Mr Morgan Rhys Powell

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I am an ESRC-funded PhD candidate at the School of Social Sciences.

My research explores the processes by which workers come to take collective action in hostile and precarious circusmtances in the UK.

In approaching this topic, I aim to synthesise methodological and theoretical insights from Critical Industrial Relations and Social Movement Studies, applying and developing Cultural-Historical Activity Theory as a bridge between the two subdisciplines.

The project will therefore contribute an innovative theoretical perspective, as well as providing empirical insights into trade union decline and resurgence, agency and the labour process, and the rise of non-standard employment.

My other research interests include general social movement studies, class analysis, and political economy.

I am from Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil in South Wales, and alongside my academic focus I am interested in the Welsh national question, the future of the Welsh language, and in the growing Welsh independence movement.

An up-to-date collection of my publications and activities can be found at

Areas of expertise

  • HM Sociology - Trade Union Renewal, Social Movements, Political Economy, Platform Labour, Class Analysis, Precarity, Marxism

Education / academic qualifications

  • 2020 - Master of Arts, Sociology and Social Research (Distinction), Newcastle University
  • 2017 - Bachelor of Arts, Human, Social and Political Sciences (First Class Honours), University of Cambridge