Clive Emsley was among the first appointments to the Open University History Department, arriving straight from doing research at Cambridge in 1970. Since then he has had some time away from Milton Keynes as a visiting professor at the University of Paris VIII (St. Denis), and at the universities of Calgary, in Canada, Griffith, in Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2004 he was visiting research fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra. He was a co-founder and co-director of the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research at the university from 2003 until 2009 and President of the International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice for 12 years. He remains on the editorial board of the Association's bi-lingual journal Crime, histoire et sociétés/Crime, history and societies. He is also a research associate of CEPS, the Australian Centre for Excellence in Policing and Security.
During his time at the Open University he chaired five production course teams and, in addition to his work in History, he wrote for a range of inter-disciplinary courses. Most recently he has written units for A327 Total War and Social Change.
Since the late 1970s his research has concentrated on the history of crime and policing in Western Europe, principally England and France. He was co-director (with Professor Robert Shoemaker of Sheffield University and Professor Tim Hitchcock of the University of Hertfordshire) of the second stage of the Old Bailey online project. Funded by the AHRC this project completed the free, searchable access of Old Bailey and Central Criminal Court Proceedings from 1674 to 1913 (www.oldbaileyonline.org). He was the prime mover in making the Open University the centre for one of the largest archives of material relating to policing in the United Kingdom. A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2006 enabled the cataloguing of much of this archive. A subsequent Knowledge Transfer Fellowship from the AHRC developed the department's links with the Metropolitan Police Historical Collection, led to the preparation of another six teaching packs and to some of the holdings of the Met Archive being made available on-line (www.open.ac.uk/Arts/history-from-police-archives).
He has just finished writing up the conclusions of two external research grants. The first of these, from the ESRC and undertaken in conjunction with Dr Georgina Sinclair, studied the spread of British policing methods beyond the metropole since the end of the Second World War. The second grant, from the Leverhulme Trust, investigated crime and the British armed forces since the beginning of the First World War.
Since 1990 he has published three studies of policing, The English Police: A Political and Social History (2nd edn. 1996), Gendarmes and the State in Nineteenth-Century Europe (1999) and The Great British Bobby: A history of British policing from the 18th century to the present (revised edition 2010). He has also published Hard Men: Violence in England since 1750 (2005, with a new edition in 2006 called The English and Violence since 1750) and Crime, Police and Penal Policy: European Experiences 1750-1940 (2007). A fourth edition of his Crime and Society in England, 1750-1900, which has become a basic text for students working in the area, was published in 2010 and a sequel, Crime and Society in Twentieth-Century England, was published early in 2011. Soldier, Sailor, Beggarman, Thief: Crime and the British Armed Services since 1914 was published by Oxford University Press in January 2013.
See also Open Research Online for further details of Clive Emsley's research publications.