Funded PhD Opportunity Reforming Kleptocracy through Shock Therapy: A Social Harm Assessment

This opportunity is now closed.

Subject: Social Work and Social Policy


Kleptocracy is a term coined to depict regimes where organs of state power have been captured in order to loot assets, fix market activity, and swindle revenues. International reform efforts designed to counter kleptocracy have focused on introducing neoliberal forms of governance. This doctoral project will examine case studies where this process has happened in a particularly condensed and explicit form, in order to test its impact on kleptocracies and the social welfare of citizens.

To achieve this aim a multiple case study approach will be employed. Cases will be analysed using a three-step approach. First change in the kleptocratic regime over time will be measured. Second, the relationship between this change and shock therapy will be considered using process tracing, an analytical method for detecting causation. Third, social harm theory will be used to identify what the outcomes are of shock therapy on kleptocracy for citizens. Social harm considers how structural distributions of social assets and opportunities, impact on the capabilities of citizens to achieve their social, cultural and biophysical potential.

It is anticipated that this study will generate new knowledge on dominant anti-corruption policies and their potential to facilitate meaningful forms of transition within kleptocratic regimes.

For further information on this opportunity please see here:

Essential Criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)


    DTA - Social Policy

The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme through the COFUND Doctoral Training Alliance (DTA3), under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Launch of the Doctoral College

Current PhD researchers and an alumnus shared their experiences, career development and the social impact of their work at the launch of the Doctoral College at Ulster University.

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Key Dates

Submission Deadline
Monday 8 October 2018
Interview Date
November 2018

Contact Supervisor

Professor Kristian Lasslett

Other Supervisors

Apply online

Visit and quote reference number #309800 when applying for this PhD opportunity