Research Associate

Dr Nai Rui Chng is working with Professor Nick Watson and Dr Richard Brunner to understand how the Capability Approach can be ‘operationalised’ as a basis for public service reform.

This work involves employing the Capability Approach as a conceptual framework to assess what communities want from their public services, and to evaluate the role and function of public services in promoting and safeguarding people’s wellbeing and social justice.

Nai is also the Qualitative Lead of the Evaluation of the Links Worker Programme in ‘Deep End’ General Practices in Glasgow  study based in the Institute of Health and Wellbeing. This is a multidisciplinary research team tasked by NHS Health Scotland to evaluate a complex public health intervention – the Links Worker Programme – to support local primary health care teams to perform social prescription in deprived communities in Glasgow, with the help of local third sector organisations.

A founding member of the Glasgow-Nankai China Environmental Governance Research Network, Nai is also a member of the Scottish Centre for China Research, and a member of the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health.

Nai’s background and research interests

Nai is currently working on the politics of inequality. In particular, he is keen on applying key insights from Political Science and Sociology to applied public health research to address health inequality. He is also interested in critically examining the role that the Capability Approach plays in this regard. Nai’s overall research agenda is on the regulatory and contentious politics of access to public goods like potable water, health care, and the environment.

Previously, Nai was a Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute where he worked with Professor Donatella Della Porta and the community of social movements and contentious politics researchers.

Nai has a PhD in Political Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). His thesis, ‘Even flow: Privatising water and mobilising power in the Philippines’, investigates the politics of privatisation and contentious collective action in the water sector, and local politics in the Philippines and the developing world.

At the LSE, he also earned an MRes in Political Science and an MSc in Political Sociology. He received his BA (first class honours with distinction) in Politics from the University of York.

Nai also has a background in advocacy and consultancy. He has worked for MPs in the Singapore Parliament and the British House of Commons. Previously active in Singapore’s civil society on migrant worker issues and human rights, he has also conducted research for international development agencies and local NGOs in Indonesia, the Philippines and the United Kingdom.

Contact Nai