My teaching focuses on modern British history and the history of political thought. I teach the first year outline paper British History 1830-1951 and the second year outline papers on British History 1815-1924 and British History Since 1900. I also teach the first year optional paper Theories of the State, the second year further subject Political Theory and Social Science, and the third year special subject War and Reconstruction: Ideas, Politics and Social Change, 1939-45. I supervise graduate students who are working on topics in modern British political history, twentieth-century British social and economic policy, and the history of modern political and economic thought.
I am a historian of modern Britain, with particular interests in political thought, labour history, and the history of economic and social policy. I have written about topics such as the political ideas of British liberalism and socialism, the conceptual history of social justice and equality, theories of industrial relations, and Anglo-American political rhetoric. My current research focuses on the rise of neo-liberalism, especially the international development of free market political and economic ideas between the 1930s and the 1960s; on the history of Thatcherism; and on the history and politics of Scottish nationalism. I am the co-editor of Political Quarterly.
‘Currents of Neo-Liberalism: British Political Ideologies and the New Right, c. 1955-79’, English Historical Review, 131 (2016), pp. 823-50
‘The Political Thought of Scottish Nationalism’, Political Quarterly, 85 (2014), pp. 50-6
‘Freedom, the Common Good and the Rule of Law: Lippmann and Hayek on Economic Planning’, Journal of the History of Ideas, 73 (2012), pp. 47-68
‘At the Origins of Neo-Liberalism: The Free Economy and the Strong State, 1930-47’, Historical Journal, 53 (2010), pp. 129-51
Making Thatcher’s Britain (co-edited with Robert Saunders) (Cambridge University Press, 2012)
Liberalism as Ideology: Essays in Honour of Michael Freeden (co-edited with Marc Stears) (Oxford University Press, 2012)
Equality and the British Left: A Study in Progressive Political Thought, 1900-64 (Manchester University Press, 2007, paperback 2011)
‘Revisionism Reconsidered: “Property-Owning Democracy” and Egalitarian Strategy in Post-War Britain’, Twentieth Century British History, 16 (2005), pp. 416-40
‘The Conceptual History of Social Justice’, Political Studies Review, 3 (2005), pp. 356-73
‘The Uses of Utilitarianism: Social Justice, Welfare Economics and British Socialism, 1931-48’, History of Political Thought, 25 (2004), pp. 508-35