Prof. Anthony Giddens (Baron Giddens, of Southgate)
Professor Emeritus at the London School of Economics; Former Director of the London School of Economics
BiographyGiddens received his undergraduate academic degree, in joint sociology and psychology, at Hull University in 1959, followed by a Master's degree at the London School of Economics. He later gained a PhD at King's College, Cambridge. In 1961, he started working at the University of Leicester where he taught social psychology. At Leicester he met Norbert Elias and began to work on his own theoretical position. In 1969, he was appointed to a position at the University of Cambridge, where he later helped create the Social and Political Sciences Committee (SPS - now PPSIS), a sub-unit of the Faculty of Economics.
Giddens worked for many years at Cambridge as a fellow of King's College and was eventually promoted to a full professorship in 1987. From 1997 to 2003, he was director of the London School of Economics and a member of the Advisory Council of the Institute for Public Policy Research. He was also an adviser to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; it was Giddens "third way" political approach which has been Tony Blair's guiding political idea. He has been a vocal participant in British political debates, supporting the center-left Labour Party with media appearances and articles (many of which are published in New Statesman). He was given a life peerage in June 2004, as Baron Giddens, of Southgate in the London Borough of Enfield and sits in the House of Lords for Labour. Giddens also holds fifteen honorary degrees from various universities.
Giddens is the author of over thirty-four books and two hundred articles, essays and reviews, and has contributed and written about most notable developments in the area of social sciences, with the exception of research design and methods. He has written commentaries on most leading schools and figures and has used most sociological paradigms in both micro and macro sociology. His writings range from abstract, metatheoretical problems to very direct and 'down-to-earth' textbooks for students. Finally, he is also known for his interdisciplinary approach: he has commented not only on the developments in sociology, but also in anthropology, archaeology, psychology, philosophy, history, linguistics, economics, social work and most recently, political science. In view of his knowledge and works, one may view much of his life's work as a form of 'grand synthesis' of sociological theory.