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Prof Tony Webster

Professor

Department: Humanities

Tony comes from Wigan in the North West of England, and is Professor in History. He has taught in FE and four different universities. He was Head of History at Edge Hill and Liverpool John Moores Universities, and Head of Humanities at the University of Central Lancashire. He is also a qualified tax inspector.

Tony is a business historian of British empire and the Co-operative Movement. He is a former Governor of the Co-operative College in Manchester, and a Trustee of the Co-operative Heritage Trust, and a Governor of Runshaw FE College in Lancashire. Tony is also joint author of the approved AQA A level history text book, The British Empire 1857-1867 (Oxford University Press 2015). 

Tony is convenor of CoRNet, a developing network of researchers on co-operatives and social enterprises, which has run conferences and published several articles. He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a Common Purpose graduate.

Tony Webster

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Tony's key publications include Gentlemen Capitalists: British Imperialism in Southeast Asia 1770-1890 (Tauris 1998); The Debate on the Rise of the British Empire (Manchester University Press 2006); The Richest East India Merchant: The Life and Business of John Palmer of Calcutta (Boydell 2007), The Empire in One City: Liverpool’s Inconvenient Past (Manchester University Press 2008 – edited with Nick White and Sheryllynne Haggerty), The Twilight of the East India Company: The Evolution of Anglo-Asian Commerce and Politics 1790-1860 (Boydell 2009), Commodities, Ports and Asian Maritime Trade since 1770 (Palgrave 2015 – edited with Ulbe Bosma), Mainstreaming Co-operation: An Alternative for the 21st Century (Manchester University Press 2016 – edited with Linda Shaw and Rachael Vorberg-Rugh). In 2005 he was awarded the Newcomen Prize for best article for that year in Enterprise & Society, for his article on John Palmer. With Professor John Wilson (Director of the Newcastle University Business School) and Rachael Vorberg-Rugh (the Co-operative College) he wrote Building Co-operation: A Business History of the Co-operative Group 1863-2013 (Oxford University Press 2013). The book formed the principal historical source used for the Kelly Report into the problems of the Co-operative Bank (2014), and Tony has presented his research at a Bank of England Seminar (2015). The project was supported by the British co-operative movement, with which Tony retains close links. Tony's principal latest publications are Co-operation and Globalisation (Routledge 2019) and (with Nick White) Singapore - Two Hundred Years of the Lion City (Routledge 2020). Tony's latest articles are “Commerce with a bit of ethics or ethics with a bit of commerce? The conundrum of British consumer co-operation 1863-1990" with J. Wilson & N. Wong. Journal of Management History (June 2020), at https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/JMH-01-2020-0008/full/html and  “Local regeneration and community wealth building–place making: co-operatives as agents of change” with Olga Kuznetsova, Cilla Ross, Cécile Berranger, Michelle Booth, Temidayo Eseonu, Yaron Golan, Journal of Place Management and Development (December 2020) at https://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/issn/1753-8335#earlycite

 

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Commerce with a bit of Ethics, or Ethics with a bit of Commerce? The Conundrum of British Consumer Co-operation 1863-1990, Webster, T., Wilson, J., Wong, N. 17 Jul 2020, In: Journal of Management History
  • Co-operation and Globalisation: The British Co-operative Wholesales, the Co-operative Group and the World since 1863, Webster, T. 19 Mar 2019
  • Singapore, the Straits Settlements & the politics of imperial commerce, 1819–1867, Webster, A. 31 Oct 2019, Singapore, London, Routledge
  • Going Global. The Rise of the cws as an International Commercial and Political Actor, 1863–1950: Scoping an Agenda for Further Research, Webster, T., Wilson, J., Vorberg-Rugh, R. Jul 2017, A Global History of Consumer Co-operation since 1850: Movements and Businesses, Leiden, Brill
  • Introduction, Webster, T., Shaw, L., Vorberg-Rugh, R. Sep 2016, Mainstreaming co-operation: An alternative for the twenty-first century?, Manchester, Manchester University Press
  • Learning to swim against the tide: crises and co-operative credibility - some international and historical examples, Webster, T., Shaw, L., Vorberg-Rugh, R., Wilson, J., Snaith, I. Sep 2016, Mainstreaming co-operation: An alternative for the twenty-first century?, Manchester, Manchester University Press
  • Mainstreaming co-operation: An alternative for the twenty-first century?, Webster, T., Shaw, L., Vorberg-Rugh, R. Sep 2016
  • Oxford AQA History for A Level: The British Empire c1857-1967, Webster, T., Carr, R., Waller, S. 14 Jan 2016
  • The 'third sector': Co-operatives, mutual, charities and social enterprises, Webster, A. 1 Dec 2016, The Routledge Companion to Business History, Taylor & Francis
  • Building Intra-Asian and Transcontinental Mercantile Networks in the Age of the British East India Company: The Rise and Fall of the House of John Palmer, Webster, T. 12 Oct 2015, Commodities, Ports and Asian Maritime Trade Since 1750, Basingstoke, Macmillan

Professional Activity

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Other: Contribution to radio 4 programme: British socialism: The Grand Tour 2018
  • Invited talk: “Entrepreneurship & Co-operation” 2016
  • Invited talk: “The People’s Colossus: The CWS and the World 1863-1970” 29 October 2016 2016
  • Invited talk: " The People’s Colossus: The CWS and the World 1863-1970” 2016
  • Invited talk: “The Cooperative Movement - beyond repair or the answer to all our problems?” 2016
  • Invited talk: The Co-operative Bank Crisis 2013: Origins and Lessons 2015
  • Invited talk: “The Co-operative Movement in Britain: From Crisis to Renaissance 1950-2010” 2015
  • Invited talk: ’Co-operative Tiggers’ 11 October 2014 2014
  • Other: “Future of British Co-operatives Rests on Radical New Thinking” 2014
  • Invited talk: “Building Co-operation: From CWS to Co-operative Group: 150 Years of a Co-operative Giant” (organised by the Co-operative Group Northern Ireland Region) 2013

PGR Supervision

  • Mark Stoddart 'The political and social construction of work in North Eastern Engineering Industries, 1880-1918' Start Date: 01/10/2016
  • David Hope Britain and the Fur Trade: Commerce and Consumers in the North-Atlantic World, 1783-1821 Start Date: 23/10/2013 End Date: 03/01/2017
  • David Hope Britain and the Fur Trade: Commerce and Consumers in the North-Atlantic World, 1783-1821 Start Date: 23/10/2013 End Date: 03/01/2017
  • Mark Stoddart 'The political and social construction of work in North Eastern Engineering Industries, 1880-1918' Start Date: 01/10/2016 End Date: 13/04/2021

Qualifications

  • History DPhil December 06 1984
  • Information not provided Royal Historical Society 2013
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2002


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