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Benjamin Thomas

Doctoral Researcher, Faculty of Social Sciences

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Biography

Benjamin is a Doctoral Researcher in the School of Politics and International Relations. His research project examines the process of ideological transformation by examining the normalisation of neo-liberalism in centre-right parties in the UK, the US and West Germany. To examine the process of ideological change he focuses on the conceptual changes that legitimised a previously insurgent neo-liberalism into part of the centre-right canon.

Prior to his PhD, Benjamin studied for an MA in Social Research at the University of York and a BSc in Government from the London School of Economics. For those degrees he wrote dissertations on the drivers of party change in the post-war Conservative party, and the varieties of corporatism between Fascism and Christian Democracy respectively.

Twitter: @BenJThomas_

Expertise Summary

  • Political Ideologies
  • History of neo-liberalism
  • Centre-right political thought
  • German politics
  • American politics
  • Begriffsgeschichte / Conceptual history

Teaching Summary

Benjamin is currently teaching on

  • Introduction to Comparative Politics 2019-20

Office Hours are held Tuesdays 13:00-14:00 in room C105

Research Summary

Benjamin's project seeks to bring together studies of conceptual change with studies of ideology. While conceptual approaches to ideology are well established and have developed a comprehensive… read more

EuroStorie, University of Helsinki "Liberalism: Historical and Contemporary Variations" 24-25.10.2019

The Association of Business Historians Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop in Business History, 04.7.2019

Nottingham Postgraduate Conference in Politics and International Relations, 20.6.2019

University of Birmingham Government and Society 2019 Postgraduate Conference, 29.4.2019

COST Action CA 16211 RECAST "Critiques of Liberalism and Challenges to Democracy: Understanding the Conservative Standpoint", 14.-15.2.2019 in Pilsen (CZ)

PSA German Politics Specialist Group Workshop "German Politics in Times of Populism", 17.11.2017

Current Research

Benjamin's project seeks to bring together studies of conceptual change with studies of ideology. While conceptual approaches to ideology are well established and have developed a comprehensive approach to contextually contingent ideology, explaining the process of change from one realised conceptual moment to another is a gap in the literature. To address this gap, the project examines neo-liberalisation in centre-right parties to determine whether there is a general process of ideological transition.

Neo-liberalisation of centre-right parties is an established phenomenon in the literature but looking at this process comparatively, considering different national traditions, party families, forms of neo-liberalism and chronologies allows the analysis to extend beyond a limited context. The Conservative Party, Republican Party and CDU have different starting and ending points ideologically, whether the process of transformation is similar is the focus of the study. This project also presents consideration of the role of parties in ideological co-construction.

Supervisors:

Mathew Humphrey

Andrew Denham

School of Politics and International Relations

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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