University of Edinburgh School of Social and Political Studies
650 3931

Michael Adler is Professor of Socio-Legal Studies in the School of Social and Political Studies at the University of Edinburgh, where he has been since 1971. With the exception of periods of leave spent at the Center for Law and Society at UC Berkeley, the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies at Oxford University, and the Faculty of Laws at University College, London, he has taught and carried out research in Edinburgh continuously since then. His main research interests focus on the interface between public law and social policy. He has just completed a small-scale development project—funded by the Nuffield Foundation—on administrative grievances. His hope is that this will eventually lead to a large-scale survey of the problems people experience in their dealings with government departments and public bodies, and the ways in which they deal with them. He has recently been awarded a two-year research grant from the British Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to carry out research on self-representation in appeal tribunals and a two-year seminar grant—also from the ESRC—to organise a series of seminars for academics and professionals on administrative justice. In the past, Professor Adler has carried out research in four discrete policy areas: social security, educational policy, penal policy, and consumer credit/consumer indebtedness. Major studies—all with external funding—have been concerned with parental choice in education, decision making in the prison service, assessment of special educational needs, and computerisation in social security. Together with Roy Sainsbury, he undertook research on the ‘Social Implications of the Operational Strategy’, an early attempt by the UK Government to computerise the entire social security system, which not only resulted in a number of joint publications but also led to an invitation to examine Paul Henman’s PhD thesis and to their collaboration on the research described in this report. Professor Adler teaches a wide range of courses in social and public policy, social and political theory, and methods of social research to students at all levels. These range from courses for first-year undergraduates to courses for students in the doctoral programme in the social sciences. He also supervises a large number of doctoral students, mainly on socio-legal topics or in one of the substantive fields of policy in which he has worked. He is the co-author—with Alison Petch and Jack Tweedie—of Parental Choice and Educational Policy, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press (1989) and—with Brian Longhurst—of Discourse, Power and Justice: Towards a New Sociology of Imprisonment, London: Routledge (1994), and the editor or co-editor of four other books. In the course of his career, he has published 10 research reports, eight edited collections of papers, and more than 80 articles and book chapters. Together with Professor Frans Pennings (University of Tilburg, The Netherlands), he has edited the European Journal of Social Security since its foundation in 1999. Professor Adler has an undergraduate degree in the Natural Sciences from Oxford University, an AM in Sociology from Harvard University, and a PhD in Socio-Legal Studies from Edinburgh University