Global Political Economy research seminar 4 March: Dr Daniela Tepe-Belfrage (Sheffield), ‘Broken Britain: post-crisis Austerity and the trouble with the Troubled Families Program’

The next GPE research seminar will be given by Dr Daniela Tepe-Belfrage (Sheffield), on ‘Broken Britain: post-crisis Austerity and the trouble with the Troubled Families Program’

It is at 15:30 in the Arthur Lewis Boardroom on Wednesday 4 March. All are welcome to attend.

Abstract: This paper looks at the way in which poor and indebted families are disciplined into ‘morally’ agreeable lifestyles in contemporary austerity Britain. We draw upon Loic Waquant’s work on the neoliberal governance of social insecurities to understand the interlinkages between welfare provision and disciplining practices in a historical context. Our analysis particularly benefits from his description of the ways in which activities of educational and social services are annexed to a police and even punitive logic – contradicting their very intention and philosophy. Against the background of ongoing Austerity – this paper looks closely at the Troubled Families programme (TFP) and its implementation in two Northern Cities. We argue that family intervention programmes such as the TFP affect the poor and in particularly poor women disproportionally – we reveal a trend to blame individuals for societal failure via moral discourses and their practical implementation condemning lifestyle choices and practices. The socio-economic sources of poverty and deprivation are largely ignored.

Daniela is a Faculty Research Fellow at the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield, UK. She previously was a lecturer in the Department of European and International Studies at King’s College London, UK. She completed her ESRC-funded PhD at the University of Birmingham on a critical engagement with mainstream IR’s engagement with Civil Society Organisations, particular focusing on the International Campaign to Ban Landmines. Afterwards she joined the University of East London as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Daniela has a broad range of research interests – increasingly focusing on Gender, Questions of Social Reproduction, Critical Theory and International Political Economy. Her current research project engages with the Troubled Families Programme of the current UK government and she highlights how women’s life become increasingly disciplined and even criminalised under austerity politics. Her research has been published as a monograph with Palgrave Macmillan, several book chapters and as well as journal articles in, for example, Review of International Political Economy, Public Administration, Journal of Transport Geography and the Journal of International Relations and Development.

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