James Stanyer

PhD Topic: An Analysis of the Structures and Processes to deliver Inclusive Growth as committed to by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

PhD Description: The research will enhance discussion and research relating to arguments on inclusive growth and economic policy.  The project will provide analysis in a new area because the policy of Inclusive Growth in the West Midlands is in its embryonic stage.  The project aims to answer the following research questions;

Is the West Midlands Combined Authority capable of ensuring the facilitation and direction of an Inclusive Growth strategy with the structures they have in place?

What economic based role can the private sector play in partnering with the West Midlands Combined Authority to deliver Inclusive Growth?

What are the perceived benefits of Inclusive Growth from the point of view of; West Midlands Combined Authority, private sector partners, third sector groups and local politicians?

To what extent is the need for Inclusive Growth unique to the West Midlands region and how can it be compared with the rest of the UK?

Interest in the area: I am particularly interested in this research area because I am keen to conduct research that results in a valuable impact for the West Midlands region.  Working on this project within the ICRD allows me to develop ideas and analysis that could help improve policy making for the people of the region. In addition to this, I am passionate about effecting social change and have lived across the West Midlands area all my life.


MA Merit Social Policy – University of Birmingham 2017

BA (hons) First Class Politics and Social Policy 2016

University of Wolverhampton Politics Prize 2016


My research experience covers an MA dissertation researching the political positioning of food banks in the UK, USA and Canada and an undergraduate dissertation researching the reform of disability benefits under the Coalition government led by David Cameron. 

Outside of the academic sphere I have volunteered for Disabled Survivors Unite providing support with funding applications and other small projects.  I also value my experience prior to University working in the retail and catering sectors, positions which have helped shape my research interests because I regularly listened to co-workers and customers problems and issues they faced.  Real life experiences are crucial to engaging in social policy research.

Future Plans

In the future I hope to be able to continue researching areas of social policy that particularly interest me, such as food banks, disability welfare, inclusive growth, education and healthcare.  I have an inquisitive mind, and enjoy nothing more than finding answers, ideas and theories.  I would like to work closely with academic institutions, policy makers and other groups who can help to provide positive change in society through research and evidence-based work.  Furthermore, I enjoy my role as a VL and would like to continue to lecture as I find it stimulating and rewarding to engage with students.

ICRD supervisor: Dr Stuart ConnorDr Steve Iafrati