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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Dr Judith Glaesser

Senior Lecturer in the School of Education


Judith Glaesser joined the School of Education in 2006, having gained a PhD in sociology from the University of Constance, Germany. In 2008, the Universitätsverlag Konstanz (uvk) published her PhD thesis entitled "Soziale und individuelle Einflussfaktoren auf den Erwerb von Bildungsabschlüssen" (Social and individual influences on the acquisition of educational qualifications).

Her research interests lie in the field of sociology of education, especially social inequality in education and how various factors such as social background and type of school attended combine to shape educational pathways. She is also working on methodological issues, using various large-scale datasets to explore the use of Qualitative Comparative Analysis, an analytic approach based on set theory and Boolean algebra which was developed by Charles Ragin.

In 2008, she was awarded a three year ESRC research fellowship to continue her work on these innovative methodological approaches, within the substantive fields of sociology of education and comparative education. For more information on the work undertaken as part of the fellowship, see

Together with Prof. Barry Cooper (Co-Investigator), she has been working, as Principal Investigator, on a further ESRC grant: “Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Addressing Methodological Challenges, with particular reference to survey data” since January 2013. Steph Thomson, Cooper’s ex-PhD student, also worked as an assistant on the first year of this project. A flavour of the sort of thing they are exploring can be found here:

A summary of the project's aims is here:

Judith was appointed as a lecturer in the School of Education in October 2011 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in October 2014. She would welcome enquiries from prospective research students who are interested in the substantive areas of sociology of education and comparative education. She would also be happy to supervise anyone interested in exploring and/or applying Qualitative Comparative Analysis.

Research Projects

  • Exploring and evaluating the use of configurational methods in large n contexts: transitions in the English and German educational systems
  • Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Addressing Methodological Challenges, with particular reference to survey data

Research Interests

  • Comparative Education
  • Inequality in Education
  • Social science research methodology
  • Sociology of Education

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Glaesser, J. (2009). Arbeitslosigkeit als Risiko auf dem Berufsweg - Psychosoziale Bedingungsfaktoren. In Lebensverlaufe, Lebensbewaltigung, Lebensgluck: Ergebnisse der LifE-Studie. Fend, H., Berger, F. & Grob, U. 123-139.
  • Cooper, B. & Glaesser, J. (2009). Educational Expansion and Meritocracy in Britain: a Boolean Analysis. In Expected and unexpected consequences of educational expansion in Europe and the US. Theoretical approaches and empirical findings in comparative perspective. Becker, R. & Hadjar, A. Bern: Haupt. 167-177.

Conference Paper

Journal Article

Working Paper

Show all publications

Selected Grants

  • 2013: Qualitative Comparative Analysis: Addressing Methodological Challenges, with particular reference to survey data (£351526.85 from ESRC)
  • 2009: EXPLORING AND EVALUATING (£221882.24 from ESRC)
  • 2008: ESRC Fellowship