Richard Titmuss

Titmuss, initially almost single-handedly, created the academic field of social administration (what we would now call social policy) in Britain.

Richard Titmuss was a leading social policy academic and analyst. Following his appointment as the LSE’s first Professor of Social Administration in 1950, he initially almost single-handedly, created the academic field of social administration (what we would now call social policy) in Britain. He was a Labour Party advisor and wrote extensively on health and other welfare issues.

Richard Titmuss

Howard Glennerster gave the Richard Titmuss Memorial Lecture at the LSE in 2013 and reflected on his achievements: Richard Titmuss: Forty years on.

LSE biography of Titmuss

John Stewart’s award winning biography of Richard Titmuss - Richard Titmuss: A Commitment to Welfare - is the first full-length biography of Titmuss and examines his influence on welfare and policy in post-war Britain. The book delves into Titmuss’s ideas, via the lens of his extensive work, particularly those around the principles of altruism and social solidarity, as well as his role in policy and academic networks at home and overseas. This is an insightful portrait of a man who deepened our understanding of social problems as well as the policies that respond most effectively to them. 

The biography was published in June 2020 and was awarded the British Academy Peter Townsend Prize in 2021. It is the second in a series of biographies of Brian Abel-Smith’s fellow social policy pioneers: LSE Pioneers in Social Policy. You can order a copy of the book hereread a review in the New Left Review here and in the Journal of Social Policy here.

You can read Stewart’s blog on Titmuss and Social Policy at the LSE on the LSE History Blog here and a further blog reflecting on Titmuss’ legacy fifty years on here. He has also written a piece on what Titmus would have thought of the Coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the UK, which you can find here.

Stewart visited LSE in 2018 to discuss Titmuss and his contribution to the shaping of the NHS and health and welfare reform more generally. Download the podcast here

John Stewart is Emeritus Professor of Health History at Glasgow Caledonian University.

"A full and engaging analysis, with much relevance to today, of how the pioneer of social policy worked in many fields to establish it as a broad-based subject." - Adrian Sinfield, The University of Edinburgh

"More than a life story, Stewart’s lucid and intelligent study sets the evolution of Titmuss’s thought against the politics of the emergent welfare state. A must-read for scholars of British social policy." - Martin Gorsky, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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