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Department of Social Policy and Intervention

The Department of Social Policy and Intervention is a multidisciplinary centre of excellence for research and teaching in social policy, the development and systematic evaluation of social interventions, and population studies. It carries out both applied and basic research and is home to a global community of academics and researchers with a range of disciplinary backgrounds, including social policy, sociology, demography, political science, geography and psychology.
Our graduate students are engaged in the study of comparative social policy - exploring welfare systems and policy developments across a range of different countries; and of evidence-based social intervention and policy evaluation - learning about the development and evaluation of interventions to address social and public health problems. At undergraduate level, we teach an option course on Social Policy within the PPE and Modern History degrees. We also teach Demography on the Human Sciences degree.
The department’s research is international in outlook. We have contributed to academic debate and our work has had a significant impact on policy and practice, from the way in which government funds are allocated to the delivery of local programmes. Our two main research clusters are the Oxford Institute of Social Policy (OISP) and the Centre for Evidence-Based Social Intervention (CEBI). In addition, we host the interdepartmental Centre for AIDS Interdisciplinary Research at Oxford (CAIRO).

Series associated with Department of Social Policy and Intervention

Comparative Methods Workshop
Demographic Trends and Problems of the Modern World
Department of Social Policy 2013-14 Centenary Lectures
Department of Social Policy and Intervention
Sidney Ball Memorial Lectures
# Episode Title Description People Date
1 Why should we have trust in numbers? Making evidence more reliable, and empowering people to check it Professor David Spiegelhalter, , Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk in the Statistical Laboratory, Centre for Mathematical Sciences, University of Cambridge delivers the annual Sidney Ball lecture at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford David Spiegelhalter 02 Nov 2017
2 Creative Commons Britain, Europe and Social Policy For the 2016 Sidney Ball Memorial Lecture, Professor Colin Crouch, Vice-President for Social Sciences, gives a talk on European social policies. Colin Crouch 11 Nov 2016
3 Inside the 'Black Box' of the Family The family is often seen as one unit, sharing resources equally, with money being neutral whatever its origin or purpose. But research by Fran Bennett suggests this is too simple. Fran Bennett 19 Sep 2016
4 Anti-Deinstitutionalization and Anti-Institutionalization for Persons with Severe Mental Illnesses: Finding Common Ground The 2015 Sidney Ball Memorial Lecture, Anti-Deinstitutionalization and Anti-Institutionalization for Persons with Severe Mental Illnesses: Finding Common Ground, delivered by Dr Phyllis Solomon, University of Pennsylvania. Phyllis Solomon 18 Dec 2015
5 Parenting then and now: Has support policy and practice kept up with the evidence? Stephen Scott, Institute of Psychiatry, King' College, London, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Hilary Term 2014, celebrating 100 years of social enquiry at Oxford University's Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Stephen Scott 12 Aug 2015
6 Creative Commons How to reduce global homicide rates by 70 percent: Learning from past successes to inform future policies Manuel Eisner, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Hilary Term 2014, celebrating 100 years of social enquiry at Oxford University's Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Manuel Eisner 12 Aug 2015
7 Creative Commons Recurring themes in the history of social work: where to now? Ann Buchanan, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Hilary Term 2014, celebrating 100 years of social enquiry at Oxford University's Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Ann Buchanan 12 Aug 2015
8 The EU and national welfare: The shifting boundaries of solidarity Maurizio Ferrera, Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Milan, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Hilary Term 2014. Maurizio Ferrera 03 Jun 2015
9 Constructing unemployment: Historical perspectives Noel Whiteside, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Hilary Term 2014, celebrating 100 years of social enquiry at Oxford University's Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Noel Whiteside 03 Jun 2015
10 Lessons from history? Charity, mutual aid and the origins of the 'Big Society Bernard Harris, School of Applied Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Michaelmas Term 2013. Bernard Harris 03 Jun 2015
11 Creative Commons It takes a village: Meeting the complex needs of poverty-impacted youth and their families, locally and globally Mary McKay, Professor and Director, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, New York University, delivered the Astor Visiting Lecture on 21 May 2015. Mary McKay 27 May 2015
12 Creative Commons Research, Policy, and Societal Perspectives on New Psychoactive Substances Part four of the 'Interventional Perspectives on Substance Use and Misuse' seminar series which took place in Hilary Term 2014. Harry Sumnall 19 May 2015
13 Creative Commons Alcohol Policy and Its Societal impact Part three of the 'Interventional Perspectives on Substance Use and Misuse' seminar series which took place in Hilary Term 2014. Colin Drummond 19 May 2015
14 Creative Commons Adolescent Substance Use: What Do We Think We Know, Should We Intervene and if so, When? Part two of the 'Interventional Perspectives on Substance Use and Misuse' seminar series which took place in Hilary Term 2014. Alex Sutherland 19 May 2015
15 Creative Commons Drug Control, Human Rights and Bridging 'Parallel Universes' Part one of the 'Interventional Perspectives on Substance Use and Misuse' seminar series which took place in Hilary Term 2014. Rick Lines 19 May 2015
16 The Major Assumptions of Evidence-Based Policy: Bringing Empirical Evidence to Bear The Sidney Ball Memorial Lecture 2014 given by Professor Tom Cook. Tom Cook 04 Nov 2014
17 Barnett House Centenary Reunion Weekend Keynote Lecture Magdalena Sepulveda, United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, gives the keynote lecture for the Department of Social Policy and intervention Barnet House Centenary Weekend. Magdalena Sepulveda 14 Jul 2014
18 Making a Difference: Policy, Practice and Human Rights Jacqueline Bhabha gives a the centinary alumni lecture for the Department of Social Policy and Intervention on the challenges and successes of defending the human rights of refugees and immigrants Jacqueline Bhabha 14 May 2014
19 Creative Commons A brief history of randomised controlled trails in education (over the last 100 years) Professor Carole Torgerson, Durham University, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Michaelmas Term 2013, celebrating 100 years of social enquiry at Oxford University's Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Carole Torgerson 26 Feb 2014
20 Creative Commons Warfare and the welfare state: causal mechanisms and effects Professor Herbert Obinger, University of Bremen, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Michaelmas Term 2013, celebrating 100 years of social enquiry at Oxford University's Department of Social Policy and Intervention. Herbert Obinger 26 Feb 2014
21 Creative Commons Using social science research to influence policy: the case of the family justice system Ceridwen Roberts, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Michaelmas Term 2013, celebrating 100 years of social enquiry at Oxford University's Department of Social Policy and Invervention. Ceridwen Roberts 26 Feb 2014
22 Knowledge and humility in social work: learning from past mistakes Professor Eileen Munro, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, gives a talk as part of the Centenary seminar series in Michaelmas Term 2013. Eileen Munro 26 Feb 2014
23 Creative Commons Barnett House: a hundred years of research policy and practice George Smith, Teresa Smith, Liz Peretz, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, gave a lecture as part of the Centenary seminar series in Michaelmas Term 2013. George Smith, Teresa Smith, Elizabeth Peretz 26 Feb 2014
24 Creative Commons Speaking Truth to Power: Social Policy in Action - Sidney Ball Memorial Lecture 2013 The 2013 lecture 'Speaking Truth to Power: Social Policy in Action' delivered by Baroness Lister of Burtersett on 4th of December 2013 in the Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony's College. Ruth Lister, Chris Patten 17 Dec 2013
25 Creative Commons Department of Social Policy and Intervention Graduate Research Student Conference Keynote Speech 2 Prof Laurence Moore, Director of the Centre for the Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement gives a talk for the Graduate Student Research Conference on 19 October 2012. Laurence Moore 14 Jan 2013
26 Creative Commons Department of Social Policy and Intervention Graduate Research Student Conference Keynote Speech 1 Dr Philip Davies, Deputy Director at the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation, gives a keynote talk for the Department of Social Policy and Intervention Graduate Research Student Conference on October 19 2012. Philip Davies 14 Jan 2013
27 Creative Commons HIV and AIDS - Special lecture for Oxford AIDS Research Day 2012 Mark Heywood reflects on the impact of HIV and AIDS for the 4th Annual HIV / AIDS Student Research day. Mark Heywood 27 Nov 2012
28 Creative Commons The Reform of the Welfare State and the Dynamics of People's Lives - Sydney Ball Memorial Lecture 2012 The 2012 lecture 'The Reform of the Welfare State and the Dynamics of People's Lives' delivered by Professor John Hills (London School of Economics) on Wednesday, 31 October 2012 at 5 p.m. in the Nissan Lecture Theatre, St. Antony's College. John Hills 21 Nov 2012
29 Creative Commons 02. Numbering the people: the Census, Vital Registration and Population Registers Professor David Coleman gives the second lecture on Demographics, where he looks at different ways in which governments and demographers have collected population data. David Coleman 26 Oct 2012
30 Creative Commons 01. Demographic Challenges for the 21st Century Professor David Coleman gives the first lecture in his Demographic Trends and Problems of the Modern World series. David Coleman 26 Oct 2012
31 Creative Commons 11. Does Government belong in the bedroom? There are many examples, from the ancient world to Nazi Germany, of attempts to protect or to increase the birth rate and hence population size. Slides to accompany Prof David Coleman's talk on birth control from governments. David Coleman 18 Jul 2012
32 Creative Commons 10. Who's afraid of population decline? Fear of population decline has haunted states ever since states existed. Population size was the basis of the power, security and prosperity of any political entity. Slides to accompany Professor David Coleman's on the fear of population decline. David Coleman 16 Jul 2012
33 Creative Commons 09. Bringing down the birth rate - family planning in the developing world Traditionally, high birth rates were high. But as they were balanced by high death rates, population growth rates were usually very low. Prof David Coleman looks at family planning in the developing world. David Coleman 12 Jul 2012
34 Creative Commons 08. After the demographic transition in the developing world Fertility in all but 12 countries in the world is now falling. Where will it stop? In this talk, Prof David Coleman looks at the demographic transition in the developing world. David Coleman 10 Jul 2012
35 Will the U.S. Health Reform Survive and Flourish? Theda Skocpol delivers a talk at the Oxford Institute of Social Policy, based in part on her new book with Larry Jacobs, "Health Care Reform and American Politics". Theda Skocpol 09 Jul 2012
36 Creative Commons 07. 'Old Europe' - pensions, taxes and alternatives Professor David Coleman from Dept of Social Policy, University of Oxford, gives a talk from his "Demographic Trends and Problems of the Modern World" series talking about the issue of population ageing. David Coleman 27 Apr 2012
37 Creative Commons 06. Demographic behaviour of immigrant and minority populations Professor David Coleman from Dept of Social Policy, University of Oxford, gives a talk from his "Demographic Trends and Problems of the Modern World" series talking about immigrant and minority populations. David Coleman 27 Apr 2012
38 Creative Commons 05. International migration: guest workers, dependents, asylum and others Professor David Coleman from Dept of Social Policy, University of Oxford, gives a talk from his "Demographic Trends and Problems of the Modern World" series talking about international migration. David Coleman 27 Apr 2012
39 Creative Commons 04. The retreat of mortality - 20th and 21st century trends Professor David Coleman from Dept of Social Policy, University of Oxford, gives a talk from his "Demographic Trends and Problems of the Modern World" series talking about trends in mortality. David Coleman 27 Apr 2012
40 Creative Commons 03. The 'Second Demographic Transition' - new forms of family Professor David Coleman from Dept of Social Policy, University of Oxford, gives a talk from his "Demographic Trends and Problems of the Modern World" series talking about the 'Second Demographic Transition'. David Coleman 26 Apr 2012
41 Creative Commons Conclusion Professor Martin Seeleib-Kaiser concludes the ESRC/OISP Workshop on Comparative Methods. Martin Seeleib-Kaiser 12 Mar 2012
42 Creative Commons Merging Macro and Micro Data? Session 6 of the ESRC/OISP Workshop on Comparative Methods - Merging Macro and Micro Data? with Dr Mark Tomlinson. Mark Tomlinson 12 Mar 2012
43 Creative Commons An Introduction to Structural Equation Modelling in Comparative Social Analysis Session 5 of the ESRC/OISP Workshop on Comparative Methods: An Introduction to Structural Equation Modelling in comparative Social Analysis - Dr Mark Tomlinson. Mark Tomlinson 12 Mar 2012
44 Creative Commons Challenges and Limits of Macro-Quantitative Analysis Session 4 of the ESRC/OISP workshop on Comparative Methods: Challenges and Limits of Macro-Quantitative Analysis with Dr Emanuele Ferragina. Emanuele Ferragina 12 Mar 2012
45 Creative Commons Ideal Types and Welfare Regimes: An Application Session three of the ESRC/OISP Workshop in Comparative Methods. Ideal Types and Welfare Regimes: An Application. Emanuele Ferragina 12 Mar 2012
46 Creative Commons Introduction to Comparative Analysis (part 2) Professor Martin Seeleib-Kaiser gives the second part of his introduction to Comparative Methods. Martin Seeleib-Kaiser 12 Mar 2012
47 Creative Commons Introduction to Comparative Analysis (part 1) Professor Martin Seeleib-Kaiser gave an introduction to what comparative analysis is. Martin Seeleib-Kaiser 12 Mar 2012
48 Creative Commons Welcome to the ESRC/OISP Workshop in Comparative Methods Professor Martin Seeleib-Kaiser introduces the ESRC/OISP Workshop in Comparative Methods, held on 12-14th January 2012. Martin Seeleib-Kaiser 12 Mar 2012
49 Creative Commons Evidence-based Interventions in Juvenile Justice: Concepts, Research, Practice, and Frontiers Professor Mark Lipsey (Peabody Research Institute, Vanderbilt University) delivers the 2011 Sidney Ball Memorial Lecture. Mark Lipsey 24 Nov 2011
50 Life Chances and Early Childhood Investments 2010 Sidney Ball memorial Lecture given by Professor Gøsta Esping-Andersen at St Antony's College. Gøsta Esping-Andersen 08 Nov 2010
51 Early Childhood Poverty and Adult Attainment Professor Greg Duncan discusses the connections between poverty and child development, and suggests social policy strategies to improve the welfare of children in poverty. Greg Duncan 14 Apr 2009