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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.
Dr Hakan Seckinelgin

Dr Hakan Seckinelgin appointed new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Civil Society

Dr Hakan Seckinelgin|, Associate Professor in International Social Policy, is the new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Civil Society.

The journal, which is published four times a year, has multidisciplinary focus that is interested in theoretical and empirical research on civil societies, their development and their interactions with the broader local and global societal processes.

Hakan Seckinelgin is also a visiting research fellow at CERI, Science Po |in Paris from January to June 2015.


Family beliefs a barrier to aged care health reform|

New research by Dr Joan Costa-i-Font| shows that older people are avoiding taking out long-term care insurance, fearing their children will desert them in old age.


Professor Stephen Jenkins

LSE Research News- Professor Stephen Jenkins awarded funding.

Professor Stephen Jenkins|, Social Policy, has been awarded funding of £59,082 through the University of Essex’s ESRC-funded Research Centre for Micro-Social Change (MiSoC). The research aims to point to ways in which our society can navigate the post-war transition from solidarity built on a sense of common purpose to the integration of people with diverse backgrounds, preferences and abilities in an era of new pressures.

Professor Anne Power

LSE Research News- Professor Anne Power awarded funding

Professor Anne Power|, LSE Housing, has been awarded funding of £30,817 from Street Games UK Ltd to undertake a study to uncover how poverty impacts on young people, how this interacts with access to sport and how these barriers can be overcome.

Saq Cover

Leonidas Cheliotis has won the 2014 Best Public Intellectual Special Issue Award

Leonidas Cheliotis|, Assistant Professor in Criminology in the Department of Social Policy, has won the 2014 best Public Intellectual Special Issue Award by the US Council of Editors of Learned Journals, Modern Language Association (MLA). Dr Cheliotis won the award for his guest-edited special issue of the prestigious centenarian journal South Atlantic Quarterly| (published by Duke University Press) on 'Prison Realities: Views from Around the World'. The collection explores power and resistance under extreme conditions of confinement in a range of jurisdictions and from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. Dr. Cheliotis’ own contribution to the collection discusses the uses and abuses of temporary release in a Greek male prison.  

Professor Julian Le Grand

New Year Honours at LSE - Professor Julian Le Grand has been awarded a knighthood

Professor Julian Le Grand| has been awarded a knighthood for services to social science and public service.

Julian Le Grand has been the Richard Titmuss Professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science since 1993.

Read more here|

REF logo 2014

LSE excels in the REF again

LSE's Department of Social Policy has excelled once again in the REF|, the UK's most recent nationwide assessment of research quality, impact and environment, which is undertaken every six to seven years. The results published last week show that LSE Social Policy is the UK's number one department for world leading and internationally excellent research.

The REF assessment takes place according to a quality scale from 1* to 4*, with 4* representing world leading research quality. In REF 2014 LSE's Department of Social Policy had the highest percentage (94%) of world leading 4* and internationally excellent 3* publications of any UK institution. It also had the highest possible scores (100%) for research impact and environment.

In the overall ranking, aggregating scores for research outputs, impact of research on policy, and academic environment LSE Social Policy was placed second in the country league table. When adjusted to take account of the percentage of staff submitted to REF, LSE Social Policy is by some distance the number one UK Social Policy Department for overall quality research.

Congratulations to everyone in the Department of Social Policy for an outstanding set of results.


MPhil/PhD Programmes

Are you interested in our research programmes in Social Policy| and Demography/Population studies|?

We are now welcoming applications for our ESRC and LSE Studentships. Find out more here| and on the School website|.

Will Hutton

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture

How Good We Can Be: Ending the Mercenary Society and Building a Great Country|

Date: Wednesday 11th February 2015
Time: 18.30-20.00
Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Speaker: Will Hutton
Chair: Professor Sir John Hills

A compelling and sharply insightful lecture that will examine the state of Britain today and look forward to the Britain of tomorrow, from the bestselling author of The State We're In.

Will Hutton is Principal of Hertford College, Oxford and columnist for the Observer. His latest book is How Good We Can Be. View the Press Release here| (PDF)

Professor Sir John Hills| is Professor of Social Policy and is the Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE|)

This event is free and open to all with no ticket or pre-registration required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For any queries contact events@lse.ac.uk|

Hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSEgood

LSE Literary Festiva l2015

Department of Social Policy/PSSRU LSE Literary Festival Discussion

Perceptions of Madness: understanding mental illness through art, literature and drama|

Date: Wednesday 25 February 2015
Time: 17.00-18.30
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

Speakers including: Nathan Filer and others TBC
Chair: Professor Martin Knapp|

How mental illness is portrayed in art, literature and on TV can have a positive or negative effect on how the public perceives mental ill health. This panel discussion explores how such presentations of mental illness can affect public understanding of mental ill health with insights from research and personal experiences.

This event forms part of theLSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2015|, with the theme 'Foundations'.

All events in the Festival are free to attend and open to all. E-tickets will be available to book  online after 10am on Tuesday 3 February via LSE E Shop.

Hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest

LSE Literary Festiva l2015

Department of Social Policy Literary Festival Conversation

Global Development and Modern Fiction|

Date: Thursday 26 February 2015
Time: 18.30-20.00
Venue: Thai Theatre, New Academic Building

Speaker: Zia Haider Rahman
Chair: Professor David Lewis

Zia Haider Rahman, whose debut novel In The Light Of What We Know| was described by The Guardian "as an exploration of the post-9/11 world that is both personal and political, epic and intensely moving", talks to Professor David Lewis| about its themes, including identity, the workings of the global development industry, and the place of Bangladesh in the world.

This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2015|, with the theme 'Foundations'.

All events in the festival are free to attend and open to all. E-tickets are available t o book online after 10am on Tuesday 3 February via LSE E Shop.

Hashtag for this event for Twitter users: #LSElitfest

Further events are listed in the Department diary|.

Past events are listed in News and Events archive|.

Recent Podcasts

LSE Public Lectures

Conflict Research Group Public Discussion: Picturing Race and Inequality: the potential for social change|

Recorded on 13 January 2015

Speakers: Professor Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Mark Neville, Professor Tim Newburn|, Professor Gwendolyn Sasse, Polly Toynbee

Professor John Hills

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture: Good Times Bad Times: the welfare myth of them and us|

Recorded on 12 November 2014

Speaker: Professor Sir John Hills
|Respondents: Polly Toynbee, Professor Holly Sutherland
Chair: Professor Julian Le Grand|

Professor Paul Dolan

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture: Happiness by Design|

Recorded on 22 October 2014

Speaker: Professor Paul Dolan|
Chair: Professor Elaine Fox

Linda Tirado

Department of Social Policy public conversation: Hand to Mouth: the truth about being poor in a wealthy world|

Recorded on 16 October 2014

Speaker: Linda Tirado
Chair: Rowan Harvey
Introduction by Dr Amanda Sheely|

LSE Public Lectures

LSE Health and Africa Initiative Research Seminar: Practical and ethical dilemmas of working in the current Ebola crisis|

Recorded on 15 October 2014

Speaker: Dr Benjamin Black
|Chair: Dr Ernestina Coast|

 Anton Hemerijck

Department of Social Policy Centennial Lecture: Fault Lines and Silver Linings in the European Social Model(s)|

Recorded on 11 June 2014

Speaker: Professor Anton Hemerijck
Chair: Professor David Piachaud
Commentators: Dr Waltraud Schelkle and Professor David Soskice

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.
  • Reading the Riots [Video]
    Contributor(s): Professor Tim Newburn | Tim Newburn, Professor of Criminology and Social Policy, talks about the prize-winning study ‘Reading the Riots’ that he did with the Guardian newspaper.
  • MSc Criminal Justice Policy [Video]
    Contributor(s): Dr Coretta Phillips, Dr Michael Shiner, Professor Tim Newburn, Professor Robert Reiner, Kirat Kaur Kalyan, Amy Taylor, Sarah Anderson, Elvio Lopez-Correia, Alejandro Litman-Silberman, Sarah Anderson | Introduction to the MSc Criminal Justice Policy at the LSE.
  • Executive MSc Behavioural Science [Video]
    Contributor(s): Professor Paul Dolan, Dr Barbara Fasolo | A short video introduction to the Executive MSc in Behavioural Science which is being launched by LSE’s Departments of Social Policy and Management. The programme is delivered in a modular format and aims to provide a suite of high quality integrated courses for individuals seeking to advance their career in behavioural science while continuing to work.
  • Social Policy at LSE: Alistair McGuire [Video]
    Contributor(s): Professor Alistair McGuire | A profile of Alistair McGuire, Professor of Health Economics at LSE Department of Social Policy.
More videos available at Social Policy Video Channel|

Other videos

The Arts of Desistance Report cover

Koestler Trust Mentoring Programme
Released on:
03 November 2014
Contributor(s): Dr Leo Cheliotis|

Since 2007 The Koestler Trust has supported ex-offenders to continue with their artistic activities by matching them with a specially trained arts mentor. The Koestler Trust commissioned this film to help explain and promote the mentoring programme to future mentees, mentors and funders. The film explains the journey from a mentee that is starting out through to mentee that has attained a higher level with the programme.

Gearty Grilling: Martin Knapp on Spending on Mental Health
Released on: 30 October 2014
Contributor(s): Professor Martin Knapp|

Professor Martin Knapp discusses why we should prioritise spending on mental health.
Professor Paul Dolan

Department of Social Policy Public Lecture:
Happiness by Design|

Released on: 22 October 2014
Contributor(s):Professor Paul Dolan| 

Chaired by Professor Elaine Fox (Oxford), Paul Dolan held a public lecture at the LSE to coincide with his new book ‘Happiness by Design’. The sold out event included a lecture by Paul, a conversation with Elaine Fox and finally a Q&A segment with the audience that posed some interesting questions.

Gearty Grilling: Anne Power on growing inequality and why we need food banks
Released on: 
25 June 2014
Contributor(s): Professor Anne Power|

Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy, discusses growing inequality, why government should listen more to ordinary people and why we now need food banks.

Gearty Grilling: Julian Legrand on how choice and competition can improves public services|

Released on: 21 May 2014
Contributor(s): Professor Julian Legrand
Julian Le Grand, Richard Titmuss professor of social policy and one of the principal architects of the UK Government’s public service reforms, explains why competition is the best way of enhancing hospitals and schools.



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|

Routledge (November 2014)

Edited by Professor Jennifer Brown|

In recent decades, the remit of forensic psychology has considerably widened. From an original, narrow focus on presenting evidence to the courts, its scope now spreads across the whole span of civil and criminal justice. Forensic psychologists are now intimately involved with suspects, offenders, victims, witnesses, defendants, litigants, and justice professionals.

As serious academic and practical thinking in and around forensic psychology continues to develop, this new four-volume collection from Routledge's Critical Concepts in Psychology| series meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of literature. Edited by a leading scholar and practitioner, the collection gathers the foundational major works together with the very best contemporary scholarship.

With full index and thoughtful introductions, newly written by the editor, Forensic Psychology will be valued by scholars. students, and professionals in the field as a vital and enduring resource. Read more|

Good Times, Bad Times: the welfare myth of them and us

Good Times, Bad times: the welfare myth of them and us|

Policy Press (November 2014)

Two-thirds of UK government spending now goes on the welfare state and where the money is spent - healthcare, education, pensions, benefits - is the centre of political and public debate. Much of that debate is dominated by the myth that the population divides into those who benefit from the welfare state and those who pay into it. This ground breaking book, written by Professor John Hills|, uses extensive research and survey evidence to challenge that view. It shows that our complex and ever-changing lives means that all of us rely on the welfare state throughout our lifetimes, not just a small 'welfare-dependent' minority. Using everyday life stories and engaging graphics, Professor John Hills clearly demonstrates how the facts are far removed from the myths. More|

John Hills is Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion| at the London School of Economics. He was knighted in 2013 for services to the development of social policy.


Happiness by Design: Finding pleasure and purpose in everyday life| 

Penguin (August 2014)

In Happiness by Design, Professor Paul Dolan| brings the latest research in behavioural science together with current findings in happiness studies to create a new concept of happiness - it's not just how you think, it's how you act.

Paul Dolan is a Professor of Behavioural Science in the Department of Social Policy.

The student experience
Stories from LSE - the graduation day story|
LSE Research Festival 2015|- Call for Submissions
LSE Research Festival 2015
Podcasts and videos