IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE grants Honorary Degree to world-renowned political scientist

2 September 2019

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) has awarded an Honorary Degree to Professor Robert Putnam, one of the world’s most influential academics.

Professor Robert Putnam

Professor Putnam was conferred in a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, London, which celebrated the graduation of IOE undergraduate students from our Education Studies BA, Psychology with Education BSc, Social Sciences BSc, and Social Sciences with Quantitative Methods BSc programmes, along with several postgraduate and doctoral students.

Professor Robert Putnam

Currently, Professor Putnam is Peter and Isabel Makin Professor of Public Policy in the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.

Professor Putnam’s research has particularly focused on ‘social capital’. ‘Social capital’ is seen broadly as the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society enabling that society to function effectively.

He has written fifteen books which have been translated into more than twenty languages. His books ‘Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community’ and ‘Making Democracy Work’ are among the most cited social science publications of the last half century.

Professor Putnam has been a consultant for political leaders, including Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama and Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron.

In 2006 he received America’s highest honour for contributions to the Humanities, the National Humanities Medal, and the Johan Skytte Prize from the University of Uppsala.

In 2015 he published ‘Our Kids: the American Dream in Crisis’ and he is currently working on a major empirical project about 20th century economic, social and political trends and the implications for American culture.

Professor Robert Putnam and Professor Michael Arthur



  • John Cobb