I undertook my PhD thesis at the University of Reading, UK, and Aarhus University, Denmark, where I was supervised by Dr Linda Risso, Jean Monnet Professor Thorsten Borring Olesen and Professor Matthew Worley.
During my doctoral research I consolidated my interests in British European policy, European integration and Anglo-Nordic relations that I developed during my undergraduate and Masters degrees.
The period between 1958 and 1972 was a significant one during which Britain and Denmark moved from advocates of looser economic relations in the form of the industrial Free Trade Area (FTA) to members of the European Economic Community (EEC). The aim of my doctoral thesis was to examine the evolution of the policies of the British Labour Party and Danish Social Democrats (SD) during these years. The innovative contribution of this thesis was threefold.
First, it adopted a much wider timespan and provided a party rather than single national account in contrast to more recent narrowly targeted projects. Second, it compared the separate policies of the parties within the national context before tracing the interaction between the two groups. Third, it examined party European policies within the wider context of the Cold War.
In doing so, it offered several new contributions to the existing historiography. It highlighted the significance of 1958 as a moment in which both groups were committed to some form of European economic cooperation in which both Britain and Denmark played a role. It further demonstrated that cross-border contact between Labour and the SD subsequently became a central feature of European policymaking. Such contacts were utilised as a lever to achieve domestic political ends – often to give shape and inform party outlooks – but in doing so a framework was created in which compromises were discussed and concessions deemed necessary. Likewise, the thesis offered evidence of how the approaches of Labour and the SD towards European economic integration were increasingly and profoundly shaped by the East-West divide, telling us much about their approaches to the European integration process.
The thesis was based on extensive archival research in Britain, Denmark, Norway and The Netherlands, as well as interviews with key figures from the period.
Grants, funding and awards
Crucially, my research has been underpinned by external funding. Since 2008 I have received nearly £280,000 through various grants and fellowships, including €179,325.60 from the European Commission and £70,000 from the AHRC for various initiatives. A full list is below.
EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellow (€179,325.60, 2016-17)
Project on EU commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland (€1000)
University of Turku Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Fellow (€12,000, 2013)
Nomination for Reading’s ‘Gold Star Teaching Award’ recognising teaching excellence in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (2012 and 2015)
AHRC network grant (£1,802.42); University of Reading Graduate School (£500); Royal Historical Society conference grant (£200) for Sixth HEIRS conference (total £2502.42)
British Academy overseas research grant (£500), AHRC travel grant (£3,177)
AHRC doctoral grant (£60,000, 2008-11)
Co-organiser, ‘Competing Visions: European integration beyond the EC/EU’, University of Helsinki, 2017
Organised diplomacy seminar with keynote by Sarah Price, HM Ambassador to Finland (2016)
Coordinator, European Integration History seminar, University of Reading
Coordinator, Sixth History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRS) conference ‘European integration and the Cold War, 1945–1989’ (2010)
Panel chair and commentator, British International Studies Association conference ‘British Foreign Policy in the 21st Century’, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (2010)
Coordinator, Network on European Social Democracy conference Department of Political Science and International Relations, Royal Holloway