David Beetham (1938 – 5 July 2022) was a social theorist who made extensive contributions in the fields of democracy and human rights (including in his approach to the role of not only social but also economic rights) who was Professor of Politics at the University of Leeds.
Early life and education
Beetham was born in Keighley in the West Riding of Yorkshire and grew up in Birkenhead, then in Cheshire. He was the second of three sons of Tom Beetham, a Methodist minister, and his wife Elain (nee Wade). He attended Kingswood School in Bath and gained a scholarship to study at Merton College, Oxford.
Beetham read Greats at Merton. After a short period preparing to be a Methodist minister, he turned to the social sciences, gaining a PhD at the University of Manchester.
He stood for the Labour Party in the 1970 General Election.
Beetham became a lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Manchester, before transferring to the Department of Go