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I am a policy focused, qualitative researcher and my work primarily focuses on understanding health inequalities in the UK (especially Scotland) and on bringing evidence, policymaking and publics into dialogue around potential solutions.

My recent research, involving citizens’ juries and meta-ethnography, highlights the importance of the intersection of health, social determinants of health (housing, employment, income, etc), crime and violence. This intersection in which stronger links between public health, criminology, social justice, sociology and social policy feel potentially productive. This led me to collaboratively develop a proposal for a five year programme of research with others involved in SCCJR, including Alistair Fraser, Beth Weaver and Katrina Morrison. This five-year programme has been funded by the CSO (Chief Scientist’s Office in Scotland) so we will be working to examine the health-justice nexus in Scotland, focusing on: the operationalisation of public health policing; community experiences of health-justice intersections and proposed solutions; healthcare in prisons and for prison leavers.

This work will sit alongside ongoing research focusing on policy responses to health inequalities in Scotland and the wider UK and I am hoping to build links between these areas of work.


Recent Publications: 

Smith, K.E. and Stewart, E. (in press) Under attack? Public accounts of health inequalities and the social determinants of health in Scotland, Journal of Critical Public Health.

Fergie, G., Vaczy, C., Smith, K.E., Mackenzie, M. & Hilton, S. (in press) Health inequalities and contemporary youth: young people’s accounts of the social determinants of health in an “austere meritocracy”. Sociology of Health & Illness.

Fergie, G., Vaczy, C., Smith, K.E., Mackenzie, M., Phan Thu, T., Hilton, S. (2023) Young people’s perspectives on addressing UK health inequalities: utopian visions and preferences for action, Health Expectations, 26: 2264-2277. https://doi.org/10.1111/hex.13825

Smith, K., E., Macintyre, A. K., Weakley, S., Hill, S. E., Escobar, O. & Fergie, G. (2021) Public understandings of potential policy responses to health inequalities: evidence from a UK national survey and citizens’ juries in three UK cities, Social Science and Medicine, 291.

Bambra, C., Lynch, J. & Smith, K. E. (2021) The Unequal Pandemic: COVID-19 and Health Inequalities, Bristol: Policy Press.



University of Strathclyde


University of Strathclyde
Centre for Health Policy,
Department of Social Work & Social Policy,
6th Floor of Lord Hope Building,
141 St James Road,
G4 0LT

Research Themes

Criminal Justice and Health

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