- Dr Neil Thin
- Senior Lecturer, Social Anthropology; Deputy Director of the Undergraduate School (Progression and Student Experience)
- 5.27 Chrystal Macmillan Building 15a George Square Edinburgh UK EH8 9LD
- +44 (0)131 650 3880
- Research Interests
- Happiness, wellbeing and the good life, social planning, appreciative (positive) research and planning
Office Hours During Semester
Tues 9.00-11.00 and Friday 9.00-11.00
- happiness, wellbeing
- poverty and education
- social quality, social progress
- policy and planning
- civil society
Interested in supervising students in areas related to: Social planning; happiness; well-being
Neil Thin specialises in appreciative social planning, i.e. engaging multidisciplinary happiness and wellbeing scholarship in public policy and practice. To this end, he is currently (2015) a part-time Parliamentary Fellow in the Scottish Parliament. He also has over 20 years of practical and policy experience working towards the reduction of poverty and promotion of justice and wellbeing in poorer countries, working at all levels from grassroots to governmental and international official agencies.
He has frequently served as a social development adviser and trainer for international development agencies such as the UK Department for International Development, UN Agencies, the World Bank, and international NGOs.
For over 10 years he served as a Director/Trustee of Practical Action [formerly Intermediate Technology Development Group] and latterly also as Chair of Practical Action Publications (formerly ITDG Publications, now incorporating Oxfam Publications). He was also a Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Tropical Forests, Adviser to the Scottish Executive International Development Programme, and to NIDOS, BOND, and the UK National Lottery Charities Board's International Grants Programme, and the Diana Princes of Wales Fund.
2016 ‘Social planning without Bentham or Aristotle: towards dignified and socially engaged wellbeing.’ in Joar Vitterso [ed], The Handbook of Eudaimonic Wellbeing. New York: Springer
2016 ‘Culture’ In Biswas-Diener [ed], Noba Psychology online textbook on Social Psychology.
2016 ‘Place appreciation and purposeful relocation in later life.’ Anthropology in Action (Special issue: Place and Wellbeing)
2015 ‘The home as enabler of more active lifestyles among older people.’ Building Research & Information 43,5:616-630 [with Brookfield, Katherine ; Fitzsimons, Claire ; Scott, Iain ; Mead, Gillian ; Starr, John ; Tinker, Anthea ; Ward Thompson, Catharine
2015 ‘Happiness: An interactionist perspective.’ International Journal of Wellbeing, 5(1), 1-18 [with Ahuvia, A., Haybron, D. M., Biswas-Diener, R., Ricard, M., & Timsit, J.]
2014 ‘Positive social planning.’ In A.P.Linley and S.Joseph [eds] (2004/2014) Positive Psychology in Practice. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley
2014 ‘Anthropology’ and 'Ethnocentrism' In A.Michalos [ed], Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research. Dordrecht: Springer http://referencelive.springer.com.qure
2013 ‘On the primary importance of secondary research.’ ch.3 In N.Konopinksi [ed], Doing Anthropological Research. London: Routledge http://www.routledge.com/catalogs/anthropology/1/3/
2012 ‘Multidimensional concepts of poverty: beyond money, beyond measurement, beyond minimalism’ forthcoming UNESCO/International Association of Universities Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems.
2011 ‘“No-one is unmusical”. Elizabeth, everyday cheermongery, and active musical citizenship.’ International Journal of Wellbeing ‘Fecilitators Symposium’, Special Issue ed. John Helliwell www.internationaljournalofwellbeing.org/index.php/ijow/issue/view/4
2011 ‘Socially responsible cheermongery: on the sociocultural contexts and levels of social happiness policies.’ In Robert Biswas-Diener (Ed.), Positive Psychology as a Mechanism for Social Change. Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 33-49
2009, ‘“Autres aptitudes et habitudes diverses”: éducation sentimentale et disposition au bonheur’.[‘“Any other capabilities and habits”: sentimental education and the capability for happiness.’] In Salomé Berthon et al (eds), Ethnologie des Gens Heureux. Cahiers d'Ethnologie de la France, pp. 139-148
2008, ‘Good feelings and good lives: why anthropology can ill afford to ignore well-being’ in Mathews, G. and C. Izquierdo, Pursuits of Happiness: Well-Being in Anthropological Perspective. Berghahn, pp. 23-44
2008, ‘“Realising the substance of their happiness”: how anthropology forgot about Homo Gauisus.’ in A.Corsin Jimenez [ed], Culture and the Politics of Freedom: the Anthropology of Well-being. London: Pluto Press, pp. 134-155
2007, 'Schooling for Joy? Why International Development Partners Should Search for Happiness in the Processes and Outcomes of Education.' Paper presented to the Wellbeing in International Development conference, University of Bath, June 28-30, 2007. [Session: "Wellbeing and Development Policy and Practice"]
2006, Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations, Better Forestry, Less Poverty: A Practitioner's Guide Rome: FAO Forestry Paper 149 ISBN 92-5-105550-5
2002, Social Progress and Sustainable Development. London: ITDG Publications
2001, Branching Out: Joint Forest Management in India. Delhi: OUP (co-authored with Nandini Sundar and Roger Jeffery)
Topics interested in supervising
happiness, wellbeing, flourishing, good life sustainable development social planning appreciative research appreciative planning
If you are interested in being supervised by Neil Thin, please see the links below for more information: