My research focuses on the relationships between British, Imperial and Global histories, and the relationships between cultural, economic and political histories. One major strand of my interests has been the effects of empire on British private and public life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Another has been the study of imperial migrations, including the emigration of people from Britain to the 'new' world before 1945, and the immigration of people from Britain's former colonies after 1945. I have also written about the legacies and public memories of empire.
My most recent book is Empire and Globalisation. Networks of People, Goods and Capital in the British World, 1850-1914 (Cambridge, 2010), co-authored with Professor Gary Magee, an economist at Monash university in Australia. In this book we talk of a "cultural economy" of empire and explore the relationship between "culture" and the "economy" as a way of advancing a new understanding of the origins of modern globalisation.
I am currently working on a history of the international humanitarian system after the Second World War: "Humanitarianism on Trial: How a Global System of Aid and Development Emerged through the End of Empire".
I am an Honorary Professor of History at the University of South Africa in Pretoria.