Bill Jordan

Bill Jordan

Professor in Social Work

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health & Human Sciences)


MA Oxon.

First class honours in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 1962.

Graduate Certificate in Social Work, Exeter, 1964.

Research interests

Bill Jordan has written over 25 books on social work, social theory, social policy, political economy and political theory. He has recently published research studies on poverty and social exclusion, irregular and managed migration, and Thid Way social policy.

His latest books include:

'A Theory of Poverty and Social Exclusion', Polity,1996.

'Irregular Migration' (with Franck Duvell) ,Edward Elgar, 2002.

'Migration', (with Franck Duvell), Polity, 2003.

'Sex, Money and Power', Polity, 2004.

'Social Policy for the Twenty-First Century: New Perspectives, Big Issues', Polity, 2006.

'Rewarding Company, Enriching Life: The Economics of Relationships and Well-being',

'Social Work and Well-being', Russell House, 2007.

'Welfare and Well-being: Social Value in Public Policy', Policy Press, 2008.

'What's Wrong with Social Policy and How to Fix It', Polity, 2010. 

'Why the Third Way Failed: Economics, Morality and the Origins of the "Big Society"', Policy Press, 2010.

Recent book

'Sex, Money and Power; The Transformation of Collective Life', published by Policy Press, Cambridge, in September, 2004.

'...a wonderfully written reflection on the meaning of our individual lives and their relation to a wider social context. In an unconventional but poignant way, it uses autobiography, social theory and historical narrative to confront the great gods of our time, and the processes that bind us to them. A humorous, quirky, subtle, insightful and provocative look at questions that should be taxing us all, this work connects the personal and the social in a flowing and compelling analysis.'

                                  Saladin Meckled-Garcia, University College, London.

New book

'Social Policy for the Twenty-First Century: New Perspectives, Big Issues', published by Polity in May, 2006.

'Bill Jordan's magpie approach to scholarship once again enables him to pick up for scrutiny all the big issues of the day; the impact of the global economy and global policies upon welfare systems, the conversion of welfare users from citizens to consumers, the stalling of well-being and the problems of sustainability.  His creative imagination links all these issues and leads him to ask whether cosmopolitanism and a grand global social contract such as is implied by a global basic income would be the way to reconcile individual autonomy, collective belonging and sustainability.'
                                       Bob Deacon,  University of Sheffield
'Claims to have captured what is at stake for the social policies of the new century are often hyperbole.  Not here.  Bill Jordan's readers are sometimes invited to contemplate a vast landscape; sometimes required to dive down and explore local details.  The ride is always exhilarating.  By challenging the 'common sense' of the existing welfare consensus Jordan underlines the point of academic and political inquiry; to help create the common sense of the future.'
                                       Tony Fitzpatrick,  University of Nottingham.

New book on the Internet

'Rewarding Company, Enriching Life: The Economics of Relationships and Well-being',

'The idea that quality of life is more important than quantity of consumption is suddenly fashionable. Economists queue up to denounce the narrowness of their assumptions. Ministers claim well-being as their goal. And David Cameron praises commitment and belonging.
None of this will change our economy and society unless the value of relationships can be factored into the the decisions of firms and governments, and into our everyday choices.
Bill Jordan's book shows how this might be done.'

New Book

'Welfare and Well-being: Social Value in Public Policy', Bristol: Policy Press, 2008.
'This is a reasoned yet passionate criique of contract and public choice theory and charts a way forward for a progressive social policy'. Ian Gough, Professor of Social Policy, Uhiversity of Bath.

New Book

'Why the Third Way Failed: Economics, Morality and the Origins of the "Big Society"', Bristol: Policy Press, 2010.

'An incisive analysis by one of Britain's leading social theorists, this book explains why Third Way policies to regulate capitalism went in the wrong direction'.  Neil Gilbert, Chernin Professor of Social Welfare, University of California, Berkeley.