NEWS People Place and Policy (PPP) Social and Spatial Inequalities Conference 2019

NEWS People Place and Policy (PPP) Social and Spatial Inequalities Conference 2019

People Place and Policy (PPP) Social and Spatial Inequalities Conference 2019

A One Day Conference

Date: 3rd July, 2019

Venue: Sheffield Hallam University

Organised by: People, Place and Policy Journal

Register here:


Conference theme: Autonomy

 Autonomy is central to the production, reproduction and reduction of social and spatial inequalities. More specifically, who is able to – or compelled to – act and decide ‘for themselves’ and who is not is critical to understanding inequality.  The question of autonomy is also at the heart of contemporary challenges faced by people, places and policy-makers. The word seeps across disparate debates from the individualising focus of many public policy interventions, to the future of work and transport, the governance of cities, and of course in the rhetoric used in debates about the UK’s relationship with the European Union. Autonomy is associated with discourses of freedom, for instance in desire for devolved resources to cities and regions, or for community self-governance; but also of control (‘it is your responsibility to find work’; ‘autonomous robots will take your jobs’).

For the fifth PPP Social and Spatial Inequalities Conference we therefore invite contributions that interrogate our understanding of autonomy and its interaction with social and spatial inequalities. Theoretical and empirical papers are welcome across a range of themes including but not limited to the following:

  • Autonomy, democracy, self-governance and inequality
  • Autonomous (city-)regions and inequality
  • Extent and impact of individualisation / responsibilisation discourses in public policy interventions
  • Grassroots action for self-sufficiency / resource autonomy and their implications for inequalities
  • Autonomy as a geopolitical agenda (e.g. ‘Brexit’ and isolationist foreign policy) and its implications for urban and regional inequalities
  • Infrastructure autonomy and connectivity
  • Automation and its impacts on work and employment
  • Transport and automation, and the implications for inequality
  • Autonomy, responsibility and entitlement to welfare provision (e.g. to housing, benefits, healthcare and so on)
  • Individual ‘resilience’, coping and poverty
  • Youth transitions: autonomy in the present and imagined futures
  • The role of the state and/or voluntary sector in promoting autonomy for individuals and communities
  • The autonomy and independence of Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprises in local and national policy fields


Submitting papers:

Abstracts are invited for individual papers (200 words max) or whole sessions. Session proposals should contain a 200 word abstract outlining key themes and proposed format for the session along with titles and abstracts for any papers/presentations included in the session. Sessions can take a range of formats and we encourage suggestions for innovative formats.

All abstracts and session proposals should be submitted to Emma Smith ( by Friday 1st March. We encourage contributions from established academics, early career researchers, and colleagues in policy and practice. The highest quality papers from the conference will be invited for inclusion in a special issue of PPP to be published later in 2019.

Registration for the event is open now at the following link:


Delegate fees

The event is part funded by the Centre for Regional, Economic and Social Research (CRESR) at Sheffield Hallam University, allowing us to keep conference fees lower than for many other events. An early bird fee of £40 will be available to speakers and delegates who register before 30th April 2019. All delegates and presenters registering after this date will be asked to pay the full conference fee of £50 to cover the remaining running costs of the conference. Booking forms and details of how to make payments will be emailed to delegates after registering interest or submitting abstracts. A small number of bursaries will be available to cover the fee for attendees who do not have institutional support, including postgraduate students. Please indicate if you wish to be considered for a bursary when submitting an abstract.


About People, Place and Policy

People, Place and Policy (PPP) is an open access journal that provides a forum for debate about how policy shapes the risks, opportunities and constraints that face people and places in contemporary society. Its aim is to foster dialogue between academics engaged in researching societal challenges and the policy-makers or practitioners charged with responding to these challenges. All volumes can be viewed online at: