Professor of Historical Political Economy
- Tel: +44 (0) 1382 3 84516
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Tower Extension 4.7
I joined the History Department at the University of Dundee in 2004, after many years spent in Economics, then Politics at Brunel University. My background is in economic history, having done both a BSc and a PhD in that subject at the LSE in the 1970s. My interests all fall under the broad heading of ‘historical political economy’.
For most of my academic career I have worked on aspects of British economic policy, some very contemporary. In the last few years this has led me to collaboration with Ben Clift in Politics at Warwick University, looking at Britain and the issue of economic policy credibility, especially in relation to fiscal policy. Together we have published a number of articles on this issue, in both history and politics journals. Another component of this very contemporary research has been on what I call ‘local Keynesianism’- the growth of regionally diverse patterns of high public spending, which underpin large proportions of employment in major parts of contemporary Britain.
My interest in ‘local Keynesianism’ stems in part from work on the history of Dundee, where we can see a pattern of very intensive globalization in the late nineteenth century (making Dundee, arguably, the most economically globalized city in the world in 1913), giving way to a striking process of de-globalization in the twentieth, as public sector employment has come to dominate the city. I am currently working on a book on how Dundee responded to this very high degree of globalization, which is inter-woven with a story of very strong imperial connections, as Dundee’s main globalized industry was jute, which both took its raw material from, and competed with, India.
My other main research interest is in the ways in which British governments in the post-1945 period have sought to combine managing the economy with ‘managing the people’. These governments have sought to persuade the electorate with narratives about the economy, and my investigations focus on the nature of these narratives, how governments sought to convey them, and with what success. Currently, I am particularly interested in narratives about inflation, especially in the 1970s.
- Level 4 Globalization as History explores the dynamics of globalization since c.1870, with especial emphasis on the relationship between empire and the growth of economic inter-dependence
- Level 3 Dundee and the World Since 1870 analyses the history of Dundee in the context of major themes in modern British history, with special emphasis I the transformations in the city’s economic position.
- Level 1 Britain the Twentieth Century is a team taught module looking at all the main developments inBritain since c.1900, and I offer lectures on political and economic change
- Approaches to Twentieth Century Britain is a team taught core module for the MLitt in ‘Greater Britain in the Twentieth Century’ and also available to other MLitt students. It offers a synoptic account of the main currents in British and Irish history.
- History and Globalization focuses upon the main themes in the understanding of globalization since c. 1870, with an especial focus on the imperial aspect.
- Theories, Skills and Sources I contribute sessions on modern archives and Marxism, and also offer a skills component entitled ‘economic approaches to history’.
- The Decline of jute: managing industrial change (Pickering and Chatto, 2011) (with Carlo Morelli and Valerie Wright).
- The Labour Governments 1964-1970. Vol 3 Economic Policy (Manchester University Press, 2004), pp.254. (paperback 2009).
- Jute no more. Transforming Dundee (edited with Chris Whatley) (Dundee University Press, 2011).
- ‘De-globalization and its Significance: from the Particular to the General’ Contemporary British History 26 (2012), pp.213-230.
- ‘From ”distribution of industry” to “local Keynesianism”: the growth of public sector employment in Britain’ British Politics 7 (2012) pp.204-223.
- ‘When Rules Started To Rule: The IMF, Neo-Liberal Economic Ideas, and Economic Policy Change in Britain’ (with Ben Clift), Review of International Political Economy, 19 (2012), pp.477-500.
- ‘Managing decline: the case of jute’, Scottish Historical Review 90 pp.257-279.
- ‘Blowing the bottom out of the industry’ the jute industry 1954-1963’Business History, forthcoming (with C. Morelli and V.Wright).
- ‘Re-inventing the Moral economy in post-war Britain’, Historical Research, 84 (2011), pp.356-373.
- ‘Responding to Globalization? Churchill and Dundeein 1908’ Twentieth Century British History 21, 3 (2010), pp.257-280.
- ‘Balanced accounts? Constructing the Balance of payments Problem in Post-war Britain’ English Historical Review, 104 (2009), pp.863-884.
- ‘Thrice Denied: ‘Declinism’ as a Recurrent Theme in British History in the Long Twentieth Century’ Twentieth Century British History 20, (2009), pp.227-251.
- ‘The Deglobalization of Dundee, circa 1900-2000’ Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 29 (2009), pp.123-140.
- ‘Keynesianism continued’ Radical Philosophy 155 (2009), pp. 6-10.
- ‘Whatever Happened to the Balance of Payments “Problem”? The Contingent (Re)construction of British Economic Performance Assessment’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations 10 (2008), pp.607-629 (with Ben Clift).
- ‘Negotiating credibility? Britain and the IMF from 1956 to 1976’ Contemporary European History 17 (2008), pp.545-566 (with Ben Clift).
- ‘A “Failed Experiment”? Public Ownership and the Narratives of Post-War Britain’ Labour History Review 73 (2008), pp.199-214.
- ‘History as Political Rhetoric’ Political Studies Review 6, 3 (2008), pp.297-307.
- ‘The 1964 Labour government, poverty and social justice’ Benefits: the journal of poverty and social justice 16 (2008), pp.135-145.
- ‘Women and Work after the Second World War: a Case Study of the Jute Industry, Circa 1945-1954’ Twentieth Century British History 19 (2008), pp. 61-82. (with C. Morelli).
- ‘Thatcher, inflation, and the ‘decline’ of the British economy’ in B. Jackson and R. Saunders (eds), Thatcher in Historical Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 62-77.
- ‘The Empire/Commonwealth in British Economic Thinking and Policy’ in A. Thompson (ed) The Oxford History of the British Empire Vol 8, The British Experience of Empire During the Twentieth Century (Oxford University Press, 2011), pp. 211-250.
- ‘The Politics of Decline’ in L, Black, H. Pemberton and P. Thane (eds), Reassessing 1970s Britain (Manchester University Press, 2012)
Areas of supervision for research students
I would be interested in supervising students in twentieth century British economic history, including those who wish to focus on Scotland. In addition, I am also keen to work with those wishing to work on issues concerning economic links between Britain and her empire (especially India).