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Staff Profile

Emeritus Professor David S. Byrne

Emeritus Professor in the Department of Sociology

Contact Emeritus Professor David S. Byrne (email at


Attended University of Newcastle and LSE before teaching at Durham 1970-74. Research Director North Tyneside Community Development Project 1974-77. Reader in Sociology Ulster Polytechnic 1977-80. Since at University of Durham. National positions have included Treasurer Social Policy Association, Treasurer Joint Universities' Council for Social and Public Administration, Chief Examiner for Sociology studentships ESRC. Editor of Sociology. Member ESRC College of Assessors, Member ESRC Research Training Board, Academician - Academy of Learned Societies for the Social Sciences. In 2012, received the Social Policy Association (SPA) Special Recognition Award.

Current research engagements include:

Methodology – working with Knowledge for Use - K4U on issues surrounding the nature of evidence and the use of evidence in policy formation and implementation.

Evaluation – working with Centre for Evaluating Complexity Across the Nexus (environment, energy, food and agriculture) – CECAN on approaches to evaluating interventions in complex systems.

Taxation and Inequality – see Book with Sally Ruane,

Class after industry – currently writing a book for Palgrave on Class after Industry – A complex realist approach to understanding the dynamics of class structure and class identities in unequal post-industrial capitalism.

The external organisations I have worked with are: Berwick Trades Council and the consortium of community groups in Newcastle and Gateshead concerned with the content of the Newcastle; Gateshead joint planning strategy, including a longer standing relationship with residents organizing against the 'Bridging Newcastle Gateshead' housing pathfinder programme.

Research Groups

School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health

Research Projects

Department of Geography

  • Health Inequalities in an Age of Austerity, Leverhulme Trust Research Leadership Grant, £1 million (2013-2018)

Department of Philosophy

Department of Sociology

  • CECAN - Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus
  • Comparative analysis of local strategies to tackle health inequalities.
  • Imagine, The social, historical, cultural and democratic context of civic engagement: imagining different communities and making them happen
  • Knowledge for Use (K4U)

Research Interests

  • Case based methods
  • Complexity theory
  • Postindustrial social structures
  • Privatization of welfare systems
  • Quantitative methods
  • Urban systems

Teaching Areas

  • Perspectives on Social Research MA
  • Philosophy of Social Research MA
  • Quantitative Methods MA
  • Statistical Exploration and Reasoning MA

Selected Publications

Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article


Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Health & welfare services: health & social class
  • Health & welfare services: social change
  • Health & welfare services: poverty
  • Museums: regional heritage
  • Social Policy: Family, youth, race & gender issues: family, youth, race & gender issues
  • Social Policy: Employment & development issues: urban & regional development
  • Social Policy: Employment & development issues: North-East region
  • Social Policy: Employment & development issues: economic & social change
  • Social Policy: Employment & development issues: urban regeneration
  • Social Policy: Employment & development issues: single regeneration budget
  • Social Policy: Employment & development issues: quangos
  • Regional Economy: regional economy
  • Regional Heritage: regional heritage