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Personal profile


I am Lecturer in Politics at the University of the West of Scotland in the United Kingdom. I conduct research on public and social policy, focussing on policy governance, labour market and welfare policies, and socio-economic disadvantages. I worked as a researcher at the Employment Research Institute since 2005 and have conducted a variety of research studies for diverse funders such as the Scottish Government, SDS, ILO, and the European Commission. My research projects have involved liaising with a number of stakeholders and producing evidence-based policy recommendations using several methodologies. I obtained my Ph.D. from Edinburgh Napier University in 2017. My recent publications have appeared in the journal Public Administration, the journal of Social Policy and Administration, and the International Journal of Social Welfare. My teaching is student-centred and research-informed, and underpinned by critical and inquiry-based pedagogies.


Area of academic expertise - outline

My research has focused on the impact of governance and institutional logics on the development, implementation, and delivery of policy. This research has been particularly centred on the challenges to vertical and horizontal coordination of public, private, and third sector actors in an increasingly decentralised and contractualised policy landscape. In this subject area, I have examined a number of policy fields, such as welfare and social security, education and skills, and labour market policies, and a number of policy actors, including decision makers, overseeing agencies, service providers, and service-users.

My research has also included labour market disadvantages and employability, protected characteristics and human resource management in large and small and medium-sized enterprises, including issues of age, gender, education, and socio-economic class.

More recently my research has looked into the impact of governance and institutions, professional values and commercial pressures in labour processes and occupations such as health care professionals and employability advisors.


  • JF Political institutions (General)
  • Local government
  • Policy coordination
  • HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
  • Welfare reforms
  • HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
  • Public policy
  • Social policy

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Research Output

Institutional logics of service provision: the national and urban governance of activation policies in three European countries

Fuertes, V., McQuaid, R. W. & Heidenreich, M., 24 Apr 2020, (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of European Social Policy. p. 1-18 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 33 Downloads (Pure)

    Working lives

    Beck, V., Fuertes, V., Kamrāde, D., Lyonette, C. & Warren, T., 12 Aug 2020, Life After COVID-19: The Other Side of Crisis. Parker, M. (ed.). The Bristol University Press

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Employer policy and practice toward older workers in Hong Kong: the role of shifting intergenerational dynamics

    Egdell, V., Fuertes, V., Tjandra, N. C. & Chen, T., 20 Oct 2019, In : Journal of Aging & Social Policy. 31, 5, p. 445-466 22 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 35 Downloads (Pure)

    Does individualized employment support deliver what is promised? findings from three European cities

    Rice, D., Fuertes, V. & Monticelli, L., 30 Oct 2018, In : International Social Security Review. 71, 4, p. 91-109 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 4 Citations (Scopus)


    Highly Commended Paper

    Fuertes, Vanesa (Recipient), Valerie Egdell (Recipient) & Ronald McQuaid (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Activities

    • 6 Participation in workshop, seminar, course
    • 1 Participation in conference
    • 1 Membership of network
    • 1 Invited talk

    UWS-Oxfam Partnership Policy Forum: 'Making Policy Care'

    Hartwig Pautz (Organiser), Rhiannon Sims (Organiser), Greig Inglis (Organiser) & Vanesa Fuertes (Organiser)

    21 Jan 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


    Michael Pugh (Organiser), Colin Clark (Keynote/plenary speaker), Vanesa Fuertes (Chair), Ewan Gibbs (Chair) & Mark McNally (Chair)

    20 Mar 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course


    BSA Work, Employment and Society annual conference

    Vanesa Fuertes (Participant)

    12 Sep 201814 Sep 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


    Social Policy Conference: Employment on the Edge

    Vanesa Fuertes (Speaker)

    31 Aug 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk


    Progressive Futures for Social Security, Fair Work, and Employment Support in Scotland

    Vanesa Fuertes (Organiser) & Colin Lindsay (Organiser)

    19 Apr 2018

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course