Dr Tom McClean

I am a graduate of the doctoral programme in the Sociology Department at the London School of Economics. My supervisor was Dr Robin Archer (Reader in Political Sociology and Director of the Political Sociology Programme). My examiners were Prof Robert Hazell, Director of the Constitution Unit at University College London, and Prof Alasdair Roberts, Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School, Boston MA.


My doctoral research examined the shifting boundaries between legitimate secrecy and transparency in democratic politics over the post-war era. It sought to explain the diffusion of freedom of information laws, and specifically why these laws were adopted at different times in different democratic countries.

My thesis constitutes the first major product of a developing research agenda which sits at the intersection of political science and sociology. I particularly enjoy taking a historical-institutional perspective in my work, and am currently focussing on the relationship between secrecy, information technology and democratic participation/accountability.

I am currently an LSE Fellow in Political Sociology and also on LSE100 The LSE Course.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

McClean T. 2011 [Forthcoming]. Case Study: The Political Economy of the Right to Information in the UK. Chapter in comparative study currently by the World Bank.

McClean T. 2010. Who Pays the Piper? The Political Economy of Freedom of Information. Government Information Quarterly, vol. 27, no. 4, pp392-400. [View here]

McClean T. 2009. What Are We All Now? Varieties of Capitalism, the Financial Crisis and the Possibilities of Transparency. Australian Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Macquarie University, 27-30 September 2009. [View here].

Other Papers

McClean T. 2012 [Forthcoming], “The Evolution of Modern States” and “Governing through Institution Building” [Book Reviews]. Scheduled for publication in Governance. [Details].

McClean T. 2011, Freedom of information and the developing world : The citizen, the state and models of openness [Book Review]. Governance, vol 24, no. 4, pp745-747. [View Here].

McClean T. 2011, Not with a Bang but a Whimper Democratic Accountability and Open Data in the UK. American Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington, 1-4 September 2011. [View here]

McClean T. 2011, Institutions and Transparency: Where does Freedom of Information Work Best? 1st Global Conference on Transparency Research, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ, 19-20 May 2011. [View here].

McClean T. 2008, Privacy Exemptions and Administrative Transparency, Paper given to Chaire Hoover d'éthique économique et sociale, Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, 12 February 2008.

McClean T. 2007, Competing Expectations, Government Computing, February 2007.

McClean T. 2006, Freedom of Information and Privacy in Australia: Government and Information Access in the Modern State [Book Review], UNSW Law Journal, vol. 29, no. 2. [Details].

McClean T. 2006 Public Sector Data Processing and Privacy (report of a research project produced during an internship for Andrew Miller MP); presented to a meeting of the Office of the Information Commissioner, 26 March 2007.

Conference Organisation/Participation

Joint Convenor, LSE Sociology Forum. Research showcase and discussion group in Sociology Department at LSE, fortnightly during term-time from 10 March 2009-present. [Details].

Joint Convenor, LSE/UCL Constitution Unit Transparency Workshops, annual one-day workshops held at the LSE since 2008.

Moderator, Protecting Confidence: Privacy and Commercial Secrets, Session at Freedom Of Or Freedom From Information? Understanding Restrictions, Riga, Latvia, 15-16 May 2008.

Media Appearances

Interviewed for The Right to Know, BBC World Service, 8 and 15 August 2008.

Contact Details

Address: Department of Sociology
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7955 7405
Email: t.c.mcclean@lse.ac.uk