Ruth Lister, Baroness Lister of Burtersett

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The Baroness Lister of Burtersett
Official portrait, 2022
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
1 February 2011
Life Peerage
Personal details
Born (1949-05-03) 3 May 1949 (age 74)
Political partyLabour
Alma materUniversity of Essex

Margot Ruth Aline Lister, Baroness Lister of Burtersett, CBE, FBA, FAcSS (born 3 May 1949[1]), is currently Professor of Social Policy at Loughborough University. She has written or contributed to a number of books, pamphlets and articles on poverty, social security and women's citizenship.


She was born to Dr Werner Bernard and Daphne (née Carter) Lister. She attended a private school and then the University of Essex, from which she graduated with a BA in sociology, and continued to an MA in multi-racial studies from the University of Sussex. She has also received honorary doctorates from the Caledonian University.[2][3] After completing her MA, she worked for the Child Poverty Action Group.[4]

She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1999 Birthday Honours[5] and, in 2009, became a Fellow of the British Academy. She was appointed to the House of Lords as a life peer on 31 January 2011 as Baroness Lister of Burtersett, of Nottingham in the County of Nottinghamshire[6] (Burtersett being the village her mother originated from). She sits as a member of the Labour Party.[7]

Employment history[edit]

Child Poverty Action Group[edit]

  • Legal Res. Officer, 1971–75
  • Assistant Director, 1975–77
  • Deputy Director 1977–79
  • Director 1979–87

As a professor[edit]

  • Professor of Applied Social Studies, University of Bradford, 1987–93
  • Professor of Social Policy, Loughborough University, 1994 onwards
  • Donald Dewar Visiting Professor of Social Justice, University of Glasgow, 2005–06


  • Vice-Chair, NCVO, 1991–93
  • Member: Opsahl Commission, 1992–93
  • Commission for Social Justice, 1992–94
  • Commission on Poverty, Participation and Power, 1999–2000
  • Fabian Commission on Life Chances and Child Poverty, 2004–06
  • National Equality Panel, 2008–10
  • The Eleanor Rathbone Memorial Lecture, University of Leeds, 1989
  • Founding Academician, Academy of Social Sciences, 1999


  • Supplementary Benefit Rights, 1974
  • Welfare Benefits, 1981
  • The Exclusive Society, 1990
  • Women's Economic Dependency and Social Security, 1992
  • Citizenship: feminist perspectives, 1997, 2nd edition 2003
  • Poverty, 2004
  • Poverty, 2nd edition 2020 ISBN 978-0745645971
  • Gendering Citizenship in Western Europe, 2007
  • Co-editor of Why Money Matters, 2008
  • Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy, 2010


  1. ^ "Baroness Lister of Burtersett". BBC Democracy. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  2. ^ "University of Essex :: Events at Essex :: Harry Potter director and Arctic explorer honoured at Graduation 2012". Archived from the original on 29 August 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012.
  3. ^ Who's Who 2011
  4. ^ A speech presented by the Baroness Lister upon her honorary doctorate from the University of Essex on 18 July 2012.
  5. ^ "No. 55513". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1999. p. 9.
  6. ^ "No. 59689". The London Gazette. 3 February 2011. p. 1849.
  7. ^ "Baroness Lister of Burtersett". Archived from the original on 21 November 2011. Retrieved 17 January 2022.

External links[edit]