Skip to main content

Noel Whiteside's Homepage

Welcome to my home page.


Research interests

I am a contemporary historian whose main research agenda concerns labour markets, trade union organization and labour market policies in historical and comparative (European) perspective. Within this framework, I work largely on classifications of social dependency, systems of governance and developments in social security – although I also have interests in other areas of social policy. I also work on developments in UK governance – specifically, the use of state regulation of market mechanisms to achieve policy objectives.


Current research projects and funding

My current projects include: governance and regulation of pensions in major EU economies (particularly Britain and France), labour market activation policies in selected European cities in the late nineteenth century and comparative developments in European social insurance schemes in the inter-war years. The first is funded by the ESRC under its Future of Governance programme and by Zurich Financial Services; the second is funded under an EU Framework 5 project EUROCAP – Towards an European Politics of Capabilities and the last is funded by the Caisse des Depots et Consignes in Paris.


Current undergraduate teaching

Foundation course: Social Welfare in Britain (SO110 - Term 1). The first term of this course focuses on the growth of state welfare in Britain since the early nineteenth century.

Honours course: Creating Social Europe? Comparative Social Policy (SO328 - Term 1&2). This course introduces students to developments in social policy in major EU economies during the twentieth century and discusses viability of creating social welfare rights to cover all EU citizens.


Current postgraduate teaching

I contribute to the MA in Social Research module on Qualitative Methods (documentary sources and government archives.

I also contribute the MA Social Research with specialism in Social Policy module Restructuring Welfare States: European Perspectives (Term 2).


Current supervision of doctoral students

Steven Gascoigne: The Swedish State Response to the Contraction of the Gothenburg Shipyards.

Milena Kremakova: Learning to sell your labour: Bulgarian seafarers and post-socialist marketisation of work (provisional title).


Office hours (room B1.39 in Social Studies)

I am available to see students at the following times:

Mondays: 10 am – 12 noon (please email me to arrange an appointment).