Professor Peter Nolan

Professor of Work and Employment Futures

Contact Details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 223 1657
  • Email:
  • Office: Room 224, Fielding Johnson Building
  • Office Hours: TBC


Peter Nolan joined the University of Leicester in September 2012 moving from Leeds where he was the Montague Burton Professor of Industrial Relations. He holds a Research Chair and is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures.

Peter began his research career at the (then SSRC) Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick. Between 1997 and 2004 he was Director of the ESRC Future of Work Programme. He has been Visiting Research Fellow at The Labor and Worklife Program Harvard Law School and in 2011, he was appointed `scientific expert’ to help develop the European Joint Programme Initiative (JPI), More Years, Better Lives, which is examining demographic changes and their social and economic consequences. Peter edited the Palgrave Macmillan research monograph series on the Future of Work, has been a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Industrial Relations (1999-2009), and since 2009 has been Editor-in-Chief of the Industrial Relations Journal.

Research Interests

Peter’s research spans the connected fields of industrial relations, labour markets and economic performance. Using six waves of Census data, his recent work (with Gary Slater) illuminates the modern history of occupational change in Britain and points inter alia to the commonly neglected salience of the manual labour force in service industries. His research has sought to demystify recent studies of work futures that deploy partial and often contingent data as a basis for constructing grand narratives of apocalyptic change. His current work is looking at the scope for developing vertical (historically grounded) rather than horizontal perspectives on the development and reproduction of occupational systems.

PhD Supervision

Peter has supervised more than twenty doctoral candidates at Warwick and Leeds and is interested in supervising new students with an interest in Ageing in the Workplace and the potential for Inter-generational conflict at Work.

Recent Publications

Nolan, P. (2012), `Understanding the employment relationship: markets, hierarchies and power’, Industrial Relations Journal, vol.43 (4), 359-369

Nolan, P. (2011), `Money, Markets, Meltdown: the 21 Century Crisis of labour’, Industrial Relations Journal, vol.42 (1), 2-18

Nolan, P., and Slater, G. (2010), `Visions of the future, the Legacy of the past: Demystifying the weightless economy’, Labor History, vol. 51 (1), 7-27

Nolan, P., Hogan, J., and Greico, M. (2010), `Unions, technologies of coordination, and the changing contours of globally distributed power’, Labor History, vol. 51 (1), 29-40

Nolan, P., Trumpbour, J., and Hogan, J. (2010), Labor History, Special Issue: Labor in the Information Age, vol. 51 (1), pp. 1-166

Nolan, P., and Heyes, J. (2010), `State, Capital and Labour Relations in Crisis’, Colling, T and Terry, M (wd), Industrial Relations: Theory and Practice, third edition, Wiley Blackwell, pp. 106-125

Nolan, P., and Wood, S. (2003), `Mapping the Future of Work’, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 41(2), 165-174

Nolan, P., and Wood, S. (2003), (eds), The Future of Work, Special Edition of British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 41 (2), pp. 165-390

Nolan, P. (ed). (2004), The Future of Work, Special Edition, Industrial Relations Journal, vol. 35 (5), 378-478

Nolan, P. (2004) `Shaping the future: the political economy of work and employment’, Industrial Relations Journal, vol. 35 (5), 378-388

Nolan, P. (2004), `The changing world of work’, Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, vol. 9 (1), 3-10

Nolan, P. (2003), `Reconnecting with history: the ESRC Future of Work Programme’, Work, Employment and Society, vol. 17(3), 475-482.

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Gemma Parker
Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures
Fielding Johnson Building
University of Leicester

Telephone: 0116 229 7331

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