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Personal profile

Scholarly biography

Phil Haynes is professor of public policy at the University of Brighton. His research interests include: complexity theory and its application to the applied social sciences, configurative case based methods, and the evaluation of public policy, social policy and public management. His research has been funded by the ESRC, NIHR, government depts, local authorities and non government organisations.  He teaches research methods, public policy, social policy and public management.

Research interests

In the last decade, Phil has researched and developed the innovative longitudinal case based method: Dynamic Pattern Synthesis (DPS). This is designed for comparing changes in small groups of cases over time. For example, comparing the trajectories of countries, regions or local authorities. The aim of the method is to maximise the understanding of data complexity in longitudinal quantitative research. The next research phase is to develop the method for larger samples.  The theoretical basis of the method is grounded in complexity theory and explained in the 2018 book: Social Synthesis: Finding Dynamic Patterns in Complex Social Systems ( Routledge).

Approach to teaching

Phil's current teaching is mostly with postgraduate students, but he also teaches quantitative methods to undergraduates. He was at the forefront of developments in blended learning with online technology and a co-author of the widely cited 2006 book: Online learning and teaching in higher education (McGraw-Hill Education). He has also recently been innovating in the piloting of teaching Social Network Analysis software and R.

Supervisory Interests

I supervise students with an interest in one or more of the following areas: complexity theory and social science, quantitative methods, mixed methods, and their application to public policy and social policy. Previous students supervised include those who have gone on to work as ESRC postdoc fellows (David Alemna, Claire Warrington, Jo Wilding and Josie Maitland).

External positions

Associate - ESRC CECAN, CECAN https://www.cecan.ac.uk/


  • H Social Sciences (General)
  • complexity theory
  • Dynamic Pattern Synthesis
  • Public Policy
  • social policy


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