Peter Taylor-Gooby

Research Professor of Social Policy
University of Kent

Professor Peter Taylor-Gooby is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Founding Academician at the Academy of Social Sciences and, previously, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Sociology and Social Policy Section.

His main interests are in current developments in the welfare state: the cuts and welfare state restructuring, the social divisions association with inequality and the struggles over multiculturalism. He has further interests in cross-disciplinary work on risk, comparative cross-national work on European social policy and work on theoretical developments in social policy.


He chaired the REF 2014 Social Work and Social Policy and Administration panel and the corresponding RAE 2008 Panel. He won the University of Kent Advanced Research Prize in 2018. Between 2009 and 2010, he participated in the Prime Minister’s No 10 ‘progressive consensus’ Round Table and advised the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit. Peter was awarded the OBE for services to social science in 2012. He completed his PhD in Social Policy at the University of Kent, his M Phil and Diploma in Social Administration at the University of York and his BA in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Bristol.

Peter started his lecturing career at the University of Manchester as a Lecturer in Social Administration before joining the University of Kent in 1979 as a Lecturer in Social Policy. He became Professor of Social Policy in 1990. He directed the Norface WelfSoc programme 2015-18, the ESRC Risk programme (2003-9), the EU FP7 Welfare Reform and Societal Change programme (2001-4) and the ESRC Economic Beliefs and Behaviour programme (1994-9).

He has written 28 academic books, over 140 articles, more than 130 chapters in academic books and has given more than 100 keynote presentations at international conferences. Having become increasingly dissatisfied with the weakness of social science in addressing the emotions and presumptions that are so strong an influence on people’s behaviour, he is developing ways of examining such issues through novels such as 'Ardent Justice', 'The Baby Auction' and ‘A Kinder City’.