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PhD projects

History of social policy; history of health, welfare, living standards and wellbeing

1988 …2022
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Personal profile

Academic / Professional qualifications

I was awarded a BA (Hons) in History by the University of Cambridge in 1983 and obtained my PhD (also in History) from Birkbeck College, London, in 1989.

I held a Temporary Lectureship in the Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Bristol from 1987 to 1991, when I joined the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Southampton.  I joined the School of Applied Social Sciences (now the School of Social Work and Social Policy) at the University of Strathclyde in September 2013.

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.

Research Interests

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

  • Various issues associated with the use of anthropometric indicators to study the health and wellbeing of past populations
  • The history of sickness and morbidity
  • The impact of sanitary intervention on mortality decline (with Andrew Hinde, University of Southampton)
  • The comparative history of social policy in the different parts of the UK and the English-speaking world


  • Health, welfare, social policy, history, height

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Bernard Harris is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

welfare Social Sciences
mortality Social Sciences
health Social Sciences
Health Medicine & Life Sciences
Wales Medicine & Life Sciences
history Social Sciences
nineteenth century Social Sciences
morbidity Social Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2013 2022

Research Output 1988 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)

Mortality decline by cause in urban and rural England and Wales, 1851-1910

Hinde, A. & Harris, B., 13 Apr 2019, In : The History of the Family. 24, 2, p. 377-403 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

urban area
rural area
1 Citation (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)

Not 'radical', but not 'kailyard' either: the Paisley Community Development Project reconsidered

Crow, G., Rawcliffe, S. & Harris, B., 9 Jul 2019, In : Community Development Journal. 54, 3, p. 501-518 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
community development
development project
development strategy
urban area


Aspirations and experiments : a long view of the role of 'community' in social welfare provision in the west of Scotland

Author: Rawcliffe, S., 1 Oct 2017

Supervisor: Harris, B. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Young people and volunteering : attitudes and experiences in areas of multiple deprivation

Author: Davies, J., 1 Jan 2017

Supervisor: Sime, D. (Supervisor) & Harris, B. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Fellow of the Acdemy of Social Sciences

Bernard Harris (Recipient), 20 Oct 2016

Prize: Election to learned society

social science
social scientist
social welfare

PROSE Award for Excellence in Economics (2011)

Bernard Harris (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Western world

Activities 2009 2018

Sanitary investment and the decline of mortality in England and Wales, 1817-1914

Bernard Harris (Speaker)
21 Feb 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Evaluation Panel, Eudaimonia Institute, University of Oulu, Finland (Event)

Bernard Harris (Advisor)
25 Oct 201727 Oct 2017

Activity: Membership typesMembership of committee