School of Business and Management

Professor Perri 6


Associate Dean, Academic Strategy / Chair in Public Management

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 6988
Room Number: Room 4.27b, Bancroft Building, Mile End Campus


Student drop-in and feedback hours

Autumn Semester 2017

Wednesday 27th September 14.00-16.00
Wednesday 4th October 14.00-16.00
Wednesday 11th October 14.00-16.00
Wednesday 18th October 14.00-16.00
Thursday 26th October 12.00-14.00
Wednesday 1st November 14.00-16.00
Wednesday 8th November 14.00-16.00
Wednesday 15th November 15.30-17.30
Wednesday 22nd November 13.15-14.15 and 16.15-17.15
Wednesday 29th November 13.00-15.00
Wednesday 6th December 15.30-17.30
Wednesday 13th December 15.30-17.30


Associate Dean, Academic Strategy
Member of the School’s Steering Group (Senior Management Team)

Perri 6 is Professor in Public Management. He is also currently the director of the Master’s programme in Public Administration (MPA), the School’s key graduate level qualification for those intending to develop their career in managing public authorities and public services. His research interests lie in the explanation of diversity in styles of political judgement and policy decision making in the core executive in government. His currently researching decision making in government after surprises.

Over the last twenty years, he has held appointments at Nottingham Trent University, University of Birmingham, King’s College London, Strathclyde University and University of Bath. In the mid-1990s, he also worked in an influential independent public policy institute and briefly as a leader writer on a national newspaper. Before that, he worked as a parliamentary lobbyist and as a pressure group researcher.

He has carried out extensive research and consultancy as well as policy studies on a very wide range of fields of public management from health care to eastern enlargement of the European Union, from e-government and privacy issues to local government finance. He has examined public management issues in the UK, USA and continental Europe, and provided consultancy advice to many UK departments of state, regulatory authorities such as the Office of the Information Commissioner and also for the OECD in Paris.

He holds degrees from the University of Cambridge in philosophy and in social and political sciences. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2013.

Postgraduate Teaching


Research Interests:

Much of my work examines decision-making in executive government. I am trying to develop richer and more powerful explanations of the diversity in styles of political judgement. In recent years, I have used archival sources to examine decision-making in government, because declassified ministerial and official papers provide very rich sources of information about the process of coming to judgement. I focus in particular on the ways in which informal social organisation among ministers and their advisers and the most senior civil servants shapes and influences the kinds of framing, bias and selective attention and weighting of factors which they bring to their decision-making. I am also interested in the ways in which these framings and biases help us to explain patterns of unintended and unexpected consequences of decisions. I am now moving on to examine decision-making after surprises. To understand these decision-making processes, I have developed and extended the neo-Durkheimian institutional framework, derived from the work of the late anthropologist, Professor Dame Mary Douglas.

My earlier work examined organisational processes in policy implementation in the public services. For example, my work on joined-up and holistic governance has been very widely cited. I published extensively on inter-organisational structures. I undertook, together with colleagues, extensive studies on the ways in which services struck settlements between the conflicting imperatives for joint working between services and professions and for protecting client confidentiality. I have also done work on the policy instruments used in efforts to change the behaviour of citizens.

I use qualitative data and methods. However, I use hypothesis-driven, deductive approaches to qualitative research, and I use them for explanatory purposes, rather than following the inductive and narrowly interpretive uses which are common in the social sciences today. Much of work uses comparison between multiple cases over time in order to undertake causal process tracing.



6, P. and Richards, P. (2017). Mary Douglas: Understanding Social Thought and Conflict. United Kingdom: Berghahn.

6 P and Bellamy CA, 2012, Principles of methodology: research design in social science, London: Sage.

6 P, 2011, Explaining political judgement, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Margetts H, 6 P and Hood CC, eds, 2010, Paradoxes of modernisation: unintended consequences of public policy reforms, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

6 P and Mars G, eds, 2008, Institutional dynamics of culture: the new Durkheimians, 2 vols, Farnham: Ashgate.

6 P, Squire C, Treacher A and Radstone S, eds, 2007, Public emotions, Palgrave, Basingstoke.

Peck E and 6 P, 2006, Beyond delivery: policy implementation as sense-making and settlement, Palgrave, Basingstoke.

6 P, Goodwin N, Peck E, and Freeman T, 2006, Managing networks of twenty first century organisations, Palgrave, Basingstoke.

6 P, 2004, E-governance: styles of political judgment in the information age polity, Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke.

6 P, Seltzer K, Leat D and Stoker G, 2002, Towards holistic governance: the new agenda in government reform, Palgrave, Basingstoke.

6 P, and Kendall J, eds, 1997, The contract culture in public services: studies from the UK, Europe and the USA, Ashgate, Aldershot


6, P. (2016). Opportunistic decision-making in government: concept formation, variety and explanation. International Review of Administrative Sciences, 0 (0), pp.1-22.

6, P (forthcoming 2015) “How ‘natives’ work: political judgement and cohesion through ritual interaction among ministers”, International Review of Administration Sciences.

6 P, (2015),"Quiet unintended transitions? Neo-Durkheimian explanation of institutional change", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 28 Issue 5

6 P, forthcoming, Explaining styles of political judgement in British government: comparing isolation dynamics between administrations, 1959-74, Journal of public policy.

6 P, 2014, Elementary forms and their dynamics: revisiting Mary Douglas, Anthropological forum, 24, 3, 287-307.

6 P, 2014, Unintended, unanticipated or unexpected consequences of policy and surprises for government: understanding how bias and process shape causation – comparing British governments, 1959-74, Public administration, 92, 3, 673-691.

6 P, 2014, Explaining decision-making in government: the neo-Durkheimian institutional framework, Public administration, 92, 1, 87-103.

Fulop N, Walters R, 6 P and Spurgeon P, 2011, Implementing changes to hospital services: factors influencing the process and ‘results’ of reconfiguration, Health policy, published online: print publication in press.

6 P, Fletcher-Morgan C and Leyland K, 2010, Making people more responsible: the Blair governments’ programme for changing citizens’ behaviour, Political studies, 58, 3, 427–449.

6 P, Bellamy CA and Raab CD, 2010, Information sharing dilemmas in public services: using frameworks from risk management, Policy and politics, 38, 3, 465-481.

Peck E, Dickinson H, 6 P and Freeman T, 2009, Performing leadership: towards a new research agenda in leadership studies?, Leadership, 5, 1, 25–40.

Bellamy CA, 6P, Raab CD, Warren A and Heeney C, 2008, Information-sharing and confidentiality in social policy: regulating multi-agency working, Public administration, 86, 3, 737-759.

6 P and Löfstedt R, 2008, ‘Bring down the Berlin Wall! Fragmenting and integrating environmental and technological risk communication with health risk research’ Journal of risk research, 11, 1-2, 141-167.

Hardill I, Baines S and 6 P, 2007, Volunteering for all? Explaining patterns of volunteering and identifying strategies to promote it, Policy and politics, 35, 3, 395–412.

6 P, Glasby J and Lester HE, 2007, Incremental change without policy learning: explaining information rejection in English mental health services, Journal of comparative policy analysis, 9, 1, 21-46.

6 P, Bellamy CA, Raab CD, Warren A and Heeney C, 2007, Institutional shaping of inter-agency working: managing tensions between collaborative working and client confidentiality, Journal of public administration research and theory, 17, 3, 405-434.

6 P, 2007, Devolution and individual choice in local government services, Local government studies, 33, 5, 699-722.

6 P, Bellamy C, Raab C and Warren A, 2006, Partnership and privacy – tension or settlement? The case of adult mental health services, Social policy and society, 5, 2, 237-248.

6 P, Raab C and Bellamy C 2005, Joined-up government and privacy in the United Kingdom: managing tensions between data protection and social policy, Part I, Public administration, 83, 1, 111-133.

Bellamy C, 6 P, and Raab C 2005, Joined-up government and privacy in the United Kingdom: managing tensions between data protection and social policy, Part II, Public administration, 83, 2, 393-415.

6 P, 2005, What’s in a frame? Social organisation, risk perception and the sociology of knowledge, Journal of risk research, 8, 2, 91-118.

6 P, 2005, Should we be compelled to have identity cards? Justifications for the legal enforcement of obligations, Political studies, 53, 2, 243-261.

Bellamy CA, Raab CD and 6 P, 2005, Multi agency working in British social policy: risk, information sharing and privacy, Information polity, 10, 1-2, 51-63.

6 P, 2004, Joined-up government in the western world in comparative perspective: a preliminary literature review and exploration, Journal of public administration research and theory, 14, 1, 103-138.

6 P and Peck E, 2004, “Modernisation”: the ten commitments of New Labour’s approach to public management?, International public management journal, 7, 1, 1-18.

6 P and Peck E, 2004, New Labour’s modernisation in the public sector: a neo-Durkheimian approach and the case of mental health services, Public administration, 82, 1, 83-108.

Peck E, 6 P, Gulliver P and Towell D, 2004, Why do we keep on meeting like this? the corporate board as ritual in health and social care, Health services management research, 17, 100-109.

Peck E, 6 P, Glasby J and Skelcher C, 2004, Governance and partnerships, Journal of integrated care, 12, 4, 3-8.

6 P, 2003, Institutional viability: a neo-Durkheimian theory, Innovation: the European journal of social science research, 16, 4, 395-415.

6 P, 2003, Giving consumers of British public services more choice: what can be learned from recent history?, Journal of social policy, 32, 2, 239-270, reprinted in Alcock P and Powell M, eds, 2010, Welfare theory and development, London: Sage.

6 P, 2003, What is there to feel? a neo-Durkheimian theory of the emotions, European journal of psychotherapy, counselling and health, [special issue on theories of the emotions from across the sciences], 5, 3, 263-290.

6 P, 2002, Who wants privacy protection, and what do they want?, Journal of consumer behaviour, 2, 1, 80-100.

6 P, 2001, Ethics, regulation and the new artificial intelligence, Part I: accountability and power, Information communication and society, 4, 2, 199-229.

6 P, 2001, Ethics, regulation and the new artificial intelligence, Part II: autonomy and liability, Information, communication and society, 4, 3, 406-434.

6 P, 2000, Durkheim among the geneticists? Human genetics, ethics and methods in futures studies, Foresight, vol 2, no 1, February.

6 P, 2000, The morality of managing risk: paternalism, prevention, precaution and the limits of proceduralism, Journal of risk research, 3,2, 135-165.

6 P, 1998, Ownership and the new politics of the public interest services, Political quarterly, 69, 4, Oct-Dec, 404-414.

6 P, 1998, Housing policy in the risk archipelago: toward holistic and anticipatory government, Housing studies, vol 13, no 3, 347-375.


6 P and Richards P, 2012, Mary Douglas, in Jackson J, ed, 2012, Oxford Bibliography Online: Anthropology, New York: Oxford University Press.

6 P, 2011, Coordination, entry in Badie B, Berg-Schlosser D and Morlino L, eds, 2011, International encyclopaedia of political science, Thousand Oaks: Sage.

6 P, 2010, When forethought and outturn part: types of unanticipated and unintended consequences, in Margetts H, 6 P and Hood CC, eds, 2010, Paradoxes of modernisation: unintended consequences of public policy reforms, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Margetts H, 6 P and Hood CC, 2010, Modernization, balance and variety, in Margetts H, 6 P and Hood CC, eds, 2010, Paradoxes of modernisation: unintended consequences of public policy reforms, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

6 P and Mars G, 2008, The institutional dynamics of culture: the new Durkheimians – introduction, in 6 P and Mars G, eds, 2008, The institutional dynamics of culture: the new Durkheimians, 2 vols, Ashgate, Aldershot.

Fulop N, 6 P and Spurgeon P, 2008, Processes of change in the reconfiguration of hospital services: the role of stakeholder involvement, in McKee L, Ferlie E and Hyde P, eds, 2008, Organising and reorganising: power and change in health care organisations, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 19-32.

6 P, 2007, Sense and solidarities: politics and human well-being, in Haworth J and Hart G, ed, 2007, Well-being: individual, community and social perspectives, Palgrave, Basingstoke, 127-145.

6 P, 2007, Rituals elicit emotions to define and shape public life: a neo-Durkheimian theory, in 6 P, Squire C, Treacher A and Radstone S, eds, 2007, Public emotions, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, 37-61.

6 P, 2007, Don’t try this at home: lessons from England, in Borins S, Kernaghan K, Brown D, Bontis N, Thompson F and 6 P, 2007, Digital state at the leading edge: lessons from Canada, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

6 P, 2006, Mary Douglas, in Scott J, ed, Fifty key sociologists: the contemporary thinkers, Routledge, London, tr. into Portuguese in Scott J, ed, 2009 [2006], 50 grandes sociólogos contemporâneos, Sâo Paulo, Brazil: Editora Contexto.

6 P, 2006, Viable institutions and scope for incoherence, in Daston L and Engel C, eds, 2006, Is there value in inconsistency?, Nomos, Baden-Baden.

6 P, 2006, Dirty institutions, costly workarounds and fragile settlements: understanding lay knowledge: comment on Russell Hardin, in Daston L and Engel C, eds, 2006, Is there value in inconsistency?, Nomos, Baden-Baden.

6 P, 2005, The governance of technology, in Lyall C and Tait J, eds, 2005, New modes of governance: developing an integrated policy approach to science, technology, risk and the environment, Ashgate, Aldershot, 19-44.

6 P, 2005, Joined-up government in the west beyond Britain: a provisional assessment, in Bogdanor V, ed, 2005, Joined-up government, British Academy, London and Oxford University Press, Oxford, 43-106.

6 P and Peck E, 2005, The role of organisational development in policy implementation in healthcare, Peck E, ed, 2005, Organisational development in healthcare: approaches, innovations, achievements, Radcliffe Publishing, Oxford, 27-42.

6 P, 2005, The personal information economy: trends and prospect for consumers, in Lace S, ed, 2005, The glass consumer, Policy Press, Bristol and National Consumer Council, London, 17-44.

Bellamy C, 6 P and Raab C, 2005, The use of personal data in the public sector, in Lace S, ed, 2005, The glass consumer, Policy Press, Bristol and National Consumer Council, London, 133-154.

6 P, 2004, Can government influence our friendships? The range and limits of tools for trying to shape solidarities, in Phillipson CR Allen G and Morgan D, eds, Social networks and social exclusion: sociological and policy issues, Ashgate, Aldershot and London, 180-204.

6 P, 2002, Governing friends and acquaintances: public policy and social networks, in Nash V, ed, 2002, Reclaiming community, Institute for Public Policy Research, London, 23-41.

6 P, 2002, Global digital communications and the prospects for transnational regulation, in Held D and McGrew A, eds, 2002, Governing globalisation: power, authority and global governance, Polity Press, Cambridge and Blackwell, Oxford, 145-170.

PhD Supervision

I am interested in supervising doctoral research which seeks to explore the explanatory power of the neo-Durkheimian institutional approach, especially in the fields of decision-making in the political executive and of the international public regulatory agencies and regimes.