Robert M Page

Department of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Reader in Democratic Socialism and Social Policy

Contact details

School of Social Policy
Muirhead Tower
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Robert M Page is a Reader in Democratic Socialism and Social Policy. He is the author or editor of nineteen books and short works as well as over forty chapters in edited books.  His books include Stigma which was first published by Routledge & Kegan Paul in 1984 and  reissued in a new edition by the Psychology Press in 2015: Modern Thinkers on Welfare (Harvester-Wheatsheaf edited with Vic George, 1994), Altruism and the British Welfare State (Avebury, 1996): British Social Welfare in the 20th Century (Macmillan, edited with Richard Silburn, 1999); Understanding Social Problems (edited with Margaret May and Edward Brunsdon, 2001): Global Social Problems (edited with Vic George, 2004): Social Policy: Issues and Developments (edited with Hugh Bochel, Catherine Bochel and Rob Sykes, 2005): Revisting the Welfare State (Open University Press, 2007) and Clear Blue Water? The Conservative Party and the Welfare State Since 1940 (Policy, 2015).


  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (1998)
  • PhD  University of Kent (1984)
  • BA (Hons) University of Kent (1976)


Robert Page was born in Hammersmith, West London. He gained both his BA and PhD degrees from the University of Kent.  He was previously a Lecturer in Social Policy at St Davids University College, Lampeter (1980-1988) before taking up a post as Lecturer in Social Policy & Administration at the University of Nottingham (1988 to 1998).  He moved to the University of Leicester in 1998 first as a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and subsequently as a Reader in Social Policy (2000). 

Robert has taught on a wide range of Social Policy and Social Science degree programmes including at the University of Kent, the Open University, University College, Cardiff, the University of Loughborough, the University of Alabama and Umea University. He was a member of the Social Policy Association Subject Benchmarking Panel in 1999 and a member of the QAA National Benchmarking Panel for Social Policy from 1999-2000.   He has served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Social Policy Association on three separate occasions (1994-1997: 2000-2003 and 2005-2007). He was a member of the editorial Board of the Journal of Social Policy (JSP) from 1994 to 2003.  He acted as Reviews Editor for JSP from 1996-2003.  He was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Poverty and Social Justice (formerly Benefits) from 1990-2010 and acted as Reviews Editor from 1997 to 2011.  Robert has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 1998.  He was a Leverhulme Study Abroad Fellow at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard in 2009. He has recently (2019) been appointed as a social policy columnist for the South Korean daily newspaper The Hankyoreh.


Robert Page teaches on the school’s undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. His main teaching interest is in the political history of the British welfare state since 1940.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • Social Issues and Social Policy
  • From Beveridge to May
  • Comparative Social Policy
  • Postgraduate Teaching
  • International Social Policy


Robert's research and scholarship has covered a wide range of social policy topics.  He is currently exploring the history of the Social Administration Association from 1967 to 1980  (see the full list of his publications in the link below).



Page, R.M. (2015)  Clear Blue Water?  The Conservative Party and the Welfare State Since 1940: Policy: Bristol, 201pp.

Page, R.M. (2015)  Stigma (new.edn), Psychology Press: Brighton and New York,  207pp.

Chapters in Books

`”Good solid Conservatism”: Theresa May’s “doctrine” and her approach to the welfare state’ in Needham, C., Heins, E. and Rees, J. (eds),  Social Policy Review 30.  Bristol: Policy, 2018, pp.111-130.

`Social policy’ in Crines, A.S. and Hickson, K. (eds), Harold Wilson – The Unprincipled Prime Minister? London: Biteback, 2016, pp. 149-64.

`”Progressive” neo-liberal conservatism and the welfare state: incremental reform or long-term destruction?’ In Fenger, M., Hudson, J. and Needham, C. (eds), Social Policy Review 28.  Bristol: Policy, 2016, pp. 89-105. 

`Equality’ in Hickson, K. (ed)  Rebuilding Social Democracy.  Bristol: Policy, 2016 pp. 25-42.

`The coming of age of progressive neo-liberal Conservative `welfarism’ under the Coalition government of 2010-15’ in L.Foster, A.Brunton, C.Deeming and T.Haux (eds)   In Defence of Welfare 2. Policy:Bristol, 2015, pp.52-4.

`The coalition, poverty and social security’  in M Beech and S Lee (eds)  The Conservative-Liberal Coalition: Examining the Cameron-Clegg Government.  Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, 2015, pp.68-85.

`Conservative governments and the welfare state since 1945’ in H.Bochel and G. Daly (eds), Social Policy (3rd edn). Routledge: London, 2014, pp.143-69).

`Labour governments and the welfare state since 1945’ in H.Bochel and G.Daly (eds) Social Policy (3rd edn). Routledge: London, 2014, pp. 170-97.


`Blue and Purple challenges to the welfare state.  How should “statist” Social Democrats respond?’  Social Policy & Society, 14: 3, 2015, pp.341-56 (with Matt Beech).

`Progressive turns in post-1945 Conservative social policy’, Political Studies Review, 12: 1, 2014, pp.17-28.

`Running out of road?  Dilemmas and issues for the British Labour Party and the Swedish Social Democrats in their search for a “modern” welfare state narrative’, Journal of International and Comparative Social Policy, 30: 2, 2014, pp. 107-26.

Short pieces

`Tawney, R.H. (1880-1962) in Ritzer, G. and Rojek, C. (eds) The Wiley-Blackwell  Encyclopaedia of Sociology, (2nd edition), 2019.

`A radical crisis for the subject of social policy?  Social Policy Association 50th Anniversary Blog Series No.16, 5th February, 2018.

Book Reviews

R. Carr (2014)  One Nation Britain: History, the Progressive Tradition, and Practical Ideas for Today’s Politicians.  Ashgate: Farnham in Party Politics (forthcoming 2016).

S.Sheard (2014)  The Passioinate Economist: How Brian Abel-Smith Shaped Global Health and Social Welfare. Policy: Bristol, in Journal of Social Policy, 44: 1, 2015, pp.196-98.

View all publications in research portal


The Welfare State, The Conservative Party, The Labour Party, Inequality and Social Mobility

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