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John is an interdisciplinary social scientist with a background in sociology, human geography and management. He previously worked at Cities Research Centre at UWE: Bristol and in the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University, where his research focused on sustainable communities and sustainable food systems. Click here for John's Amazon page.
John's recent work on kosher and halal food markets focuses on the institutional, economic, technical and cultural management procedures through which goods are subject to processes of qualification and contestation. He is also interested in the Eliasian notion of informalisation, the ways in which - in an increasingly complex world - consumers now look for more elaborate forms of justification for their food choices. John also has an interest in a range of issues linked to migrant workers and migrant/ refugee entrepreneurs; his recent work on migrant workers in the meat processing industry provided evidence for the 2017 House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report: 'Brexit and the Labour Market'.
More recently, John has been looking at the links between notions of sharing and circular economies. His teaching has a specific focus on sustainable business and environmental policy at both UG and PG level. He is a member of the Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Communities and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
PGCert Higher Education (University of Huddersfield)
PhD Public Policy (UWE: Bristol)
MSc Applied Social Research (UWE: Bristol)
BA (Hons) Sociology and Philosophy (University of Leeds)
My current research interests are focussed on communities, food, religion and migration.
Past and ongoing projects
2016-current – Sharing the burden of supermarket food waste: towards sustainability and a circular economy? (University of Huddersfied Business School)
2016 – An investigation of Syrian refugee entrepreneurship in Jordan
2014-current – ongoing evaluation of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW)
2016 – Comparing Halal requirements in the UK and the UAE (Dubai Accreditation Centre)
2015 – Comoodle and the Collaborative/ Sharing Economy (Kirklees Council)
2014 – The Future of Local Food in Kirklees (Kirklees Public Health & University of Huddersfied Business School)
2013 – Workers in Rural Wales and the South Wales Valleys (Welsh Government through Wales Rural Observatory)
2012 – Destitution in the UK Asylum System (in Bradford) (Destitution Concern Bradford)
2011 – Multi Agency Work and Roma Children in Education (BHA for Equality in Health and Social Care, Manchester)
2010 – Assessing 2010 European Year for Combatting Poverty and Social Exclusion (Institute of Volunteering Research on behalf of the Office for Civil Society)
Amongst other projects, John has also been involved in:
Refai, D., Haloub, R. and Lever, J. (2018) ‘Contextualizing entrepreneurial identity amongst Syrian refugees in Jordan: the emergence of a destabilized habitus?’ The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation . ISSN 1465-7503
Lever, J (2017) ‘Recognizing the other: JewishMuslim relations in the global food industry’ Religion and the Public Sphere Blog .
Lever, J. and Powell, R. (2017) ‘Problems of involvement and detachment: Norbert Elias and the investigation of contemporary social processes’ Human Figurations , 6 (2). ISSN 2166-6644
Lever, J (2017) ‘The road to no-where: the invisibility of migrant labour in the meat-processing industry’ Work in Progress: Sociology on the economy, work and inequality .
McElwee, G., Smith, R. and Lever, J. (2017) ‘Illegal activity in the UK halal (sheep) supply chain: towards greater understanding’ Food Policy , 69, pp. 166-175. ISSN 0306-9192
Lever, J. and Milbourne, P. (2017) ‘The structural invisibility of outsiders: the role of migrant labour in the meat-processing industry’ Sociology , 51 (2). ISSN 0038-0385
Lever, J (2016) ‘Religious animal slaughter, immigration and global trade in a post-Brexit Britain’ Religion and the Public Sphere .
Flint, J., Atkinson, R., Ferrari, E., Gore, T. and Lever, J. (2016) ‘From the present to the past and back again: Wacquants challenge for sociology : Loïc Wacquant Commentaries’ People, Place and Policy On-line , 10 (2), pp. 174-184. ISSN 1753-8041
Porter, J., Lever, J. and Thompson, A. (2016) ‘Social Network Evolution during Long-term Migration: A comparison of three case studies in the South Wales region’ Social Identities: Journal for the Study of Race, Nation and Culture , 23 (1), pp. 56-70. ISSN 1350-4630
Powell, R. and Lever, J. (2015) ‘Europes perennial "outsiders": A processual approach to Roma stigmatization and ghettoization’ Current Sociology . ISSN 0011-3921
Knight, J., Lever, J. and Thompson, A. (2014) ‘The Labour Market Mobility of Polish Migrants: A Comparative Study of Three Regions in South Wales, UK’ Central and Eastern European Migration Review: CEEMR , 3 (2), pp. 61-78. ISSN 2300 - 1682
Lever, J. and Milbourne, P. (2014) ‘Migrant workers and migrant entrepreneurs: changing established/outsider relations across society and space?’ Space and Polity , 18 (3), pp. 255-268. ISSN 1356-2576
Lever, J. and Smith, I. (2013) ‘Learning to build sustainable communities: an interdependency network perspective’ People, Place and Policy On-line , 7 (3). ISSN 1753-8041
Lever, J (2013) ‘The postliberal politics of halal: new directions in the civilizing process?’ Human Figurations , 2 (3). ISSN 2166-6644
Miele, M. and Lever, J. (2013) ‘Civilizing the market for welfare friendly products in Europe? The techno-ethics of the Welfare Quality® assessment’ Geoforum , 48, pp. 63-72. ISSN 00167185
Lever, J. and Miele, M. (2012) ‘The growth of Halal meat markets in Europe: an exploration of the supply side theory of religion’ Journal of Rural Studies , 28 (4), pp. 528-537. ISSN 0743-0167
Howard, J. and Lever, J. (2011) ‘New governance spaces: what generates a participatory disposition in different contexts?’ Voluntary Sector Review , 2 (1), pp. 77-95. ISSN 20408056
Lever, J (2011) ‘Urban Regeneration Partnerships: A Figurational Critique of Governmentality Theory’ Sociology , 45 (1), pp. 86-101. ISSN 0038-0385
Taylor, M., Howard, J. and Lever, J. (2010) ‘Citizen Participation and Civic Activism in Comparative Perspective’ Journal of Civil Society , 6 (2), pp. 145-164. ISSN 1744-8689
Shaftoe, H., Umut, T., Lever, J. and Sarah-Jayne, W. (2007) ‘Dealing with Terrorist Threats Through A Crime Prevention and Community Safety Approach’ Crime Prevention and Community Safety: An International Journal , 9 (4), pp. 291-307. ISSN 1460-3780
Lever, J (2005) ‘Governmentalisation and local strategic partnerships: whose priorities?’ Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy , 23 (6), pp. 907-922. ISSN 0263-774X
Lever, J. and Hardaker, G. (2013) Re-imagining Malaysia; nationalism, ethnocracy and the postliberal politics of halal (a postliberal halal stratergy) [Audio] (Unpublished)
Lever, J (2008) Citizen Participation in the EU and Latin America [Audio] (Unpublished)
Lever, J. and Fischer, J. (2018) Kosher and Halal Business Compliance . Oxford, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138065185
Lever, J. and Fischer, J. (2018) Religion, Regulation, Consumption: Globalising Kosher and Halal Markets . Manchester, UK: Manchester University Press. ISBN 9781526103642
Knight, J., Lever, J. and Thompson, A. (2017) Labour, Mobility and Temporary Migration: A Comparative Study of Polish Migration to Wales . Cardiff, Wales: University of Wales Press. ISBN 9781786830807
Bergeaud-Blackler, F., Fischer, J. and Lever, J. (2015) Halal Matters: Islam, politics and markets in global perspective . London, UK: Routledge. ISBN 9781138812758
Lever, J. and Swailes, S. (2017) ‘Ballet for the Sun King: Power, Talent and Organisation’. In: The Social Organisation of Marketing: a figurational approach. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 143-170. ISBN 9783319515700
Lever, J. and Evans, A. (2016) ‘Corporate social responsibility and farm animal welfare: towards sustainable development in the food industry?’. In: Stages of Corporate Social Responsibility: From Ideas to Impacts. London, UK: Springer. pp. 205-222. ISBN 9783319435367
Lever, J (2015) ‘Reimagining Malaysia a postliberal halal strategy?’. In: Halal Matters: Islam, politics and markets in global perspective. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 19-37. ISBN 9781138812758
Bergeaud-Blackler, F., Fischer, J. and Lever, J. (2015) ‘Introduction: Studying the politics of global halal markets’. In: Halal Matters: Islam, politics and markets in global perspective. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 1-18. ISBN 9781138812758
Lever, J. and Anil, H. (2015) ‘From an implicit to an explicit understanding; new definitions of Halal in Turkey’. In: Halal Matters: Islam, politics and markets in global perspective. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 38-54. ISBN 9781138812758
Attar, M., Lohi, K. and Lever, J. (2015) ‘Remembering the spirit of halal: an Iranian perspective’. In: Halal Matters: Islam, politics and markets in global perspective. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 55-71. ISBN 9781138812758
Lever, J., Wood, A., Meaton, J. and Mswaka, W. (2014) ‘PRME and The Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Communities at the University of Huddersfield,’. In: Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME. Sheffield, UK: Greenleaf Publishing. pp. 55-60. ISBN 978-1-783531-24-0
Miele, M. and Lever, J. (2014) ‘Improving Animal Welfare in Europe: Cases of Comparative Bio-sustainabilities’. In: Sustainable Food Systems: Building a New Paradigm. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 143-165. ISBN 9780415639545
Bock, B., Swagemakers, P., Lever, J., Montanari, C. and Ferrari, P. (2010) ‘Part II Farmers Experiences of the Farm Assessment: Interviews with Farmers’. In: The Assessment of Animal Welfare on Broiler Farms. Cardiff University, Wales: Welfare Quality®. pp. 29-98. ISBN 978-1-908442-02-4
Miele, M. and Lever, J. (2017) ‘Ethical complex-ities: responsible business practice and the big brand takeover of farm animal welfare’. In: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2017, 29 August - 1 September 2017, RGS, London
Lever, J. and Cheetham, F. (2017) ‘Food waste and sustainability: distributed responsibility constructing a sharing economy?’. In: The Circular Economy: Transitioning to Sustainability?, 11 July 2017, Techno Centre, CBiS, Coventry University
Lever, J (2017) ‘Kosher and halal meat-concerns over animal welfare, migration and integration?’. In: CRESR Seminar, 26 April 2017, CRESR Sheffield
Lever, J (2017) ‘Farm animal welfare, responsible business & the role of big brands: the politics of sight’. In: Business School Research Conference 2017, 11-13 January, Business School
Lever, J. and Miele, M. (2016) ‘Farm animal welfare discourses: responsible business practice and the role of big brands’. In: Interpretive Policy Analysis 11th International Conference:, 5th - 7th July 2016, University of Hull
Lever, J. and Swailes, S. (2016) ‘Ballet for the Sun King: power, talent and organisation’. In: 32nd EGOS Colloquium, 7th - 9th July 2016, University of Naples, Italy
Lever, J. and Swailes, S. (2015) ‘People and process: at the court of talent management’. In: Figuring organizations: people and processes symposium, 26th November 2015, Dublin, Ireland
Lever, J. and Cheetham, F. (2015) ‘Kirklees, Comoodle and the Collaborative Economy: The Politics of Sharing’. In: Lunchtime Seminar, Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Communities: Stuff Space Skills Comoodle, 13th October 2015, University of Huddersfield
Lever, J. and Bergeaud-Blackler, F. (2015) ‘The global assemblage of halal: proliferating understandings and tensions’. In: 2016 RGS-IBG, 1st-4th September, University of Exeter, UK
Lever, J. and Evans, A. (2015) ‘Farm animal welfare and corporate social responsibility: making slaughter visible?’. In: HSA International Symposium 2015: Recent Advances II, 16th-17th July 2015, Zagreb, Croatia
Lever, J (2015) ‘Economic and sustainable growth in Kirklees an academic perspective’. In: Aligning public health and economic strategies and promoting health in all policies: An interactive workshop with applied learning from local partners and the EU, 5th February 2015, Huddersfield Town Hall, UK
Lever, J (2014) ‘The future of sustainable food in Kirklees: the development of a strong and sustainable food economy’. In: Talk to the Kirklees Environment Partnership, 18th September 2014, Huddersfield Mission Biulding, Kirklees Council, Huddersfield, UK
Lever, J. and Powell, R. (2014) ‘Roma Europes "outsiders"’. In: Social Policy Confronting Change: Resistance, Resilience and Radicalism, 14th-16th July 2014, Sheffield, UK
Lever, J., Powell, R. and Clement, M. (2014) ‘Norbert Elias, figurational sociology and the investigation of contemporary social processes: tensions and possibilities’. In: From the Past to the Present and Towards Possible Futures: The Collected Works of Norbert Elias, 20-22 June 2014, College Court, University of Leicester, UK
Lever, J. and Hardaker, G. (2013) ‘Re-imagining Malaysia: a postliberal halal strategy?’. In: "Vous avez dit halal ?" Normativités islamiques, mondialisation et sécularisation, 7th-8th November 2013, Paris, France
Porter, J., Lever, J. and Thompson, A. (2013) ‘The Experiences of Polish Migrants in the Welsh Labour Market: A comparison study of three case studies in South Wales’. In: Work Employment and Society Conference, September 4th 2013, University of Warwick
Lever, J (2012) ‘No Return, No Asylum: Destitution as a way of life?’. In: Destitution Concern Bradford, Research launch event and presentation of findings, 14th September 2012, Kala Sangam, Forster Square, Bradford
Lever, J (2012) ‘The postliberal politics of halal’. In: Reinventing Norbert Elias: for an open sociology, 22-23rd June 2012, Amsterdam
Lever, J (2012) ‘The civilizing process : partnership working revisited’. In: Norbert Elias and Figurational Sociology: Prospects for the Future, 2nd - 4th April 2012, Copenhagen
Lever, J. and Miele, M. (2010) ‘Ordering animal farming practices: farmers vs. animal scientists’. In: Society for Social Studies of Science Annual Meeting 2010, August 25 29, 2010, Komaba I Campus, University of Tokyo, Japan
Lever, J (2010) ‘Ambivalence and sensibility : civilizing animal farming in Europe’. In: XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology : Sociology on the Move, 11-17th July 2010, Gothenburg, Sweden
Lever, J (2010) ‘Halal and kosher supply chain development’. In: Dialrel Final Workshop, 15-16th March 2010, Istanbul, Turkey
Lever, J., Miele, M., Evan, A. and Higgin, M. (2009) ‘Farmers vs. animal scientists : an assessment of welfare quality’. In: British Sociological Association Annual Conference 2009, 16-18 April 2009, Cardiff, Wales
Lever, J (2008) ‘NGOs, Partnership Working and New Governance Spaces: Civilizing the State’. In: 39th IIS World Congress, 26-30th June 2008, Budapest, Hungary
Taylor, M. and Lever, J. (2008) ‘Understanding agency : some reflections on governmentality theory’. In: ESRC NGPA Theory Workshop, 7-8th May 2008, Goodenough College, Mecklenburgh Square, London
Lever, J. and Howard, J. (2008) ‘Participation in new governance spaces : what makes for a participatory disposition in different contexts?’. In: The Voluntary Sector Studies Network Seminar, 14th May 2008, Bristol
Lever, J (2007) ‘Partnership working in South Wales : navigating pathways through new governance spaces?’. In: 13th VSSN/NCVO Researching the Voluntary Sector Conference, 5-6th September 2007, Universiity of Warwick
Lever, J (2006) ‘Civilization and violence : why do British citizens commit acts of terror in the UK?’. In: Reducing the Risk & Impact of Terrorism A Local Authority Role, 2829 September 2006, Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel, College Green, Bristol, England
Lever, J (2006) ‘Regenerating civilization : inclusive partnership working under New Labour’. In: Elias in the 21st Century Conference, 10-12th April 2006, University of Leicester
Miele, M. and Lever, J. (2016) Consumer Survey Report: Comparing halal requirements for labelling food and cosmetics in the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom DAC (Unpublished)
Lever, J (2016) Developing a strong and sustainable food economy in Kirklees Huddersfield: University of Huddersfield
Lever, J. and Cheetham, F. (2015) Case study report(s), Comoodle and the Collaborative Economy N/A (Unpublished)
Jones, L., Lever, J., Jones, S., Radcliffe, J. and Woods, M. (2014) Migrant Workers in Rural Wales and the South Wales Valleys Cardiff School of Planning and Geography
Lever, J (2012) A report into the impact of multi-agency work supporting Roma children in education. Manchester, UK: BHA for Equality in Health and Social Care
Lever, J (2012) No Return, No Asylum: Destitution as a way of life? Bradford, UK: Destitution Concern Bradford
Lever, J., Puig della Bellacasa, M., Miele, M. and Higgin, M. (2010) From the slaughterhouse to the consumer: transparency and information in the distribution of Halal and Kosher meat Cardiff: Cardiff University
Lever, J. and Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2010) The development of halal and kosher meat markets in the UK Cardiff University
Taylor, M., Howard, J., Harris, V., Lever, J., Mateeva, A., Miller, C., Petrov, R. and Serra, L. (2009) Dilemmas of engagement: the experience of non-governmental actors in new governance spaces LSE
Lever, J (2009) Research Report for Work Package 4.6.3, Welfare Quality Project Welfare Quality (Unpublished)
Lever, J (2008) National Evaluation Report for Heartland Community Voice Neighbourhood Management Partnership, Portsmouth City Council. Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Programme (Unpublished)
Grimshaw, L. and Lever, J. (2008) Citizens participation in policy-making [in Europe], CINEFOGO Working Paper CINEFOGO
Lever, J (2007) National Evaluation Report for Pan/ Isle of White Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Programme (Unpublished)
Lever, J (2007) National Evaluation Report for Boscombe and Springbourne Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder, Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder Programme (Unpublished)
Lever, J (2005) Mainstreaming Regeneration Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)
Lever, J (2008) Governance, Partnerships and the Mainstreaming of Community Safety Doctoral thesis, University of the West of England.
Lever, J (2002) Commercial Practice in the Voluntary Sector; An Evaluation of the Oxfam Shop Support Team Masters thesis, UWE: Bristol.
John is on the editorial board of Human Figurations, the peer reviewed journal of the Norbert Elias Foundation. He also conducts peer review for the National Science Foundation in the US, and for the journals: Geoforum, Food Policy, Journal of Rural Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, International Food and Agribusiness Management Review (US), Agriculture and Human Values, and Applied Geography, amongst others
Following similar research in Leeds, Leicester, Glasgow and Birmingham, John's work on destitution in the asylum system in Bradford contributed evidence for the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on Asylum 2013-2014.
John's recent work on migrant workers in the meat processing industry provided evidence for the the 2017 House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee report: 'Brexit and the Labour Market'.
John has supervised PhD students to completion on issues related to halal food and social exclusion. He is currently supervising four PhD students and welcomes enquiries from students wishing to pursue doctoral studies in these broad areas:
1) Kosher and halal food markets and supply chains
2) Applications of the work of Norbert Elias to contemporay social processes (e.g. food markets; immigration; human-animal relations)
3) Partnership working and sustainable development in the food industry
Since 2010, John has worked as a research consultant and he has been commissioned to conduct research and consultancy for a number of public and third sector organisations.
John oversees the undergraduate business dissertation module.
John’s teaching at UG and PG level focusses on sustainable communities, sustainable food systems and environmental policy. John is a member of the Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Communities and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).