Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Making sense of the social world



I am a Senior Lecturer in Social History and Social Policy at the University of Kent’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SSPSSR). I am also Director of Studies for Social Sciences BSc.


I joined SSPSSR in October 2007, having been an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Contemporary British History at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.  Before becoming an academic I worked in the voluntary and public sectors. 


I completed my PhD, which was funded by the Leverhulme Trust, at the Centre for Contemporary British History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, between 2002 and 2006. I studied for my MA in Twentieth Century Literature and my BA in English and History at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Contact Information


Room Gillingham 3-08
Gillingham Building
University of Kent
Chatham Maritime
Kent ME4 4AG

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

Bradley, K. (2017). Saving the Children of Shoreditch: Lady Cynthia Colville and needy families in East London, c.1900-1960. Law, Crime and History [Online] 7:145-163. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2014). 'All human life is there': the John Hilton Bureau of the News of the World and access to free legal advice, c.1938-1973. English Historical Review [Online] 129:888-911. Available at:
Bowen, L. et al. (2012). History in the UK National Curriculum: A Discussion. Cultural and Social History [Online] 9:125-143. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2012). Juvenile delinquency and the public sphere: exploring local and national discourses in England, c.1940-1969. Social History [Online] 37:19-35. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2009). Conference Report: The Children Act 1908: Centennial Reflections, Contemporary Perspectives. History Workshop Journal [Online] 68:303-305. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2009). Inside the Inner London Juvenile Court, c.1909-1953. Crimes and Misdemeanours [Online] 3:37-59. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2009). 'Growing up with a City': Exploring Settlement Youth Work in London and Chicago, c. 1880–1940. London Journal [Online] 34:285-298. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2007). Juvenile Delinquency, the Juvenile Courts and the Settlement Movement 1908 – 1950: Basil Henriques and Toynbee Hall. Twentieth Century British History [Online] 19:133-155. Available at:
Book section
Bradley, K. (2015). Rational recreation in the age of affluence: the café and working-class youth in London, ca.1939-1965. in: Crowley, M., Dawson, S. T. and Rappaport, E. eds. Consuming Behaviours: Politics, Identity and Pleasure in Twentieth Century Britain. London and New York: Bloomsbury, pp. 71-86.
Sanghera, B. and Bradley, K. (2015). Social justice, liberalism and philanthropy: the tensions and limitations of British foundations. in: Morvardi, B. ed. New Philanthropy and Social Justice: Debating the conceptual and policy discourse. Policy Press, pp. 175-190.
Bradley, K. (2014). Becoming delinquent in the post-war welfare state: England and Wales, 1945-1970. in: Ellis, H. ed. Juvenile Delinquency 1850-2000: East-West Perspectives. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 227-247. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2012). Big Society and the National Citizen Service: Young People, Volunteering and Engagement with Charities c.1900–1960. in: Ishkanian, A. and Szreter, S. eds. The Big Society Debate: A New Agenda for Social Policy? Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2009). Cesare Lombroso (1815-1909). in: Hayward, K. J., Maruna, S. and Mooney, J. T. eds. Fifty Key Thinkers in Criminology. London: Routledge.
Bradley, K. (2007). Creating Local Elites: The University Settlement Movement, National Elites and Citizenship in London, 1884-1940. in: Couperus, S., Smit, C. and Wolffram, D. J. eds. In Control of the City: Local Elites and the Dynamics of Urban Politics, 1800-1960. United States: Peeters, pp. 81-92.
Bradley, K. (2010). Teaching Contemporary Britain. History Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy/University of Warwick. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2009). Teaching as a PhD Student. History Subject Centre of the Higher Education Academy/University of Warwick. Available at:
Conference or workshop item
Bradley, K. (2008). Juvenile Courts and Juvenile Delinquency: Inside the Inner London Juvenile Court, 1930-1950. in: The Children Act 1908: Centennial Reflections, Contemporary Perspectives.
Bradley, K. (2009). Poverty, Philanthropy and the State: Charities and the Working Classes in London 1918-1979. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Edited book
Bradley, K. and Logan, A. (2018). Rochester and Borstal in the First World War: Selected Biographies of the Fallen. [Web page]. Bradley, K. and Logan, A. F. eds. Kent, UK: University of Kent. Available at:
Edited journal
Bradley, K., Logan, A. and Shaw, S. (2009). Editorial: Youth and Crime: Centennial Reflections on the Children Act 1908. Crimes and Misdemeanours 3:1-17.
Internet publication
Bradley, K. (2008). Charities and the welfare state after 1950 [Online]. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2008). Juvenile delinquency and the evolution of the British juvenile courts, c.1900-1950 [Online]. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2016). Review of A Social History of Student Volunteering: Britain and Beyond, 1880-1980. The English Historical Review [Online] 131:1586-1588. Available at: https:/dx./
Bradley, K. (2016). Review of Felice Batlan, Women and Justice for the Poor: A History of Legal Aid, 1863-1945. Women's History Review [Online]:1-2. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2015). Review of Stephanie Olsen, Juvenile Nation: Youth, Emotions and the Making of the Modern British Citizen, 1880-1914. Social History [Online] 40:558-560. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2015). Review of Claire Langhamer, The English in Love: The Intimate History of an Emotional Revolution. Cultural and Social History [Online] 11:631-632. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2015). Review of Paul Sargent, Wild Arabs and Savages: A History of Juvenile Justice in Ireland. History of Education [Online] 45:401-402. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2015). Review of Anne O'Brien, Philanthropy and Settler Colonialism. Australian Historical Studies [Online] 46:486-487. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2014). Book Review: The Passionate Economist: How Brian Abel-Smith Shaped Global Health and Social Welfare by Sally Sheard. LSE Review of Books [blog]:1-2. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2013). Being Boys: Youth, Leisure and Identity in the Inter-War Years. By Melanie Tebbutt. Twentieth Century British History [Online] 24:476-477. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2011). Review - Beveridge and Voluntary Action in Britain and the Wider British World. Contemporary British History [Online] 25:615-617. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2011). Review - Teenage pregnancy: What's the problem? Journal of Poverty and Social Justice [Online] 19:87-88. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2010). Review - Rescue the Perishing: Eleanor Rathbone and the Refugees. Contemporary British History [Online] 24:545-563. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2008). Squires in the Slums: Settlements and Missions in Late Victorian London. History 93:572-573.
Bradley, K. (2007). Review, Madge N. (2006) Children These Days. Bristol, Policy Press. Journal of Social Policy [Online] 36:680-682. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2005). Review of 'The Parlour and the Suburb. Domestic Identities, Class, Femininity and Modernity', Judy Giles, Oxford/New York: Berg, 2004. Reviews in History [Online]:1-2. Available at:
Confidential report
Bradley, K. (2016). Toynbee Hall Residents, 1884-1940. Toynbee Hall.
Bradley, K. (2019). Lawyers for the Poor: Legal Advice, Voluntary Action and Citizenship in England, 1890-1990. [Online]. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Available at:
Bradley, K. (2019). Anwälte für die Armen: Ehrenamtliche Rechtsberatung in England vor der Zeit des Wohlfahrtsstaates, ca. 1890-1950. in: Beihefte der Historischen Zeitschrift. Berlin, Germany; Boston, USA.: De Gruyter, pp. 221-248.
Total publications in KAR: 39 [See all in KAR]
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Research Interests

Research interests

My research interests lie within the field of British social history after 1918 to the present. Within this I have a number of distinct areas of interest:

  • The mixed economy of welfare from 1918 to the present
  • Legal aid, advice and advocacy after 1945
  • Volunteering and voluntary action from 1918 to the present
  • Children, young people and juvenile delinquency, and the groups/agencies concerned with this
  • Philanthropy

Although formally trained as an historian, I take an interdisciplinary approach to my work, drawing particularly upon methods and approaches from the broader field of social and cultural research.

Current research projects

‘Civil society, social justice and deindustrialisation in the Medway Towns, ca.1980-2010’.  This is a pilot study supported by the Faculty of Social Sciences Research Fund, 2012-13, exploring the relationship between deindustrialisation and its potential impact on the shape of voluntary action and associational culture.


With Balihar Sanghera and John Mohan (Southampton), I have recently completed an ESRC-funded project on 'Social justice philanthropy: implications for policy and practice'.  This project explored how UK-based foundations define and try to achieve social justice through their grant-making and other activities.  More information on this project, including our March 2013 conference, can be found here:

My monograph, ‘Poverty, Philanthropy and the State: Charities and the Working Classes in London 1918-1979’ was published by Manchester University Press in November 2009.  This book is based on and expands my doctoral research, which looked at the university settlements in London and their relationships with their local communities, local and national government. It presents case studies of these charities' work in the provision of healthcare, legal advice and advocacy, youth clubs, probation and the juvenile courts.


I would welcome applications and proposals for MPhil and PhD research in any of my research areas. If you wish to study at the University of Kent, please email me to discuss further.

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 I convene the following modules:

  • SO326 Introduction to Contemporary Britain
  • SO551 Dissertation
  • SO617 Britain on Film
  • SO648 Historical Research Methods
  • SO714 People, Politics and Participation
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  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (elected February 2011).
  • Social History Society.
  • Economic History Society.
  • Voluntary Action History Society

Advisory work

Professional bodies

  • Grants Officer, Social Policy Association, 2010-12
  • Executive Committee, Social Policy Association, 2010-12
  • Committee Member, Social History Society, 2006-2012.

Professional activities

  • External examiner, Modern History, Goldsmiths, University of London, 2011-15


  • Grant proposals: member of the AHRC Peer Review College, 2012-15; ESRC, Leverhulme Trust
  • Articles: Contemporary British History; Cultural and Social History; History of Education Researcher; Law, Crime and History; London Journal; Sociology Compass; Victorian Literature and Culture
  • Manuscripts and book proposals: Institute of Education Press; Manchester University Press; Routledge; SAGE


  • Reviews Editor, Cultural and Social History, 2011-14

Media appearances

  • Who Do You Think You Are (Wall-To-Wall/BBC1)
  • Women's Hour, BBC Radio Four
  • BBC News 24
  • BBC Five Live
  • BBC Radio Kent.
  • Children and Young People Now.
  • Speigel Online.

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A brief history of free legal advice
(a Think Kent video, 2018)


Dealing with everyday problems: a history of advice provision and welfare rights
(a Think Kent video, 2016)

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Telephone: +44(0)1227 823072 Fax: +44(0)1227 827005 or email us

SSPSSR, Faculty of Social Sciences, Cornwallis North East, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NF

Last Updated: 19/09/2018