Photo of Professor Michael Mair

Professor Michael Mair PhD

Professor of Sociology Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology


Personal Statement

After an undergraduate degree in Politics and Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh, and MSc and PhD studies at the University of Manchester working with Wes Sharrock, I joined Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool in 2010 where I am Professor of Sociology. My primary research interests lie in politics, the state and governmental practice, particularly their changing contemporary forms and attendant problems of accountability, as well as in the philosophy and methodology of the natural and social sciences approached analytically and empirically. In the course of empirical research which has been largely sociological, ethnographic and practice-oriented in character, I have investigated new ways of governing from an ethnomethodological perspective. I am currently involved in looking further at how politics is practiced in and realised through new bureaucratic and administrative structures as well as a series of issues relating to problems of accountability in a variety of settings, including settings of armed conflict. I also have a general interest in the methodology and the philosophy of the natural and social sciences, incorporating empirical studies of qualitative, quantitative and digital methods as well as experimentation, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Alongside my research and teaching, I am Director of engage@liverpool, a cross-faculty research methods and methodology initiative at the University of Liverpool, an Executive Board Member of Methods North West, where I work with colleagues regionally, and a National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) Senior Fellow, having lead the University to become an NCRM Centre Partner in 2020.

Prizes or Honours

  • Global Guest Professor (Keio University, Tokyo, Japan, 2022)
  • John Stewart Prize for Best Paper in Local Government Studies (Local Government Studies, 2018)
  • Visiting Research Fellowship (University of Manchester, 2010)
  • Visiting Research Fellowship (Imperial College London, 2010)
  • Doctoral Research Scholarship (Department of Sociology, University of Manchester, 2005)
  • Visiting NHS Research Fellowship (Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust, 2005)
  • Skirving Prize (Department of Philosophy, University of Edinburgh, 2001)