Hartley Dean is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, having joined the Department of Social Policy in 2002. He previously held posts at the Universities of Luton and Kent. However, his 30 year academic career had been preceded by a 12 year career as a community-based welfare rights worker at an inner-London advice centre, which is where the practical foundations of his commitment to social policy were laid.
Hartley’s principal research interests have stemed from his concerns with poverty, social justice and welfare rights. His academic research has drawn primarily upon qualitative methods and has extended, on the one hand, to the investigation of people's everyday experiences of poverty, social exclusion and welfare intervention, and on the other, to the ways in which people's understanding of human needs and social rights are socially and discursively constructed. While his empirical work has been largely UK focused, in his writing he has engaged with welfare rights and conceptual issues in a broader global context. Among his more recently published books are Social Policy (Polity, 2006, 2012 & 2019), and Social Rights and Human Welfare (Routledge, 2015). He has also contributed to a wide range of edited books and published in a spectrum of academic journals. He is a past editor of the Journal of Social Policy.