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Associate Professor of History and American Studies, York St John University

I am a Fulbright Scholar, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Senior Fellow the Higher Education Academy. I completed my PhD at Aberystwyth University in 2010 and then became Lecturer in Modern History at the same institution. In August 2012 I was appointed Senior Lecturer in History at Oxford Brookes University before spending the 2012-13 academic year as the Fulbright-Robertson Visiting Professor of British History at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, USA. In May 2016, I was a Visiting Fellow at the Norwegian Nobel Institute. After a variety of administrative and leadership roles, including a period as Head of School, I joined York St. John University in April 2019, where I led our programmes in History, American Studies and War Studies for nearly three years.

My first monograph, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan: A Very Political Special Relationship (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012), is the first major examination of the Reagan-Thatcher relationship with regards to domestic policy. It has been well received in academic journals. The English Historical Review (2014) describes it as 'an engaging and informed analysis ... with many new insights'. Similarly, the American Historical Review (2014) notes that the monograph's 'analysis is well-developed and persuasive' and 'provides an original and interesting contribution to the literature of the Anglo-American relationship'. A review in the Journal of Contemporary History (2014) states that the monograph's importance and impact are 'considerable'. My second monograph, The Politics of Diplomacy: U.S. presidents and the Northern Ireland Conflict, 1967-1998 (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017), contributed to the relatively marginalized historiography of the American dimension of the Anglo-Irish process. February 2022 saw the publication of my third monograph, A Diplomatic Meeting: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Art of Summitry (with the University Press of Kentucky). Professor Luke Nichter (Chapman University) wrote:'James Cooper's A Diplomatic Meeting: Reagan, Thatcher, and the Art of Summitry is so much more than meets the eye. It is a masterful study of big personalities and big ideas which shows how domestic concerns often drive foreign policy. Cooper reminds us of the importance of diplomacy and how it can play a central role again in an increasingly fractious world looking for leadership.' Professor Richard Aldous (Bard College) observed: 'James Cooper has already established himself as one of the leading scholars of Anglo-American relations. Now in this fine new study, he cements that reputation with a fresh look at the personal meetings between Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher. Combining incisive analysis with recently released archival material, he shows the ups and downs of the relationship to help us better understand the full complexity of this most consequential of alliances.'

I have been asked to provide expert opinion and commentary to national and international audiences, such as the BBC News Channel, Global Radio, ‘Randy Tobler radio show’ (a major Midwest broadcast in the United States), U.S. News and World, Klassekampen (a leading Norwegian newspaper), and the Chunichi and Tokyo Shimbun (two major Japanese newspapers). In 2014 I curated an exhibit about the Reagan-Thatcher relationship at the National Winston Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri, which marks the location of Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946.


  • –present
    Associate Professor of History and American Studies, York St John University


  • 2010 
    University of Wales, Aberystwyth, History