Professor. Sociologist. Writer.


I am currently Chair of Sociology at the University of Aberdeen. 

My research profile at the University of Aberdeen is available here

My detailed biography on Wikipedia is available here

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Read my blog posts here

Read my academic research on Google Scholar

Find my publications and profile on ResearchGate 

About Me



 After graduating with first a Bachelors and then a Doctoral degree from the University of Kent, I taught at Plymouth and then at Lancaster Universities. During the early 1990s I helped to set up the Sociology Department at the Central European University, Prague before moving to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna, where I later became Head of Sociology. I was formerly editor of the international journal "European Societies", official journal of the European Sociological Association. I was elected President of the European Sociological Association, serving from September 2007 to October 2009. I was Director of Research for the College of Arts and Social Sciences between 2008 and 2011 and then became Vice Principal for Research and Knowledge Exchange for the University in 2011. I am responsible for Research Income and Commercialisation, Researcher Development  and Postgraduate Research Students.



 My research falls into two main areas at present: quality of life and digital economy.  I have had a long term interest in quality of life issues and have contributed to a number of the reports about quality of life in Europe produced by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions  ( Prior to that I contributed to European debates about social capital and was Director of the European Observatory on social cohesion and trust,  2005-2006.  This has culminated in a book together with Pamela Abbott and Roger Sapsford "The Decent Society" (2016 Routledge) where we explore what produces social quality in different circumstances around the world. 


Research Themes

My research explore six themes which can be found here.