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Dr Peter Sloman

Dr Peter Sloman

Senior Lecturer in British Politics

University Teaching Officer


Peter Sloman is accepting applications for PhD students.


Peter Sloman is University Senior Lecturer in British Politics at POLIS and a Fellow and Dean at Churchill College. Before joining POLIS in 2015, he spent ten years in Oxford as a student at Queen's and a junior research fellow at New College. 

Peter's research focusses on electoral politics, political ideas, and public policy in modern Britain. His first book, The Liberal Party and the Economy, 1929-1964 (Oxford, 2015) explored how British Liberals engaged with economic thought in the era of John Maynard Keynes and William Beveridge. His second book, Transfer State (Oxford, 2019), examines how the idea of a guaranteed minimum income has shaped British social policy over the last century. 

Peter has also published articles in Political Studies, the Journal of Social PolicyHistorical Research, Twentieth Century British HistoryContemporary British HistoryPolitical Studies Review, and Political Quarterly, and has contributed to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. He is Chair of the Management Committee for Cambridge's History and Politics Tripos (2016-20) and directs studies for History and Politics students at Churchill College.

Research Interests

  • Twentieth-century British political history
  • Party politics, elections, and public policy
  • Liberalism
  • Economic and social policy
  • Histories of poverty and inequality


Peter convenes the first-year Evidence and Argument paper for History and Politics students and the third-year POL13 paper on British and European Politics for POLIS. He also supervises students in a number of other Politics and History papers, and welcomes enquiries from prospective MPhil and PhD students in his areas of interest. He will be on research leave from October 2020 to April 2021.

Key Publications


Transfer State: The Idea of a Guaranteed Income and the Politics of Redistribution in Modern Britain (Oxford University Press, 2019)

The Liberal Party and the Economy, 1929-1964 (Oxford University Press, 2015)


'Squeezed out? The Liberal Democrats and the 2019 general election', Political Quarterly, 91 (2020)
'Redistribution in an age of neoliberalism: Market economics, "poverty knowledge", and the growth of working-age benefits in Britain, c. 1979-2010', Political Studies, 67 (2019)
'Universal Basic Income in British politics, 1918-2018: From a "vagabond's wage" to a global debate', Journal of Social Policy, 47 (2018)

'"The pragmatist's solution to poverty": The Heath government's Tax Credit Scheme and the politics of social policy in the 1970s', Twentieth Century British History, 27 (2016)

'Beveridge’s rival: Juliet Rhys-Williams and the campaign for basic income, 1942-1955', Contemporary British History, 30 (2016)

'Can we conquer unemployment? The Liberal Party, public works, and the 1931 political crisis', Historical Research, 38 (2015)

'Partners in progress? British Liberals and the Labour Party since 1918', Political Studies Review, 12 (2014)

'Rethinking a progressive moment: The Liberal and Labour parties in the 1945 general election', Historical Research, 84 (2011)

Book chapters

(with Aled Davies) 'Fiscal promises: Tax and spending in British general elections since 1964', in David Thackeray and Richard Toye (eds), Electoral Pledges in Britain since 1918: The Politics of Promises (forthcoming with Palgrave Macmillan, 2020)

'Welfare in a neoliberal age: The politics of redistributive market liberalism', in Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, Aled Davies, and Ben Jackson (eds), The Neoliberal Age? Politics, Economy, Society, and Culture in Late C20th Britain (forthcoming with UCL Press, 2020)

Other Publications

'Leslie Burgin' and 'Harcourt Johnstone', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (September 2015)

(with Kit Kowol) The Politics of Foresight: British Election Manifestos and Social Change, 1945-2010 (NESTA pamphlet, 2014)

'Crisis, coalition, and cuts: The Liberals and the National Government, 1931', Journal of Liberal History, no. 72 (2011)