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Dr Paul Lawrence

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Profile summary

  • Senior Lecturer in European History
  • Faculty of Arts
  • History
  • paul.lawrence

Professional biography

Paul Lawrence is Senior Lecturer in European History, director of the International Centre for the History of Crime, Policing and Justice, and Associate Dean (Research and Postgraduate Policy) for the Arts Faculty. He has worked at the Open University since receiving his doctorate in 1998 from Royal Holloway College, London University (for a thesis entitled 'Immigration, National Identity and Public Opinion in France, 1919-1939').


Dr. Paul Lawrence
Department of History
Faculty of Arts
The Open University
Walton Hall

Tel: + 44 (0)1908 652998
Fax: + 44 (0)1908 653750

Research interests

Contemporary European History; the historiography of nationalism; the social history of poverty and welfare; the French and English police during the period 1850-1950; memoirs and autobiographies as historical sources.

I am currently supervising four Ph.D. students, all conducting research into aspects of crime and policing. However, Ph.D. applications on any of the above topics are welcome. For informal advice, please contact me as detailed below.


Books (authored and edited)

The New Police in the Nineteenth Century (ed.), London: Ashgate, 2010

History and Crime, London: Sage, 2007 [authored with Barry Godfrey and Chris A. Williams]

Crime and Justice, 1750-1950, Cullompton: Willan, 2005 [authored with Barry Godfrey]

Nationalism: History and Theory, Longman, 2004
Published in Romanian as Nationalismul: Istorie si Teorie, Antet, 2006
Published in Polish as Nacjonalizm Historia I teoria, Ksiaka I Wiedza, 2009

Articles/Book Chapters

‘The Police and Vagrants in France and England during the Nineteenth Century’, in Livio Antonielli (ed.) Polizia ordine pubblico e crimine tra città e campagna: un confronto comparative, Rubbettino, 2010

‘La « culture flic »? Les récits de vies des policiers anglais’, in Jean-
Marc Berlière and René Levy, Le temoin, l’historien et le sociologue, Nouveau Monde editions, 2010

‘Road Traffic Offending and the Courts in England, 1913-1963’ Crime, Histoire et
Sociétés, 12 (2) 2008, pp. 119-140 [with Pamela Donovan]

‘Poverty, Urbanisation and Crime’, in Gordon Martell (ed.), Blackwell Companions to European History, A Companion to Europe, 1900-1945, Blackwell, 2005, pp. 3-18

‘Policing the Poor in England and France, 1850-1900’, in Clive Emsley, Pieter
Spierenburg, Eric Johnson (eds), Social Control in Modern Europe 1800-2000,  Ohio University Press, 2004

‘“Scoundrels and Scallywags, and some honest men…” Memoirs and the Self-Image of French and English Policemen, c.1870-1939’, in Clive Emsley, Barry Godfrey & Graeme Dunstall (eds), Comparative Histories of Crime, (Willan Press, 2003), pp. 125-144

‘Naturalization, Ethnicity and National Identity in France Between the Wars’, Immigrants and Minorities, Vol.20, No.3, November 2001, pp.1-24 

‘Degrees of Foreignness’ and the Construction of Identity in French Border Regions during the Interwar Period’, Contemporary European History, 10, 1 (2001), pp. 51-71 [with Timothy Baycroft and Carolyn Grohmann] 

‘Images of Poverty and Crime. Police Memoirs in England and France at the end of the Nineteenth Century’, Crime, Histoire & Sociétés/Crime, History and Societies, 2000, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 63-82

 ‘“Un flot d’agitateurs politiques, de fauteurs de désordre et de criminels”. Adverse perceptions of immigrants in France between the wars’, French History, 2000, Vol. 14, No.2, pp.201-22

Other publications

‘Robert Honey Fabian, 1901-1978’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, September 2010 – doi: 10.1093/ref:odnb/77433  

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800 – 1914, Greenwood, 2007. Entries on Ranke, Treitschke, Michelet, Bagehot

World Encyclopaedia of Police Forces and Correctional Systems, Gale Group. 4,000 word essays on ‘The Policing of the Poor’, ‘Police Autobiographies and Policing Manuals’, 2005

'The Paris Police and the Regulation of the Poor in late-nineteenth-century Paris', Proceedings of the Western Society for French History, Selected Papers of the 2002 Meeting, Volume 29, Fall 2002

Book Reviews for French History, The London Journal, Crime, History and Societies, H-France, IHR Reviews in History

Teaching interests

Paul Lawrence is currently a co-chair of a new third level history course – A326 Empires, 1492-1975. This course, considering the comparative history of empires over the longue durée, was first presented in February 2009. He has written units for A200 Exploring History: Medieval to Modern, 1400-1900, for A824 Social Problems, Social Thought, Social Action, for A825 MA History and for W100 Rules, Rights and Justice. An Introduction to Law.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research (ICCCR)CentreFaculty of Social Sciences
International Centre for the History of Crime, Policing and JusticeCentreFaculty of Arts


History, Criminology and the 'Use' of the Past (2012)
Lawrence, Paul
Theoretical Criminology, 16(3) (p 313)
Road traffic offending and an inner-London magistrates’ court (1913-1963) (2008)
Donovan, Pamela and Lawrence, Paul
Crime, History and Societies, 12(2) (pp. 119-140)
The Paris police and the regulation of the poor in late-nineteenth-century Paris (2003)
Lawrence, Paul
Proceedings of the Western Society for French History, 29 (pp. 176-185)
'Degrees of foreignness' and the construction of identity in French border regions during the inter-war period (2001-03)
Lawrence, Paul; Baycroft, Timothy and Grohmann, Carolyn
Contemporary European History, 10(1) (pp. 51-71)
Naturalization, ethnicity and national identity in France between the wars (2001)
Lawrence, Paul
Immigrants and Minorities, 20(3) (pp. 1-24)
History and Crime (2008)
Lawrence, Paul; Williams, Chris and Godfrey, Barry
Key Approaches to Criminology
ISBN : 9781412920803 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London
History and Crime (2007)
Godfrey, Barry S.; Williams, Chris A. and Lawrence, Paul
Key approaches to criminology
ISBN : 978 1 4129 2079 7 | Publisher : Sage | Published : London, UK
Crime and justice 1750-1950 (2005-10)
Godfrey, Barry and Lawrence, Paul
ISBN : 1843921170 | Publisher : Willan Publishing | Published : Cullompton, Devon, UK
Nationalism: history and theory (2005)
Lawrence, Paul
ISBN : 582438012 | Publisher : Pearson Longman
The British police (2014)
Lawrence, Paul
In: Bruinsma, Gerben and Weisburd, David eds. Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice (pp. 203-213)
ISBN : 978-1-4614-5689-6 | Publisher : Springer-Verlag | Published : New York
Nationalism and historical writing (2013)
Lawrence, Paul
In: Breuilly, John ed. The Oxford Handbook of the History of Nationalism. Oxford Handbooks in History (pp. 713-730)
ISBN : 978-0-19-920919-4 | Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
« They have an admirable police at Paris, but they pay for it dear enough ». La police européenne vue d’Angleterre au XIXe siècle (2012-09)
Lawrence, Paul
In: Denys, Catherine ed. Circulations policières, 1750-1914 (pp. 103-118)
ISBN : 978-2-7574-0393-8 | Publisher : Presses Universitaires du Septentrion | Published : Lille
The Police and Vagrants in France and England during the Nineteenth Century (2011)
Lawrence, Paul
In: Antonielli, Livio ed. Polizia, ordine pubblico e crimine tra città e campagna: un confronto comparative . Stato, esercito controllo del territorio (pp. 49-60)
ISBN : 978-88-498-2924-2 | Publisher : Rubbettino | Published : Manelli
Fabian, Robert Honey (1901-1978) (2010-09-23)
Lawrence, Paul
In: Goldman, Lawrence ed. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
Cop Culture? Les Récits de Vie Oraux et Écrits Des Policiers Anglais (2010-07)
Lawrence, Paul
In: Berlière, Jean Marc and Lévy, René eds. Le témoin, le sociologue et l'historien: Quand les policiers se mettent à table (pp. 227-239)
ISBN : 978-2-84736-448-4 | Publisher : Nouveau Monde éditions | Published : Paris
Urbanization, poverty, and crime (2005-12)
Lawrence, Paul
In: Martel, Gordon ed. A Companion to Europe 1900-1945. Blackwell companions to European History (pp. 3-18)
ISBN : 1405106646 | Publisher : Blackwell | Published : Oxford, UK
Policing the poor in England and France, 1850-1900 (2004-08)
Lawrence, Paul
In: Emsley, Clive; Johnson, Eric and Spierenburg, Pieter eds. Social control in Europe Volume 2: 1800-2000 (pp. 210-225)
ISBN : 814209696 | Publisher : Ohio State University Press | Published : Ohio, USA
'Scoundrels and scallywags, and some honest men ...': Memoirs and the self-image of French and English policemen c.1870-1939 (2003-09)
Lawrence, Paul
In: Godfrey, Barry; Emsley, Clive and Dunstall, Graeme eds. Comparative Histories of Crime (pp. 125-144)
ISBN : 1843920379 | Publisher : Willan Publishing
Crime and Justice since 1750 (2nd ed) (2014-11-01)
Godfrey, Barry and Lawrence, Paul eds.
ISBN : 978-0-415-70855-5 | Publisher : Routledge | Published : Abingdon
Policing the Poor (2014-02)
Lawrence, Paul ed.
The Making of the Modern Police
ISBN : 9781848933712 | Publisher : Pickering & Chatto | Published : London
The New Police in the Nineteenth Century (2011-03)
Lawrence, Paul ed.
The History of Police
ISBN : 978-0-7546-2945-0 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Farnham, U.K.