I read History at Downing College Cambridge, and then came to LSE for doctoral research, jointly supervised by Richard Titmuss in the Department of Social Administration, and Robert McKenzie in the Department of Sociology.

My first teaching post was in the Department of Political Theory and Government at University College, Swansea, in 1967. After four years in Wales, I returned to LSE, to the Department of Government, where I am now Professor of Government.

Since coming to LSE I have variously been Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, opera critic for Tribune and, within LSE (where I contribute the Rodent's Rambles column to the LSE magazine) have taught undergraduate, graduate, and research students.

I am married to the medical sociologist Professor Helen Roberts, who is based at University College London.