Department of Political Science


Professor Albert Weale FBA

Albert Weale

Professor Albert Weale FBA

Emeritus Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy / Programme Director of Executive MPA in Global Public Policy and Management

  • Room: 4.02, 29/30 Tavistock Sq.
  • Telephone: 020 7679 4993 (x24993)
  • Email: a.weale@ucl.ac.uk

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I was born in Brighton in 1950, and at the age of five went to St Luke’s Primary School. At eleven I went to Varndean Grammar School for Boys, and from my second year there was in the accelerated O level stream. At fifteen I started A levels, doing English, History and Economics. In the autumn of 1967 I won a place at Clare College Cambridge, where I read Theology. Between leaving school in December 1967 and going to Clare in October 1968, I was a volunteer with Community Service Volunteers at a youth centre in Amesbury, Wiltshire.

After graduating in Theology in 1971, my original intention had been to write a thesis on the philosophical theology of Paul Tillich, a figure in whom I still retain an interest, but became absorbed by questions in political philosophy and the philosophy of the social sciences. I was fortunate that my supervisor at the time, Dorothy Emmet, was an expert both in philosophy of religion and in the philosophy of the social sciences, and she was crucial in my being able to make the transition from one field to the other.

In 1974 I was awarded the Sir James Knott Fellowship in the Department of Politics at the University of Newcastle. In 1976 I was awarded a Lectureship in the Department of Politics at the University of York. In 1985 I moved to the University of East Anglia as Professor of Politics and in 1992 I moved to the Department of Government at the University of Essex as Professor of Government. In January 2010 I became Professor of Political Theory and Public Policy at UCL.

My main intellectual influences have been the work of John Rawls and H.L.A. Hart in contemporary political theory, and John Stuart Mill and Henry Sidgwick in the history of political thought.

In 2005, together with a number of other researchers, I published a brief intellectual autobiography devoted to my interest in health policy called ‘Political Ideals and Personal Encounters’ in Adam Oliver (ed.), Personal Histories in Health Research (London: The Nuffield Trust, 2005). The full volume can be downloaded from the Nuffield Trust web-site through the following link: http://www.nuffieldtrust.org.uk/publications/detail.asp?id=0&PRid=186.

I still keep an interest in religion and in December 2006 I participated in a Dana Centre discussion on religion and science called ‘God Rest Ye Merry Scientists…’. You can see the web-cast by following the following link: http://www.danacentre.org.uk/events/2006/12/14/182.

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