Alasdair Jones is Assistant Professor in Qualitative Research Methodology and the Director of the MSc Social Research Methods. He is also an Associate at LSE Cities, a Research Associate at the Public Policy Institute (University of Auckland) and an NIHR SSCR Fellow.
Biography Prior to the LSE Alasdair has worked as a Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the University of Hertfordshire, and as a Senior Researcher at the Royal Society for the Arts’ Action and Research Centre. He has held visiting appointments in social research methodology at UC Berkeley (as a Fulbright Scholar), in urban studies at UNSW and in public policy at the University of Auckland.
Research interests Alasdair is an interdisciplinary scholar and methodologist with particular expertise in the fields of urban studies and programme evaluation. Throughout his research he is committed to using, refining and developing qualitative methodological approaches to generate insights into critical questions concerning urban public space, urban planning and social policy programmes. Underpinning this research is a guiding theoretical interest in exploring (using qualitative methods) disconnects between policy expectations/design intentions and practices. Substantively, his research to date has centred on public space, mobilities, and the ways that citizenship is experienced in urban settings. This research has been funded by ESRC, NCRM, NIHR, UKPRP and the US-UK Fulbright Commission.
As well as continuing to develop these interests through a range of ongoing and prospective projects, Alasdair is currently expanding his research interests through an LSE Cities seed funding award. In this exploratory study he is reviewing and synthesising empirical approaches to multi-level (social and material) network analyses of urban neighbourhoods and settings. This research will be used as the basis for a larger study of community development and measurement in urban settings.
Teaching As well as directing the MSc Social Research Methods since 2016, Alasdair teaches or has taught on a range of research design and qualitative research methods courses at the LSE. These include: MY400 Fundamentals of Social Science Research Design, MY401 Research Design for Studies in Digital Innovation, MY405 Research Methods for Evaluation in Health, Development and Public Policy, MY421 Qualitative Research Methods, MY426 Doing Ethnography and MY530 Advanced Qualitative Research Workshops. In addition, he co-developed and convened ME109 Ethnographic Methods and Practice for the LSE Methods Summer School.
Education Alasdair has degrees in Geography (BA [Hons]) and Sociology (MPhil) from the University of Cambridge (both awarded with distinction) and he received his ESRC-funded PhD from the LSE’s Cities Programme.
Broadly, Alasdair’s research interests can be categorised as follows:
Research methods – research design, qualitative research methods and ethnography, with particular interests in i) methods that allow researchers to explore the disconnects between designs and practices, and ii) the use of qualitative methods in policy evaluation;
Cities – the relationship between built form and social life in cities, with a particular emphasis on public space, public life in cities, mobilities, urban citizenship and socio-material urban networks;
Programme evaluation – using qualitative methods to help evaluate the impacts of social policy and other interventions (in particular in the fields of public health and social care).
Recent Research Projects
Uses and Applications of Qualitative Research Methods in Policy Evaluations Using Observational Designs: a Review and Synthesis. Funded by NCRM.
Measuring community in an urban age: Bringing urban form into social network-based measures of community.Funded by LSE Cities.
An exploration of local authority strategies and interventions to improve the quality of social care for older people in England through market shaping (ELSCQua). Funded by the NIHR School for Social Care Research (NIHR SSCR).
Understanding social networks ethnographically - using qualitative methods to map social group networks (Centre for Ethnographic Research, UC Berkeley). Funded by the US-UK Fulbright Commission.
UH-Lafarge Sustainable Living Study (Centre for Sustainable Communities, University of Hertfordshire). Funded by the UH-Lafarge Sustainable Living Partnership.
‘On the buses’: evaluating the impact of free bus travel for young people on the public health (Transport and Health Group, London School of Tropical Medicine [PI: Professor Judith Green]). Funded by the NIHR Public Health Research Programme.