Alan Hudson


Alan Hudson was, until 2003, the Director of Social and Political Science at the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education teaching courses on The Politics and Government of the United Kingdom and the European Union, Social Policy and Research Methodologies and Political Ideologies.

Since 2003 he has been Director of Oxford University’s Programmes in Leadership and Public Policy. In the last five years he has been responsible for writing the curriculum training programmes in UK public policy and public administration which have been delivered to over 1000 senior Chinese public officials at municipal, provincial and national level including national ministers. The programmes include the Advanced Leadership Development Programme for those national ministers charged with the strategic implementation of the 11th Five Year plan for a Xiaokang or ‘well balanced society’ of economic development and social justice.

He has wide experience in both quantitative and qualitative research and analysis and acted as consultant in public, private and voluntary sectors. In the 1990’s he directed a widely cited Attitudes to Work Survey with a national sample. Subsequently he directed two survey examinations of the social attitudes of the key constituency of Basildon with particular reference to the relationship of the town’s population to central and local government. The second study was published as Basildon: the mood of the nation (Demos). His most recent work has been in the areas of education, training and employer recruitment strategies and also on the relationship between citizens and cities with reference to urban planning and group and national identity.

He is a member of the Sociology department of the University of Oxford, a fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford and of the Royal Society of Arts.


§ In partnership with Cambridge to develop for the UNDP and the People’s Republic of China an ‘Advanced Leadership Programme’ for ministers and provincial governors to meet the 11th Five Year Plan aim for ‘a well balanced society’.

§ To develop and co-ordinate relationships between UK local government and their Chinese equivalents including exchange study tours and academic publications.

§ To develop, teach and administer educational programmes in public policy and public administration for senior Chinese civil servants.

Research interests

The interface between the sociologies of work, education and consumption.

The transformation of post war Britain with particular reference to the changing nature of class relations and the debate on identity.

Policy-making and how it is legitimated through consultation and citizen participation. The nature of the contemporary city.


Journal articles

“Science and Democracy: the pursuit of modernity in China”, CITY, analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 2008;12(2 ): pp. 161-170.

“Twenty years of schooling and you end up on the day shift”, Work, Employment and Society, 2006; 20(2): pp 433-439.

“Regeneration and Sustainability – the new language of planning”, Urban Design International, 2005;10(2): pp 87-94.

“Intellectuals for our times” Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 2003;6(4): pp.33-50. ** This special journal was published in book form as Ideas, Intellectuals and the Public, (Taylor Francis, 2004).

“The McDonaldization of Higher Education” THES (6 July 2001).

Review of “Carried Away”, The Architects’ Journal (May 2001).

“The Planners and the Community”, The Architects’ Journal (October 2000).

“The Renaissance and the Sense of Agency” LM magazine (Spring 2000).

“The Interruption of History,” Prometheus (No. 2, Spring 1999).

‘The Tale of the Competent Tutorial’ in Hayes D, Debating Education. Issues for the New Millennium (Canterbury, 1996).

“‘Out of Time’: A Young Person’s Guide to History” Channel Cyberia, 1996.

Working Lives in the 1990s: the Provisional Findings of the Attitudes to Work Survey (Global Futures, 1996).

New Introduction and Edition of F. Engels, Socialism Utopian and Scientific (Junius, 1995).



Who are the C2s? A Social and Political Attitudes Survey, Basildon 1992: Basildon Revisited - Change and Continuity, co-authored with Dennis Hayes (Education & Work Research Group, 2001).

The Mood of the Nation: Basildon Man Revisited, co-authored with Dennis Hayes (Demos, 2001).

Co-author of Teaching and Training in Post - Compulsory Education (Open University Press, 1998, second edition 2003).


Book chapters

“Human History” in The Human (Dorling Kindersley, 2004).

“Educating the People” in Dennis Hayes (ed.) Guide to Key Debates in Education (Routledge Falmer, 2004).

“Elites and Standards in Higher Education” in The McDonaldization of Higher Education, (Greenwood Publishing: Westport, Connecticut, 2002).

“The Trouble with Planners” in Audacity – Sustaining the Profession of Architecture (John Wiley, 2001).


“China’s Future: Continuing Dynamism or Impending Chaos?”, Battle of Ideas, Institute of Ideas, 27 October 2007.

“Rule Britannia, Cool Britannia, Britain plc: Versions of Britishness”, Centre for Research on Nationalism, Ethnicity and Multiculturalism (CRONEM), University of Surrey, 12 June 2007.

“The Role of State and Market in Public Policy Reform in the UK”, Shanghai Administrative Institute, Shanghai, PRC, 4 May 2007.

“Twenty First Century Cities: Problems, Policy and Possibilities”, Cityscape, Earls Court conference Centre, 28 February 2007.

“The quality of Happiness and Suburban Living”, Superbia conference, Kingston University, 23 September 2006.

“Prospects for the World Economy”, Chengdu University, Sichuan, PRC, 10 April 2006.

“The Transformation of Post War Britain”, NorthEastern University, Shenyang, PRC, 12 October 2005.

“The idea of the University in the Western Tradition”, and Oxford convenor for The University in the Contemporary World [28 June – 2 July 2004], Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China, 29 June 2004.

“Embodying the Company: Cultural Fit in the Retail Industry”, 22nd Annual International Labour Process Conference, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Study, 7 April 2004.

“The High Point of Britishness: The Story of Basildon New Town”, Rethinking Britain conference, Institute of Contemporary British History, Senate House, University of London, 18 March 2004.

“Culture and Human Remains”, Museums Association Annual Conference, Brighton Conference Centre, 8 October 2003.

“Intellectuals for Our Times”, The Decline of the Intellectual in Public Life conference, Institute of Ideas at Goodenough College, London, 20 June 2003.

“Trafalgar Square and National Identity”, Square Politics Symposium at the National Gallery, 30 May 2003.

“Human Capital, Cultural Capital, Aesthetic Labour and Branding: The Components of Cultural Fit in the Retail Industry”, British Sociological Association Annual Conference, University of York, 13 April 2003.

“Regeneration and Sustainability: A New Language of Planning”, The International Conference of Sustainable Urban Environments, Christ Church College, University of Oxford, 25 September 2002.

“Identity and National Continuity”, Institute of Ideas, 20 May 2002.

“Education, Education, Education”, University of Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education day school, 23 February 2002.

“The Moment of Britishness”, Oberlin College, 16 October 2001.

“The Idea of Planning in Post-War Britain: The Moment of 1951”, The Architectural Foundation, Lansbury Festival, 20 September 2001.

“The Role of the University”, The McDonaldization of Higher Education conference, Canterbury Christ Church University College, 7 July 2001.

“The Overcrowded Curriculum”, Hay-on-Wye Literary Festival, 30 May 2001.

“The Disengaged Citizen”, University of Oxford Union, 17 April 2001.

“The Changing Face of the People”, Institute of Ideas, National Portrait Gallery London, 3 March 2001.

“The Mood of the Nation: Basildon Man Revisited”, Birkbeck College, University of London, 14 November 2000.

“Cultural Capital Comes to Bluewater”, Bourdieu in the 21st Century conference, University of East London, 14 October 2000.

“From Human to Cultural Capital”, Keynote Lecture, Mind the Gap conference, Canterbury Christ Church University College, 17 June 2000.

“The Case Study in Qualitative Research”, Mind the Gap conference, Canterbury Christ Church University College, 17 June 2000.

“The Transformation of Post War Britain: The Case of Basildon New Town”, History Faculty, Vanderbilt University, 15 March 2000.

‘The Changing Nature of the Curriculum”, Organisation of History Graduate Students, Vanderbilt University, 2 November 1999.

“Light Identities: Detachment from Civic Life in Basildon”, Demos, London 14 May 1999.

“The Historical Moment of Shakespeare: A Reconciliation of The Social and the Aesthetic”, Culture Wars conference, London, 7 March 1999.

“The Concept of Risk and the World of Work”, Work, Employment & Society conference, Cambridge University, 15 September 1998.

“What is Theory?”, Debating Education conference, Canterbury Christ Church University College, 12 June 1998.