Civic Society and International Engagement
My overarching research interests are in public engagement with the wider world.
My most recent research project has concerned the impact of decolonization and globalisation on postwar Britain. My first book British Civic Society at the End of Empire: Decolonization, Globalization and International Responsibility (forthcoming, Manchester University Press, 2018) analyses the changing nature of British civic engagement with the declining empire and outside world. With an emphasis on ideas about international responsibility, it discusses how education, humanitarianism and friendship functioned as conduits through which international issues became part of the everyday, local practices of British associational life.
Humanitarianism and Voluntary Action
A significant strand of my research focuses on how people come to care or feel responsible for people living in other countries. As well as looking at the growth of the humanitarian sector post-1945 and its connections to British imperialism, I am also particularly interested in the role of the public in humanitarian campaigns and in attempts to teach responsible global citizenship and international understanding .
In this area I have published on imperial legacies in the United Nations Freedom from Hunger Campaign and on the relationship between youth services and humanitarian campaigns in 1960s Britain.
I am currently working on two projects in this area. The first looks at the significance of solidarity in British humanitarian campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s. The second looks at schemes to promote international friendship and understanding in post-war Britain and the USA.
I welcome inquiries from students who wish to pursue a PhD in modern British history, the social and cultural history of imperialism, or the history of humanitarianism and non-state action. I am particularly interested in supervising projects on civic society, voluntary action, NGOs, and international understanding.
Body Knowledge in Post-War Humanitarian Campaigns
WELLCOME TRUST (UK)
September 2018 - January 2020
Friends in Foreign Places: International Understanding in Postwar Civil Society
THE ROCKEFELLER ARCHIVE CENTER (USA)