Professor Perri 6

IASH-SSPS Research Fellow
Perri 6

Professor Perri 6

IASH-SSPS Research Fellow, January-April 2021


Perri 6 is Professor in Public Management in the School of Business and Management at Queen Mary, University of London. He has worked previously at Nottingham Trent, Birmingham, King’s College London, Strathclyde and the University of Bath, as well as some years in public policy work in various settings.

Perri 6 is one of the leading figures in the development of the neo-Durkheimian institutional theoretical tradition. This approach stems from the work of the anthropologist and multidisciplinary scholar, the late Professor Dame Mary Douglas. Perri 6 studies policy-making processes in governing executives, using historical cases. His 1990s and early 2000s work on ‘holistic government’ has been highly influential in British government and internationally, as have been his arguments about personal social networks in social policy. His work on privacy, data protection and confidentiality (some of which was done with Professor Charles Raab of the University of Edinburgh and with the late Professor Christine Bellamy) has been influential with regulators in many countries.

Among his better known books are Mary Douglas: understanding social thought and conflict (2017, with Paul Richards), Principles of methodology: research design in social science (2012, with the late Christine Bellamy), Explaining political judgement (2011), Paradoxes of modernisation: unintended consequences of public policy reform (2010, with Helen Margetts and Christopher Hood), The institutional dynamics of culture: the new Durkheimians (2008, with Gerald Mars), Public emotions (2007, with Corinne Squire, Amal Treacher and Susannah Radstone), Beyond delivery: policy implementation as sense-making and settlement (2006, with Edward Peck), Managing networks of twenty first century organisations (2006, with Nick Goodwin, Edward Peck, and Tim Freeman), E-governance: styles of political judgment in the information age polity (2004), Towards holistic governance: the new agenda in government reform (2002, with Kimberley Seltzer, Diana Leat and Gerry Stoker).


Project: Political judgement and governance

I am working on a neo-Durkheimian explanation for change over time in styles of political judgement, to explain decision-making in several policy fields in nineteenth century, interwar and in postwar periods.

To pursue this objective, the project has three strands. I aim to complete a monograph on changing styles of political judgement in three fields of policymaking in quite differently institutionally ordered British governments between 1959 and 1974, and to revise two articles from this study. I shall be working on articles and a monograph with Dr Eva Heims (University of York) developing a novel explanation for a paradigm of case state commitment to increasing cooperation with other states in the very first international regulatory regime at the very same time as the same states were preparing intensively for conflict. Together with Dr Heims and Dr Martha Prevezer (Queen Mary University of London), I shall finalise and submit a grant application for a major international and multi-archival study on how and why international economic regulatory regimes survived the deep deglobalisation of the 1930s or successfully bequeathed capabilities to their postwar successors, and what can be learned for international economic regulators facing the challenges of the current incipient deglobalisation. I shall also be working on an article setting out the neo-Durkheimian explanation for this regulatory resilience during the interwar deglobalisation.