Kent researchers to co-investigate public perceptions of administrative fairness in the digital welfare state

  "benjamin-disinger-2xzEIQFzw0g-unsplash" by Benjamin Disinger.

An HSS division research collaboration between the School of Psychology’s Political Psychology Lab and the School of Politics and International Relations which will address the automated parts of the social security decision-making process.

Two academics from the Division of Human and Social Sciences, Dr Ben Seyd (School of Politics and International Relations) and Professor Aleksandra Cichocka (School of Psychology), have recently become Co-Is for a Nuffield Foundation Project.

This project establishes a collaboration between Kent’s Political Psychology Lab and York’s Administrative Fairness Lab, and sets out to reflect our divisional experience in interdisciplinary research bridging psychology and politics. It will investigate public perceptions of models of administrative fairness and the impact of new digital technology. Existing research has proposed various models of administrative fairness, featuring key themes such as: participation, accuracy, formality, speed, and justification. However, these models often fail to account for the digital transformation which has automated parts of the social security decision-making process and the perspectives of people who are most likely to be impacted by these decisions. This project aims to:

  1. Understand what the public conceives as administratively fair in frontline social security decision-making and what effect the use of digital technologies has on perceptions of administrative fairness
  2. Inform the design and development of social security systems
  3. Empower civil society actors scrutinising social security decision-making systems

Congratulations to Ben and Aleksandra on this achievement.