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Contemporary History and Politics Research Group

This research group is led by Dr James Cooper and Dr Christopher Kirkland.

We are interested in the intersection between politics and history.

A majority of current members have research interests in Europe and/or North America.

We host a minimum of 3 events per year, comprising of 1 external practitioner, 1 academic speaker and 1 internal presentation. We offer opportunities for staff and postgraduate researchers to showcase their latest research and receive feedback on this.

Get in touch

We would welcome PhDs that explore the intersection of history and politics particularly with a geographical focus on Europe and/or North America, including, but not limited to:

  • British political history since 1945
  • International Organisations, such as the UN
  • The Northern Ireland peace process
  • The legacy of the Vietnam War
  • The US presidency

Research activity

Barnes, R. (2022) "In the Mutual Interest": The Making and Breaking of the United Kingdom-Ceylon Defence Agreement, 1947-1957. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 50 (6) 1093-1122

Cooper, J. (2022) A Diplomatic Meeting: Regan, Thatcher, and the Art of Summitry Lexington: University Press of Kentucky 

Kirkland, C. (2022) Labours Economic Ideology: Developed Through Crises Bristol: Bristol University Press

Jarvis, S. (2022) 'The R2P and Atrocity Prevention: Contesting Human Rights as a Threat to International Peace and Security.' European Journal of International Security

April 2023. A Conversation with Lord Kinnock, Leader of the Labour Party 1983-92.

A Conversation with Lord Kinnock (YouTube)

Group members

James Cooper

Dr James Cooper

Group leader, Associate Professor (History and American Studies)

Dr Christopher Kirkland

Group leader, Lecturer in Politics

Harvey Allenby

PhD student

Robert Barnes

Dr Robert Barnes

Senior Lecturer

Profile image of Alexander Beaumont

Dr Alexander Beaumont

Senior Lecturer

Isobel Clare

PhD student

Sam Jarvis

Dr Samuel Jarvis


Dr James Lorenz, Lecturer

Dr James Lorenz


Ester McIntosh

Professor Esther McIntosh

Professor of Feminist Theology and Ethics

Thomas Lockwood

PhD student

Bailey Schwab

PhD student

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