PhD Studentship: Insurance Regulation and Poverty

University of Southampton - Centre For Private And Commercial Law (Cpcl)

DFID looking to business to support the development agenda, along with the establishment of the Prosperity Fund are long overdue.

Insurance can be a provider of structured personal finance, investment, health emergency management, food security and social security in developing countries. Small sums payable at crucial juncture can make the difference of life or death for individuals and societies.

The demarcation between the role of the state and the role of the private sector is a fluid one, with many forms of insurance fitting comfortably in public/private partnership models along a spectrum. Private sector investment may provide an opportunity for speedy development of an underdeveloped sector, but may conversely mean that the profit-motive negates some of the social benefits of the product. Spreading the risks of individual ill health or accidents across a community means alleviating systemic poverty. Counteracting the risks of regional crop failure or climate change related seawater incursion supports local societies.

The objective of DFID is a laudable one, but what are the demands on the local legal system before the power of the global insurance sector can be brought to bear to alleviate risks in poor and rural societies? Regulatory, political and financial stability are required before any large scale investors in insurance business will be involved. Conversely, local models of mutual risk sharing are at risk of systemic failure in the event of catastrophic social events such as a flood or a serious epidemic.

The PhD should study the regulatory and supervisory system of a representative country and see where it falls short. The lessons learned and conclusions drawn should be transferable to developing economies.

The research should be in two phases:

  • study the concepts and approaches of insurance regulation of developed insurance economies
  • gather empirical data about the regulatory system of a chosen economy, OR,
  • apply theoretical concepts to demonstrate the failings of developing systems and how they can be remedied. The particular constraints of developing economies should be considered in developing an optimised approach to insurance regulation.
  • The scholarship will offer full tuition fee and maintenance funding for 3 years. The doctoral stipend for 2017/18 is currently £14,000.
  • This studentship is only available for full time programmes and is open to applicants from the UK, the EU and overseas.
  • As part of the application you will be required to submit a CV, research proposal, degree certificate and transcripts, two academic references and proof of English language proficiency.
  • The deadline for applications is 15 February 2018. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be informed of interview arrangements between February and March 2018.
  • The awards will be allocated by end of April, with the outcome being communicated to the candidates in May.

Contact Details for applicant

If you wish to discuss any details of the studentship informally, please contact:

  • Postgraduate Research Admissions, Faculty of Business, Law and Art, Email: Telephone: +44(0)23 8059 2562.

How to apply

To apply please follow the ‘Apply’ link on the following webpage:

PhD Law:  

Please mention reference FBLA-LAW-002 in the scholarship section of your application.

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South East England