After studing politics at Durham and Uppsala and working in a number of jobs - from a receptionist for a NGO in Westminster to cattle mustering in rural New South Wales - I completed an MA in Methods of Social Research at the University of Kent in 2005. I was fortunate enough to be supervised by Andy Alaszewski for my MA thesis (constructions of risk and mental health policy) and my PhD - The Impact of Clinical Governance and the Audit Culture on Patient Trust: the opportunity cost of instrumental rationality.
In 2008, as I was finishing of my PhD, I began working with Mike Calnan, pursuing further research into issues around trust in healthcare, funded by the Medical Research Council. Alongside a part-time lectureship I then did some research into trust issues relating to psychosis services (also in cooperation with Mike) with ESRC funding. I moved to the UvA in November 2010.
I have a number of research interests in and around medical sociology and health policy - primarily risk, uncertainty and trust. My doctoral research led into further investigation into the ways in which healthcare professionals act towards/within the 'audit society' and reasons for compliance with, or subversion of, the system. The application of social theory has proved a valuable tool in analysing these phenomena - especially that of Habermas, Luhmann and Schutz.
I am also interested in mental health, particularly the construction of risk around mental illness and its impact on policy and professionals, but also in the perceptions held by those experiencing mental illness of healthcare institutions and the impact of this on trust and care outcomes.
On a more applied level - I have worked on a number of projects funded by organisations such as the Royal College of Physicians, the European Commission and the UK Department of Work and Pensions looking at various aspects of client-experiences and the implications of these for policy.
Brown, P. (ed.) (2017) Theories of Uncertainty and Risk Across Different Modernities. London: Routledge.
Brown, P. and Oloffson, A. (eds.) (2016) Risk, Uncertainty and Policy. London: Routledge.
Brown, P. and Calnan, M. (2012) Trusting on the Edge: Managing uncertainty and vulnerability in the midst of severe mental health problems. Bristol: Policy Press *
Alaszewski, A. and Brown, P.(2012) Making Health Policy: a critical introduction. Cambridge: Polity
* Short-listed for the Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness Book Prize, 2014.
Brown, P. (2020) Studying COVID-19 in light of critical approaches to risk and uncertainty: research pathways, conceptual tools, and some magic from Mary Douglas. Health, Risk & Society 22(1):1-14 open access
Sousa-Duarte, F., Brown, P., Magnólia Mendes, A. (2020) Healthcare professionals’ trust in patients: a review of the empirical and theoretical literatures. Sociology Compass, open access Online Early version
Marshall, A., Brown, P. & Ojiako, U. (2020) The Lion and Fox Animal Spirits of Machiavelli and Pareto: a framework for studying organisational micro-politics. Revue européenne des sciences sociales 58(1):13-40.
Rayment, J., Sidhu, M., Wright, P., Brown, P., Greenfield, S., Jeffreys, S., and Gale, N. (2020) Collaboration for impact: co-creating a workforce development toolkit using an arts-based approach. International Journal of Integrated Care online early
Brown, P. (2020) Social Theories of Risk. in: Elliott, A. (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Social and Cultural Theory . London: Routledge; second edition - forthcoming.
Brown, P., Flores, R., and Alaszewski, A. (2019) Understanding policy scandals in historical context: a longer-term lens for policy analysis. Journal of Social Policy - forthcoming - open access.
Brown, P. and Bahri, P. (2019) "‘Engagement’ of patients and healthcare professionals in regulatory pharmacovigilance: establishing a conceptual and methodological framework. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology - online early.
Gale, N., Brown, P., Sidhu, M. (2018) Co-production in the epidemiological clinic: a decentred analysis of the tensions in community-based, client-facing risk work. Social Policy &Administration 53(2):203-218.
Topçu, S. and Brown, P. (2019) The impact of technology on pregnancy and childbirth: creating and managing obstetrical risk in different cultural and socio-economic contexts. Health, Risk & Society 21(3-4):89-99.
Brown, P. and Gale, N. (2018) Theorising risk work: analysing professionals’ lifeworlds and practices. Professions and Professionalism 8(1):1988
Brown, P. and Flores, R. (2018) The informalisation of professional–patient interactions and the consequences for regulation in the United Kingdom, in J.M. Chamberlain; M. Dent and M. Saks (eds.) Professional Health Regulation in the Public Interest, Bristol: Policy Press; pp. 39-60.
Brown, P., Moerman, G. & Broer, P. (2018) Interviews as a means of exploring risk lifeworlds: excavating the roots of everyday meanings, experiences and practices. in A. Olofsson and J. Zinn (eds.) Researching Risk and Uncertainty: methodologies, methods and research strategies. London: Palgrave; pp.205-230. (out Nov 2018)
Doyle, J., Colville, S., Brown, P. and Christie, D. (2018) How adolescents decide upon bariatric surgery: An interpretative phenomenological analysis. Clinical Obesity 8(2):114-121.
Flores, R. and Brown, P. (2018) The changing place of care and compassion within the English NHS: an Eliasean perspective. Social Theory and Health 16(2):156-171.
Hashem, F., Calnan, M. and Brown, P. (2018) Decision-making in NICE single technological appraisals (STAs): How does NICE incorporate patient perspectives? Health Expectations 21(1):128-137. open access version here
Calnan, M., Hashem, F. and Brown, P. (2017) Still Elegantly Muddling Through? NICE and Uncertainty in Decision Making About the Rationing of Expensive Medicines in England. International Journal of Health Services 47(3):571-594. online early
Kweekel, L., Gerrits, T., Rijnders, M., & Brown, P. (2017) The role of trust in CenteringPregnancy: Building interpersonal trust relationships in group-based prenatal care in the Netherlands. Birth 44(1):41-47 DOI: 10.1111/birt.12260
Veltkamp, G. and Brown, P. (2017) The everyday ‘risk work’ of Dutch child-healthcare professionals: Inferring ‘safe’ and ‘good’ parenting through trust, as mediated by a lens of gender and class. Sociology of Health and Illness 39(8):1297-1313. Open access version
Brown, P. (2016) From rationalities to lifeworlds: analysing the everyday handling of uncertainty and risk in terms of culture, society and identity. Health, Risk & Society 18(7-8): 335-347.
Gale, N., Thomas, G., Thwaites, R., Greenfield, S. & Brown, P. (2016) Towards a sociology of risk work: a narrative review and synthesis. Sociology Compass 10(11):1046-1071
Brown, P. & Calnan, M. (2016) Chains of (dis)trust: exploring the underpinnings of knowledge sharing and quality care across mental health services. Sociology of Health and Illness 38(2): 286-305.
Brown, P., Hashem, F. and Calnan, M. (2016) Trust, regulatory processes and NICE decision-making: Appraising cost-effectiveness models through appraising people and systems. Social Studies of Science 46(1):87-111.
Cuijpers, N. & Brown, P. (2016) Symbolic and Systemic Violence in Media Representations of Aggression towards Ambulance Personnel in the Netherlands. Society, Health and Vulnerability 7:1 - doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/shv.v7.28669 (Open access)
Brown, P. (2016) Trust and Risk. in Burgess, A., Alemanno, A. and Zinn, J. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Risk Studies. London: Routledge; pp. 49-57.
Brown, P. and Calnan, M. (2016) Professionalism, trust and cooperation, in: Dent, M., Bourgeault, I., Denis, J-L., Kuhlmann, E. (eds.) The Routledge Companion to the Professions and Professionalism. London: Routledge; pp. 1290-143.
Brown, P. (2015) Theorising Uncertainty and Risk across Different Modernities: considering insights from ‘non-North-Western’ studies. Health, Risk & Society 17(3-4):185-195 - editorial as part of a wider theory-focused special double issue.
Brown, P., Elston, ME. and Gabe, J. (2015) From patient deference towards negotiated and precarious informality: An Eliasian analysis of English general practitioners' understandings of changing patient relations. Social Science & Medicine 146:164-172 - open access
Brown, P., de Graaf, S., Hillen, M., Smets, E., Laarhoven, H.W. (2015) The interweaving of pharmaceutical and medical expectations as dynamics of micro-pharmaceuticalisation: advanced-stage cancer patients' hope in medicines alongside trust in professionals. Social Science & Medicine 131: 313-21.
Brown, P., de Graaf, S. and Hillen, M. (2015) The inherent tensions and ambiguities of hope: Towards a post-formal analysis of experiences of advanced-cancer patients. Health 19(2):207-225.
Brown, P. and Meyer, S. (2015) Dependency, trust and choice? Examining agency and ‘forced options’ within secondary-healthcare contexts. Current Sociology 63(5):729-745
Ward, P., Rokkas, P., Cenko, C., Pulvirenti, M., Carney, S., Brown, P., Calnan, M. & Meyer, S. (2015) A qualitative study of patient (dis)trust in public and private hospitals: the importance of choice and pragmatic acceptance for trust considerations in South Australia. BMC Health Services Research 15:297 - open access
Alaszewski, A. and Brown, P. (2015) Time, risk and health. In Chamberlain, M. (ed.) Medicine, Discourse and Power. London: Routledge (forthcoming Dec 2015).
Brown, P. (2015) Using drugs in the midst of uncertainty – developing a Habermasian understanding of medicines lifeworlds. In Chamberlain, M. (ed.) Medicine, Discourse and Power. London: Routledge (forthcoming Dec 2015).
Brown, P. (2015) Alfred Schutz: The Co-Construction of meaning within professional-patient interaction, in F, Collyer (ed.) Handbook of Social Theory of Health and Medicine. London: Palgrave; chapter 11.
Brown, P. (2014) Risk and Social Theory: the legitimacy of risks and risk as a tool of legitimation. Health, Risk & Society 16(5):391-397.
Brown, P. and Olofsson, A. (2014) Risk, Uncertainty and Policy: towards a social-dialectical understanding. Journal of Risk Research 17(4):425-434.
Doyle, J., Colville, S., Brown, P. and Christie, D. (2014) Exploring Uncertainty in Adolescent Bariatric Teams: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Clinical Obesity 4(1):45-52.
Brown, P. (2014) The 1980 Black Report. in: Taylor, P., Corteen, K., and Morley, S.(Eds) A Companion to Criminal Justice, Mental Health and Risk, Bristol, UK: The Policy Press.
Brown, P. & de Graaf, S. (2013) Considering a future which might not exist: the construction of time and expectations amidst advanced-stage cancer. Health, Risk & Society 15(6):543-560.
Brown, P. and Calnan, M. (2013) NICE technology appraisals: working with multiple levels of uncertainty and the potential for bias. Medicine, Healthcare and Philosophy 16(2):281-93. (see link to Open Access version).
Brown, P. and Calnan, M. (2013) Trust as a means of bridging the management of risk and the meeting of need: a case study in mental health service provision. Social Policy and Administration 47(3):242-61.
Brown, P. (2013) Social Theories of Risk. in: Elliott, A. (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Social and Cultural Theory . London: Routledge. Recently published - see here.
Brown, P. (2013) Risk and social theory - a new venture and some new avenues. Health, Risk & Society 15(8): 624-633
Brown, P., Heyman, B. and Alaszewski, A. (2013) Time Framing and Health Risks: An editorial. Health, Risk & Society 15(6): 479-88. Open access version here
Heyman, B., Alaszewski, A. and Brown, P. (2013) Probabalistic thinking and health risks: an editorial. Health, Risk and Society 15(1):1-11.
Heyman, B. and Brown, P. (2013) Perspectives on the 'lens' of risk: interview series: Interviews with Judith Green and Peter Taylor-Gooby. Health, Risk and Society 15(1):12-26.
Heyman, B. and Brown, P. (2013) Perspectives on ‘The Lens of Risk’ interview series: Interviews with Tom Horlick-Jones, Paul Slovic and Andy Alaszewski. Health, Risk & Society 15(6):494-510.
Brown, P. (2012) A nudge in the right direction? Towards a sociological engagement with libertarian paternalism. Social Policy and Society 11(3): 305-17 (see link to paper here).
Brown,P. and Calnan,M. (2012) Braving a faceless new world? Conceptualising trust in the pharmaceutical industry and its products. Health 16(1):57-75.
Brown, P., Lang, G. and Resch, K. (2012) Evidence-based health promotion for older people and instrumentalisation: comparing the influence of policy-contexts in Austria and England. Critical Public Health 22(4): 441-453.
Heyman, B., Alaszewski, A. and Brown, P. (2012) Health care through the 'lens of risk' and the categorisation of health risks - An editorial. Health, Risk and Society 14(2): 107-115.
Heyman, B. and Brown, P. (2012) Perspectives on the 'lens of risk' interview series: Interview with Nick Pidgeon. Health, Risk and Society 14(2):117-127
Heyman, B., Alaszewski, A. and Brown, P. (2012) Values and health risks - An editorial. Health, Risk and Society 14(5): 399-408.
Brown, P. and Heyman, B. (2012) Perspectiveson the 'lens of risk' interview series: Interviews with Ortwin Renn and Joost van Loon. Health,Risk and Society 14(5): 415-25.
Brown, P., Vainieri, M., Bonini,A., Nuti, S. and Calnan, M. (2012) What might the English NHS learn about qualityfrom Tuscany? Moving from financial and bureaucratic incentives towards'social' drivers. Social and Public Policy Review 6(2): 30-46. (see link to Open Access version here)
Brown, P. (2011) The Dark Side of Hope and Trust: constructed expectationsand the value-for-money regulation of new medicines. Health Sociology Review 20(4): 407-19.
Brown, P., Alaszewski, A., Swift, T. and Nordin, A. (2011) Actions speak louder than words: the embodiment of trust by healthcare professionals in gynae-oncology. Sociology of Health and Illness 33(2): 280-95.
Brown, P. (2011) The concept of lifeworld as a tool in analysing health-care work: exploring professionals’ resistance to governance through subjectivity, norms and experiential knowledge. Social Theory and Health 9(2): 147-165.
Brown, P. and Calnan, M. (2011) The Civilizing Process of Trust: developing quality mechanisms which are local, professional-led and thus legitimate. Social Policy and Administration 45(1): 19-34.
Brown, P.,Alaszewski, A.,Pilgrim,D. and Calnan, M. (2011) The quality of interaction between health service managers and frontline clinicians:a question of trust. Public Money & Management 31(1): 43-50.
Edwards, S., Brown, P., Twyman, M., Christie, D.and Rakow, T. (2011) A qualitative investigation of selecting surrogate decision-makers. Journalof Medical Ethics 37 (10):601-605.
Brown, P. and Flores, R. (2011) Making Normative Structures Visible: the British National Health Service and the Hospice Movement as Signifiers of Compassion and Hope. Acta Sociologica 54 (1): 61-75.
Brown, P. and Vickerstaff, S. (2011) Health subjectivitiesand labour market participation: pessimism and older workers' attitudes and narratives around retirement in the UK. Research on Aging 33(5):529-550.
Maidment, I., Brown, P. and Calnan, M. (2011) An exploratory study of the role of trust in medication management within mental health services. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy 33(4): 614-20.
Calnan, M. and Brown, P. (2011) The reconfiguration of trust relations in healthcare? in: C, Phellas (ed.) Sociological Perspectives of Health & Illness. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Brown, P. and Calnan, M.(2010) Political accountability of explicit rationing: legitimacy problems faced by NICE. Journal of Health Services Research and Policy 15: 65-66.
Brown, P., Billings , J., Wagg, A., Potter, J. (2010) Is it possible to measure what truly matters? The paradox of clinical audit in developing continence service standards for older people. The Patient: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research 3(1):11-23
Brown, P. and Calnan, M. (2010) The Risks of Managing Uncertainty:the limitations of governance and choice, and the potential for trust. Social Policy and Society 9(1): 13-24.
Brown, P. (2009) The phenomenology of trust: a Schutzian analysis of the social construction of knowledge bygynae-oncology patients. Health, Risk and Society 11(5): 391-407.
Brown, P., Bickley, P. and Wooley, P. (2009) Religion and the National Health Service: a report for Barking and Dagenham Primary Care Trust. London: Theos.
Brown, P., Calnan, M., Scrivener, A. and Szmukler, G. (2009) Trust in Mental Health Services: a neglected concept. Journal of Mental Health 18(5): 449-58.
Brown, P. (2008) Legitimacy chasing its own tale: theorising clinical governance through a critique of instrumental reason. Social Theory and Health 6(2):184-199.
Brown, P. (2008) Trusting in the New NHS: instrumental versus communicative action. Sociology of Health and Illness 30(3):349-363.
Vickerstaff, S., Loretto, W., Billings, J., Brown, P., Mitton, L., Parkin, T. and White, P.(2008) Encouraging labour market activity among60-64 year olds. Department for Work and Pensions (UK Government), Research Report No. 531. London: HMSO.
Alaszewski,A. and Brown, P. (2007) Risk,uncertainty and knowledge. Health, Risk and Society 9(1):1-10.
Brown, P. (2006) Risk versus need in revising the 1983 Mental Health Act: conflicting claims,muddled policy. Health, Risk and Society 8(4):343-358.