Professor Bob Deacon

Bob-Deacon.jpgThe Department is very sad to announce the death of Emeritus Professor Bob Deacon.

Bob was Professor of International Social Policy 1997-2009.

His main contribution was as a scholar in the field of social policy. This contribution included the founding of two new journals; Critical Social Policy in 1980 and Global Social Policy in 2000. He was also a founding editorial board member of the journal of European Social Policy. He pioneered three areas of study namely the study of:

  • Communist (and subsequently post-communist) social policy from about 1983 to 1997;
  • Globalisation and social policy from about 1995 to 2013 and most recently analytical work in the field of;
  • World Regional Social Policy in collaboration with the United Nations University Centre for Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNUCRIS) in Bruges.

This academic entrepreneurial role extended in 1997 to the creation of the Finnish funded international Globalism and Social Policy programme (GASPP). Bob also made a major contribution to the setting up in Thessaloniki, Greece of the South East European Research Centre (SEERC). He was elected to the Academy of Social Sciences in 2003. He also held the UNESCO Chair in Regional Integration, Migration and Free Movement of Peoples at UNUCRIS in Bruges.

Bob undertook advisory or consultancy work for international organisations in the field of international social policy. This has included work for the ILO, ILO-ITC, WHO, UNDP Human Development Report, UNDPTCDC, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, ISSA, UNESCO, UNICEF, Council of Europe, the EU, the African Union and the ICSW. This advisory work to international organisations has been complimented by occasional work for the UK, Swedish and Finnish governments as well as those of the Czech Republic, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. He was a member of the Scientific Committee of the International Social Science Council’s Comparative Research Programme on Poverty.

Bob contributed to both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in comparative and international aspects of social policy. This includes developing a pioneering World University Network (WUN) Master level course on Global Social Policy as well as the University of Sheffield MA in Global Social Policy. Students appreciated Bob's enthusiastic and passionate teaching style, as well as his extensive knowledge of the subject area. He also taught on the Masters in Public Affairs at Science-Po, Paris and was a commissioner for the UK Foreign Office’s Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission that is responsible for operating the UK-USA Marshall Scholarship scheme and Chair of its education committee and an advisor to the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme.

His loss is deeply mourned by his former colleagues.