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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Health Inequalities in an Age of Austerity, Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Grant, £1 million (2013-2018)

A research project of the Department of Geography.


The current political and economic situation in the UK means that understanding how the local context shapes health inequalities is of increasing importance and there is a clear need to expand our empirical and theoretical knowledge of the complex causal factors involved. This mixed method, intensive interdisciplinary case study will methodologically reshape and localise the study of health inequalities. Drawing on insights from geography, social epidemiology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, history and social policy, it will engage with, advance and influence several key debates around the aetiology, development and localised experience of health inequalities in an age of austerity.


The project is funded by the following grant.

  • Local Health Inequalities in an Age of Austerity, Leverhulme Trust, £1,000,000, 2013-2018


Study Objective

The overarching objective of the study is to examine localised patterns of health inequality in an age of austerity.

Study Aims

  1. To provide a contemporary and innovative, theoretically informed, comprehensive, interdisciplinary, mixed methods intensive case study of the aetiology and experience of health inequalities in England at a local level
  2. To examine whether these health inequalities and their determinants change during the current period of economic downturn and an age of austerity

Published Results

Authored book

  • Schrecker, T. & Bambra, C. How politics makes us sick: Neoliberal epidemics. Palgrave Macmillan; 2015.

Journal Article

  • Garthwaite, K.A., Collins, P.J. & Bambra, C. Food for thought: an ethnographic study of negotiating ill health and food insecurity in a UK foodbank. Social Science & Medicine. 2015;132:38-44.
  • Mattheys, K. The Coalition, austerity and mental health. Disability & Society. 2015;30:475-478.


  • Baumberg, B., Warren, J., Garthwaite, K. & Bambra, C. Rethinking the Work Capability Assessment. 2015;96.

Chapter in book

  • Wood,C, Hunter, DJ, Jeffreys, B, Britnell, M, Abrahams, D, Bambra, C, Wind-Cowie, M & Hudson, R Health in Austerity. In: Demos; 2013.


Project Leader

From the Department of Geography

From other departments

Related links

Further information

For further information, please contact Professor Clare Bambra.