Peter Saunders personal website


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Brief Resume

Peter Saunders recently retired as an independent social policy researcher whose work has focused on welfare reform, social mobility, income inequality and poverty. He holds the honorary titles of Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Independent Studies, Professorial Research Fellow at Civitas, and Professor Emeritus of the University of Sussex.

He spent 25 years as lecturer, reader and professor at Sussex, where he taught sociology and urban studies. In this time, he also held visiting academic posts at Brown, Bremen, Melbourne, Canterbury and the Australian National universities. In 1999 he left academe and moved to Australia to become Research Manager at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, and in 2001 he became Social Research Director at the Centre for Independent Studies where he remained until 2008, when he returned to Britain.

His publications include Urban Politics (1979), Social Theory and the Urban Question (1981/1986), A Nation of Home Owners (1990), Privatisation and Popular Capitalism (1994), Capitalism: A Social Audit (1995), Australia's Welfare Habit (2004), Social Mobility Myths (2010), The Rise of the Equalities Industry (2011), Beyond Beveridge (2013) and Restoring A Nation of Home Owners (2016). He is also co-author of two student text books, An Introduction to British Politics (now in its third edition) and The Survey Methods Workbook (2004), and in 2009 he self-published a novel, The Versailles Memorandum. His academic books have been translated into German, Italian, Korean, Romanian, Portugese, Turkish and Mandarin.

He has written extensively for newspapers in Australia and Britain and has appeared regularly on radio and TV discussing his work. In 2008, the Sydney Morning Herald described him as, "The most prominent liberal intellectual in Australia." In 2010, Max Hastings described him in the Daily Mail as "that rare beast - a sensible sociologist." The Guardian attacked him in 2010 as "an ideas wrecker" (a badge he wears with pride).


Born: 1950.

Educated at Selhurst Grammar School, Croydon; University of Kent, Canterbury; Chelsea College, London.

Nationality: Dual British and Australian citizenship


2008 - : Freelance consultancy and independent author, based in England
2001-2008: Social Research Director, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney, Australia
1999-2000: Research Manager, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne, Australia
1988-1999: Professor of Sociology, University of Sussex (Professor Emeritus from 2002)
1984-1988: Reader in Sociology and Urban Studies, University of Sussex
1976-1984: Lecturer in Sociology, University of Sussex, England
1973-1976: Research Officer, Dept of Sociology, University of Essex, England


1996: Visiting Professor, Dept of Sociology, Brown University, USA
1992: Visiting Fellow, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology/Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
1992: Visiting Professor, ZWE (Arbeit und Region), Universitaet Bremen, Germany
1982: Visiting Lecturer, Dept of Sociology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
1982: Visiting Research Fellow, Urban Research Unit, Australian National University
1981: Visiting Research Fellow, Dept of Environmental Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia


1971-73: Chelsea College, University of London: Ph.D in Sociology 1975
1968-71: University of Kent, Canterbury, Upper second class BA (Hons) in Sociology 1971


2010: Professorial Fellow, Civitas
2008: Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Independent Studies
2002: Elected as Member of Mont Pelerin Society
2002: Professor Emeritus, University of Sussex

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