Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History

Dr Calum Aikman

Affiliated member & steering committee member


Calum has recently completed a PhD in History at the University of Edinburgh, with a thesis on the political thought of the Labour Party’s ‘revisionist’ right wing in the 1970s. His research focuses on twentieth-century British and Scottish politics, trade union history, and the fortunes of the Labour Party. He is currently competing a biography of Ramsay MacDonald.


‘From Labourism to Thatcherism: Stephen Haseler and the Social Democratic Alliance’, Labour History Review, 84:3 (2019), pp. 267–94.

‘Chapple, Francis Joseph (Frank) (1921–2004)’, in Keith Gildart and David Howell (eds), Dictionary of Labour Biography, vol. XV (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), pp. 54–66.

'Review: Glasgow 1919: The Rise of Red Clydeside by Kenny MacAskill (London: Biteback, 2019),' in Scottish Labour History, 54 (2019), pp. 181–83.

‘Frank Chapple: A Thoughtful Trade Union Moderniser’, in Peter Ackers and Alastair J. Reid (eds), Alternatives to State-Socialism in Britain: Other Worlds of Labour in the Twentieth Century (Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp. 211–42.

‘The Birth of the Social Democratic Party in Scotland’, Contemporary British History, 27:3 (2013), pp. 324–47.


Jeremiah Dalziel Doctoral Prize for British History, University of Edinburgh.

Labour History Review annual doctoral essay prize, for ‘From Labourism to Thatcherism: Stephen Haseler and the Social Democratic Alliance’.

British Journal of Industrial Relations annual best doctoral student paper award, for ‘Frank Chapple: A Thoughtful Trade Union Moderniser’.

Centre Roles

Calum is an affiliated member of the Centre and sits on its steering committee.  He has also contributed a number of blog posts, which can be accessed below:

'Julia Nicholls on the French revolutionary tradition' (2019)

'Stefanie Gänger on medicine and sociality in the Atlantic world' (2019)

'Davina Cooper on the conceptual space of gender' (2018)

'Malcolm Petrie on Scottish politics and the European question' (2018)

'Malte Rolf explores postwar Soviet visions of modernity' (2017)