Peter Abell

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Peter Abell
Professor Peter Abell
Born 1939
London, United Kingdom
Residence United Kingdom
Nationality British
Fields Social scientist
Alma mater University of Leeds

Peter Abell (born 1939) is a British social scientist, currently professor emeritus at the London School of Economics where he has founded and directed the "Interdisciplinary Institute of Management".[1] He has been teaching for many years at LSE's Department of Management, managerial economics and strategy group.


He is known for his contribution to mathematical social science, both quantitative and qualitative. He is the author of several books on methodology and individual participation and co-operation[2] and currently focuses on an approach he coined Bayesian narratives and on network analysis particularly the role of signed structures in group formation and identity change.

Political activism[edit]

During the 1960s Abell was involved in demonstrations organised by the Committee of 100 in Trafalgar Square[3] and advocated for civil disobedience and nuclear disarmament.[4]

Selected publications[edit]

Books (selected)[edit]

  • Model Building in Sociology (Basic ideas in the human sciences) (1971)
  • Organizations as bargaining and influence systems Edited volume (1975)
  • The syntax of social life: The theory and method of comparative narratives Oxford University Press(1987)
  • Establishing Support Systems for Industrial Co-Operatives: Case Studies from the Third World (1988)
  • Organisation Theory; An interdisciplinary Approach University of London Press (2006)

Book chapters and papers in refereed journals (selected)[edit]

  • 'Some Aspects of Narrative Method' Journal of Mathematical Sociology 1993 18:1-25.
  • 'On the Prospects of a unified Social Science' Socio-economic Review, 2003, 1, 1-27
  • 'Narrative explanation: An alternative to variable-centered explanation?', Annual Review of Sociology, 2004, 287-310.
  • 'Narratives, Bayesian narratives and narrative actions' Sociologica 2007, 1:3
  • 'Are reasons explanations?.' Contemporary Sociology 2007, 36:532-534
  • 'A Case for Cases,Comparative Narratives in Sociological Explanation' Sociological Methods and Research 2009, 32:1-33
  • 'Singular Mechanisms and Bayesian Narratives' in Demeulenaere, Pierre, ed. Analytical sociology and social mechanisms Cambridge University Press, 2011.


  1. ^ "Peter Abell's CV 2011" (PDF). London School of Economics. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  2. ^ "European Academy of Sociology - Fellows". European Academy of Sociology. Retrieved 19 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Leeds students arrested after sit-down demonstrations" (PDF) (Press release). Union News - The Weekly Newspaper of Leeds University Union. September 29, 1961. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Letters - The Head and the Heart" (PDF) (Press release). Union News - Leeds University Union. October 13, 1961. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 

External links[edit]