Ruth Gazsó Candlish

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Departmental Affiliation: 
Public Policy
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RESEARCH. Ruth is an international award-winning policy scholar and activist. As a doctoral candidate in the School of Public Policy at Central European University (CEU), she works on political representation, elections, equality policy, social security, employment and disability. Her dissertation examines the political representation of underrepresented and marginalised groups in parliaments, in particular disabled people. She also worked as a Researcher for the SUPERA project (Supporting the Promotion of Supporting the Promotion of Equality in Research and Academia European initiative), working on initiatives related to gender equality, pregnancy, maternal and parental support, and sexual harassment. Before joining CEU, she studied in Edinburgh, Leiden and London. Her previous research includes ethnographic studies in Northern England, Arctic Sweden and the Basque Country and projects examining parental leave across the EU and changing employment practices in the UK public sector. She also has a special interest in devolution and local policy-making, particularly equality policy and paradiplomacy.

TEACHING. Ruth has teaching and supervisory experience at the University of Glasgow, ELTE and CEU. She is currently a Visiting Professor at ELTE and an Affiliate Professor at Glasgow University. At CEU, she has taught for courses on Research Methods, Institutions and Actors in the Policy Process, and Legal and Institutional Approaches to Minority Protection. As a Global Teaching Fellow at ELTE university in Budapest, she taught courses on UK Politics, and Disability Policy. Ruth is a graduate of the CEU Centre for Teaching & Learning Program for Excellence in Teaching. She is a fan of experiential learning and has designed parliamentary simulations, mock elections, role plays, theoretical game-playing etc. She is also committed to promoting accessibility and co-authored a guide to improve access to academic spaces during the pandemic.

PROFESSIONAL. Prior to (re)joining academia, Ruth worked for almost a decade in the public sector, holding posts at local, regional, national and European level. She has wide-ranging policy experience in relation to equality and inclusion: she has worked on government research programmes, drafted and amended legislation, assisted in parliament, designed and delivered major public sector funding initiatives, and held front-line roles. As a civil servant, she received the Exceptional Performance Awards three years running. She was also a senior elected trade union officer in London and Scotland – running a departmental union branch, holding national posts and being involved in the youth, women and disabled wings. She also completed a professional diploma in Employment Law.

SERVICE. As the founding Chair of the CEU Family Committee, Ruth spearheaded a campaign to entirely rework family policy at CEU. This led to the introduction of paid maternity leave, paid partner leave, extended parental leave and an annual childcare grant. Her contributions resulted in her being awarded first place in the IAMAS (International Association of Maternal Action and Scholarship) 2021 MoMA awards in 2021. Ruth was also a key member of a community-led initiative to secure additional funding for 400+ doctoral students during the pandemic – negotating a 3.1 million EUR grant. She also instigated major institutional reforms to student representation – founding the PhD Student Committee and supporting the foundation of a BA Student Committee.

PERSONAL. Ruth is a road running, sea swimming, Hard of Hearing (HoH) mother to two small children. She aspires to improve her sign languages and her spoken Hungarian. She is a lifelong trade unionist since joining a union on her first day of work as a teenager.


Diploma in Employment Law, College of North London
M.Sc. Public Administration, University of Leiden
M.A., Nationalism, Central European University
M.A. Politics and Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh