Professor Jim Phillips
- Professor of Economic and Social History (Economic & Social History)
I have been working at the University of Glasgow since 1995, after education at the Universities of Aberdeen (MA First Class Honours in History, 1986-90) and Edinburgh (History PhD, 1990-94).
I take great pride in my role as an educator. Helping our students at Glasgow is my first priority, and I hugely enjoy supporting the learning of undergraduates and post-graduates. In the classroom I encourage participation and involvement, and emphasise the benefits of cooperative learning, where students work closely together.
Research is an important feature of my role as educator and citizen. I explore the historical dimensions of one of the core problems in our contemporary world: how individuals and communities identify and pursue their economic security. My research shows that work and labour organisation are central to this objective. A key issue across the world is deindustrialisation. My research examines the economic, social and political dimensions of the loss of manual employment in industrial sectors. My analysis is framed by the critical application of notions of fairness, justice and the moral economy.
My current research is on the politics of deindustrialisation in Scotland, from the late 1950s, when the number of jobs peaked in coal, ships, steel and textiles, to the 1980s and 1990s when employment in manufacturing industries contracted rapidly.
I have recently completed a book about the experiences of a key group of industrial workers, Scottish Coal Miners, and their struggles for workplace justice and economic security in the twentieth century. The book uses generational analysis to highlight changes over time and shows how miners took a leading role in the campaign for Home Rule.
My two previous books examined the miners' strike of 1984-85 in Scotland, focusing on workplace and community factors, and the industrial and economic basis of devolution in Scotland. I am also the author, along with Michael French, of a study of food regulation and safety in the UK from the 1870s to the 1930s, and the author of a book on labour organisation and industrial unrest among British dock workers in the 1940s and 1950s.
- Deindustrialisation in Scotland since the peak of employment in the staple industries in the late 1950s
- Labour organisation and politics in the coal industry in Scotland and Britain in the Twentieth Century
- The Moral Economy and popular understandings of justice and fairness in employment
- Industrial Politics in the UK from the 1940s to the 1990s
Phillips, J. (2012) Collieries, Communities and the Miners' Strike in Scotland, 1984-85. Series: Critical labour movement studies. Manchester University Press: Manchester. ISBN 9780719096723
Phillips, J. (2008) The Industrial Politics of Devolution: Scotland in the 1960s and 1970s. Manchester University Press: Manchester. ISBN 9780719075339
Phillips, J. (2017) Economic direction and generational change in twentieth century Britain: the case of the Scottish coalfields. English Historical Review, 132(557), pp. 885-911. (doi: 10.1093/ehr/cex199)
Employment, Politics and Culture in Scotland, 1955-2015, Leverhulme Trust, RPG-2016-283, £215,596, for 36 months from 1 April 2017
I welcome the opportunity to work with students using a wide range of methodologies and theoretical approaches to the study of economic and social history. Students with interests in the following areas will find my supervision particularly helpful:
- Deindustrialisation and its social dimensions, particularly relating to employment
- Labour organisation and activity
- The politics and sociology of work and industrial relations
- Moral economy and fairness in employment
I have a track record of helping students to secure research funding, with four ESRC 1+3 funded students completing theses in the last seven years. I have also helped students gain scholarships from the Carnegie Trust and the University of Glasgow’s College of Social Sciences. Under my supervision students have used a variety of methodologies and theoretical approaches, including oral history as well as study of documentary materials in government, business, trade union and local authority archives, and deploying both class and gender as analytical categories. Completed studies have included:
- Deindustrialisation in Lanarkshire, from the 1940s to the 1980s
- Class, Gender, Inequalities and Consumerism in Industrial Scotland, from the 1930s to the 1990s
- Industrial Relations at Bathgate’s Commercial Vehicle Factory in the 1960s and 1970s
- Work Culture and Industrial Relations at the Linwood Car Plant in the 1960s and 1970s
- Employee and Union Loyalties in British and American Retailing from the 1930s to the 1960s
- Economic & Social History 2A: Britain 1770-1914
- Economic & Social History 2B: Britain since 1914
- Researching Economic and Social History 1 and 2
- Work and Labour in Britain since 1940
- Dissertation supervision
- Contributions to core courses in MSc in the Globalised Economy
- Contributions to core courses in Int M Global Markets, Local Creativities, Erasmus Mundus International Masters
- Globalisation and Labour, taught within various School of Social and Political Sciences PGT programmes
- Member and Contributor, History and Policy
- Council member, Scottish Labour History Society
- Editor, Scottish Labour History
- Editorial Committee member, Historical Studies in Industrial Relations
Recent Conference and Seminar Papers
- Economic History Society, Queen’s University Belfast, April 2019
- European Social Science History Conference, Queen’s University Belfast, April 2018
- 'The End of Coal', University of Nottingham, June 2016
- Economic History Society, Robinson College, Cambridge, March 2016
- ‘Riots in Regions of Heavy Industry', University of Tübingen, November 2014
- Scottish Oral History Centre, Seminar, University of Strathclyde, November 2014
- Scottish Labour History Society, Research Seminar, University of Glasgow, September 2014
- Economic History Society, University of Warwick, March 2014