Accessibility statement

Dr Chris Holden


  • Reader in International Social Policy
  • Chair of the Exceptional Circumstances Committee
  • Chair of the Research Excellence Framework Committee

Visit Dr Chris Holden's profile on the York Research Database to see a full list of publications and browse his research related activities.


Areas of expertise

  • International and global social policy
  • Global health policy
  • Corporate influence on health and social policy
  • Political economy of welfare states


I joined the University of York in October 2010. Prior to that I lectured at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and at Brunel University. I hold a BA (Hons) in Politics and Government, MA in Political Economy, and PhD in globalisation and social policy. I have published widely on the relationships between the global economy, international trade, transnational corporations and health and social policy.

Professional activities

  • Chair of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Social Policy.
  • Member of the International Advisory Board of the journal Global Social Policy.


My research focuses on the interactions and relationships between the global economy, transnational corporations (TNCs) and health and social policy. It is concerned particularly with the impacts of corporate behaviour upon health and social outcomes and corporate influence on public policy, including the use of trade and investment agreements by TNCs to constrain governments' making of health policy. Recent projects have included a large, multi-country study of the influence of transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) on public policy and global health governance: as part of a collaborative project funded by the US National Institutes of Health, my research focused upon issues concerning TTCs' use of trade and investment law and the implications of this for health. Previous research has investigated the influence of alcohol industry actors on public policy, and the implications of privatisation and trade in health services.

PhD supervision

Topics recently supervised include the interaction of global civil society with intergovernmental organsations, the role of social protection in state building strategies, central-local governmental relations in China, the impact of trade liberalisation on health, and transnational tobacco company strategy to liberalise markets in South Korea.

I am interested in supervising PhDs in the following broad areas:

  • Globalisation and social policy
  • Corporate influence on social and/or public policy
  • Global heath governance



Holden, C., Kilkey, M. and Ramia, G. (eds) (2011) Social Policy Review 23. Bristol: The Policy Press. Further details.

Greener, I., Holden, C. and Kilkey, K. (eds) (2010) Social Policy Review 22. Bristol: The Policy Press. Further details.

Rummery, K., Greener, I. and Holden, C. (eds) (2009) Social Policy Review 21. Bristol: The Policy Press. Further details.

Yeates, N. and Holden ,C. (eds) (2009) The Global Social Policy Reader. Bristol: The Policy Press. Further Details.

Journal Articles

Hawkins, B. and Holden, C. (2016) ‘A Corporate Veto on Health Policy? Global Constitutionalism and Investor-State Dispute Settlement’, Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, DOI: 10.1215/03616878-3632203. Available online.

Hawkins, B., Holden, C., Eckhardt, J. and Lee, K. (2016) ‘Reassessing Policy Paradigms: A Comparison of the Global Tobacco and Alcohol Industries’, Global Public Health, published online first, doi: 10.1080/17441692.2016.1161815. Available online.

Eckhardt, J., Holden, C., & Callard, C. D. (2015) 'Tobacco Control and the World Trade Organization: Mapping Member States’ Positions after the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control' Tobacco Control. DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2015-052486. Available online.

McCambridge, J., Hawkins, B. and Holden, C. (2014) 'The Challenge Corporate Lobbying Poses to Reducing Society's Alcohol Problems: Insights from UK Evidence on Minimum Unit Pricing', Addiction, DOI: 10.1111/add.12380. Available online.

Hawkins, B. and Holden, C. (2013) 'Framing the Alcohol Policy Debate: Industry Actors and the Regulation of the UK Beverage Alcohol Market', Critical Policy Studies, 7(1): 53-71. Available online.

McCambridge, J., Hawkins, B. and Holden, C. (2013) 'Industry Use of Evidence to Influence Alcohol Policy: A Case Study of Submissions to the 2008 Scottish Government Consultation', PLOS Medicine, 10(4). Available online.

Lee, S., Holden, C. and Lee, K. (2013) 'Are Transnational Tobacco Companies’ Market Access Strategies Linked to Economic Development Models? A Case Study of South Korea', Global Public Health, DOI:10.1080/17441692.2012.758762. Available online.  

Hawkins, B. and Holden, C. (2012)'“Water Dripping on Stone”? Industry Lobbying and UK Alcohol Policy', Policy & Politics, DOI: 10.1332/030557312X655468. Available online.

Lee, S., Lee, K. and Holden, C. (2012) 'Creating Demand for Foreign Brands in a "Home Run" Market: Tobacco Company Tactics in South Korea Following Market Liberalisation', Tobacco Control, DOI: 10.1136/tobaccocontrol-2012-050534. Available online

Holden, C., Hawkins, B. and McCambridge, J. (2012) 'Cleavages and Co-operation in the UK Alcohol Industry: A Qualitative Study', BMC Public Health, 12:483. Available online.

Holden, C. and Hawkins, B. (2012) '"Whisky Gloss": The Alcohol Industry, Devolution and Policy Communities in Scotland', Public Policy & Administration. Available online

Fooks, G., Gilmore, A., Collin, J., Holden, C. and Lee, K. (2012) ‘The Limits of Corporate Social Responsibility: Techniques of Neutralisation, Stakeholder Management and Political CSR’, Journal of Business Ethics. Available online.

Hawkins, B., Holden, C. and McCambridge, J. (2012) ‘Alcohol Industry Influence on U.K. Alcohol Policy: A New Research Agenda for Public Health’, Critical Public Health. Available online.

Fooks, G.J., Gilmore, A.B., Smith, K.E., Collin, J., Holden, C. and Lee, K. (2011) ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and Access to Policy Elites: An Analysis of Tobacco Industry Documents’, PLoS Medicine, 8(8), e1001076. Available online.

Holden, C. and Lee, K. (2011) ‘“A Major Lobbying Effort to Change and Unify the Excise Structure in Six Central American Countries”: How British American Tobacco Influenced Tax and Tariff Rates in the Central American Common Market’, Globalization and Health, 7: 15. Available online.

Holden, C., Lee, K., Fooks, G. and Wander, N. (2010) 'The Impact of Regional Trade Integration on Firm Organization and Strategy: British American Tobacco in the Andean Pact', Business and Politics, 12(4): Article 3. Available via BE Press.

Holden, C., Lee, K., Gilmore, A., Fooks, G. and Wander, N. (2010) ‘Trade Policy, Health and Corporate Influence: British American Tobacco and China’s Accession to the World Trade Organization’, International Journal of Health Services, 40(3): 421-441.

Holden, C. and Lee, K. (2009) ‘Corporate Power and Social Policy: The Political Economy of the Transnational Tobacco Companies’, Global Social Policy, 9(3): 328-354.

Holden, C. (2009) ‘Exporting Public-Private Partnerships in Healthcare: Export Strategy and Policy Transfer’, Policy Studies, 30(3): 313-332.

Farnsworth, K. and Holden, C. (2006) ‘The Business-Social Policy Nexus: Corporate Power and Corporate Inputs into Social Policy’, Journal of Social Policy, 35(3): 473-494.

Holden, C. (2005) ‘Privatization and Trade in Health Services: A Review of the Evidence’, International Journal of Health Services, 35(4): 675-689.

Holden, C. (2005) ‘Investigating International Health Markets: Methodological Problems and Challenges’, Social Policy & Society, 4(4): 427-435.

Holden, C. (2005) ‘Organizing Across Borders: Profit and Quality in Internationalized Providers’, International Social Work, 48(5): 643-653.

Holden, C. (2005) ‘The Internationalization of Corporate Healthcare: Extent and Emerging Trends’, Competition & Change, 9(2): 185-203.

Holden, C. (2005) ‘Social Policy and Political Economy: A Tale of (At Least) Two Disciplines’, Social Policy & Society, 4(2): 173-181.

Holden, C. (2003) ‘Actors and Motives in the Internationalization of Health Businesses’, Business and Politics, 5(3): 287-301.

Holden, C. (2003) ‘Decommodification and the Workfare State’, Political Studies Review, 1(3): 303-316.

Holden, C. (2002) ‘The Internationalization of Long Term Care Provision: Economics and Strategy’, Global Social Policy, 2(1): 47-67.

Holden, C. (2002) ‘British Government Policy and the Concentration of Ownership in Long Term Care Provision’, Ageing and Society, 22: 79-94.

Holden, C. (2001) ‘New Labour and Globalization’, Critical Social Policy, 21(4): 516-519.

Beresford, P. and Holden, C. (2000) ‘We Have Choices: Globalization and Welfare User Movements’, Disability and Society, 15(7): 973-989.

Holden, C. (1999) ‘Globalization, Social Exclusion and Labour’s New Work Ethic’, Critical Social Policy, 19(4): 529-538.

Book Chapters

Holden, C. (2016) ‘Transnational Tobacco Companies and the Moral Economy of Cigarette Smuggling’, in Whyte, D. and Wiegratz, J. (Eds) Neoliberalism and the Moral Economy of Fraud, Abingdon: Routledge. Further details.

Holden, C. (2014) ‘Global Poverty and Inequality’, in Yeates, N. (Ed) Understanding Global Social Policy, Second Edition, Bristol: The Policy Press. Further details.

Holden, C. (2014) ‘International Trade and Welfare’, in Yeates, N. (Ed) Understanding Global Social Policy, Second Edition, Bristol: The Policy Press. Further details.

Holden, C. (2012) ‘Commercial Welfare’, in Alcock, P., May, M. and Rowlingson, K. (Eds) The Student’s Companion to Social Policy, Fourth Edition, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Further details.

Kamradt-Scott, A., Holden, C. and Lee, K. (2011) ‘The Shifting Landscape of Public Health: From International to Global Health’, in Parker, R. and Sommer, M. (Eds) Routledge Handbook of Global Public Health, London: Routledge. Further details.

Holden, C. (2009) ‘Regulation, Accountability and Trade in Health Services’, in Mordini, E. (Ed) Ethics and Health in the Global Village: Bioethics, Globalization and Human Rights, Rome: CIC Edizioni Internazionali.

Holden, C. (2004) ‘The Global Economy of Care’, in Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C. & Thomas, C. (Eds) Disabling Barriers - Enabling Environments, London: Sage / Open University.

Holden, C. (2002) ‘Globalization and Welfare: A Meso Level Analysis’, in Sykes, R., Bochel, C. & Ellison, N. (Eds) Social Policy Review 14, Bristol: The Policy Press.

Holden, C. and Beresford, P. (2002) ‘Disability and Globalization’, in Barnes, C., Barton, L. & Oliver, M. (Eds) Disability Studies Today, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Chris Holden

Contact details

Dr Chris Holden
Reader in International Social Policy
Chair of the Exceptional Circumstances Committee

Tel: 01904 32 1254