Since the fall of the Berlin Wall made new documentation available to researchers, I’ve been working on various aspects of German communism, comparative communism and relations between Britain and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) during the Cold War. My research includes a case study of the German Communist Party (KPD) in the region of Saxony during the Weimar Republic as well as the party at national level and – in collaboration with Professor Kevin Morgan (Manchester) and Professor Matthew Worley (Reading) – comparative studies on German and British communism. In 2011 a major collaborative project with Professor Stefan Berger (Bochum) culminated in the publication of Friendly Enemies: Britain and the GDR (Berghahn).
At present my main research project is a biography of the German communist leader, Ernst Thälmann, as part of the ‘Proletarian Lives’ series with I. B. Tauris.
I am a founding co-editor of the journal Twentieth-Century Communism, which involves an ongoing collaboration with Professors Morgan and Worley, and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung, which was founded in 1993 by the doyen of German communist studies, Professor Hermann Weber.