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Professor Bernard Harris

Head Of School

School of Social Work and Social Policy

Personal statement

My research is concerned with various aspects of the social history of health and welfare since circa 1700.  I have worked on a wide range of topics within this field, including work on the history of height, morbidity and mortality; unemployment and poverty; the relationship between statutory and voluntary welfare provision; and the origins and development of the British welfare state.


Not 'radical', but not 'kailyard' either : the Paisley Community Development Project reconsidered
Crow Graham, Rawcliffe Sue, Harris Bernard
Community Development Journal, (2018)
Social policy by other means? Mutual aid and the origins of the modern welfare state in Britain during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
Harris Bernard
Journal of Policy History Vol 30, pp. 1-50, (2017)
Health and historical demography
Harris Bernard
Upside and down and inside outUpside and down and inside out, (2016)
Nineteenth century beginnings
Harris Bernard
The Student's Companion to Social PolicyThe Student's Companion to Social Policy, (2016)
History of membership associations, volunteering and the voluntary nonprofit sector
Harris Bernard, Morris Andrew, Ascough Richard, Chikoto Grace, Elson Peter, McLoughlin John, Muukonen Martti, Pospíšilová Tereza, Roka Krishna, Smith David Horton, Soteri-Proctor Andri, Tumanova Anastasiya, Soteri-Proctor Andri, Yu Pengjie
The Palgrave Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit AssociationsThe Palgrave Handbook of Volunteering, Civic Participation, and Nonprofit Associations, (2016)
Food supply, health and economic development in England and Wales during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
Harris Bernard
Scientia Danica, Series H, Humanistica Vol 4, pp. 141-154, (2016)

more publications

Research interests

I am currently working on a number of different topics, including the following:

  • The availability of food in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century England and Wales
  • The history of voluntary associations
  • A collection of essays on the relationship between height, health, mortality and the standard of living
  • The impact of sanitary intervention on mortality decline (with Andrew Hinde, University of Southampton)
  • A new edition of British Historical Statistics (with Roger Middleton, University of Bristol; Ian Gazeley, University of Sussex; and Nigel Goose, University of Hertfordshire).

Professional activities

International Union for the Scientific Study of Population
HEDG Workshop on Public interventions, health and population in history and 8th Annual Workshop on Growth, History and Development
Keynote/plenary speaker
PhD viva
Queen's University, Belfast, Economic History Seminar
Invited speaker
Academy of Finland (External organisation)
Departmental Seminar, University of Minnesota Population Center
Invited speaker

more professional activities


Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Centre DTG 2011 | Rawcliffe, Sue
Harris, Bernard (Principal Investigator) Rawcliffe, Sue (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 01-Oct-2017
Scottish ESRC Doctoral Training Centre DTG 2011 | Robbin, Melvina Rachael Valrete
MacIntyre, Gillian (Principal Investigator) Harris, Bernard (Co-investigator) Robbin, Melvina Rachael Valrete (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2013 - 01-Apr-2017

more projects


School of Social Work and Social Policy
Lord Hope Building

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