Quantitative Social Sciences

Collaboration within Quantitative Social Sciences was led by Dr Federica Genovese, from the University of Essex, with Dr Sara Connolly from UEA and Dr Hannah Swift from Kent.

QSS initially focussed on three areas: inequality, conflict and migration; lifespan, lifestyle and decision-making; and environment energy and security.

  • Inequality, Conflict, and Migration. The increase in inequality across different groups in society has led to various types of conflict both nationally and internationally, and between different socio-demographic groups. In this context, conflict can be understood in a wider sense, in that it entails conflict within society as well as conflict within households and relationships. This area invites contributions from researchers in economics, political science, sociology, social policy and social work, and linguistics, to explore the multiple causal mechanisms surrounding issues of inequality, conflict, and migration.
  • Lifespan, Lifestyle, and Decision-making. Do individuals choose their lifestyle, and if so how does this choice affect their life expectancy? This area predominantly combines research in economics, psychology, sociology, and health, but is also open for research on attitudes and political behaviour. We would also invite research that explores the degree to which individuals can make decisions on their lifestyle, in contrast to genetic and educational influences.
  • Environment, Energy, and Security. One of the most important questions for the future development of mankind is the balance between environment and energy and the repercussions that policy interventions, business strategies, and individual behaviour in this area have for the emergence of conflict between individuals, consumers and producers, ethnicities, and nations. This area combines research in economics, business, law, political science, anthropology and geography.


A wide range of activities and initiatives were undertaken within the QSS stream. These included:

  • The ESRC-funded Business and Local Government Data Research Centre,together with LSE.
  • Two Nuffield-funded Q-Step Centres 
  • The Kent Age Research Group, an interdisciplinary network of researchers in age, older people and ageing-related issues
  • An interdisciplinary faculty wide centre on cross-national comparative research
  • Support for thematic seminar series across the Eastern ARC institutions
  • The provision of graduate level training in advanced quantitative methods and statistical analysis, including multilevel modelling supported by an ESRC advanced training initiative.