Peter Leonard, Professor Emeritus



Professor Leonard began his career armed with two degrees and a post-graduate diploma from the London School of Business when he set out to contribute to make British social services progressive and for the people. He was the youngest member of the Seebohn Committee on Local Authority and Allied Personal Services and a founding professor of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Warwick, before coming to McGill as Director of the School of Social Work in 1987.



Postgraduate Diploma in Mental Health (L.S.E.) 1962

M.Sc Econ (London School of Economics) 1956

B.Sc Econ (London School of Economics) 1952


1987-present Professor of Social Work

McGill University, Faculty of Arts, School of Social Work

1987-1990 Director

McGill University, Faculty of Arts, School of Social Work

1999-2000 Sessional Lecturer

University of Toronto, Faculty of Social Work

1973-1986 Founding Professor of Applied Social Studies

University of Warwick, UK.

1970-1973 Director of Social Work Education

National Institute for Social Work, London, UK.

1966-1970 Lecturer, later Senior Lecturer

National Institute for Social Work, London, UK.

1963-1966 Lecturer in the Department of Social Science

University of Liverpool, UK.

1953-1963 Posts within British social service organizations including direct practice, supervision and management.


Areas of interest

  • Culture and identity
  • Social work practice within bureaucratic structures
  • Social theory and social welfare
  • Social construction of mental health & mental illness


Leonard P. Social Theory in Dangerous Times London: Sage Publications. Due 2008.

Grenier A, and Leonard P., "Interpersonal Acts within Organizational Practices: Foucault meets Freud" in Foucault and Ageing, Phillips J. (ed.) New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2006.

Davies, L and Leonard, P. (eds.) Social Work in a Corporate Era : Practices of Power and Resistance Aldershot: Ashgate 2004.

Leonard, P. "The Future of Critical Social Work" in Critical Social Work, Vol 2 2001. On line publication.

Healy, K. & Leonard, P. " Responding to Uncertainty: Critical Social Work Education in the Postmodern Habitat" Journal of Progressive Human Services, February, 2000.

Courses offered