Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Professor Graham Room

Graham Room

Director of Research
Professor of Social Policy

3 East, 2.18
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 6090


Graham Room is Professor of European Social Policy at the University of Bath.  He is author, co-author or editor of thirteen books, the most recent being Agile Actors on Complex Terrains: Transformative Realism and Public Policy (Routledge, 2016). He was Director of the Institute for Policy Research until December 2013.

He was Founding Editor of the Journal of European Social Policy and is a member of the Academy of Social Sciences.

  • Consultant to the European Commission in regard to the development of its social action programmes in the field of poverty and social exclusion (1979-85)
  • Coordinator, Evaluation of the Second European Programme to Combat Poverty (1985-9)
  • Coordinator, EU Observatory on National Policies to Combat Social Exclusion (1990-93)
  • Member of the Council of Europe Steering Group on Poverty and Marginalisation (1990-9)
  • Director of Studies and coordinator of a seven-nation consortium, delivering a Masters Degree in European Social Policy Analysis (1990-95)
  • Founder Editor, Journal of European Social Policy (1991-2000)
  • Special Adviser, House of Lords Select Committee on the European Communities (1994)
  • Head of School of Social Sciences, University of Bath (1995-7)
  • Chair, University of Bath in Swindon Project Team, coordinating implementation of University’s academic plan for Swindon (2001-3)
  • Chair, International Assessment Board, Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2006-7)

Research interests

Over the years my research has spanned five broad themes:

This latest research is concerned with complexity theory and social dynamics and with the implications for policy analysis.  I retain a strong interest however – and a readiness to supervise research students – in the following areas

  • Complexity theory and social dynamics
  • Cross-national policy learning
  • Poverty and social exclusion
  • European and comparative social policy


Miscellaneous Papers


Room, G., 2017. From Brexit to European Renewal. Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath.

Room, G., Spence, A., Evangelou, E., Zeppini, P., Pugliese, E. and Napolitano, L., 2017. Dynamics of cumulative innovation in complex social systems (DCICSS). University of Bath.

Room, G., 2016. Agile Actors on Complex Terrains:Transformative Realism and Public Policy. Routledge. (Complexity in Social Science)

Room, G., 2011. Complexity, Institutions and Public Policy:Agile Decision-Making in a Turbulent World. Edward Elgar.

Room, G., Dencik, J., Gould, N., Kamm, R., Powell, P., Steyaert, J., Vidgen, R. and Winnett, A., 2005. The European Challenge:Innovation, Policy Learning and Social Cohesion in the New Knowledge Economy. Policy Press.

Gough, I., Wood, G., Barrientos, A., Bevan, P., Davis, P. and Room, G., 2004. Insecurity and welfare regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America: social policy in development contexts. Cambridge University Press.

Barnes, M., Heady, C., Middleton, S., Millar, J., Papadopoulos, F., Room, G. and Tsakloglou, P., 2002. Poverty and Social Exclusion in Europe. Edward Elgar.

Room, G. and Henningsen, B., 1997. Neue Armut in der Europaeischen Gemeinshaft [New poverty in the European community]. Campus Verlag.

Room, G., 1995. Beyond the threshold: The measurement and analysis of social exclusion. Policy Press.

Room, G., 1993. Anti-poverty action-research in Europe. School for Advanced Urban Studies.

Room, G., 1991. Towards a European welfare state? School for Advanced Urban Studies.

Room, G., 1990. New poverty in the European Community. Macmillian.

Room, G., 1986. Cross-national innovation in social policy: European perspectives on the evaluation of action-research. Macmillian.

Williamson, A. P. and Room, G., 1983. Health and welfare states of Britain: An inter-country comparison. Heinemann.

Dennett, J., James, E., Room, G. and Watson, P., 1982. Europe against poverty: The European poverty programme 1975-80. Bedford Square Press.

Room, G., 1979. The sociology of welfare: social policy, stratification and political order. Blackwell, Martin Robertson.

Book Sections

Room, G., 2016. Complexity Theory and Agile Policy-Making. In: Stiftung, B., ed. “To the Man with a Hammer…”:. Gütersloh, Germany: Bertelsmann Stiftung, pp. 107-120.

Room, G., 2015. Complexity, Power and Policy. In: Geyer, R. and Cairney, P., eds. Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy. Cheltenham: Elgar, pp. 19-31.

Room, G., 2014. The European Anti-Poverty Programmes From the 1970s to the 1990s:Lessons and Warnings for Hard Times. In: van Oorschot, W., Peters, H. and Boos, K., eds. Invisible Social Security Revisited. Leuven: LannooCampus, pp. 191-202.

Room, G., 2007. Benchmarking the New Economy: The Lisbon Process as Policy Context for Statistical Indicators. In: Wolters, T., ed. Measuring the New Economy: Statistics between Hard-Boiled Indicators and Intangible Phenomena. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 13-28.

Room, G., 2004. The International and Comparative Analysis of Social Exclusion: European Perspectives. In: Kennett, P., ed. Handbook of Comparative Social Policy. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, pp. 341-354.

Heady, C. and Room, G., 2003. Tackling poverty and social exclusion. In: Apospori, E. and Millar, J., eds. The dynamics of social exclusion in Europe: Comparing Austria, Germany, Greece, Portugal and the UK. Cheltenham: Elgar, pp. 164-177.

Room, G., 2000. Trajectories of Social Exclusion: The Wider Context for the Third and First Worlds. In: Gordon, D. and Townsend, P., eds. Breadline Europe: the Measurement of Poverty. Bristol, UK: Policy Press, pp. 407-439.

Room, G., 1997. Social Quality of Europe: Perspectives on Social Exclusion. In: Beck, W. and Van der Maesen, L., eds. The social quality of Europe. The Hague: Kluwer Law International, pp. 255-262.

Room, G., 1994. European Social Policy: Competition, Conflict and Integration. In: Page, R. and Baldock, J., eds. Social Policy Review 6. University of Kent: Social Policy Association, pp. 17-35.

Room, G. and 6, P., 1994. Welfare States in Europe and the Third Sector. In: 6, P. and Vidal, I., eds. Delivering welfare: repositioning non-profit and co-operative action in western European welfare states. Barcelona: CEIS, pp. 39-67.

Room, G., 1992. Government Against Poverty in the European Community. In: Crouch, C. and Heath, A., eds. Social research and social reform: essays in honour of A. H. Halsey. Oxford: Clarendon Press, pp. 127-141.

Room, G., 1991. A Time for Change. In: Becker, S., ed. Windows of opportunity: public policy and the poor. London: Child Poverty Action Group, pp. 55-64.

Room, G., 1981. Das ende der Wohlfahrtstaates? In: Mommsen, W., ed. Die Entstehung des Wohlfahrtsstaates in Grossbritannien und Deutschland 1850-1950. Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta.

Room, G., 1981. The End of the Welfare State? In: Mommsen, W., ed. The emergence of the welfare state in Britain and Germany. London: Croom Helm, pp. 409-423.


Room, G., 2016. Nudge or nuzzle?:improving decisions about active citizenship. Policy Studies, 37 (2), pp. 113-128.

Room, G., 2015. IPR Report Challenges Effectiveness of Austerity in UK & Eurozone. International Policy Digest

Room, G., 2015. Capital in the twenty-first century. Journal of European Social Policy, 25 (2), pp. 242-248.

Room, G., 2013. Evidence for agile policy makers:The contribution of transformative realism. Evidence and Policy, 9 (2), pp. 225-244.

Room, G., 2012. Evolution and the arts of civilisation. Policy & Politics, 40 (4), pp. 453-471.

Room, G., 2011. Social mobility and complexity theory: towards a critique of the sociological mainstream. Policy Studies, 32 (2), pp. 109-126.

Room, G., 2010. The path to Lisbon - The European Anti-Poverty Programmes from the 1970s to the 1990s. Kurswechsel, 3/2010, pp. 9-18.

Room, G., 2008. Social policy in Europe: paradigms of change. Journal of European Social Policy, 18 (4), pp. 345-352.

Room, G., 2007. Challenges facing the EU:Scope for a coherent response. European Societies, 9 (2), pp. 229-244.

Room, G., 2006. Local players in European games: Review essay. Journal of European Social Policy, 16 (2), pp. 167-172.

Room, G. and Britton, N., 2006. The dynamics of social exclusion. International Journal of Social Welfare, 15 (4), pp. 280-289.

Room, G. J., 2005. Policy Benchmarking in the European Union: Indicators and Ambiguities. Policy Studies, 26 (2), pp. 117-132.

Room, G., 2005. Reform and change in higher education edited by A.Gornitza, M.Kogan and A.Amaral, 2005: Springer: Dordrecht [Book review]. Higher Education Digest, 53, pp. 3-4.

Room, G. J., 2002. Education and Welfare: Recalibrating the European Debate. Policy Studies, 23, 37--50.

Room, G. J., la Porte, C. d. and Pochet, P., 2001. Social benchmarking, policy making and new governance in the EU. Journal of European Social Policy, 11, pp. 291-307.

Room, G., 2000. Commodification and decommodification: a developmental critique. Policy & Politics, 28 (3), pp. 331-351.

Room, G., 2000. Globalisation, social policy and international standard-setting: the case of Higher Education credentials. International Journal of Social Welfare, 9 (2), pp. 103-119.

Room, G. J., 1999. Social exclusion, solidarity and the challenge of globalization. International Journal of Social Welfare, 8 (3), pp. 166-174.

Room, G., 1995. Poverty in Europe: competing paradigms of analysis. Policy & Politics, 23 (2), pp. 103-113.

Room, G., 1991. Social policy and the European Commission. Social Policy and Administration, 25 (3), pp. 175-183.

Room, G., Lawson, R. and Laczko, F., 1989. 'New Poverty' in the European Community. Policy & Politics, 17 (2), pp. 165-176.

Room, G., 1984. Learning from each other: Social policy innovation through cross-national action—research. Community Development Journal, 19 (2), pp. 104-111.

Room, G., 1983. The action projects in the European poverty programme: Strategies, obstacles and lessons for the future. Revue des Communautes Europeenes

Room, G., 1983. The politics of evaluation: the European poverty programme. Journal of Social Policy, 12 (02), pp. 145-163.


Room, G., 2015. Alternatives to Austerity. Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath. (IPR Spotlight)

Room, G., Evans, M., Steyaert, J., Kubitsche, L., Muller, S., Meyer, I., Cullen, K., Milicevic, I., , U. o. B., , E., B. and , W. R. C., D., 2006. Thematic study to analyse policy measures to promote access to information technologies as a means of combating social exclusion: final report. European Commission.

Room, G., 2004. Final report on conceptualism and analysis of the new information economy. New Economy Statistical Information System [NESIS].

Room, G., 1994. Agencies, Institutions and Programmes: Their Interrelationships and Coordination in Efforts to Combat Social Exclusion. European Commission.

Room, G., 1993. Social Services and Social Exclusion in the European Community:Report presented to the European Commission. European Commission.

Room, G., 1992. National Policies to Combat Social Exclusion, Second Annual Report of the EC Observatory on Policies to Combat Social Exclusion. European Commission.

Room, G., 1991. National Policies to Combat Social Exclusion, First Annual Report of the EC Observatory on Policies to Combat Social Exclusion. European Commission.

Conference or Workshop Items

Room, G., 2010. Complexity Theory and Social Analysis. In: Paper presented to Faculty of Social Sciences, Oslo University College, 2010-05-10.

Room, G., 2009. European poverty and policy: from the Paris summit to the crisis of the present. In: Colloquium 'Policy and Action on Poverty: Lessons from the Past. Challenges for the Future', 2009-09-15.

Room, G., 2009. Social mobility as a process of self-organised criticality. In: UK Social Policy Association Conference, 2009-06-30.

Room, G., 2008. Dynamic analysis in social policy. In: UK Social Policy Association Conference, 2009-06-30.

Room, G., 2007. Social policy and the knowledge economy. In: East Asia Social Policy research network (EASP), 2007-10-20.

Room, G., 2007. Social policy in Europe:paradigms of change. In: ESPAnet Annual Conference, Institute for Social Policy, 2007-09-20.

Room, G., 2005. Mobilising researchers: their role in relation to Lisbon. In: ESRC seminar,"Implementing the Lisbon Strategy: Policy Coordination through 'Open' Methods", 2005-11-10.

Room, G., 2004. Applying a life-course lens to exclusion. In: Policy Research Initiative Conference, Exploring New Approaches to Social Policy, 2004-12-01.

Room, G., 2000. Tackling poverty: opportunities for all. In: European Employment: Social and Economic Reform, 2000-01-31 - 2000-02-02.

Non-academic press

Room, G. and Martin, C., 2015. How to save Corbynomics from itself. The Conversation

This list was generated on Tue Oct 17 16:11:07 2017 IST.

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