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Department of Social Policy

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Department of Social Policy
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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.

New brain-training tool to help people cut drinking

An internationally-renowned LSE expert on happiness and behaviour has launched a free online tool to help people who want to cut down on alcohol.

Professor Paul Dolan, author of the bestselling book Happiness by Design, used insights from behavioural science to create the innovative and easy-to-use tool. It uses a simple brain-training exercise, known as a ‘cognitive bias modification’ (CBM), to reduce any unconscious preference people may have for alcoholic drinks over non-alcoholic ones.


New LSE book on the transformation of post-industrial European cities

Professor Anne Power’s new book, Cities for a Small Continent, collects compelling evidence from seven archetypal industrial cities across Europe that were the power-houses of the industrial revolution. She argues that far from being “clapped out”, “jobless, poor and dirty” they are stuffed with assets that can be recycled and reused. 

Richard Rogers, writing the foreword says “Anne Power is a tireless enthusiast for cities and communities, and a powerful advocate for a fairer society.  'Cities for a Small Continent’ is a passionate, original and informative book, telling how urban recovery and reinvention can point to a more radical and sustainable urban future.”  

Rayners Lane

LSE research shows significant social return on investment for London regeneration project

Home Group, one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality social housing and supported housing services and products, has published the results of a report carried out by LSE to assess the impact of a £140m regeneration programme at Rayners Lane, a former council owned estate in the London Borough of Harrow.

Anne Power, Professor of Social Policy at LSE, said: “Rayners Lane shows that it is possible to rebuild a former council estate with most of the existing tenants in place. By providing local management and community resources, the landlord can help the community flourish. The Rayners Lane model shows how social renting and private housing can fit together into a workable whole.”


Exclusive: Control over admissions should be removed from schools, new study by Professor Anne West recommends

A new report on secondary school admissions in London by Professor Anne West and Audrey Hind provides an up-to-date analysis of London secondary schools’ admissions criteria and practices between 2001 and 2015. The research finds that whilst compliance appears to be high as far as certain admissions arrangements are concerned (e.g., prioritising looked after children and not interviewing pupils or parents), problems remain. In particular, some admissions arrangements are complex and there is a concern that with increasing academisation and more schools controlling their own admissions, there will be even greater complexity. The complexity of the arrangements raises concerns that schools are choosing pupils rather than parents choosing schools for their children. A number of implications for policy are suggested which would serve to make the school admissions system simpler and clearer, and seek to ensure more equitable access to schools across different social groups.

Amartya Sen

South Asia Centre, Gender Institute and Eva Colorni Memorial Trust discussion
Tales of the Unexpected: gender equality and social progress in Bangladesh

Date: Friday 3rd June 2016
Time: 6.30pm-8.00pm
Old Theatre, Old Building

Speakers: Juli Huang, Professor David Lewis, Professor Amartya Sen
Professor Naila Kabeer

This panel will discuss why gender indicators for Bangladesh have shown a marked improvement despite various development indices not reflecting a similar upswing.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEBangladesh

Ticket Information:

This event is free and open to all however a ticket is required, only one ticket per person can be requested.


Further events are listed in the Department diary.

Past events are listed in News and Events archive.

Recent Podcasts

Cities for a small Continent

LSE Housing and Communities and La Fabrique de la Cité public discussion
Cities for a Small Continent

Recorded on 24th May 2016

Speakers: Professor Brice Katz, Professor Anne Power
Discussants: Donal Durkan, Mathieu Goetzke


Social Advantage And Disadvantage

Department of Social Policy book launch and discussion
Social Advantage and Disadvantage

Recorded on 18th May 2016

Speakers: Professor Hartley Dean, Professor Lucinda Platt,Dr Sonia Exley
Discussant: Fran Bennett
Chair: Professor David Piachaud
Panellists: Professor Stephen Jenkins, Dr Coretta Phillips, Dr Isabel Shutes

Tom Gash

Department of Social Policy and Mannheim Centre for Criminology Public Lecture
Criminal: the truth about why people do bad things

Recorded on 3rd May 2016

Speaker: Tom Gash
Chair: Professor Tim Newburn


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.
More videos available on the Social Policy Video Channel
More videos available on the CASE Video Channel
More videos available on the LSE Health and Social Care Video Channel


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
Cities for a small Continent

Cities for a Small Continent

Policy Press (May 2016)

Professor Anne Power’s new book, Cities for a Small Continent, collects compelling evidence from seven archetypal industrial cities across Europe that were the power-houses of the industrial revolution. She argues that far from being “clapped out”, “jobless, poor and dirty” they are stuffed with assets that can be recycled and reused.

Professor Power’s compelling framework spells out the green shoots of a new industrial economy to combat environmental and social unravelling. Community investment, social enterprise and integration, have gained momentum as Europe’s crowded, resource-constrained cities face environmental and social limits faster than other less densely urban countries, such as the US. She concludes that “Europe’s urban renaissance points to a more viable, more balanced urban future in the world’s smallest, most crowded, most city-loving continent.”

Social Policy In a Cold Climate

Social Policy in a Cold Climate: policies and their consequences since the crisis

Policy Press (April 2016)

Editors: Professor Ruth Lupton, Dr Tania Burchardt, Professor John Hills, Dr Kitty Stewart and Dr Polly Vizard

A new LSE book offers an authoritative, evidence-based analysis of the impact government policies have had on inequality and on delivery of services such as health, education, adult social care, housing and employment since the 2008 recession.

The editors, Ruth Lupton, Tania Burchardt, John Hills, Kitty Stewart and Polly Vizard, conclude that although the financial crisis and subsequent recession hit the economy hard, Britain’s welfare state did initially protect many of the most vulnerable from its sharpest effects.  But that protection was not uniform. Young adults were hardest hit in the labour market, for example, while those of pension age had their incomes improved faster than inflation.


Podcasts and videos
Undergraduate Open Day July 2016
Tales From Houghton Street Julian Le Grand