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Staff Profile

Dr Gerry Mooney

Staff Tutor & Senior Lecturer (Scotland)

Social Policy and Criminology


My working relationship with The Open University begins in the mid-1980s when I commenced tutoring on a range of Social Sciences modules. I have been in my current post as a Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Criminology, and Staff Tutor Social Sciences, at The Open University in Scotland since 1998. Previously I was Senior Lecturer in Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Paisley (now the University of the West of Scotland). Previously I have taught Sociology at the University of Abertay Dundee, at the University of Glasgow and I have also taught at the University of Stirling. Since 2000 I have also been a visiting lecture at the Centre for British Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin. From 2006, I have been an Honorary Fellow of the Centre and regularly contribute public lectures to their programme of events. Between 2008 and 2011 I was also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Geography and Sociology, University of Strathclyde, and I am at present Visiting Professor of Scottish Studies, University of Wisconsin River Falls, USA.


BA Social Sciences, University of Paisley
PhD Sociology, University of Glasgow

Course development and teaching

During my time at The Open University I have written chapters and edited OU textbooks for a number of Social Sciences modules, spanning Social Policy, Criminology, Sociology and Human Geography, and inter-disciplinary introductory modules, as well as at Postgraduate level in Social Policy.

At present I am working with colleagues on the Development of a new undergraduate Criminology curriculum.

I have also been an academic consultant for the OU/BBC series Town With Nicholas Crane (2012) and Living with Poverty (2013) and for the second series of Secret Streets which focused on three Scottish cities (2014). I am currently advising on the production of a new film on Karl Marx as part of an OU/BBC series due for broadcast in 2016.

I have authored a number of items for The Open University’s free access website, OpenLearn. These can be accessed at:

I have also produced a number of short pieces for The Conversation, available at:

Research interests

There are a number of different though inter-related topics which I am presently researching and writing around:

Social Welfare and the National/Independence Question in Scotland

Among the themes included here is the degree to which there is greater divergence and/or convergence in social policies between the devolved 'Celtic nations' and other UK nations and regions. A particular area of interest with regard to social welfare in Scotland is poverty and anti-poverty policy and among my publications in this area is Poverty in Scotland 2016: Tools and Targets Towards Transformation (CPAG, 2016). (The 2014 edition Poverty in Scotland 2014: The Independence Referendum and Beyond is available to download from The Open University’s Openlearn website). I am also currently working around the relationship between social welfare and constitutional issues in the Scottish context.

Neoliberalism, Austerity Urbanism and Marginalisation

Another central area of my research is concerned with urban change and neoliberalism in the contemporary city. I have longer-term interests in urban policy and on patterns of marginalisation and geographical inequalities in the contemporary city and I have written extensively on these issues in relation to Glasgow in particular. I have also written on issues relating to the ‘broken society’, socio-spatial marginalisation and territorial stigmatisation in the urban context.

Together with Vikki McCall (Stirling) Kirsteen Paton (Leeds), Lynne Poole (UWS) and Sharon Wright (Glasgow), I am currently working on themes relating to the impact of ‘austerity’, marginalisation and destitution in the urban context.

Class, Neoliberalism and Social Policy

I have a long lasting interest in the political economy of social policy and in particular in the development of a class analysis of social policy. I am currently exploring multiple and overlapping aspects of the changing dynamics of class in the contemporary UK and Scotland and the centrality of class for our understanding of social welfare and social policy across the UK.

I am a member of the Harm & Evidence Research Collaborative (HERC) and the OpenSpace Research Centre.

Recent publications

A selection of my research publications can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

(with John McKendrick, Gill Scott, John Dickie and Fiona McHardy) (eds) (2016) Poverty in Scotland 2016: Tools for Transformation, London: Child Poverty Action Group.

(with Vikki McCall and Kirsteen Paton) (2015) ‘Exploring the use of Large Sporting events in the Postcrash, Post-welfare city: A ‘legacy’ of Increasing Insecurity?’, Local Economy, 30, 8, pp. 910-924.

(with Hazel Croall and Mary Munro) (eds) (2015) Crime, Justice and Society in Scotland, London: Routledge.

(with Gill Scott) (2015) ‘The 2014 Scottish Independence Debate: Questions of Social Welfare and Social Justice’, Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 23, 1, pp. 5-16.

(with Hazel Croall, Mary Munro and Gill Scott) (2015) ‘Scottish Criminal Justice: Devolution, Divergence and Distinctiveness’, Criminology and Criminal Justice, 15, 2, pp. 205-224.

(with Lynn Hancock) (2013) ‘‘Welfare ghettos’ and the ‘‘Broken Society’’: Territorial Stigmatization in the Contemporary UK, Housing, Theory and Society, 30, 1, pp. 46-64.

(with Kirsteen Paton and Kim McKee) (2012) 'Class, Citizenship and Regeneration: Glasgow and the Commonwealth Games 2014,' Antipode, 44, 4, pp.1470-1489.

(with Lynn Hancock and Sarah Neal) (2012) ‘Crisis social policy and the resilience of the concept of community,’ Critical Social Policy, 32, 3, pp. 343-364.

(with Gill Scott) (2012) (eds) Social Justice and Social Policy in Scotland, Bristol: Policy Press.

(With Alex Law) (2012) 'Competitive Nationalism: State, Class and the Forms of Capital in Devolved Scotland’, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 30, 1, pp. 62-77.

A repository of research publications and other research outputs can be viewed at The Open University's Open Research Online.

Last updated: 30 March 2016