I am Professor of Applied Social Science and Assistant Dean (Research and Enterprise) in the School of Media, Culture and Society at the University of the West of Scotland.

I studied Social Science, specialising in Social Theory, at Paisley College of Technology, graduating with a first class honours award in 1987. I was later sponsored by the Scottish Special Housing Association/Scottish Homes to study for the Postgraduate Diploma in Housing Administration at the University of Stirling, graduating with distinction in 1991. After a period of time working with a housing co-operative in Feguslie Park, Paisley, followed by a year as a professional musician in New York City, I returned to the University of Paisley in 1993 to undertake a PhD in Political Sociology, which I completed and successfully defended in 1997 [Language, Ideology and Social Consciousness: An attempted application of the theories of L.S. Vygotsky and V.N. Voloshinov to contemporary sociopolitical conflict in the west of Scotland - Published as a book by Ashgate, 1999].

Prior to completing my PhD, I secured full-time employment as Lecturer in Politics at the University of Paisley, where I have continued to work since - being promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2004, Reader in 2012, Professor in 2015, and being appointed as Assistant Dean (Research and Enterprise) from 1st Jan 2017.

I am now a highly experienced applied social science academic and researcher, with a sustained track record of teaching excellence, effective administration and leadership, and collaborative and interdisciplinary research on key social and economic issues. I have extensive experience of working ‘beyond academia’ with a wide range of organisations across sectors and at different scales.

In 2011-12 I was co-creator of the pioneering UWS-Oxfam Partnership ‘for a more equitable and sustainable Scotland’, which I continue to lead on behalf of UWS.

Recent collaborative research has focused, inter alia, on the public policy causes of the phenomenon of ‘excess mortality’ in contemporary Scotland and Glasgow, and has made a substantial contribution to the progress from description to explanation of that phenomenon.

Area of research expertise - Outline

I have published in urban policy (urban regeneration), community development, the social determination of health and health inequalities, regional economic policy in the UK (particularly Scotland) and on the role of language/discourse in processes of social change. My approach to research is collaborative and inter/transdisciplinary, and generally takes an historical approach to social phenomena.

Target Collaborative Organisations (National, International, up to 3).

Belmont Forum;

Horizon 20202;

Glasgow Centre for Population Health;

NHS Health Scotland; 


Current research activities.

My recent research has focussed principally on health and health inequalities, with a particular focus on the phenomenon of 'excess mortality' in contemporary Scotland and Glasgow, and the role of public policy at various scales - particularly the 'regional' and urban scales - in its causation.

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