My name is Alix Green and I’m Lecturer in History at the University of Essex. I came into academe after a decade in policy and government relations work, finally as Head of Policy in the Vice-Chancellor’s office at the University of Hertfordshire. This blog is a way of bringing together the different aspects of my work and exploring the interfaces and intersections between history, policy, education and public life (and many others besides).
I’m a historian of contemporary Britain, with a particular interest in political culture, government and policymaking.
My book, History, Policy and Public Purpose: Historians and Historical Thinking in Government focused on history in policymaking but also sought to articulate how historians could recognise the legitimacy and importance of work done with ‘public purpose’.
This has led me to a broader concern with public and applied scholarship, and trying to find a way past persistent rigour/relevance divides.
My current work takes these ideas into the context of business archives. I’m working with the archivist of the John Lewis Partnership on a co-designed project on pay. We’re also working with a wider network of business archivists to develop a model for collaboration with academics to help mobilise archival collections for the parent organisation (and so demonstrate the value of archives and historical evidence).
My interest in historical thinking means that I’m always looking for ways to develop students’ sense of the distinctive resources they have as historians and the ways in which they can contribute to contemporary life.
You can contact me here: