I joined the University of Dundee in 2002 after studying and researching at several European institutions: Copenhagen University, the High School for Social Sciences in Paris, The European University Institute in Florence and Clare Hall, Cambridge.
My research is focused on the relationship between police and the public in France, Germany and Britain during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My current research project “Quarrelsome Citizens: Emerging Police complaints Cultures in London, Paris and Berlin, 1880-1914” compares the ways in which individual citizens challenged police violence and malpractice. I am also interested in the development of civil liberties activism in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and how individual citizens sought to challenge public authorities – including the police and the judiciary. My approach to history is comparative, both between countries and across time.
Since 2009 I have been editor of the history journal Crime, History & Societies/ Crime, histoire & sociétés http://chs.revues.org/ This peer-reviewed journal specializes in the history of crime and criminal justice history. It publishes articles on any aspect within this field, covering all periods from antiquity to the present. It is a bi-lingual publication with articles in English or French, bringing together research by scholars from around the world.
Crime, History & Societies/ Crime, histoire & sociétés also administers the annual Herman Diederiks Prize . Scholars who are within 24 months of their PhD (or equivalent) are eligible to send an article on any aspect of history of crime and criminal justice history from any part of the world, and covering all historical periods.
The annual deadline is 30 June. Articles for the competition should be sent to me before that date. For further information see:
I am involved in the teaching of a broad range of topics at undergraduate level. At level 1 I lecture on the French Revolution and the 1848 Revolution as part of a wider course on the Age of Revolution. At level 2 I lecture on a variety of social, political and cultural aspects of European history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries including comparative processes of democratisation; citizenship and rights activism; as well as changing approaches to crime and the criminal.
My Level 3 course ‘Interpreting German History, 1814-1914’ focuses on social and cultural aspects of nineteenth century German History including nationality and identity, minorities and Germany from the margins, as well as changing conceptions of gender and ideals of masculinity and femininity. At level 4 I teach a year long module on ‘Crime and Punishment in Britain and Europe, 1750-1900’, which provides students with the opportunity to develop their own research specialism on any topic related to crime and criminal justice.
Postgraduate teaching and supervision
I am interested in supervising postgraduate research on topics related to crime and criminal justice in Europe or Britain. I am particularly seeking to promote research projects on crime, criminal justice and policing in Scotland, which is a very under-research area.
As a teacher and supervisor I also seek to encourage comparative approaches with the conviction that this can offer extremely useful frameworks for answering challenging questions and opening up new perspectives on the past. How unique was the development of individual countries? Can, or should, the history of any country be understood in isolation?
My research is broadly concerned with comparative analysis of law enforcement and criminal justice, primarily in France, Germany and Britain from the late nineteenth century to the present. This is linked to a wider interest in the nature of governance, citizens' rights and political culture in democratic countries.
I also work on long-term developments of police complaints procedures in these countries, including broad comparative research on citizens' complaints against the police and institutional reform of complaints procedures in Britain, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Sweden during the 1990s.
My earlier research was concerned with military involvement in the policing of protest in France and Germany up to the First World War.
Suggested areas for postgraduate supervision
- Crime in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Europe or Britain
- Criminal Justice (Courts, Prisons, Legal professions)
- Welfare and Social Control (Work Houses, Orphanages, Institutions for Juvenile delinquents, Mental Institutions)
- Political Extremism in twentieth-century France and Germany
AHRC funded studentships are available in my research area - more details
Work in Progress
Quarrelsome Citizens: Emerging Police Complaints Cultures in London, Paris and Berlin, 1880s-1914 (currently in negotiation with CUP about book contract).
Handbook Editing and Contributions
Editing with Paul Knepper (Sheffield University) The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice in Europe and North America, 1750-1945, OUP (projected publication 2015)
‘Whose police is it anyway? Democratic dilemma and Police-Public Relations’ The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice in Europe and North America, 1750-1945
(with Paul Knepper) ‘Introduction’ The Oxford Handbook of the History of Crime and Criminal Justice in Europe and North America, 1750-1945
‘The State’ (in Mike Rapport ed.) The Oxford Handbook of European History, 1789-1914 (Projected publication 2016)
‘Policemen in the Dock: Court cases against Prussian Schutzmänner in Wilhelmine Germany’ (in preparation)
‘Dynamics of Police Accountability: Individual Complaints, Popular Pressure and Institutional Defence Mechanisms’ (in preparation)
(2005) Soldiers as Police: The army and protest policing in France and Germany, 1889-1914 Aldershot: Ashgate
Refereed Journal Papers
(2013) ‘Defending the Individual: The Personal Rights Association and the Ligue des droits de l’homme, 1871-1916.’ European Review of History, 20, 4, pp.559-579
(2013) ‘“Lost in Translation”: The English Policeman through a German Monocle, 1848-1914’, History, 98, 333, pp.750-768.
(2013) ‘Police violence and Videotapes: Changing Dynamics of Violent Engagement between Police and Public since the 1990s’, Informationen zur Modernen Stadtgeschichte, special issue ‘Stadt, Raum und Gewalt in Europa seit dem 19. Jahrhundert’, 2013, 2, pp.79-88.
(2011) ‘Keeping up appearances: Police Rhetoric, Public Trust and ‘Police Scandal’ in London and Berlin, 1880-1914’ Crime, History & Societies, 15, 1, pp.59-83.
(2009) ‘Complain in vain? The development of a ‘police complaints culture’ in Wilhelmine Berlin’, Crime, History & Societies, 13, 2, pp.119-142.
(2007) ‘A Process of Civilisation? Legitimisation of violent policing in Prussian and French police manuals and instructions, 1880-1914’, European Review of History, 14, 1, pp.49-71.
(2004) ‘Military involvement in the policing of French and German industrial areas, 1889-1914’ European History Quarterly, 34, 1, pp.69-98.
(2002) (with Eugene McLaughlin) ‘A Force for Change? The prospects for applying restorative justice to citizen complaints against the police’ British Journal of Criminology, (Special issue on Restorative Justice), 42, 3, pp.635-653.
(2002) ‘Patterns of elite co-operation: comparing civil-military relations in Imperial Germany and the French Third Republic, 1889-1914’, German History, 20, 4, pp.413-437.
(2001) ‘Violent Repression or Modern Strategies of Crowd Management? Soldiers as riot police in France and Germany, 1890-1914’, French History, 15, 4, pp.400-420.
(2001) ‘State bureaucrats and local influence on the use of military troops for Maintenance of Public Order in French and Prussian industrial areas, 1889-1914’ Crime, History & Societies, 5, 1, pp.53-73.
(2014) ‘The Rise and Rise of Independent Police Complaints Bodies’ in Jennifer Brown (ed.) The Future of Policing, London: Routledge
(2014) ‘Licence not to Kill: Opposition to British Military Justice during the First World War’, in (J-M. Berlière, J.Campion & X.Rousseaux) Justices militaires et guerres mondiales (Europe 1914-1950), Louvain : Presses Universitaires de Louvain
(2012) ‘“Être tout pour tous”: Le Bobby anglais au coeur des débats sur les réformes policières en Allemagne’ (eds. Catherine Denys) Circulations policières en Europe, 1750-1914, Lille: Presses Universitaires Septentrion.