Dr Tom Hoctor

Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences

Tom is a political sociologist whose research and teaching sit at the intersection of political economy and social theory. He has published and lectured extensively on the ideological direction of the British Conservative Party, the relationship between political theory and the economy, and work and welfare in the UK and Scandinavia. This focus on how ideas are put into practice is reflected in his teaching agenda which takes concepts like ideology, power and work and asks students to think about how they manifest themselves in the real world. He has also taught extensively on research methodologies at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He is currently co-Principal Investigator of the research project: What Happened to the Affluent Worker? Deindustrialisation and Identity in Luton.

Tom took up his position in Applied Social Sciences in 2017 and is Course Coordinator for the BA (hons) Social Sciences. He received his Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded doctorate from University College London in 2017 for a thesis on competing political discourses of British and Scandinavian welfare.


  • PhD – University College London
  • MSt – Mansfield College, University of Oxford
  • BA (hons) – University of Manchester

Teaching 2022/23


  • ASS100-1 Introduction to Research and Social Enquiry
  • ASS116-2 Power in Political Thought
  • ASS068-2 Comparing Welfare Internationally
  • ASS145-3 Work and Welfare in the 21st Century
  • ASS010-3 Ideas and Issues in Globalisation
  • ASS139-3 Dissertation supervision


  • ASS130-6 Research Methods 2: Design, data collection and ethics
  • ASS009-6 The Conceptual Framework

Research Interests

  • Conservatism, reaction and The Conservative Party
  • Political sociology and history of the international Right
  • Twentieth-century economic, social and political theory
  • Work, unemployment and deindustrialization


Articles, Chapters, Books

Hoctor, T. (2022) ‘Everything old is “neo” again: towards a Marxist hermeneutic approach to political economy’, Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 27(5), pp.148-161

Hoctor, T. (2022) ‘How the signified went missing in twentieth-century economic theory: Schumpeter, Mises and Hayek and the abolition of value’, New Political Science 44(2), pp.336-352

Hoctor, T. (2022) ‘The consumer, the market and the universal aristocracy: the ideology of academisation in England’, Journal of Consumer Culture. Online First

Hoctor, T. (2021) ‘The Neoconservative Party, or conservatism without tradition: reading Conservative ideology in the 2020s’, Political Quarterly 92(3), pp.453-460

Hilson, M. and T. Hoctor (2021) ‘From the “middle way” to The Nordic Way: Changing Rhetorics of the Nordic Model in Britain’, in J. Marjanen, J. Strang and M. Hilson (eds.) Contesting Nordicness from Scandinavianism to the Nordic Brand, Helsinki Yearbook of Intellectual History 2, De Gruyter Oldenbourg, pp.81-102

Hoctor, T. (2021) ‘Beveridge or Bismarck? Choosing the Nordic model in British healthcare policy 1997-2010’ in H. Byrkjeflot, L. Mjøset and K. Petersen (eds.) The Making and Circulation of Nordic models. London: Routledge, pp.209-228

Hoctor, T. (2020) ‘Coming to terms with the market: accounts of neoliberal failure and rehabilitation on the British right’, British Politics 0(0), pp.1-16.

Hoctor, T. (2020) The economic response to Covid-19 and the Conservative Party’s failure to depart from Thatcherite orthodoxy’, LSE British Politics and Policy. 1st September. Available at: https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/covid19-economic-response-conservatives/

In addition, Tom has acted as a reviewer for inter alia: Politics and Governance, The Journal of Consumer Culture and as an external evaluator for the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

(All publications can be found for free at: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Tom-Hoctor/research)


Invited Conference papers, symposia and seminars

April 2023

Political Studies Association Conference. University of Liverpool. ‘What happened to the Affluent Worker? Advanced deindustrialisation, class and perpetual crisis in an East of England town’


March 2023

Human Relations 75th Anniversary Conference. Tavistock Institute. ‘What happened to the Affluent Worker? Deindustrialisation and class in an East of England town’


September 2022

Political Studies Association – British and Comparative Political Economy, Manchester Metropolitan University. ‘Reactionary visions of political economy for the post-pandemic era’.


June 2022

University of Bedfordshire Annual Research Conference 2022. ‘The Conservative Party and Ideology in an Age of Internationalisation on the Right’


February 2022

Guest speaker: Gender Studies Postgraduate Winter School. ‘Women-friendly welfare states? Gendered theories of welfare’. London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research


February 2022

Guest Lecture: Research Series – Law School, Arden University ‘The Death of Conservatism?’


July 2021

Guest Lecture: Gender Studies Postgraduate Summer School. ‘Women-friendly welfare states? Gendered theories of welfare’. London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research


March 2021

Political Quarterly Special Issue Workshop. Andrew Gamble and the Conservative Party


February 2020

Guest Lecture: Gender Studies Postgraduate Winter School. Guest Lecture: ‘What happened to the Affluent Worker? The gendered nature of the decline of affluence in Luton’. London Centre for Interdisciplinary Research.


March 2019

Third Nordic Challenges Conference, Copenhagen Business School. Paper: ‘Taking back control, but how much? Norway, Canada and the Brexit debate’.


April 2018

BBC Radio 3: Free Thinking, Learning from Sweden. Arts and culture radio programme on the social and political links between Britain and Sweden. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p064vcvx


March 2018

Second Nordic Challenges Conference, Centre for Nordic Studies, University of Helsinki. Paper: ‘A research agenda with(out) a history: rediscovering the Freudian origins of nation branding’.


October 2018

The Making and Circulation of Nordic models. Network meeting at the Norwegian Institute, Sciences Po, Paris.


March 2017

Global Challenges: Nordic Experiences, University of Oslo. ‘“It is a bit like IKEA: everything is simple and the same”. Is there a Nordic model of New Public Management in British public policy?’


December 2016

Rhetorics of Nordicness network meeting, Centre for Nordic Studies, University of Helsinki. With Prof. Mary Hilson “Rhetorical uses of the Nordic model in political and ideological debates in the UK during the 2000s and 2010s”.


June 2016

4th International PhD Conference of the Association for Political History

Neoliberalism with a Nordic face? UK governance networks and flexicurity c.2000-2015


March 2016

School of Culture and Communication, University of Aarhus. A New Economic Celebrity: Denmark and flexicurity


Contact Details

E: tom.hoctor@beds.ac.uk


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