We focus our energies through concerns with escalating inequalities and injustices across the globe, informed by sustained fieldwork and empirical inquiry in numerous nations. We also keep sight of our own situated position within London, the UK, and Europe. We have wide ranging expertise straddling the economic, political, social and cultural challenges of our times.
Uniting all our work is a commitment to addressing the relationship between ‘personal problems’ and ‘public issues’, and thereby linking social relations at all scales to address urgent challenges. We address issues which have recently become prominent, notably financialisaton, intensified inequality, expanded migration, climate change as well as great historical turning points and macro-historical change, notably the rise of democracy, the remaking of political divides, key transformations in capitalism, racial and gender divides, humanitarianism and world wars.
Our colleagues share direct research experience drawn from studies on every continent of the world, and we have conducted fieldwork in Argentina, Australia, Colombia, India, South Africa and other parts of Africa, the US and the Caribbean, as well as the UK.
A ‘triad’ of concerns – with theory, method and empirics – informs every strategic decision within the Department, shapes our relationship with the discipline more broadly, and frames the discussions we have with each other, with our students, and the wider LSE community. We see ourselves very strongly as a ‘mixed methods’ department, with expertise in both quantitative and qualitative methods informing our work in four research clusters: Economic Sociology; Politics and Human Rights; Social Inequalities; and Urban Sociology.
The Department is committed to a strong public as well as academic presence, emphasising the public-facing nature of our research and its capacity to make a difference in the world. We therefore do not distinguish core sociological research from impact, and encourage research published in the strongest academic outlets to also have strong public outreach. You can read more about our impact and knowledge exchange here.
The Department continues to be a major stronghold of research on cities, politics and human rights. Colleagues are currently in receipt of major research grants from the ERC, Horizon 2020, Welcome, the Leverhulme Trust and ESRC and we plan major funding bids in the future.
We work closely with colleagues in the following Research Centres and Institutes: