Claire Bynner was a Research Associate  and Co-lead of Collaborative Action Research workstream with What Works Scotland until December 2018.

She is now a Research Fellow and the Research Team Leader for Childrens Neighbourhoods Scotland.

At What Works Scotland, Dr Claire Bynner worked with community planning partners in West Dunbartonshire, one of the four What Works Scotland case study areas.


Her interest in What Works Scotland came from her previous experience of policymaking and academia.

On the practitioner side, Claire observed scepticism regarding the potential benefits of academic research and little awareness of the evidence that could be useful. On the academic side, the realities of implementing public policy were often overlooked or the evidence was unsuitable for policy makers. What Works Scotland addresses this imbalance through a collaborative approach to the use of evidence in public service reform.

Claire joined the Board of CVS Inverclyde in autumn 2016.

Claire’s background and research interests

Claire’s professional background and expertise is in the field of community participation and empowerment within local strategic partnerships.

As a Development Officer for CVS Inverclyde, she was responsible for facilitating the involvement of the local community and voluntary sector in community planning.

She then worked for Glasgow Community Planning Partnership, developing community planning structures and outcome focused approaches to community engagement.  As part of this role Claire undertook a review of Community Engagement in Neighbourhood Management in a neighbourhood in south Glasgow.

In 2010 Claire returned to the University of Glasgow (where she had been an undergraduate 20 years previously) to undertake a Masters in Research and PhD thesis supervised by Professor Annette Hastings and Professor Ade Kearns of the Urban Studies Department. Her thesis examined new migration and the emergence of ‘superdiverse’ neighbourhoods in post-industrial cities, drawing on the theories of multiculturalism and the concepts of intergroup contact and trust. The research, funded by the ESRC, comprised a mixed methods case study of a neighbourhood in Glasgow.  The findings provide insights into the contextual factors which influence cooperation and trust between people from extremely different backgrounds.

Read Claire’s article Intergroup relations in a super-diverse neighbourhood: The dynamics of population composition, context and community (paid for or login required) published in Urban Studies Journal.

What Works Scotland publications

What Works Scotland blog posts

Other publications

This book explores how action research forms a valuable methodology for producing such collaborative knowledge and action. It outlines the recent uptake of action research in policy analysis and transition research and develops a distinct and novel approach that is both critical and relational. By sharing action research experiences in a variety of settings, the book seeks to explicate ambitions, challenges, and practices involved with fostering policy changes and sustainability transitions.

Co-authored with James Henderson

July 2018

Contact Claire

Claire is based at the University of Glasgow.

See Claire’s profile on the University of Glasgow’s School of Social and Political Sciences website