In 2017/18, I will be teaching on the second-year option module V12265 British Foreign Policy and the Origins of the World Wars, 1895-1939 and convening the third-year option V13000 Alternatives to War: The British Peace Movement, c.1870-1945. I will also be giving lectures on V11108 Learning History, the core second-year module V12153 The Contemporary World since 1945, and the first-year survey module V11205 Roads to Modernity, 1789-1945.
Office Hours (Autumn semester, 2017/18):
Mondays 3-4, Tuesdays, 11-12
I will be on Study Leave during the spring semester of 2017/18.
My current research focuses on transnational networks of peace activists in the late nineteenth-century and early twentieth-century. I am currently undertaking substantial archival research in the UK, continental Europe and the United States as part of a British Academy funded project entitled '"The public opinion of the world": transnational citizen activism and diplomacy, 1890-1920'. Analysing the activities of several transnational organisations, including the International Peace Bureau, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Women's International League of Peace and Freedom, and The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, I will explore how peace was articulated, the projected role that an increasingly enlightened and international 'public sphere' would play, and hence the overall influence of public opinion on international affairs during this frenetic and challenging period of modern history.
My previous research (and this is by no means completely dormant!) explored the influence of public opinion on the foreign policies pursued by Britain and France in the late 1930s. This research uses a conceptual notion of 'representations' in order to explore how certain dominant tendencies of public opinion assumed greater potency than others, and thus had a greater impact on the policymaking elites. Differentiating between 'residual' and 'reactive' representations of opinion, it illustrates how elite perceptions of public opinion evolved in the crucial period between the Munich Agreement and the outbreak of war in September 1939. A monograph, entitled Public Opinion and the End of Appeasement in Britain and France, was published by Ashgate in February 2011.
My future research will continue to focus on public opinion, but specifically the notion of a 'global' or 'international' public opinion. In particular, I am keen to interrogate how conceptions of a genuinely international public opinion had gained such traction by 1919 as to underpin President Woodrow Wilson's projected League of Nations.