Dr Julia Moses

B.A. (Barnard/Columbia), M.Phil. (Oxon.), Ph.D. (Cantab.)

Department of History

Reader in Modern History

Julia Moses
+44 114 222 2612

Full contact details

Dr Julia Moses
Department of History
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

I studied at Barnard College/Columbia University (New York), Oxford and Cambridge (as a Gates Scholar).

Before joining the Department of History at Sheffield in September 2011, I was a lecturer at Pembroke and Brasenose Colleges, Oxford.

I have been a visiting scholar at the Berlin Collegium for the Comparative History of Europe at the Free University; a professeur invitée at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris; an International Guest Lecturer at the University of Bielefeld; a Research Associate at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin; and, a Marie Curie Fellow at the Institute of Sociology at the University of Göttingen.

Research interests

My work analyses the relationship between government, law and civil society in Western Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

It stands at the intersection of history, politics, sociology and law. I have especially sought to understand recent issues from historical comparative and transnational perspectives.

These interests have led to investigations of the welfare state and ideas about risk; private law on the family and torts; and, the global diffusion of legal and social norms.

I am currently completing a book titled Civilizing Marriage: Family, Nation and State in the German Empire.

This study, which has been generously funded by the Marie Curie Fellowship scheme of the European Commission, an AHRC Early Career Fellowship and a DAAD Research Stay, investigates dynamics of religious and cultural diversity in the German Empire in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by focusing on the legal and administrative treatment of marriage and the family.

Combining history and sociology, my research sheds historical light on recent European debates about global migration, human rights and legal pluralism. A related book, Marriage Law and Modernity: Global Histories (Bloomsbury, 2017) and special issue of The History of the Family (2019) on intermarriage have also stemmed from this research.

I have recently published The First Modern Risk: Workplace Accidents and the Origins of European Social States (Cambridge University Press, 2018). The comparative study charts the changing conceptions of risk and responsibility that lay at the origins of modern European welfare policy.

A related book, The Impact of Ideas on Legal Development (co-ed. with Michael Lobban; Cambridge University Press, 2012; pbk, 2014) and special issues in The Journal of Global History (2014), Social Science History (2015) and Contemporanea (forthcoming, 2020) on risk, war and welfare and the global diffusion of social policy also emerged from this project.

Beyond my current work on marriage and family law, I am continuing research towards an intellectual biography of the British sociologist T. H. Marshall.

The project sheds important new light on his work by highlighting the intersection of thinking about the modern welfare state and the shifting domestic, imperial and international landscapes which informed it.



  • Moses JM (2018) The First Modern Risk: Workplace Accidents and the Origins of European Social States. Cambridge University Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Edited books

  • Moses J (Ed.) (2019) Marriage, Law and Modernity. London: Bloomsbury Academic. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses JM (Ed.) (2017) Marriage, Law and Modernity: Global Histories. London: Bloomsbury. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses JM & Rosenhaft E (Ed.) (2015) Risk, Security, and the Social in Twentieth-Century Europe. Social Science History. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Lobban MJ & Moses JM (Ed.) (2014) The Impact of Ideas on Legal Development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses JM & Daunton MJ (Ed.) (2014) Social Policy across Borders. Journal of Global History. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Lobban MJ & Moses JM (Ed.) (2012) The Impact of Ideas on Legal Development. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles


  • Moses J (2019) ‘Comparison and the Welfare State in Modern Europe, c. 1880-1945’ In Steinmetz W (Ed.), The Force of Comparison (pp. 193-215). New York: Berghahn. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J (2019) Comparison and the welfare state in modern Europe, c. 1880-1945, The Force of Comparison: A New Perspective on Modern European History and the Contemporary World (pp. 191-213). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J (2019) The Reluctant Planner: T. H. Marshall and Political Thought in British Social Policy In Goldman L (Ed.), Welfare and Social Policy in Britain Since 1870: Essays in Honour of Jose Harris (pp. 127-45). oxford: Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses JM (2017) Making Marriage “Modern” In Moses JM (Ed.), Marriage, Law and Modernity: Global Histories London: Bloomsbury. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Lengwiler M, Moses J, Thomann B & Melling J (2017) The politics of recognition and its limitations a transnational process?, Silicosis: A World History (pp. 105-139). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J (2015) Social Policy, Welfare, and Social Identities, 1900–1950 Oxford University Press RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses JM & Lengwiler M (2015) ‘Defining the “Social Question” and Making “Society” in the Long Nineteenth Century’, Das Glarner Fabrikgesetz und der Arbeiterschutz im 19. Jahrhundert (pp. 147-176). Näfels: Küng Druck. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J (2015) Policy communities and exchanges across borders: The case of workplace accidents at the turn of the twentieth century In Struck B, Rodogno D & Vogel J (Ed.), Shaping the Transnational Sphere: Experts, Networks and Issues from the 1840s to the 1930s (pp. 60-81). Oxford and New York: Berghahn. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses JM (2012) Contesting Risk: Specialist Knowledge and Workplace Accidents in Britain, Germany and Italy, 1870-1920 In Brückweh K, Schumann D, Wetzell R & Ziemann B (Ed.), Engineering Society: The Scientification of the Social in Comparative Perspective, 1880-1990 (pp. 59-78). Basingstoke: Palgrave. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J & Lobban MJ (2012) Introduction In Lobban M & Moses J (Ed.), The Impact of Ideas on Legal Development (pp. 1-35). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses JM (2010) Risk, Humanity and Injuries to the Body Politic: Governmental Representations of “The Industrial Accident Problem” in Britain, Germany and Italy, 1870-1900 In Smit C & Wolffram DJ (Ed.), Imagination and Commitment: Representations of the Social Question (pp. 209-232). Leuven: Peeters. RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews

Conference proceedings papers

  • Adkins K, Thompson A, Overton P & Moses J (2017) APPEARANCE COMPARISONS AS MEDIATOR AND RISK FACTOR FOR ACNE-RELATED STIGMA. ACTA DERMATO-VENEREOLOGICA, Vol. 97(7) (pp 880-880) RIS download Bibtex download

Website content

  • Moses JM (2014) The Marrying Kind? Marriage, Freedom and the State. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J Foreign Ideas about 'Child Marriage'?. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J 28 de Abril: el largo camino hacia las políticas de seguridad laboral en todo el mundo. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J Workplace Accidents, Occupational Illness and the Long Road to Workers’ Compensation and Safety Policies around the World. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J In the Name of ‘the Family’, Past and Present. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses J The State of Marriage – Progress or Decay?. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Moses JM Family politics moves centre stage in Germany ahead of election. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Research supervision

I supervise students in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century European (including British) history, in particular on the history of the welfare state and social problems and policy more broadly, including questions related to national, international and transnational regulation; government and bureaucracy; legal history; marriage and the family; and the history of the social sciences.

Current Students

Primary Supervisor

Secondary Supervisor

All current students

Completed Students
  • Chris Locke - GPs and the Politics of Health Insurance in Britain, c.1900 to 1939
  • Sabine Hanke - National identity and cultural difference in the British and German circus, 1920-1945
  • Lauren Butler - A Community of Masters and Servants? Chatsworth, 1811-1914.
  • Kate Adkins (second supervisor) - Stigmatisation, media and acne: A mixed methods interdisciplinary approach.
  • Eleanor Bland (second supervisor) - The Identification of Criminal Suspects by Policing Agents in London, 1780-1850.
  • Lucy Huggins (second supervisor) - Crime and Economies of Makeshift: Experiences of Poverty in the Old Bailey, 1750-1799.
  • Brendan Murphy (second supervisor) - Killing in the German Army: Organising and Surviving Combat in the Great War.


Find out more about PhD study in History

  • European Commission/Horizon 2020 Marie Curie Individual Fellowship (2016-2019)
  • Leverhulme International Academic Fellowship (2017-2018; declined)
  • DAAD Research Stay (2016)
  • AHRC Early Career Fellowship (2013)
  • Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2011-14; declined)
  • Prince Consort and Thirlwall Prize Studentship, Cambridge (2007-2008)
  • Gates Cambridge Trust Scholarship (2004-2008)
  • DAAD Scholarship (2005)
  • Overseas Research Studentship (2003-4; 2005-7)
Teaching activities


  • HST248 - Politics, Culture and National Identity in Britain, 1867-1918
  • HST2040 - Culture Wars: Nationalism, Religion and Violence in Europe, 1870-1918
  • HST2519 - Empire, Sexuality and the Family in Modern Europe
  • HST3122/23 - Britain’s Social Revolution: Welfare, State and Society, c. 1870-1914
  • HST3304 - Debt, Money and Morality


  • HST6049 - Policing the Family: Welfare, Eugenics and Love in Early 20th Century Britain
Professional activities
  • Member, Executive Committee, Council for European Studies
  • Member, Scientific Committee, International Commission on Occupational Health, triennial history conferences
  • Co-Chair, Political Economy and Welfare Research Network, Council for European Studies (2011-2019)
  • Co-Convenor, Risk, Policy and Law research cluster, Centre for Medical Humanities, University of Sheffield
  • Co-Director, Nineteenth-Century Studies Centre, University of Sheffield (2011-16)
  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society
  • Co-editor, Gender and History

Administrative roles:

Previous duties at Sheffield have included Pathway Leader for Social History, ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Centre; Level-3 Tutor; Director, MA in Nineteenth Century Studies; Theme Lead, Faculty of Arts and Humanities ThinkCreate programme; Admissions Tutor; membership on Research Committee and Postgraduate Committee; External Examiner for the BA in History at the University of Bristol; External Examiner for the MA in Modern History and in Nineteenth Century Studies at King’s College London.

Public engagement

As principal investigator for the AHRC-funded Marriage and the State in Imperial Germany research project and the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship on Marriage and Diversity in the German Empire, I have written for a number of popular and expert periodicals, including The Conversation, History & Policy and History Matters. I have also taken part in public roundtables on ‘Marriage and Gay Rights: Contemporary Debates in Historical Perspective’ (Oct. 2014; hosted at King’s College London together with History & Policy)  and on ‘Cultural Diversity and the Family in Germany’ (May 2017, University of Göttingen).

My work on occupational health and the welfare state has also led to my involvement with the International Commission on Occupational Health, as a member of the Scientific Committee for its triennial historical conferences. It has also led to membership in the European Commission-funded Silicosis research project, which has combined historical and medical expertise in an effort to learn more about and combat a widespread and fatal occupational illness, and to membership in the AHRC-funded European Legal Development research project, where I co-directed a team of historians and lawyers who sought to uncover the history of ideas behind tort law and make them more accessible to the broader public.

I also give public lectures related to my research on work and welfare at Museums Sheffield, and I have co-organised a public roundtable in Sheffield on ‘The Ethics of Work’ as part of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities’ Art of Work series. In addition, I have given a public lecture in Paris on the history of the welfare state in Britain, and I have participated in public roundtables and podcasts recorded in Paris, Bielefeld and Oxford on social and global history and welfare.