A selection of publications, talks and media appearances up to my retirement in 2014. Navigate through the site using the buttons on the left of the screen.
You can look up material by genre:
Publications (books, articles and blogs, including works of fiction)
Media output (newspapers, TV and radio)
Presentations (inc. debates, etc)
If you are looking for work on social policy, you can also search by theme:
Family and Community
Poverty and Inequality
Tax and Welfare
(Professor Emeritus, University of Sussex, England)
Social policy researcher
(Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Independent Studies, Australia; Professorial Research Fellow at Civitas, London)
(Fiction, non-fiction and journalism)
Media commentator and public speaker
"Brash, brilliant and cannot be ignored"
Times Higher Education Supplement
The Sunday Times
"That rare beast - a sensible sociologist"
"The most prominent liberal intellectual in Australia"
Sydney Morning Herald
"The antithesis of an Ivory Tower intellectual"
ABC Radio National
"Saunders uses spare and stylish English to mow down paddocks of sacred cows"
Offering a classical liberal perspective on current issues:
In our universities, where there should be open debate and pluralism, there is political orthodoxy and intellectual conformity. Nine out of 10 UK sociology professors describe their politics as left wing and just 3% vote Conservative*. This ideological uniformity underpins the social policy advice academic 'experts' offer to politicians and the public. As an independent researcher I have tried to subject the claims of the academic establishment to critical scrutiny. Offering an alternative perspective based in classical liberal values of individual responsibility and personal liberty, I seek to find practical solutions to pressing social problems that do not entail more government spending, or more control of our lives by the state.
* Survey of sociology professors reported in A. H. Halsey, A History of Sociology in Britain, 2004
I used to be a sociologist, but I'm alright now...
ABC Radio National special programme, recorded in 2008, sets out my thoughts on sociology, politics, and more. See also:
Ideological bias and closed minds in academic sociology. Sociological Research Online, 2011
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Beware privileged hirelings and petty prophets:
'Who is to answer the question: What shall we do, and how shall we arrange our lives?.. Only a prophet or saviour can give the answers. If there is no such man, then you will certainly not compel him to appear on this earth by having thousands of professors, as privileged hirelings of the state, attempt as petty prophets to take over his role' (Max Weber, Science as a Vocation, 1919)