About us

Promoting open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement in higher education and academic research.

We aim to serve as a hub for a growing international network of like-minded researchers and institutions...

The Centre for Heterodox Social Science was founded to concentrate on social science and humanities research which has been difficult, if not impossible to pursue within an academia which is increasingly setting narrow boundaries to the acceptable range of approaches and findings. It nests within the University of Buckingham, Britain’s only university explicitly dedicated to the prioritization of free inquiry and expression above ‘social justice’.

Exploring the vast empirical zone between progressive academia and the JCI

Our aim is not to pursue the extremely controversial (i.e. race and IQ or other topics that appear in the Journal of Controversial Ideas) but rather the vast empirical zone between progressive academia and the JCI. We believe that the social sciences have been distorted by excessive normative barriers to publication as well as by political prejudice. This has skewed the entire academic enterprise and, by extension, the state of knowledge in the social sciences and humanities.

woman in black tank top

Challenging Unscientific Orthodoxies

The Centre will publish and disseminate research to challenge unscientific orthodoxies in the social sciences and humanities. For instance, around explanations of race and gender achievement gaps (are these really due to discrimination?), perceptions of history (i.e. ignorance of non-western genocide, slavery, colonialism), causes of social problems (why is culture neglected?) or the lack of attention to left extremism as compared to right extremism. Our unconventional explanations may be wrong, but only the clash of viewpoints and ideas, adhering to scientific norms of measurement and falsifiablity, can help sift strong from weak theories.

Advancing Knowledge

Our work can help to advance and reframe the state of knowledge around questions that many social scientists currently seek to answer, such as what drives inequality and injustice, and how to counter this.

Yet these should not be the only questions that academic research addresses. What about topics that are deemed unfashionable or undesirable for ideological reasons? We believe that the academic enterprise is focusing primarily on issues of inequality of outcome, power differentials, and harms to disadvantaged race, sex and gender groups. These are important questions, but work on them has come at the expense of investigating problems of freedom, social cohesion, beauty, human flourishing, and excellence. A positive social science that seeks to advance human happiness and excellence is required alongside the current focus on ameliorating negative social outcomes.[1]

A further aim is to propound a new sociological-philosophical framework, a kind of ‘Reverse Critical Theory’ that can guide scholarship going forward and counter the normative dominance of Critical Theory and egalitarian philosophies.

Finally, we aim to serve as a hub for a growing international network of like-minded researchers and institutions, a countercultural social science and humanities scholarship. We believe that we can play a vital role in rebalancing the academic enterprise, restoring trust in universities and helping to contribute to a less fractured and more cohesive society dedicated to all aspects of human flourishing.

[1] Thin, N. (2014). “Positive Sociology and Appreciative Empathy: History and Prospects.” Sociological Research Online 19(2): 1-14.

Our People

  • Professor Eric Kaufmann

    Director

    Eric Kaufmann is Professor of Politics at the University of Buckingham and Director of the Centre for Heterodox Social Science. He directs Buckingham's new course…

  • Rakib Ehsan

    Senior Fellow

    Dr Rakib Ehsan is a London-born British independent researcher and author who specialises in matters of social cohesion, race relations, and public security.

  • Luke Martin

    Visiting Fellow

    Dr Luke Martin teaches theology and philosophy at Eton College. He's passionate about exploring the space where faith meets culture. 

  • Neema Parvini

    Senior Fellow

    Dr Neema Parvini is the author of eight books including The Prophets of Doom (2023), The Populist Delusion (2022), The Defenders of Liberty (2020), Shakespeare's…