Born in Driffield, East Yorkshire, England (1947), I was educated at state schools in Leeds, Bradford and Stoke-on-Trent (1952-65) and studied Sociology at the London School of Economics (LSE) (1965-70). I gained my BA from the University of London (1968) and PhD from University of Hull (1993).
I began my working career as a Tutor in Sociology at LSE (1968-70), and became a Lecturer at the University of Durham (1970-72) and then at Hull (1972-95) where I was in turn Senior Lecturer, Reader and finally Professor of Political and International Sociology. I moved to the University of Sussex as Professor of International Relations and Politics (1995-2008) and was subsequently Research Professor (2008-12) before becoming Emeritus Professor.
I was Head of the Department of Sociology and Director of the Centre for Security Studies at Hull (both 1989-92) and Chair of IR and Politics at Sussex (1996-9). I was a Leverhulme Research Fellow (2000) and ESRC Research Fellow (2004-5).
Since 2010, I have been Professorial Fellow in International Relations and Human Rights, at the University of Roehampton, London, and Research Professor at the Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals (IBEI), both in a part-time capacity.
I joined the Labour Party when I was at school (1962) and was on the editorial board of the Catholic-left journal Slant (1965-67). At LSE, I was involved in the student and anti-Vietnam war movements and joined the International Socialism Group (1966). I rejoined the Labour Party (1979) and was its Labour parliamentary candidate in the safe Conservative seat of Beverley, East Yorkshire (1987). However I am no longer a member of a national party.
I was also involved in European Nuclear Disarmament (1981-85) and was chair of the Humberside region of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (1981-84).
I am currently involved in local politics and was elected as the Independent East Devon Alliance councillor for Seaton and Colyton on Devon County Council (2017).