At present my research interests cover four main (inter-related) themes: international social work and the radical tradition within social work; Palestine and Palestinian young people's perspectives on their lives under occupation; studies in collective action, and the history of social welfare in Britain.
I was the founding joint editor, now Editor-in-Chief, of the journal Critical and Radical Social Work (published by Policy Press).
I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1984 with a First Class degree in Sociology. I then completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Guidance and Counselling at Paisley College of Technology (now the University of the West of Scotland). In 1992 I obtained my PhD for work on Child Labour. Between 1985 and 1987 I worked for Grampian Regional Council. Between 1987 and 1990 I was a research student at Paisley University. I then worked at Aberdeen University (1990-1991), University of Central Lancashire (1991-1996) and Liverpool University (1996-2009).
I am the national co-ordinator of the Social Work Action Network (of which I am a founder member) and on the international steering committee of the Social Work Action Network International. In the last few years I have been the invited keynote speaker at various international social work events, including the Canadian, Croatian, Greek and Spanish social work association conferences, the Santa Cristi state social work conference (in Brazil) and the European Masters in Social Work programme in Maastricht. Other invited keynotes include presentations to Radical Social Work conferences in Istanbul, India, Brazil and Copenhagen.
Some of my publications include:
Palestinian Cultures of Resistance (Bookmarks, 2021)
What is the Future of Social Work> (2019, Policy Press)
Global Social Work in a Political Context (with Ferguson and Ioakimidis) (Policy Press 2018)
Schools Out! The hidden history of Britain's School student strikes (with Cunningham) (2016 Bookmarks)
Race, Racism and Social Work (with Penketh) (2014 Policy Press)