I joined the University of Nottingham over the summer of 2022, having previously held posts at the universities of Sheffield (twice), Oxford, Keele and Derby.
I am a sociologist with an interest in processes of change, both at the individual level, and the societal level. At the individual level I have explored how people recover from spoilt identifies (in this case, a criminal conviction or series of convictions) . I have more recently explored processes of political, social and economic change at the national level, using the government led by Margaret Thatcher as an example of how ideological changes produce more tangible changes in 'real lives' many years later.
For two years I held a position as a tutor for St. Catherine's College, Oxford. Subsequently I have taught research methods to postgraduate students at Keele, Oxford, Derby and Sheffield Universities. Whilst at Keele, I was the Course Director for the M. Res. in Social Science. In September 2007 I took up a post of Reader in Criminology in the Law School at Sheffield University, lecturing to both undergraduate and postgraduate students. I was programme Director for BA Social Policy & Criminology (co-taught with the Department of Sociological Studies). I was promoted to a personal Chair in January 2010, and took up a Research Chair at the University of Derby in January 2019, leaving in August 2022 to take up a Chair in Criminology in the School of Sociology & Social Policy at the University of Nottingham. I have supervised (or co-supervised) 19 PhD students to submission/completion, and examined a further 19. I served on the 2021REF Social Work & Social Policy panel.
My main areas of expertise relate to:
1: why people stop offending
2: the fear of crime
3: the relationship between politics and crime
4: life-courses and their interactions with social and political change.
My substantive expertise relates to:
1: why people stop offending (desistance from crime)
2: the fear of crime
3: the relationship between politics and crime
4: life-courses and their interactions with social and political change
5: existential models and theories of personal change.
My methodological expertise relates to:
1: qualitative longitudinal research
2: survey design
3: question design (for surveys, especially relating to cognitive interviewing)
4: quantitative data analyses (regressions, structural equation modeling, factor analysis, path diagrams)
I contribute to the teaching of:
Introducing Social Policies (1st yr UG)
Theoretical Frontiers of Criminology (Masters level)
Research Design & Process (2nd yr UG)
I also supervise final year dissertation students.
I am involved in an Economic and Social Research Council funded International Networking grant on Social Policy Support For Families in the UK and South Korea with Dr Sung-Hee Lee (Derby), Sun-Hee… read more
I am involved in an Economic and Social Research Council funded International Networking grant on Social Policy Support For Families in the UK and South Korea with Dr Sung-Hee Lee (Derby), Sun-Hee Baek (Seoul Theological University Social Welfare), Mrs Bak-Ne IM (Chung-Ang University), Alexander Nunn (Leeds Trinity) and Dr J. Yoon Irons (Derby). My involvement in the project focuses on why people cease offending.
I am also currently completing a series of projects on Thatcherism and crime, which I conducted with Colin Hay (Sheffield and Sciences Po), Will Jennings (Southampton), Maria Grasso (QMW) Emily Gray (Derby) and Phil Jones (Derby).
Economic and Social Research Council, £49,790 (FEC), £49,790 (ESRC) "Social Policy Support For Families in the UK and South Korea: To What Extent Does Family Support Create Inclusive Growth and Social Cohesion?", ES/W010712/1, (Dr Sung-Hee Lee, PI, Sun-Hee Baek, Seoul Theological University Social Welfare, Mrs Bak-Ne IM, Chung-Ang University, Alexander Nunn University of Derby, Dr J. Yoon Irons, University of Derby, and Stephen Farrall). February 2022 - July 2023.
Economic and Social Research Council, £740,314 (FEC), £611,000 (ESRC) "How Did 'Thatcher's Children' Fare?: Investigating Crime and Victimisation in the Life-Courses of Those Born in 1970", ES/P002862/1, April 2017 - March 2020.
Economic and Social Research Council, £324,059, "Long-term Trajectories of Crime in the UK", ES/K006398/1, (with Colin Hay (Sheffield, CI) and Will Jennings (Southampton, CI)). October 2013 - December 2015.
Ministry of Justice, £172,540. "Evaluation of the Skills for Effective Engagement Development Project (SEED)", (with Joanna Shapland (PI), Gwen Robinson, Angela Sorsby Sheffield University and Fergus McNeill, Glasgow University). September 2010-July 2012.
Economic and Social Research Council, £105,197, "Desistance Knowledge Exchange Project (DesKE)", RES189250258, (with Fergus McNeill (PI), Glasgow, and Shadd Maruna, QUB). September 2011-August 2012. This project also formed the basis of the ESRC's Impact Award for Impact in Public Policy 2014 (runner-up) and resulted in us being awarded an additional £5,000 to spend on further impact.
British Academy (with Colin Hay, CI); Conference Support Grant, funding to pay for room hire and subsistence for a seminar on Exploring and Theorising the Long-term Impacts of Thatcherite Social and Economic Policies (July 2011). (Use of resources to the value of circa £5,000).
Ministry of Justice, £176,536. "Research into the Quality of Engagement in Probation Practice", (with Joanna Shapland (PI), Tony Bottoms, Gwen Robinson, Sheffield University and Fergus McNeill, Glasgow University). September 2010-July 2012.
British Academy (with Duncan French, CI); Conference Support Grant, funding to pay for travel to IISL (Onati, Spain) for seminar on the Legal and Criminological Consequences of Climate Change (April 2010). (£7,890).
International Institute for the Sociology of Law (with Duncan French and Tawhida Ahmed (CIs)), costs of holding seminar on the Legal and Criminological Consequences of Climate Change at the IISL (April 2010).
Leverhulme Trust, £191,346. "Tracking Progress on Probation: long-term patterns of desistance and reform", F/00118/BS, (with Gilly Sharpe (CI), Sheffield University). February 2010-April 2012.
Economic and Social Research Council, £32,043, "Mrs Thatcher's Criminological Legacy - A Scoping Project", RES000222688, (with Jonathan Jackson (CI), LSE). July 2008-October 2008. Graded as 'good' by the ESRC.
European Commission "JUSTIS: Scientific Indicators of Confidence in Justice: Tools for Policy Assessment", FP7 Grant, under Theme 8, Socio-Economic Sciences and Humanities (SSH), FP7-SSH-2007-1, Proposal N°: 217311 (led by Mike Hough, Kings College, London. I led Work Package 4 "Development of scientific survey-based indicators of public confidence in justice for policy assessment". £160,000 of € 1,499, 944. March 2008-February 2011.
European Social Survey (Round 5), (with Jonathan Jackson, Mike Hough, Kauko Aromaa and Jan de Keijser) a 50-item module on confidence in the criminal justice system included as part of round five of the ESS, March 2009-.
EU Co-ordinated Action 2006-2008 Co-ordinated (with Paul Ponsaers, U. Gent, Belgique and Gorazd Mesko, U. Maribor, Slovenia) of workshop on The Evolution of Criminal Paths and Careers as part of FP6 Co-ordinated Action on Crime and Criminalisation, led by Laurent Mucchielli (CESDIP, France) and Peter Spierenburg (Université Erasmus, Pays-Bas). (€21,500 [£14,640]).
Economic and Social Research Council, £178, 481, "Persistent Serious Offenders in the North West of England, 1880-1940", RES062230416, (with Barry Godfrey (PI), Keele University). March 2007-December 2008. Graded as 'good' by the ESRC.
Economic and Social Research Council, £120,261. "Experience and Expression in the Fear of Crime", RES000231108, (with Jonathan Jackson, (CI), LSE). January 2006-June 2007. Graded as 'outstanding' by the ESRC.
Leverhulme Trust, £113,661. "The Impact of Dramatic Growth in Employment on Crime Over 70 Years", F/00130/H (with Barry Godfrey (PI), Keele University). January 2004-June 2005.
Leverhulme Trust, £51,878. "Tracking Progress After Probation", F/00130/G. September 2003-November 2004.
ESRC CASE Studentship, "Resettling Young Offenders for Life After Imprisonment" (with David Gadd, Richard Sparks and Werrington YOI) Autumn 2004 - Summer 2007. Award: 033-2004-00001.
ESRC Seminar Series Funding, 2005-07 (with Richard Sparks, Mike Hough and Shadd Maruna) RES 451254078, funding to hold six seminars on the theme 'Life After Crime and Punishment: Developing Theories, Connecting to Practice'. (£15,000).
Economic and Social Research Council, £10,973. "Measuring the Fear of Crime with Greater Accuracy", RES000220040. October 2002-January 2003. Graded as 'outstanding' by the ESRC.
European Social Survey (Round 2), (with Susanne Karstedt, Alexander Stoyanov, Kai Bussman and Grazyna Skapska) a 30-item module on economic morality to be included as part of round two of the ESS, July 2003-August 2005.
Scottish Executive £59,900 (with David Gadd (PI), Keele University) "Domestic Abuse Against Men in Scotland", October 2001-March 2002.
I am hoping to start a project on homicide rates in England & Wales in the near future with Emily Gray (Derby) and Machi Tseloni (NTU).