An independent forum for academic debate on the challenges faced by contemporary society

People, Place and Policy 2020 – Social and Spatial Inequalities Conference

Event details:

A one day conference hosted by the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR)

Date: 1st July 2020

Venue: Sheffield Hallam University

Organised by: People, Place and Policy (PPP) Journal

Register here:

The 6th annual PPP conference welcomes papers which explore contemporary social and spatial inequalities across a broad range of public policy domains. Inequality has been a central feature of scholarship in public policy inquiry, framed within wider social and economic relations. This conference provides an opportunity to bring scholars, practitioners, and activists together to explore contemporary studies of social and spatial inequalities.

The special theme for the 2020 conference is Division and Unity. There is recognition of the deepening inequalities and divisions characterising many communities across the UK.  Within this challenging context, there is a vital role for studies which shine a light on narratives of unity and hope. Academics, practitioners, and activists all have a role to play, whether it is in pursuing inclusive growth, where economic benefits are shared equitably, reinvigorating grassroots mobilisation, or supporting civic action in relation to energy and environmental issues. We also note the divisions caused by the UK’s current housing crisis; the impacts of welfare reform on homelessness; competing visions for the future role of civil society; and the contribution of voluntary and community organisations to public policy goals.

We are pleased to announce that Dr Mia Gray of the University of Cambridge will deliver the keynote address to open the conference. Dr Gray, a Senior Lecturer and Fellow of Girton College, has researched and published extensively around the topics of labour markets, regional economies, urban geography, and austerity. She is also an Editor of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society.

Whilst we anticipate many papers will speak to the conference theme of Division and Unity, we also welcome theoretical and empirical papers on broader contemporary issues of social and spatial inequalities. These may focus on the following (although we also welcome papers from other areas):

  • Economic development;
  • Socially marginalised groups;
  • Voluntary sector / civil society;
  • Energy and sustainability;
  • Housing and homelessness.

The Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies (SIPS) will this year sponsor prizes for the best paper and best PhD/Early Career paper. These prizes, of £50 gift vouchers each, will be awarded at the closing reception at the end of the conference.

Submitting papers

Abstracts of 200 words should be submitted to by 26th January 2020. We encourage contributions from established academics, early career researchers, and colleagues in policy and practice.

The People, Place and Policy Journal will be publishing a special issue on the theme of this year’s conference and we therefore invite accepted presenters wishing to be considered for this issue to also submit a full paper (5,000-7,000 words) by 1st May 2020. Further information on the journal can be found at:

Delegate fees

The event is part funded by CRESR and therefore the fee for delegates and presenters is only £50. A small number of bursaries will be available to cover the fee for attendees who do not have institutional support. Please indicate if you wish to be considered for a bursary when submitting an abstract.

About People, Place and Policy (PPP)

People, Place and Policy is an open access journal that provides a forum for debate about how policy shapes the risks, opportunities and constraints that face people and places in contemporary society. Its aim is to foster dialogue between academics engaged in researching societal challenges and the policy-makers or practitioners charged with responding to these challenges.

About Sheffield Institute of Policy Studies (SIPS)

Sheffield Institute of Policy Studies (SIPS) showcases the policy research undertaken across Sheffield Hallam University with a view to informing and shaping policy locally and nationally. It provides access to leading academics and policy researchers from across the University.


Event start date: 1st Jul 2020
Event closing date: 1st Jul 2020


Location: Sheffield Hallam University


£ 50.00

For more information

Contact: PPP Editorial Team (