My novels deal with how people live their lives in a diverse globalised capitalist world. In Ardent Justice, Ade struggles against the corruption of the City of London, where high finance and street homelessness flourish cheek by jowl. In The Baby Auction, Ed and Matt struggle to lead a passionate, humane and generous life in a world dominated by the market.
In my day job I'm an academic. My research shows how market capitalism generates inequalities between haves and have-nots and promotes a corrosive individualism that stunts our capacity for empathy, charity and love. I’ve published 27 academic books and gained an OBE, but I doubt if any of them had made much difference to anything, so now I’m putting my ideas in novels as well.
I enjoy hill-walking, riding my bike, holidays and looking after my grand-daughter (not in that order). I became interested in social policy issues after working on adventure playgrounds, teaching, claiming benefits and working in a social security office in Newcastle. I’ve worked in the UK, most European countries, Canada, the US, China, Korea and Japan, Australia and South Africa.
Research may analyse our changing world, but it is our feelings that drive the way we live our lives. That is why I write novels.
Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ardent Justice, Troubadour, 2017 The Baby Auction, The Conrad Press, 2016
and 27 academic books including:
After Austerity: Welfare State Transformation in Europe after the Great Recession, Oxford University Press, 2017
Ade is a tax-inspector. She believes the money she raises pays for a decent NHS and adequate public services. She hates the City of London, the endless corruption, the bland assumption that tax is for the little people. She hates the casual sexism, the smug self-assurance, the inviolability of the men she deals with, and the cold certainty that nothing you can do will ever touch them.
She meets Paul, an Occupy activist who works with homeless people. As their love for each other grows, they find real fulfilment in fighting for the rights of ordinary people, such as Gemma, a homeless single parent. Then she has a chance to do something of permanent value, but at great cost to her own integrity.
Ardent Justice is a gripping feminist thriller, endorsed by Polly Toynbee, the leading Guardian columnist. It tells the story of Ade’s struggle against the City and for what she believes to be right, and of her love for Paul, and of how hard it is to live a morally good life in a corrupted world. Profits will be donated to Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity.
“Good to find a novel with a strong social message about the way we live now” - Polly Toynbee, The Guardian
The Baby Auction
Auctioning babies makes sense, at least that’s what Market World thinks. After all the baby goes to someone who can give them a good start in life, and the parents get a return for their pain and trouble.
For Ed, a tough, spirited and streetwise young woman, and Matt, determined and loyal, the Baby Auction sums up everything that’s wrong with a society based on profit. Then one day Matt rescues a drowning child and they face the question: can love and compassion overcome the harsh laws of Market World? The Baby Auction is a novel that deals with issues at the heart of contemporary social policy: the role of government in meeting people’s needs, the limits to the market and the extent to which individual rights and responsibilities should depend on contribution to society. It is an experiment in using a different, imaginative form to discuss the issues I’ve dealt with in my academic research.After Austerity: Welfare State Transformation in Europe after the Great Recession
Officer of the British Empire for Services to Social Science, July 2012.
Lifetime Achievement Award, Social Policy Association, July 2013.
Elected Fellow of British Academy, 2009.
Elected President, Sociology and Social Policy Section, BAAS, 2005-6
Elected Fellow, Royal Society of Arts, 2005.
Elected Founding Academician, ASS, 2001.
Literary Festival Appearances:
‘Uncertainty in literature and social science’, Malvern Science and Faith Festival 2017
‘The future of the welfare state’, House of Commons 2016
‘Welfare state futures and the Lutheran heritage’ Keynote, Lutheran society conference, Berlin, 2014
‘Social mobility, clearing middle class obstacles out of the way’, All Souls Group, Oxford, 2011
‘Does risk society undermine social trust?’ BA Annual Science Festival, 2005
and over 200 academic presentations.
I write novels with a social edge. My day job is as Professor of Social Policy at the University of Kent, where I research and write on the development of the welfare state and on citizenship in the UK and in international comparisons. I can offer a distinctive and thought-provoking contribution to the audience at literary festivals. I am deeply concerned about many of the developments in the modern world, in particular the extension of market principles into every aspect of life and the growth of individualism.
Social science has had great success in describing and analysing many features of our social world but was spectacularly unsuccessful in predicting the Great Recession or the Brexit vote. The failure stems from the fact that much of what people do is driven by our emotions – our passions, our fears and our hopes. Social science – has little capacity to engage with feelings. That is why I write novels.
I am an entertaining and thought-provoking public speaker and have made many appearances on radio and television and written for the Guardian, Times, the Sun, Times Higher and other papers
The Martin E. Segal (http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Martin-E.-Segal/) Theatre Center announ..
LONDON UK: At this time of overwhelming global change, the 2017 Asia House Bagri ..
Festival highlights: Glamour, the Gorbals and the Globe – life stories..