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Department of Social Policy

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Department of Social Policy
2nd Floor, Old Building
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE


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The Department of Social Policy is the longest established in the UK.
The Department prides itself in being able to offer teaching based on the highest quality empirical research in the field. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, the UK's nationwide assessment of research quality, impact and environment, which is undertaken every six to seven years, the Department was ranked first in the UK for world leading and internationally excellent research and was also awarded the joint highest marks for the non-academic impacts of its work. When adjusted to take account of the high proportion of staff submitted to REF, it is the number one UK Social Policy Department for overall research quality.

New brain-training tool to help people cut drinking

An internationally-renowned LSE expert on happiness and behaviour has launched a free online tool to help people who want to cut down on alcohol.

Professor Paul Dolan, author of the bestselling book Happiness by Design, used insights from behavioural science to create the innovative and easy-to-use tool. It uses a simple brain-training exercise, known as a ‘cognitive bias modification’ (CBM), to reduce any unconscious preference people may have for alcoholic drinks over non-alcoholic ones.


New LSE book on the transformation of post-industrial European cities

Professor Anne Power’s new book, Cities for a Small Continent, collects compelling evidence from seven archetypal industrial cities across Europe that were the power-houses of the industrial revolution. She argues that far from being “clapped out”, “jobless, poor and dirty” they are stuffed with assets that can be recycled and reused. 

Richard Rogers, writing the foreword says “Anne Power is a tireless enthusiast for cities and communities, and a powerful advocate for a fairer society.  'Cities for a Small Continent’ is a passionate, original and informative book, telling how urban recovery and reinvention can point to a more radical and sustainable urban future.”  

Rayners Lane

LSE research shows significant social return on investment for London regeneration project

Home Group, one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality social housing and supported housing services and products, has published the results of a report carried out by LSE to assess the impact of a £140m regeneration programme at Rayners Lane, a former council owned estate in the London Borough of Harrow.

Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy at LSE, said: “Rayners Lane shows that it is possible to rebuild a former council estate with most of the existing tenants in place. By providing local management and community resources, the landlord can help the community flourish. The Rayners Lane model shows how social renting and private housing can fit together into a workable whole.”


Exclusive: Control over admissions should be removed from schools, new study by Professor Anne West recommends

A new report on secondary school admissions in London by Professor Anne West and Audrey Hind provides an up-to-date analysis of London secondary schools’ admissions criteria and practices between 2001 and 2015. The research finds that whilst compliance appears to be high as far as certain admissions arrangements are concerned (e.g., prioritising looked after children and not interviewing pupils or parents), problems remain. In particular, some admissions arrangements are complex and there is a concern that with increasing academisation and more schools controlling their own admissions, there will be even greater complexity. The complexity of the arrangements raises concerns that schools are choosing pupils rather than parents choosing schools for their children. A number of implications for policy are suggested which would serve to make the school admissions system simpler and clearer, and seek to ensure more equitable access to schools across different social groups.

Cities for a small Continent

LSE Housing and Communities and La Fabrique de la Cité public discussion

Cities for a Small Continent

Date: Tuesday 24th May 2016
Time: 18.30-20.00
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building

Speakers: Professor Brice Katz, Professor Anne Power
Discussants: Donal Durkan, Mathieu Goetzke

Cities for a Small Continent is an international handbook, drawing together 10 years of ground-level research into the causes and consequences of Europe's biggest urban challenges. This event explores the potential for former industrial cities to offer a more sustainable future for a crowded European continent. 

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEhousing

This event is freee and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

International Inequalties Institute

International Inequalities Institute Annual Conference 2016

Date: Wednesday 25th May 2016
Time: 9.00-17.00
Venue: Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, NW1 2BJ

Tickets available here

Morning sessions:
Harriet's Legacy: Navigating Intersectionality in the Age of Post-Radicalism

Income and wealth Inequality: what do we learn from multiple data sources

Afternoon sessions
New reflections about inequality and capital in the 21st century

Taxing the rich

Further events are listed in the Department diary.

Past events are listed in News and Events archive.

Recent Podcasts

Tom Gash

Department of Social Policy and Mannheim Centre for Criminology Public Lecture
Criminal: the truth about why people do bad things

Recorded on 3rd May 2016

Speaker: Tom Gash
Chair: Professor Tim Newburn


LSE Literary Festival 2016

PSSRU LSE Literary Festival Discussion
Art and Wellbeing: the growing impact of arts on health

Recorded on 23 February 2016

Speakers: Vivienne Parry, David McDaid, Liz Brady, James Leadbitter (the vacuum cleaner)
Chair: Professor Martin Knapp


LSE Literary Festival 2016

 LSE Literary Festival Discussion
The Allure of Happy Endings

Recorded on 22 February 2016

Speakers: Dr Molly Crockett, Professor Paul Dolan, Sinéad Moriarty
Chair: Jonathan Gibbs


Goup Of Reporters

Department of Social Policy, Mannheim Centre for Criminology and the Howard League public discussion
New Media, Old News: strategies for penal reform groups to manage the new media landscape

Recorded on 20 January 2016

Speakers: Dr Marianne Colbran, Niall Couper, Andrew Neilson, Danny Shaw, Alan White
Chair: Professor Ian Loader

More podcasts available at Events podcasts

Recent Videos

This information is generated by an RSS feed from the Department audio and video channel, and shows the 4 most recent videos produced by the LSE.
More videos available on the Social Policy Video Channel
More videos available on the CASE Video Channel
More videos available on the LSE Health and Social Care Video Channel


Latest Publications

This information is generated by an RSS feed from LSE Research Online, and shows the 20 most recent publications (either published, or accepted for publication).

Featured Publications
Cities for a small Continent

Cities for a Small Continent

Policy Press (May 2016)

Professor Anne Power’s new book, Cities for a Small Continent, collects compelling evidence from seven archetypal industrial cities across Europe that were the power-houses of the industrial revolution. She argues that far from being “clapped out”, “jobless, poor and dirty” they are stuffed with assets that can be recycled and reused.

Professor Power’s compelling framework spells out the green shoots of a new industrial economy to combat environmental and social unravelling. Community investment, social enterprise and integration, have gained momentum as Europe’s crowded, resource-constrained cities face environmental and social limits faster than other less densely urban countries, such as the US. She concludes that “Europe’s urban renaissance points to a more viable, more balanced urban future in the world’s smallest, most crowded, most city-loving continent.”

Social Policy In a Cold Climate

Social Policy in a Cold Climate: policies and their consequences since the crisis

Policy Press (April 2016)

Editors: Professor Ruth Lupton, Dr Tania Burchardt, Professor John Hills, Dr Kitty Stewart and Dr Polly Vizard

A new LSE book offers an authoritative, evidence-based analysis of the impact government policies have had on inequality and on delivery of services such as health, education, adult social care, housing and employment since the 2008 recession.

The editors, Ruth Lupton, Tania Burchardt, John Hills, Kitty Stewart and Polly Vizard, conclude that although the financial crisis and subsequent recession hit the economy hard, Britain’s welfare state did initially protect many of the most vulnerable from its sharpest effects.  But that protection was not uniform. Young adults were hardest hit in the labour market, for example, while those of pension age had their incomes improved faster than inflation.


Podcasts and videos
Undergraduate Open Day July 2016
Tales From Houghton Street Julian Le Grand