D Phil Candidate in Economic and Social History,
Examination Fellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford

Current research interests:

I am currently writing a DPhil (PhD) on mutual aid organizations in the English speaking world between 1840 and 1930. Organizations like friendly societies, 'fraternals' and secret societies had an important economic and social role for millions of members. In the absence of state and commercial insurance these organizations were vital welfare providers as well as being popular spaces for social interaction. Chapters deal with a number of interrelated questions:

  • The state. Was the increase in friendly society members in late nineteenth century Britain related to welfare reforms? What was the effect of early welfare state measures on mutual aid organizations in Australia and Britain?
  • Voluntary organizations, migration and the 'settler revolution'. In a number of 'New World' societies mutual aid organizations flourished. Were migrants particularly prone to participating in mutual aid organizations? Was what some historians have called the 'Golden Age of American Fraternalism' restricted to the U.S.? 
  • The boundaries of cooperation. Why were mutual aid organizations particularly successful at operating insurance schemes? Was it because they were able to cultivate high levels of cooperation amongst their members? Were friendly societies able to overcome problems of moral hazard and adverse selection?

Other research areas
  • Economic history
  • Labour history
  • Global history.
  • The history and economics of cooperative organizations
  • Migration in the nineteenth century
  • Settler societies.
  • Social network analysis
  • The history of 'welfare' institutions.

I grew up in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. In 2007 I began a BA in modern history at Oxford University (St Peter's College). I started my M.Phil in Economic and Social History in 2010 and became a fellow of All Souls College in the same year after sitting the prize fellowship exams. I am currently working towards a DPhil in Economic History.