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The Sociology Post

Objectivity and Truth in Facts and Values

7th May 2021

Science, morality, and politics are all highly contested areas and there has been a constant attempt to establish objectively valid statements about how the world is and how it ought to be. The idea of an objective social science, however, has often been linked with a view of value freedom that stresses the irreconcilable character of moral and political disputes. How, if at all, can there be objectivity in such disputes?

Twilight of democracy?

25th November 2019

Is parliamentary democracy broken? Are the current problems over the handling of Brexit perhaps reflections of something much more problematic about democracy? How should parliamentary democracy operate, what should be the limits on executive power, and how should we regard the rise of populism and alienation from parliament? 

Reforming the Lords

13th March 2018

Much of my research has concerned status and the dominant classes in relation to political power. One focus has been on the role of the House of Lords in Parliament. This has changed considerably over time. The link between the House of Lords and an hereditary peerage has almost disappeared. Most members of the House today are Life Peers who are appointed by the main political parties or by an Appointments Commission as independent, crossbench members. The Lords today has to be viewed as a central part of the parliamentary system concerned with reflecting on, revising, and improving legislation. The important question is what further reforms are needed in order to enhance its role.