I am Senior Lecturer in Political History at the University of Bristol where I research and teach contemporary British political history.
My research falls into three strands. The first concerns Conservative, Labour and Liberal party histories with a particular focus on policy development, ideology, elections and campaigns. The second strand emphasises the history of rhetoric and arguments. My doctoral research, for example, considered the evolution of the rhetoric of freedom throughout the twentieth century. A third stand traces the influence of neoliberal ideas and arguments in British politics. Along with Prof. Hugh Pemberton and Aled Davies I have led an ARHC-funded project investigating the role of neoliberal ideas and policies in shaping the pension reforms carried out by Margaret Thatcher's governments.
More widely I have applied new digital methodologies to the study of political history and political speech. For example, my recent work on political promises used large-sale text analysis and artificial intelligence to identify trends in pledge-making over time.
I have extensive experience contributing to national and local radio, explaining current events and setting today's politics in a historical context.
I completed by PhD at University of Exeter and joined Bristol in 2015.