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Professor Iain McLean FBA

Public policy; public choice; the history and politics of Union since 1707; fiscal federalism; Scottish, French and American Enlightenment thought; electoral systems and social choice
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About this Fellow

Iain McLean is a professor of politics at Oxford University and a fellow of Nuffield College, where he directs a public policy research unit. He also sings and drives steam trains. Iain has worked in many areas of political history and political economy. In recent years he has focused on two areas: the political thought of the Scottish and American Enlightenments, and public policy in the UK. Within public policy, Iain's focus has been on constitutional reform (including the nations of the UK and church-state relations) and on fiscal federalism.



Current post

  • Professor of Politics, University of Oxford; Senior Research Fellow in Politics, Nuffield College, Oxford

Past Appointments

  • Weir Fellow and Praelector in Politics, University College University of Oxford, 1970
  • Professor of Politics, University of Warwick, 1970
  • William H. Orrick Visiting Professor, Program in Ethics, Politics & Economics, Yale University, 1970
  • Lecturer in Politics, Newcastle University, 1970
  • Professor of Politics, University of Oxford; Senior Research Fellow in Politics, Nuffield College, Oxford, Nuffield College University of Oxford, 1970

British Academy Appointments

  • Vice-President Public Policy, 2012 - 2016

Top picks

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What is social science?

Professor Iain McLean explores how we define social science and its associated disciplines – and why they matter. 16 Nov 2018


Scotland's Choices (with J Gallagher and G Lodge) 2013, hb and pb

State of the Union: unionism and the alternatives in the UK since 1707.with A. McMillan 2005

Rational choice and British politic 2001

Classics of Social Choice, ed. and trans. with A. B. Urken 1995

Other Political Studies: Political Theory, Government and International Relations Fellows

Professor Joseph Nye

International relations with particular emphasis on American foreign policy, globalisation and soft power.