Peter Saunders personal website


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Brief Resume

I recently retired as an independent social policy researcher. My work focused on welfare reform, social mobility, income inequality and poverty. I still hold the honorary titles of Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Independent Studies (Sydney), Professorial Research Fellow at Civitas (London), and Professor Emeritus of the University of Sussex.

I spent the first 25 years of my professional life as lecturer, reader and professor at Sussex, where I taught sociology and urban studies. I also held visiting academic posts at Brown, Bremen, Melbourne, Canterbury and the Australian National universities. In 1999 I left academe and moved to Australia to become Research Manager at the Australian Institute of Family Studies, and in 2001 I became Social Research Director at the Centre for Independent Studies where I remained until 2008, when I returned to Britain.

Nowadays I concentrate mainly on creative writing. I have self-published two novels - a political thriller (
The Versailles Memorandum, about an Islamist terror attack), and a culture wars whodunnit (The Sweetest Girl, about an historic sex abuse allegation and its aftermath). I've also self-published a social history/autobiographical analysis of life in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s (Croydon Boy). All three are available for purchase from Amazon, or at discount from

In addition to my various books and articles (listed elsewhere on this web site), I have written extensively for newspapers in Australia and Britain and have appeared from time to time on radio and TV. In 2008, the
Sydney Morning Herald described me as, "The most prominent liberal intellectual in Australia." In 2010, Max Hastings described me in the Daily Mail as "that rare beast - a sensible sociologist." The Guardian attacked me in 2010 as "an ideas wrecker." I wear all three of these badges with pride.


Born: 1950.

Educated at Selhurst Grammar School, Croydon; University of Kent, Canterbury; Chelsea College, London.

Nationality: Dual British and Australian citizenship


2008 - : Freelance consultancy and independent author, based in England
2001-2008: Social Research Director, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney, Australia
1999-2000: Research Manager, Australian Institute of Family Studies, Melbourne, Australia
1988-1999: Professor of Sociology, University of Sussex (Professor Emeritus from 2002)
1984-1988: Reader in Sociology and Urban Studies, University of Sussex
1976-1984: Lecturer in Sociology, University of Sussex, England
1973-1976: Research Officer, Dept of Sociology, University of Essex, England


1996: Visiting Professor, Dept of Sociology, Brown University, USA
1992: Visiting Fellow, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology/Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
1992: Visiting Professor, ZWE (Arbeit und Region), Universitaet Bremen, Germany
1982: Visiting Lecturer, Dept of Sociology, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
1982: Visiting Research Fellow, Urban Research Unit, Australian National University
1981: Visiting Research Fellow, Dept of Environmental Planning, University of Melbourne, Australia


1971-73: Chelsea College, University of London: Ph.D in Sociology 1975
1968-71: University of Kent, Canterbury, Upper second class BA (Hons) in Sociology 1971


2010: Professorial Fellow, Civitas
2008: Distinguished Fellow of the Centre for Independent Studies
2002: Elected as Member of Mont Pelerin Society
2002: Professor Emeritus, University of Sussex

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