Dr. Leona Vaughn gained her PhD in June 2019 from University of Liverpool (UoL), Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology. Her thesis is a sociological qualitative, multi-phase inquiry into how practitioners imagine and operationalise the safeguarding 'risk-work' for identifying and working with ‘childhood radicalisation’ (PREVENT). This research addressed issues of the implementation of counter terrorism/counter-radicalisation policy and the characteristics of risk judgements and perception in various settings where practitioners worked with children and families. Leona brings this expertise to the DRIVE project as well as extensive experience as a professional and academic researcher in the field of equalities and social justice in public and charity sectors in the UK and operating internationally.
Currently, a tenure-track UoL Derby Research Fellow, Leona’s work is developing anticolonial methodologies for researching ‘slavery and unfree labour’ which centre minoritised groups in knowledge production. She researches and writes on ‘risk’, ‘safeguarding’, ‘racialisation’, ‘child labour’, ‘modern slavery’ and ‘childhood radicalisation’, and recently established the ‘Risk Work in Young Lives Researcher Network’ for the North West Social Sciences Doctoral Training Programme (UK) to bring together researchers, practitioners and young people to share and develop inclusive research practice.