At present my research interests cover five main (inter-related) themes: international social work and the radical tradition within social work; Palestinian young people's perspectives on their lives under occupation; governance, accountability and democracy within welfare agencies; studies in collective action; the history of social welfare in Britain.
I graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1984 with a First Class degree in Sociology. I then completed an MA 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 in the last few years I have been the invited keynote speaker at various international social work events, including the Canadian 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.