Professor Patrick Dunleavy

Professor Patrick Dunleavy

Professor of Political Science and Public Policy

Department of Government

+44 (0)207 955 7178
Room No
CBG 3.29
Office Hours
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Key Expertise
Political Choice Theory, Electoral Systems, Voting Behaviour

About me

Patrick Dunleavy studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduating in 1973. He moved to Nuffield College, Oxford to work on his D.Phil (published as The Politics of Mass Housing in Britain, 1945-75) until 1978. He became a Junior Research Fellow at Nuffield in 1976. He moved briefly to the Open University as Lecturer in Urban Studies (1978-9) before joining LSE as a Lecturer. He was promoted successively to Reader in 1986 and Professor in 1989. Subsequently he founded LSE Public Policy Group in 1992. He became a (founding) member of the Academy of the Social Sciences in 1999.

Research interests

  • Public choice theory
  • Electoral systems
  • Voting behaviour and party competition
  • Bureau shaping and bureaucracy
  • Government structures and institutional analysis
  • Executive budgeting
  • New public management and globalization
  • Urban politics
  • Political sociology

Teaching responsibilities

  • GV4B3: MPA Capstone Project
  • GV4D5: Organisations, Power and Leadership
  • IS479: Information Systems for the Public Sector: Digital Government and Service Innovation


Theories of the Democratic State
(Palgrave, 2009)

We live in a world governed by states whose enduring importance and domination of contemporary politics has been strikingly underlined by their renewed activism in the face of a global economic crisis.

Yet the very nature of states remains deeply contested, with a range of competing theories offering very different views of how they actually do or should operate. In the past this competition has lead to deep ideological conflict – and even to war. In this major new work, John S. Dryzek and Patrick Dunleavy provide a broad-ranging assessment of classical and contemporary theories of the state, focusing primarily on the democratic state form that has come to dominate modern politics.

The authors' starting point is the classical theories of the state: pluralism, elite theory, Marxism and market liberalism. They then turn to the contemporary forms of pluralism prevalent in political science, systematically exploring how they address central issues, such as networked governance, globalization, and changing patterns of electoral and identity politics. They proceed to analyse a range of key contemporary critiques of modern states and democracy that have emerged from feminism, environmentalism, neo-conservatism and post-modernism. Each approach is carefully introduced and analysed as far as possible in relation to a common set of issues and headings.

Theories of the Democratic State takes the reader straight to the heart of contemporary issues and debates and, in the process, provides a challenging and distinctive introduction to and reassessment of contemporary political science.