This is the website and blog of Dr John Lever.


I am an interdisciplinary social scientist with a background in sociology, human geography and latterly management. Before moving to the University of Huddersfield, I worked in the School of Geography and Planning at Cardiff University and at Cities Research Centre at UWE: Bristol. Throughout this period my research has largely focused on sustainable communities, migrant workers/ refugee entrepreneurs, and the nexus of food, religion and migration.

The first strand of work stretches back to my ESRC/ ODPM funded doctoral work on urban regeneration and sustainable communities, and subsequent post-doctoral work on urban governance and sustainable communities in the UK, Eastern Europe and Latin America. Latterly, this strand of work has focussed on local food governance and urban transitions revolving around sharing and circular economies.

The second strand of work revolves around migrant workers and refugee entrepreneurs in an urban/ rural context. My 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'. Previous work on destitution in the UK asylum system contributed evidence for the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee on Asylum 2013-2014.

The third and perhaps most notable aspect of my work in recent years has been on a number of interrelated debates (food, religion and migration) revolving around the expanding global markets for kosher and halal food. Click here for my Amazon page. I am long established member of the Figurational Research Network and a Fellow of the Norbert Elias Foundation.

Current and past research projects 

2019-current: A Better Future – Understanding Refugee Entrepreneurship (BFURE) (BA/Leverhulme)

2018-current: 'Sounding out Refugees’ Stories: Music, Entrepreneurship and De-stigmatisation in Jordan (University of Huddersfield)

2017-current: Sharing the burden of supermarket food waste: towards sustainability and a circular economy? (University of Huddersfield Business School)

2014-current: Ongoing evaluation of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (self-funded).

2010-current: ongoing work on Global Markets for Kosher and Halal Meat/ Food in Europe, Middle East and South East Asia (funded, self-funded, and consultancy).

2016: An investigation of Syrian refugee entrepreneurship in Jordan (supported by Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development)

2016: Comparing Halal requirements in the UK and the UAE (Dubai Accreditation Centre, UAE)

2015: Comoodle and the Collaborative/Sharing Economy (Kirklees Council)

2014: The Future of Local Food in Kirklees (Kirklees Public Health & University of Huddersfield Business School)

2013: Workers in Rural Wales and the South Wales Valleys (European Commission/ Welsh Government)

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)

I was also involved in the following ESRC and EU funded projects and national policy evaluations:

The Welfare Quality® Project

The Dialrel Project

Non-Governmental Public Action Programme

Neighbourhood Management Pathfinders