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Professor Steve Harrison (PhD, AcSS) - personal details

Contact details

Professor Steve Harrison

Role: Professor of Social Policy


Health Policy, Politics & Organisation Research Group
School of Community-based Medicine
University of Manchester
Williamson Building
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL




Steve Harrison was Professor of Health Policy and Politics at the University of Leeds before coming to Manchester as Professor of Social Policy in 2000. He was Head of Applied Social Science 2003-04 and on the creation of the new University in 2004 became Head of the Governance, Representation and Public Policy Group in the new School of Social Sciences. He has maintained close links with NPCRDC ever since his arrival in Manchester and in September 2005 joined NPCRDC's staff on a full-time secondment until 2010.

Steve is a political scientist whose empirical work has encompassed both national-level policy making and local level policy making, implementation and impact in the NHS. He has also undertaken numerous evaluation studies and is responsible for the development of concepts such as 'diplomatic management' and 'scientific-bureaucratic medicine'. His substantive research topics have included medical-managerial relationships in the NHS, the politics of 'evidence-based medicine', the implementation of clinical guidelines in primary care, public and service user participation in NHS decision making, professional understanding of 'risk' and the maintenance of professional work boundaries.

Steve has produced more than 250 publications and has been principal or co-investigator in some £4 million of research projects since 1978. His work is widely cited. He was elected Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2002, and has been a Trustee of Arc, the Arthritis Research Campaign and a member of the Methodology Group of the NHS National R&D Programme.

Steve lives in the Pennines with his partner, textile artist and costume maker Annie Dearman. Away from work he is an active folk musician with the barn dance band The Black Box Band (specialising in traditional English music), the European roots band Official Brawl, and the traditional vocal trio Dearman Gammon and Harrison whose CD Black Crow/ White Crow was released by the English Folk Dance and Song Society in 2005. Annie and Steve are residents at the Ryburn 3 Step Folk Club near Ripponden. Steve is a member of the Long Company.

Memberships of Committees and Professional Bodies

  • Elected Academician, Academy of Social Sciences
  • Member of Political Studies Association
  • Member of Social Policy Association


  • BSc (Econ), London
  • MPhil, Warwick
  • PhD, Bristol


Steve Harrison has an honorary Chair appointment at the University of Manchester, continuing to work with the Health Policy, Politics and Organisation (HiPPO) group of researchers that investigates:

  • How different formal and informal characteristics of primary care organisation relate to outcomes that are of policy interest, including effectiveness, efficiency, service innovation, user responsiveness and public opinion
  • How wider organisational innovations and other contextual changes in the National Health Service impact on primary care

He is also associated with the new Department of Health Policy Research Unit in Commissioning and the Healthcare System (PRUComm).