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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.
child maths

Poor children in London get better grades than those outside due to improvement in the capital's schools

Less than a quarter (22%) of children on free school meals in inner London obtained five or more A*–C grades at GCSE or their equivalent (including English and Maths) in 2002. In 2013, this had risen to almost half (48%). Gains were much smaller among disadvantaged children outside London (17%) to (26%), according to new work, published by researchers associated with the Centre for Social Exclusion (CASE) at LSE and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

Dr Timothy Hildebrandt on the gay marriage proposal on the Beijing subway 

Dr Timothy Hildebrandt, assistant professor of Social Policy and Development, was quoted by the BBC in its coverage of a gay marriage proposal on the Beijing subway that has gone viral on social networking sites in the last week. Drawing upon his extensive research on LGBT issues in China, Dr Hildebrandt explained that attitudes on homosexuality are both varied and complex across the country. He also discussed the effect that social policies like China’s one-child policy has on gay ‘only-children', "Parents will think that if their only child is gay, that will end their hopes for grandchildren. It's family pressure which creates a disproportionate pressure on gays and lesbians.

PhD candidate working on Brazil's first community protocol at the International Institute for Environment and Development

Roberta Peixoto Ramos, a PhD candidate at the Social Policy Department, is working on a project to develop the first community protocol in Brazil, which is being implemented at a traditional community in the Brazilian Amazon Forest. The protocol is an instrument that empowers communities to seek opportunities to improve their quality of life, strengthen their collective management of natural resources based on customary laws and seek secure land rights. 

Academics Abroad- Professor Anne West

This year Professor Anne West holds the Fritz Karsen Chair at Humboldt University, Berlin. Over the summer she visited Berlin giving seminars, meeting with graduate students and working on two new comparative research papers with Professor Rita Nikolai, a T. H. Marshall Fellow in the Department of Social Policy in 2010. It is hoped that further collaborative research will follow.

The Ashgate Research Companion to Lesbian and Gay Activism

Department of Social Policy Round Table Discussion
Gay and Lesbian Activism Today: Changes and Challenges

Date: Monday 26 October 2015
Time: 18.30-20.00
Venue: CLM 2.02, Clement House
Speakers: Professor Surya Monro, Dr David Paternote, Professor Sasha Roseneil, Dr Hakan Seckinelgin, Professor Manon Treamblay
Chair: Dr Hakan Seckinelgin

The event is a round table discussion by eminent academics working on LGBT activism. The discussion will be related to the newly edited publication The Ashgate Research Companion to Lesbian and Gay Activism.

This event is free and open to all on a first come first served basis. 

Event Twitter handle: #LSEActivismGL

Anthropology and Development: challenges for the 21st century

Department of Social Policy and Department of Anthropology public discussion
Anthropology and Development: challenges for the 21st century

Date: Wednesday 28 October 2015
Time: 18.30-20.00
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building
Speakers: Professor James Fairhead, Professor Katy Gardner, Professor Deborah James, Professor David Lewis, Professor David Mosse

This is a panel discussion in support of the following publication Anthropology and Development: challenges for the 21st century, which will include both authors, Professor Katy Gardner and Professor David Lewis who are both LSE academics.

This event is free and open to all on a first come first served basis.

Event Twitter handle: #LSELewis

Further events are listed in the Department diary.

Past events are listed in News and Events archive.

Recent Podcasts

Professor Richard Thaler

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture
Misbehaving: the making of behavioural economics

Recorded on: 9 June 2015

Speaker: Professor Richard Thaler
Chair: Professor Paul Dolan


Department of Social Policy Public Lecture
The Government Paternalist: nanny state or helpful friend?

Recorded on: 20 May 2015

Speaker: Professor Sir Julian Le Grand
Chair: Professor Howard Glennerster

LSE Public Lectures

LSE Public Lecture
Inequality in the 21st Century: a day long engagement with Thomas Piketty

Recorded on: 11 May 2015

Speakers: David Soskice, Wendy Carlin, Bob Rowthorn, Diane Perrons, Stephanie Seguino, Lisa McKenzie, Naila Kabeer, Dr Laura Bear, Gareth Jones, Mike Savage, Sir John Hills, Sir Tony Atkinson, Thomas Piketty

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

Other videos


Gearty Grilling: John Hills on the Cost of Inequality

Released on:
28 May 2015
Contributor(s): Professor Sir John Hills

John Hills, Professor of Social Policy, discusses the need to reduce inequality in Britain.




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
Forensic Psychology

Forensic Psychology

SAGE (July 2015)

Throughout the text the authors, Professor Jennifer Brown, Yvonne Shell and Teri Cole, provide a detailed analysis of key concepts, debates and theories while weaving in insights and reflections from key professionals, ensuring those studying and seeking continuous professional development in the area of forensic psychology. This text gives the policy context as background to current practice as well as detailing key theories, research and assessment skills necessary to pass assignments and get past the stage 2 supervised practice requirements en route to becoming a qualified forensic psychologist.

Stop and Search: The Anatomy of a Police Power

Stop and Search: The Anatomy of a Police Power

Palgrave Macmillan (June 2015)

Edited by Rebekah Delsol and Dr Mike Shiner

Stop and search is often billed as a vital tool in the fight against crime, yet its use remains controversial. Anger and resentment over the misuse of this tactic were widely implicated among the causes of serious public disorder in 1981 and again in 2011, fuelling an ongoing cycle of crisis and reform that has engulfed British policing. This edited collection provides a detailed assessment of stop and search by leading experts in the field. It considers the legal basis of stop and search, the purpose and function of these powers, their effectiveness in tackling criome and their impact on trust and confidence in the police. 

Boomerang Students

Family Transitions in Early Adulthood

LSE ( May 2015) 

These days the transition to adulthood seems to be particularly difficult.  Youth unemployment, zero hours contracts, high housing costs, unpaid internships and increased tuition fees have created a challenging environment for young people.  Two qualitative studies, undertaken by researchers from  the Families and Children Research Group (Professor Jane LewisProfessor Anne WestDr Philip Noden and Dr Jonathan Roberts) at LSE and supported by the Leverhulme Trust, have investigated particular aspects of the transitions of early adulthood as they affect both parents and their young adult children.  The first study has examined the support which parents provide to their children when they go away to university.  The second has explored the increasingly common phenomenon of graduates who return to live with their parents after graduation.  Key findings from the studies have been summarised in two research briefs:

-  Family Transitions in Early Adulthood: Parental Support of University Students

-  Family transitions in Early Adulthood: Coresidence of Young Graduates with their Parents


Podcasts and videos
Welcome Week 2015