Dr Hugh Pemberton is Reader in Contemporary British History at the University of Bristol and is an expert on the history of contemporary Britain. He currently has three strands to his research interests: the history of civil service reform under John Major, the historical roots of Britain's pensions crisis; and the history of Britain in the 1970s.


I have a particular interest in the means by which radical policy change occurs, in why such change sometimes turns out to be temporary despite intentions to the contrary, and in why change (even though sometimes apparently superficial) may turn out have enduring consequences.

I am currently working on three parallel projects:

1) The official history of the Civil Service Since Fulton, focusing on the John Major years.

2) The development of British pensions since the 1942 Beveridge Report, looking at the way in which the current pensions crisis has been (and responses to that crisis are being) shaped by decisions taken in the past. The current focus of this research is the AHRC-funded Thatcher's Pensions Reforms project.

3) The 1970s in postwar British history.

For more details about my research interests, please click here.


You can view selected publications, and recent conference and other working papers. Or you can see my full list of publications on the Explore Bristol Research site.


You can view details of the units that I teach and other materials such as skills tips, and a guide to research resources for the study of contemporary British History.

Hugh Pemberton Photo - double click for high res

Dr Hugh Pemberton

Reader in Contemporary British History
University of Bristol
School of Humanities
Department of Historical Studies
9 Woodland Rd
Bristol BS8 1TB
United Kingdom.

Telephone: +44 (0) 117 92 87621
Fax: +44 (0) 117 928 8276
Email: h.pemberton@bristol.ac.uk  
Web: www.hughpemberton.org.uk

Media enquiries via the University Press Office please.

Details of consultation hours.

Map showing where to find the Department of Historical Studies. Please note that entry is via 3-5 Woodland Rd as shown on the map. My office is G32, at the front of no. 9 Woodland Rd.


Policy Learning and British Governance in the 1960s
Britain's Pensions Crisis
An Affluent Society?
Policy Learning and British Governance in the 1960s

Many thanks for taking the time to look at these pages.