Dec 19 2019

Michael Peacock

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Michael Peacock

Michael Peacock

It was with sadness that we learnt of the death of LSE alumnus and emeritus governor Michael Peacock, who died in December 2019.

Michael was well-known in broadcasting, where he had a long career and significant impact, but he also had a longstanding link with the School, graduating in Sociology in 1952 before joining the BBC as a trainee producer.

As editor of Panorama, he was behind the programme’s notorious 1957 April fool’s joke of the Swiss spaghetti harvest. He went on to be editor of BBC Television News, the first head of new channel BBC 2 – responsible for programmes such as Match of the Day, Horizon and the Likely Lads – managing director of London Weekend Television and executive vice-president of Warner Bros Television, in addition to many other roles.

In 1972 he co-founded Video Arts, a company making management training films, which was eventually sold in 1989. This enabled the establishment of a charitable foundation which generously provided scholarships at LSE for students from former Soviet and Eastern European countries.

In 1996 his foundation provided LSE with a record gift which allowed the School to buy what was then the Royalty Theatre. Now known as the Peacock Theatre, it remains a crucial venue for the School, in regular use for lectures, public events, twice-yearly graduation, as well as dance and opera performances through Sadler’s Wells.

A longstanding member of LSE Council -from 1982 to 2009-  Michael was appointed an LSE Fellow in 2004 and subsequently an Emeritus Governor.

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May 28 2019

Professor Anthony Leslie Hall (1947 – 2019)

Anthony Hall

Anthony Hall

Tony will be much missed, both for his calm steady presence and his sense of humour. Since joining LSE in 1983, he was instrumental in linking social policy with international development and in making the Department’s MSc in Social Policy and Development a success. His longstanding research on Brazil and the Amazon region has been highly influential. More recently Tony’s interests in climate change adaptation and conditional cash transfers led to important research in both fields. The care and attention he always took with his students set an example to us all.

Professor David Lewis, Department of Social Policy


Tony Hall made a vital contribution to the evolving field of developmental social policy – a ‘supradisciplinary’ field that seeks to integrate the insights of development studies and social policy to promote a comprehensive approach to understanding how social wellbeing can be fostered globally.

He joined the Department in the early 1980s to work with me on the social policy and planning courses Richard Titmuss and Brian Abel-Smith had established in 1971, and after I left for the United States in 1985, we continued to collaborate on several initiatives that helped shape the field. In addition to our book, Social Policy for Development (2004), we worked together on several edited collections and international conferences. His own research on Amazonian development, which is widely commended, was of critical importance in linking rural and environmental issues to developmental social policy research. He was an accomplished scholar, an inspiring teacher and effective administrator. The graduates of the social planning courses, who have assumed leading roles in government agencies, international non-profits and development organisations committed to developmental social policy, owe much to his leadership.

He was also a great friend and together with his late wife, Rejane, a generous host. My wife Dija and I were privileged to share their family life and know their children Julie and Joe. We send our deepest condolences to them and other members of their family. I will miss Tony’s quite humour, critical mind and steadfast friendship.

Professor James (Jimmy) Midgley, University of California Berkeley


It was with great sadness that I received the news of Tony passing on Monday 20 May 2019.

I became familiar with Tony’s work while writing my masters dissertation on the globalisation of the Brazilian Amazon in the Department of Geography, at King’s. I decided to stay at King’s after my Masters, and we invited him to be the 3rd reader for my PhD.  I continued to follow his work, which showed his passion for the region, by attending his talks and discussing with him my research in the Amazon.

Despite conducting work in Brazil for 40 years, Tony was humble about his impressive contribution to social policy, environment and development scholarship, particularly concerning the Brazil North-East and Amazonia. He never seemed to notice how much his work has been touching so many people. Tony’s research, accurate accounts and relevant inputs have had an impact beyond academia, as he acted as OXFAM’s country representative and as a consultant for the World Bank.

Tony was an inspiration to many PhD researchers working on environmental policies. My friends from CLOSER, a multidisciplinary and multi-institutional research group focusing on Brazilian environmental politics, were no different. Tony has been a source of inspiration for every member of our research group. We were six young PhD students with various research backgrounds, from different London universities who had some things in common: an interest in Brazil from a social and environmental perspective and a willingness to improve and share our knowledge. Tony was a doctoral thesis examiner to some, advisor to others, and research godfather to all of us.

His legacy shall endure in every former PhD student and the many peers whose work has crossed paths with him.

Dr. Grace Iara Souza, SOAS, University of London


A tribute and donation page can be found at Dementia UK.

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Apr 15 2019

Sergio Carlos Obando Indacochea, 1971-2019


Segio Carlos Obando IndacocheaSergio was a student on the Executive MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy Programme, 2018/19.

Originally from Peru, Sergio lived in London for over 17 years. He was Economist and Course Director for Pre-Master’s Business Programmes at Ulster University, London Campus. His professional work experience was mainly in multinational American corporations, both as an entrepreneur and in academia. He also conducted research on various ways to tackle poverty, inequality and conflict. His work combined learning from various disciplines including anthropology, religion, politics, business, finance, public policy and international relations.


The  Director of the programme – Emeritus Professor Michael Cox – added:

“Sergio was an active and valued student. He had great passion for the subject-matter of international strategy and diplomacy, was a lively contributor to class debates, and delivered several memorable and always well-prepared presentations”.

Sadly though, on 23 March 2019, he tragically lost his battle with leukaemia. He will be a much-missed colleague and friend. His peers on the Executive MSc Programme have made and encourage donations in Sergio’s memory to

Our thoughts and hearts go out to Sergio’s wife, Susan, and their two sons.

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Mar 26 2019

Michael Coops

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Michael Coops

Michael Coops

Michael died on 11 March aged 89, 29 years almost to the day since his most lasting achievement for the School.

Following a career at the Court Department and medical schools of the University of London, Michael was appointed in the late 1980’s to head up the LSE Estates Division and played a significant role in the School’s estate development for some ten years, either in an executive role or in major project management.

He was part of the team which negotiated the freehold of the Old Building, the contract being signed by then Director I G Patel on 21 March 1990. This, along with the acquisition of Connaught House, set in train a programme of acquiring the freeholds of the School’s buildings, and was the foundation for later estate development and acquisitions.

Michael’s work in and around the LSE estate brought him many surprises, including trying to work out how three drunks had managed to steal a 65kg penguin sculpture from the middle of the site!

Michael was unfailingly courteous and measured but had a steely side: he was always determined to pursue the best interests of LSE. Although coming here relatively late in life, Michael adopted the School in his affections, attending many SCR functions for retired staff until his late eighties.

Michael’s funeral will be held at 1pm on Friday 5 April at St Mary’s Church, Greyhound Hill, Hendon; followed by a wake at the Three Hammers pub, Hammers Lane, Mill Hill, NW7. Michael’s family welcome the chance to chat with LSE people after the service.

Adrian Hall

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Mar 12 2019

Professor David Held

Professor David Held

Professor David Held

It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Professor David Held, formerly Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science at LSE, and Founder and Joint Director of the Centre for Global Governance. To many in the Government Department he was a colleague, teacher, mentor and friend, but a mere departmental affiliation was never going to be enough for David and he collaborated with colleagues and students across most of the departments in the School.

I first met David when he was a young visiting lecturer at the University of York and I was an undergraduate. He had recently published his first book Introduction to Critical Theory (1980) and was an exciting and dynamic theorist of the left. This was only the first of many books but it remains the best introduction and guide to its subject and is still valuable to serious scholars. His subsequent career took him to the Open University as Professor of Politics and Sociology where he was an influential figure and where he built his reputation as theorist of democracy (with books such as Models of Democracy 1988, Political Theory and the Modern State 1989 and Prospects for Democracy 1993) and demonstrated the entrepreneurial spirit which so characterised his career with the his co-founding with Anthony Giddens and John Thompson of Polity Press in 1994. Polity proved a huge success as a source of cutting edge social science books at affordable prices and as a publisher of English translations of most of the great contemporary European social and political theorists such as Bourdieu and Habermas.

Whilst Tony Giddens was Director of LSE it was no surprise that David would join him. David came to LSE in 1999, first as a visiting professor and then as the successor to Brian Barry in the newly titled Graham Wallas Chair. Two more different characters would be hard to find – Brian was a conduit for American Political Science to reshape political theory in the UK, whereas David, despite his graduate training at MIT, was deeply connected to the European Tradition of Social and Political Theory. For Barry the paradigm was John Rawls, for Held it was Jurgen Habermas. Yet in many ways they were very similar in their social democratic approach, cosmopolitanism and their commitment to the value of social science research for the public good.

At LSE David continued to be entrepreneurial, founding programmes such as the MSc in Global Politics, founding and directing the Centre for Global Governance, leading the Ralph Miliband lecture series as a major public lecture programme for leading social and political theorists, and for intellectually engaging practitioners and public intellectuals. All the while David kept up a prodigious publication schedule that shifted its focus in the ‘noughties’ towards the theorisation of Globalisation and its implications for Cosmopolitan political theory and for Global Governance in such works as Global Transformations 1999, Globalization/ Anti-Globalization 2002, Global Covenant 2004 and Cosmopolitanism: Ideals and Realities 2010. He almost single-handedly, (he did have some close collaborators) built a subject of enquiry and a sub-discipline. In the way of all academic success stories he attracted critics but he usually managed to bring them around to his conclusions with his personal charm and engaging manner, or else he incorporated their positions into a higher synthesis which advanced his own work. David was a builder, not a demolisher and he was more concerned about informing progressive politics than being the smartest man in the room, although he often was.

His departure to Durham in 2012, where he became master of University College, was a sad loss to LSE. His career continued to flourish with the success of the journal Global Policy, which began at LSE but took off during his time at Durham. He remained in contact with many LSE scholars, but David’s stage was always Global so he was not constrained by the move. The announcement of his sudden death is a shock and cause of deep sadness to many who benefitted from his personal kindness, his intellectual stimulation and his mentorship. He added considerably to the life of LSE and will be remembered fondly by very many students, colleagues and friends.

Professor Paul Kelly

Department of Government

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Jan 24 2019

Martin Wright, 1952 – 2019


Martin Wright

Martin joined LSE Estates Division in 1993 and worked in the post room until 2011, when he took medical retirement due to Parkinson’s disease.

Martin was very well regarded by everyone he came into contact with – he enjoyed long debates on politics, the war and his love of music.

Martin was also a big forerunner for recycling at LSE (many years before it became fashionable)… His home was usually full of bits of timber, old shelves, and many other items found in skips around the School that he “would find a use for”.

He was a gentle gentleman who made a lot of people’s lives just that little bit better for having him in it.

His family have asked that any donations be made Parkinson’s UK in Martin’s name. – Tony Simpson

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Dec 10 2018

Alan Day

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Alan Day

Alan Day

With great sadness, we announce the death of Alan Day on 2 December aged 94 after a long period of ill-health.

The School owes a huge debt of gratitude for his pivotal role in heading off an existential threat when the government in 1979 – almost overnight – withdrew taxpayer support for foreign students.

Alan Day was the Pro-Director (singular) in a highly successful double act with Ralf Dahrendorf.  In autumn 1979, a few weeks into his term of office, he recognised the potential loss of income for an institution 38% of whose students were from overseas, shepherded a proposal to introduce fees of £2,000 per year through School committees, and took executive action to send three colleagues (I was one, so saw the process from the inside) to the USA to recruit General Course students.

Those policies plus his wider activities as Pro-Director led to an unprecedented second term, from which he resigned in 1983 on doctor’s advice, having had surgery for renal cancer, and took early retirement the following year. He was made an Honorary Fellow in 1988.

Ralf Dahrendorf was very clear about Alan’s key role .

‘Let me say again what I said to you before: as Pro-Director you have left traces in the history of the School which will not be forgotten. These are traces of style and of commitment, but also of tangible contributions to the survival of the School’ (letter to Alan Day (26 June 1983).

Those achievements were superimposed on a distinguished career as academic, policy adviser and what today we would call a public intellectual. After a First in the Economics Tripos at Cambridge, he was appointed Assistant Lecturer in 1949 by Lionel Robbins as part of rebuilding the department after the war, and promoted to Reader in 1956 and to Professor of Economics in 1964, having turned down a chair at Yale.

Thus his career spanned some of the giants of LSE economics – Lionel Robbins, Bill Phillips, Basil Yamey, Peter Bauer, Harry Johnson, Frank Hahn, Terence Gorman, Amartya Sen and Tony Atkinson. Appointed within a year of each other, Alan and Bill Phillips became close friends, sharing their wartime experiences (which Bill shared with virtually nobody else), and Alan was instrumental in introducing Bill to his future wife, and subsequently was best man at Bill and Valda’s wedding.

His many School roles included a successful and popular spell as Convener of the Economics department and membership of a wide range of School committees.

Alongside his academic work as a monetary economist, Alan had a particular gift for translating theory into policy, leading to a role advising Labour Minister Anthony Crosland and to membership of government commissions including the Layfield Committee on Local Government Finance, spells as Economic Adviser to HM Treasury and to the Civil Aviation Authority, and membership of the board of the British Airports Authority.

Connected was a gift for explaining economics to a wide readership, exemplified by his regular articles in the Observer (he had an awesome ability to draft in ink rather than pencil, and for his first draft, with hardly a change, to become the final version).

At least as important as his accomplishments was Alan the person. He was instinctively tolerant of views different from his and, alongside colleagues like Michael Wise (Professor of Geography), created an atmosphere in the Senior Common Room in which young lecturers could trade ideas with senior colleagues in a relaxed way – something that has become a hallmark of the School. As a beneficiary, I look back at those times with gratitude, and over a longer period to Alan’s role as mentor and friend. On a personal note, it was Alan who suggested that my prospective book on the welfare state should include discussion of student loans – the genesis of my work on higher education finance.

In sharp contrast to Alan’s tidy mind was a desk that typically looked as though an earthquake had struck. At a time when, as Pro-Director, he had one of the School’s only phones that allowed international direct dialling, he let me use his office to organise a US recruiting trip. My starting point was an archaeological dig to uncover some desk space.  Whether as a counterpoint to his desktop or connected with Bill Phillips’ early research with computers, Alan had a keen interest in electronics, and in the early 1980s was instrumental in introducing word processing (as it was then called) to the School. He also had a seemingly encyclopaedic knowledge of international flight timetables.

An inveterate smoker, he stopped when he became ill in 1983 but denied that he had given up, insisting that he was merely taking a longer-than-usual gap between cigarettes.  That illness struck early in his very happy marriage to Shirley, who nursed him through that episode and devotedly through his long last period of ill-health. In between they enjoyed 35 years of great happiness in active retirement turning a wreck of a Grade II listed building in Kent (collapsed plaster, peeling paint, curtains in rags) into a place of great beauty but simultaneously warm and welcoming.  That great project was interspersed with regular trips to London and wide-ranging travel abroad.

Nicholas Barr, 3 December 2018

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Dec 6 2018

Lord Jeremy Heywood

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Jeremy Heywood. Photograph: Steve Back

Jeremy Heywood, who passed away on 4 November 2018, was the outstanding civil servant of his generation and the indispensable advisor to four prime ministers.  He was also a friend of 33 years since we met as students at LSE while doing an MSc in economics.  We formed a study group with other friends and would meet regularly in the then smoke-filled Wrights Bar or occasionally in the Shaw library to exchange notes and solve problem sets together. Jeremy was clearly the most clever among us, but he was also mischievous and fun – it didn’t take much to extract him from the library where he was annotating obscure economics articles in his tiny, orderly handwriting to go out for a glass of Pinot Grigio (his favourite).

Jeremy had been sent to LSE on a scholarship from the civil service. That bit of public investment paid off handsomely in a 35 year career culminating in becoming Cabinet Secretary in 2012. He was at the centre of every major policy challenge facing the UK — Black Wednesday, the G20 summit in Gleneagles with its focus on making poverty history, the 2008 financial crisis and most recently, Brexit. I was a Permanent Secretary during the 2010 election when the UK had the first coalition government in decades and Jeremy coordinated efforts across Whitehall to make sure that government departments had prepared for all eventualities so that the will of the people could be done.

No 10 was his domain. Prime Ministers came and went but Jeremy was always there asking penetrating questions that made policy better, working tirelessly, keeping the machinery of government ticking over, juggling crises, nurturing his beloved civil service. He hated the limelight which inevitably came with being the most senior public servant in the land. He always emphasized the “servant” over the “public” aspect of the role. It was never about him but always about us. He was the best of us but he used his considerable talents to make us the best of ourselves.

Jeremy was fiercely loyal to his friends. Some might say it was because he did not like change but I think it was because we kept him grounded while high politics swirled around him. He knew we loved him for who he was. He tried to answer all emails within an hour – whether you were the Prime Minister or his friend organizing an outing to the theatre. He was deeply egalitarian in his soul – from royalty to the most junior official – everyone was treated the same. His funeral was a roll call of “the great and the good” but what was most striking was the number of junior civil servants who told stories of Jeremy supporting them and how his soft-spoken probing encouraged them to make their ideas better.

In his professional life, Jeremy embodied the values of the civil service – honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity. He worked with hundreds of politicians, some of whom he liked and respected, others he may have not. But he served them all equally well.  What made him special was his ability to give candid advice (and thereby stopping many bad ideas) and yet finding creative ways to achieve politicians’ objectives in the best way possible. There is something very selfless (and dare I say noble) in such an approach and it is why Jeremy defended the civil service when it came under attack to remind us it is an institution that is the envy of the world.

Jeremy understood the importance of investing in the next generation and, in addition to the many he mentored personally, he developed a programme for training talented UK civil servants which was competitively awarded to  LSE. Each year a cohort of (hopefully) 30 new Jeremys goes through the Executive Masters in Public Policy brimming with new ideas and a commitment to the public good.

His foibles were endearing. His academic brilliance was offset by complete incompetence in all things practical. Jeremy never could drive properly, or cook, or fix anything. He hated exercise and for months sported a flimsy bit of gauze wrapped around his wrist so he could avoid having to do press ups on Clapham Common. He had more Blackberry phones (simultaneously) and held onto them for longer than anyone.

And he adored his family. He and Suzanne supported each other unconditionally and that was never more apparent than over the last year. Those of us who watched Suzanne’s Herculean efforts all thought that if you are ever in trouble, you want her on your side.

Conversations during our dinners out were dominated by the children – their evolving political views and interests, musical accomplishments, and latest holidays. He was so proud of them and loved watching them grow up and discover the world. He also loved a good party, supported by his famous playlist, and was often the last one on the dance floor.

Jeremy was like the sun for so many of us – we all orbited around him. This was certainly the case for his friends, for his colleagues in Whitehall and for his family. That is why the world feels a bit colder and darker without him. His new title – Lord Heywood of Whitehall – and his burial in Westminster Abbey and the creation of a foundation in his name to support innovation in the civil service are fitting tributes to his enormous contribution to public life. He was a true servant of the people and a loyal and loving friend to those of us who had the privilege of knowing him.

Minouche Shafik
LSE Director

November 2018


It is with great sadness that we learnt of Lord Heywood’s death.

Lord Heywood was a great civil servant and a good friend to LSE. The many obituaries written since his death have returned again and again to a number of attributes: his talent, his political impartiality, his sense of public service and the fact he was a grounded human being, unaffected by the importance of his position as Cabinet Secretary (from 2012) and (from 2014) Head of the Home Civil Service. He was made a member of the House of Lords when he stepped down from the civil service in late October.

He had, over many years, a number of roles close to the heart of government. Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Theresa May each spoke with genuine warmth and admiration about their working relationship with him. He worked with the Cabinet on challenging national issues such as the Iraq war, the 2008 banking crisis, the 2010 coalition negotiations, the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2016 Brexit referendum and on subsequent negotiations.

He had also been principal private secretary to Chancellor Norman Lamont at the time of Black Wednesday back in 1992. Few senior officials will have witnessed the impact of so many major events as they buffeted the machinery of government. Although occasionally criticised for being too willing to shield the Establishment, his actions were always based on a desire to follow due process and deliver the right outcome.

He had been an enthusiast about improving the capability of civil servants and was a proponent of what became, following a competitive process, the ‘Civil Service and LSE Executive Master of Public Policy’ run by the School of Public Policy. He and the head of civil service policy profession, Sir Chris Wormald, have remained actively involved in the EMPP’s progress.

As recently as 24 May this year, Jeremy joined LSE Director Minouche Shafik, Philip Barton, Catriona Laing and Keith Wade for an LSE Alumni event to reminisce about their time as graduate students at the School during the mid-1980s. As the invitation for the event stated, they came “back on campus [to] reconvene their 1980s LSE study group to reflect on the enduring value of an LSE education.  From its small beginnings over coffee in Wright’s Bar, the group has created a special bond lasting more than 30 years”. Having chaired this event, I can report that the evening was both illuminating and fun, demonstrating the five friends’ great affection for each other. Jeremy, dealing with yet another Brexit crisis, had to rush back to Whitehall immediately after the event.

Latterly, he and his successor Sir Mark Sedwill, have had to defend the civil service from attacks in relation to the UK-EU27 negotiation process. Although in 2012 he said to a select committee that “I like to be invisible”, he and his successor have had to go public in their defence of officials who were caught in the crossfire of the Brexit culture war. As Cabinet Secretary, he issued a statement to the media, arguing that the “very best people” had been deployed to make Brexit a success and that “the civil service is at its very best when under pressure”.

His predecessors, Robert Armstrong, Robin Butler, Richard Wilson, Andrew Turnbull and Gus O’Donnell all remain active in the House of Lords, evidence of the remarkable moderation and continuity of British public life.  There is no doubt that Jeremy Heywood, too, would have contributed wisdom from within the Lords. His family’s loss is greatest, but his untimely death will deny us all of the benefit of his wisdom and respect for public service.

Tony Travers
School of Public Policy
November 2018


Along with my civil service colleagues and alumni group members, I am deeply saddened by the passing of Lord Jeremy Heywood. Jeremy was an inspirational leader and a great mentor to me. His passion for public service knew no bounds. He always saw the bigger picture, thought radical and supported new ideas to help us prepare for and meet tomorrow’s challenges.

It’s an honour and a privilege to have known and worked with Jeremy closely since I joined the civil service nearly ten years ago. Our first and lasting project was co-founding the LSE Civil Service, Government and Public Alumni Group in 2010.

He is a huge loss to the country, the civil service and of course, most of all, to his family. My thoughts, prayers and condolences are with his family and friends.

We must carry on with the example Jeremy set us all in his leadership, compassion and commitment to public service.

Jeremy will continue to inspire me. And I will endeavour to honour his legacy and make him proud by continuing with renewed energy the projects that we started.

Rosehanna Chowdhury
Chair, LSE Alumni Group
Senior Civil Servant
Mentee of Lord Jeremy Heywood

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Nov 20 2018

Professor Ronald Dore


The LSE Community was saddened to learn of the death of Professor Ronald Dore, former LSE Sociologist and Associate at the Centre for Economic Performance.

Professor Ronald P. Dore, CBE FBA died on 14 November 2018 in Italy, at the age of 93.

Ron Dore was an outstanding British sociologist who applied his sprightly intellect seamlessly across a broad range of topics. His distinguished career, evident from his fellowship of the British Academy, the Japan Academy, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, was marked by breadth of scholarship and a deep interest in societal reform.

Ron Dore was at ease crossing boundaries, with his infectious curiosity and sense of humour. First and foremost, he was a Japanologist, and knew an awful  lot about Japan.  He grew up in a working-class background in Poole, Dorset where his father was a locomotive driver.  His encounter with Japan was accidental: in 1942, he was selected to be one of the ‘Dulwich Boys’ aged 17 to study Japanese, one of the languages the War Office deemed critical to the war effort. He studied the language at SOAS, returning to Dulwich college for regular studies in the afternoons.  His first visit to Japan, aged 25 in 1950, launched an academic career at SOAS and University of British Columbia, when he used anthropological and sociological methods to study Education in Tokugawa Japan, City Life in 1950s Tokyo, and Land Reform in post-war Japan.

In the 1960s and 1970s, when Japan attracted attention as a traditional society that succeeded in modernization, Dore at the London School of Economics and later Sussex became a comparative industrial sociologist, who posited the ‘late development’ and ‘reverse convergence’ theses – rather than Japan catching up with the West, some features of Japan as a late developer may be worthy of emulation by the West — through his classic book British Factory – Japanese Factory. He was also, at one stage, an education specialist who, as part of an ILO mission, investigated the education systems in Japan and other developing countries; his interest in education and training led to a pathbreaking book The Diploma Disease and studies on youth unemployment and training.

Increasingly concerned about industrial decline and rising unemployment in Britain, he urged British policy makers and business leaders to ‘Take Japan Seriously’, articulating a philosophy of original virtue as a basis for better and fairer economic institutions. His policy prescriptions were wide-ranging, from incomes policy to youth training and industrial policy, to mention a few.  He was one of the pioneers of ‘varieties of capitalism’ thinking, stimulated by spells at Harvard and MIT, which he summed up in Stock Market Capitalism–Welfare Capitalism. In contrast to the Company Law Model adopted in Britain and the US, the Community Model in Japan had the added benefits of improving dynamic efficiency, and inculcating a sense of fairness.

To his increasing alarm, however, the ideological tide of Reagan-Thatcher neo-liberalism spilled out of its Anglophone strongholds, and began to sweep into Japan itself.  Championed by ‘second generation middle class’ urbanites and returnees educated in the US, Japan’s community firms started to implement shareholder-favouring reforms, and financialization started to take root.  He wrote many books in Japanese, expressing increasing frustration by this turn.  And he moved to Italy, where he felt an affinity to political economists less influenced by neo-liberalism, and to its civic communitarianism.

Along with the breadth of scholarship goes disciplinary openness that underpins his work.  Openness is not just about disdain of academic tribalism; it is more a mindset and a firm belief about the role of social sciences, which is to understand human motivation and behaviour in order to improve society. Ron Dore refused to lead a double life of some academics, of endlessly refining theories based on the pursuit of self-interest, while living social lives belieing those theories.  Most of all, he was driven by curiosity, and an appetite to dig deeper into the real world to understand human behaviour and its moral, cultural, and economic bases.

Throughout his life, Ron Dore made an extremely valuable contribution in furthering the understanding of Japan in the UK and elsewhere.  He remained fiercely energetic and engaging, and was generous in spirit. He is survived by his wife Maria and their son Julian, and two children from his first marriage, Johnny and Sally.  We extend our deepest condolences to his family.

Professor Mari Sako, University of Oxford (LSE Lecturer and Reader in Industrial Relations, 1987-97)
Professor Hugh Whittaker, University of Oxford

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Oct 25 2018

Marion O’Brien

Marion O'Brien

Marion O’Brien

It is with enormous sadness that we report the sudden death of Marion O’Brien on 21 October, who worked for the School for 33 years until 2010.

She supported academics and the Convenor of the Economics Department from 1976-84, then worked as Manager of the Centre for Labour Economics and later for Richard Layard and John Van Reenen at the Centre for Economic Performance.

Marion was a truly exceptional human being who gave everything of herself to support others.

Her wisdom, wit, warmth and selfless enthusiasm will be remembered by the many generations of academics, students, and international visitors to the School whose projects and plans she enabled and whose lives she touched in unforgettable ways.

Nigel Rogers, Centre for Economic Performance


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