PhD student, University of Nottingham

David is an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded PhD student, based in the Department of History at the University of Nottingham. His research explores the origins, development and trajectory of the concept of meritocracy in post-war Britain. David’s PhD touches on fundamental issues that still dominate contemporary Britain, such as the welfare state, education reform and economic efficiency.

Prior to starting his PhD, David’s Masters research at the University of Warwick explored the origins of the term meritocracy and the political thought of our founder, the British sociologist Michael Young. David’s work analysed how the themes embodied in Young’s 1958 dystopian novel The Rise of the Meritocracy were a product of his often fraught relationship with the post-war Labour Party. This research was nominated for the Royal Historical Society’s Rees Davis Graduate Prize.

In September 2018, David co-organised a debate to commemorate 60 years since the publication of The Rise of the Meritocracy. The Young Foundation’s CEO, Helen Goulden, spoke alongside Spectator associate editor Toby Young, former Downing Street joint chief of staff Nick Timothy, and CLASS director and prospective Labour Party MP Faiza Shaheen.

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