steve Smith has been a Director of Studies, and/ or has been part of supervising/research teams overseeing the successful completion of a number of PhDs.
Member of supervisory team: Professor Steve Smith – Title: How can therapeutic intervention in ‘sand-play’ enhance young people’s autonomy.
Director of Studies: Professor Steve Smith – Title: Using Psychology and Sociology in Citizenship classes in Schools
Director of Studies: Professor Steve Smith – Title: Virtue Ethics, McIntyre, and the Practice of Social Enterprises
Director of Studies: Professor Steve Smith – Title: The Management of Diversity in Public Sector Organisations
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