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ESRC Collaborative Studentship - Minimum Core Obligations: Using a sociology of human rights to examine the potential for human rights budgeting in Scotland.

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, March 15, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

In collaboration with the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) this project seeks to synthesise existing concepts of what constitutes a minimum core in the realisation of economic, social and cultural (ESC) rights as they potentially apply to Scotland, drawing on sociological, legal, and philosophical literatures. As part of the UK, Scotland has an obligation to fulfil ESC rights. Like other States, Scotland has not yet established a minimum core of ESC rights, meaning there is a potential accountability gap. The minimum core obligation (MCO) forms part of a duty to progressively realise (PR) ESC rights to the state’s maximum available resources (MAR). This project focusses specifically on the MCO element through an interdisciplinary lens asking what steps Scotland can take to meet this obligation, including budgetary allocation. As well as offering a unique synthesis of the existing knowledge, this project will deliver new data, using local authority structures and the example of the right to food, to reveal where structural barriers to delivering the MC of ESC rights operate. Evidence will be sought from information about budgets: How are they decided? How are they spent? Who decides how they are spent? The project aims to develop indicators to allow the systematic measurement of progress towards delivering ESC rights beyond food, and potentially, indicators that could work in other countries. In working with the SHRC, this project has the capacity to influence practices in Scotland. The Scottish Government have introduced in 2018 a new National Performance Framework measure around human rights, that, together with the First Minister’s Advisory Group on Human Rights Leadership, makes this a particularly timely project. It would substantially add to the knowledge base of the SHRC and by extension the Scottish Government and Parliament, while also adding significantly to the growing global literature on realising ESC rights.

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- 2,1 Honours degree, preferably in Sociology or Law, though other social science disciplines may be considered
- Demonstrate an interest in, and knowledge of human rights; current thinking around minimum core; human rights budgeting work; the UK’s legislative field pertaining to human rights and/or sociological approaches to human rights
- Have a good grounding in research methods with some skills in both quantitative and qualitative approaches (does not need to be advanced)

Full details on eligibility and how to apply are available via the University of Glasgow website.

Funding Notes

The scholarship is available as a three year ‘+3 ‘(PhD only) or a four year ‘1+3’ (research masters plus PhD) programme, depending on level of prior qualifications and research training. This will be assessed as part of the recruitment process. The programme will commence in October 2019. It includes
- an annual maintenance grant at the RCUK rate (2018/19 rate £14,777 full-time)
- fees at the standard Home rate
- students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), usually up to a maximum of £750 per year.

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