Gerry Hassan

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Gerry Hassan is a writer, researcher, policy analyst and broadcaster, who has worked on a range of Scottish, UK and international subjects. He has published widely, researched in a variety of areas, organised events and seminars, and been involved in setting up a number of research and ideas networks. Hassan is Director and co-founder of Big Thinking.

He is Head of the Demos Scotland 2020 programme and is the Head of the forthcoming Demos Glasgow 2020: Tales of the City project – a futures project looking at how citizens see cities and change and their role within this.

A response to a celebratory account of this project, authored by Hassan for the Herald, is worth quoting to demonstrate how Hassan's perspective differs from others in Glasgow:

If your message is to the city fathers then you clearly have missed an important part of the story – you may think that there is recognition of “the role of the council as a custodian of the city's civic pride” but unfortunately that may be the flaw in your quite impressive research. Either that or you conducted your research before those same “custodians” hived off the common good of the City to some new quango.
Unfortunately the custodians of our civic pride all passed away about 40 years ago and since then there has been an attrition of the faith and trust between the citizens and those elected to serve (serve?). We have watched as our central square was denuded of its foliage and painted red; we have read the stories on the Monday morning of how our important architectural heritage was lost silently the previous day; we have had the Pilate like handling of our social housing; the rejuvenation of our river only to be then hidden behind the glass and white stucco of the yuppie palaces; but most of all we have had the imagination and ambition of the citizens suppressed by those who long lost the connection with what it is really like to live in the Dear Green Place.[1]

He is author, editor and co-editor of ten books including the Demos collection, Scotland 2020: Hopeful Stories for a Northern Nation (2005) which he was co-editor of; co-author of The Political Guide to Modern Scotland (2004); editor of The Scottish Labour Party: History, Institutions and Ideas (2004). Forthcoming publications include a study of the contemporary Scottish National Party, looking at Scottish nationalism in a Scottish, UK and international comparison. Other forthcoming books include After Blair: Politics after the New Labour Decade, published in conjunction with the Compass network, examining progressive politics in the UK and internationally post-New Labour, bringing together a dozen of the most original centre-left writers in Britain.

Recent research has included new models of public health, the role of the creative industries, and policy-making in a devolved setting. Gerry is also active in organising numerous events and discussions, including a series of non-summer schools (which take place ever spring and winter) at The Ceilidh Place, Ullapool. He is organiser of a range of international conferences, including recently Towards a Confident Scotland (Nov. 2003, with Martin Seligman) and Scotland’s Tipping Point (Dec. 2004, with Malcolm Gladwell).

Gerry is an international speaker on a range of subjects about Scottish and UK policy, polity and futures thinking, and frequently comments in the Scottish and UK press and media on a variety of polity and politics. He is a well-known commentator in the press and has a column in ‘Holyrood Magazine’. He is also an Associate Editor of the journal Renewal and an Honorary Research Fellow at Glasgow Caledonian University.

He has also worked with the Fabian Society and edited an issue of the journal Soundings Gerry Hassan is a writer, researcher, policy analyst and broadcaster who comments on a range of Scottish, UK and international subjects.


Currently his roles include:[2]

Previously he has been:[3]


Some of the above is based on

  1. Bill Forbes response to Gerry Hassan A future Glasgow built on the people’s imagination The Herald 5 June 2007 (accessed 11 April 2008)
  2. accessed 15 april 2008
  3. accessed 15 April 2008