Politics and Contemporary History Research Group
The Politics and Contemporary History research cluster is interested in a variety of political and historical themes grouped around the field of International Security in its broadest sense. At the same time, members of staff also have research interests around European party politics, ideologies, intelligence studies (including the history of intelligence), military history (especially land warfare, air power and theories of war), counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and several other aspects of international politics and security, covering Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia.
Politics and Contemporary are viewed by the group as mutually reinforcing disciplines; Contemporary History is defined in the more traditional since of history since 1789. Our political scientists understand the importance of historical background; our historians are interested in applying historical knowledge and experience to contemporary problems and challenges. The group welcomes cross- and interdisciplinary research projects. The activities of the group and its development in recent years are influenced mostly by the notion of ‘Area Studies’.
- International Security (inter-state relations, security policies and future of conflict)
- EU Politics (Eastern and Central Europe, women’s participation in politics)
- Italian Politics (political system, government, parties)
- Comparative European Politics (parties of the left, political corruption)
- British Politics (elections and the use of new media)
- Intelligence History and Studies (British and German intelligence, media portrayals of intelligence activities, freedom of information and intelligence)
- Military History in the 19th and 20th Centuries (land warfare, tactics, communications, organisation, air power, theories of war, doctrine)
- Counter-insurgency (British and American experience, doctrine, interrogation techniques)
- Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and organised crime (governmental policies, techniques and theories, drug cartels)
- History of Ideologies (Communism, Fascism, left-wing movements, history of Socialism)
Recent and current projects (selection):
- Cold War politics, culture and intelligence activities (Dr. Nick Barnett, Dr. Dan Lomas).
- The use of social media in British elections (Dr. Stephen Ward).
- Chinese foreign policy (Dr. Fuzou Wu).
- International collaboration in the development of mechanized vehicles (Prof. Alaric Searle).
- Italian government responses to the Covid-19 pandemic (Prof. Martin Bull).
- Terrorism and media (Dr. Anna Kruglova).
- Ancient Chinese military theory in a comparative context (Prof. Alaric Searle).
- Gender and EU politics (Dr. Cristina Chiva).
- Drug cartels in Latin America (Dr. David Maher).
- British intelligence since 1909 (Dr. Christopher J. Murphy).
- Controversial British interrogation techniques (Dr. Samantha Newbery).
- Diversity and the UK’s British intelligence services (Dr. Dan Lomas).
- The British Army during the First World War (Dr. Brian Hall).
- Prof. Alaric Searle
- Prof. Martin Bull
- Prof. John Callaghan
- Dr. Nicholas Barnett
- Dr. Christina Chiva
- Dr. Brian Hall
- Dr. Anna Kruglova
- Dr. Dan Lomas
- Dr. David Maher
- Dr Christopher J. Murphy
- Dr. Samantha Newbery
- Dr. Steve Ward
- Dr. Fuzou Wu
Nicholas Barnett (2018) Britain’s Cold War: Culture, Modernity and the Soviet Threat, London: I.B. Tauris.
Nick Barnett (2019), ‘Cold War Nostalgia in The Game‘, Journal of British Cinema and Television, 15(3).
Martin Bull, et. al. (2018), ‘Italian politics in an era of recession : the end of bipolarism?‘ , South European Society and Politics, 23 (1) , pp. 1-12.
Martin Bull (2020), ‘The Radical Left since 1989: Decline, Transformation and Revival’, in Eleni Braat and Pepijn Corduwener (eds), 1989 and the West: Western Europe since the End of the Cold War, London: Routledge.
John Callaghan, et. al. (2019), Ideologies of US Foreign Policy, Routledge.
Cristina Chiva (2017), 2017, Gender, institutions and political representation : reproducing male dominance in Europe’s new democracies, Palgrave Macmillan.
Brian Hall (2017), Communications and British Operations on the Western Front, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Winner of the 2018 Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize.
Anna Kruglova (2020), ‘I Will Tell You a Story about Jihad: ISIS’s Propaganda and Narrative Advertising‘, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 44, no. 2.
Daniel Lomas (2017), Intelligence, Security and the Attlee Governments, 1945 – 1951, Manchester: Manchester University Press. Shortlisted for the 2018 Royal Historical Society Whitefield Prize.
Daniel Lomas and Christopher J Murphy (2019), Intelligence and Espionage: Secrets and Spies, Routledge.
Daniel Lomas (2019), ‘“Crocodiles in the corridors” : security vetting, race and Whitehall, 1945 – 1968‘ , Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.
Daniel Lomas (2021), ‘Party Politics and Intelligence: the Labour Party, British intelligence and oversight, 1979 – 1994‘, Intelligence and National Security.
David Maher (2018), Civil War and Uncivil Development: Economic Globalization and Political Violence in Columbia and Beyond, Houndmills, Palgrave.
David Maher and Moritz Pieper (2020), ‘Russian intervention in Syria: exploring the nexus between regime consolidation and energy transnationalisation‘, Political Studies.
Christopher J. Murphy (2019), ‘Dramatising intelligence history on the BBC : the Camp 020 affair‘ , Intelligence and National Security, 34, no. 5, pp. 668-702.
Samantha Newbery (2015), Interrogation, Intelligence and Security: Controversial British interrogation techniques, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Samantha Newbery, ‘Inter- and intra-agency intelligence liaison during ‘the Troubles‘, Small Wars & Insurgencies, December 2020.
Alaric Searle (2017), The military papers and correspondence of Major-General J.F.C. Fuller, 1916-1933, Stroud: The History Press.
Alaric Searle (2017), Armored Warfare: A Military, Political and Global History, London: Bloomsbury.
Stephen Ward and Liam McLoughlin (2020), ‘Turds, traitors and tossers: the abuse of UK MPs via Twitter‘, Journal of Legislative Studies, 26, no. 1.
Stephen Ward, et. al. (2020), ‘A tale of three tribes : UK MPs, Twitter and the EU Referendum‘, Information Polity, 25, no. 1.
Fuzou Wu (2018), Energy and Climate Change Policies in China and India: a two-level comparative study, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Prof. Martin Bull writes for LSE Politics Blog on the significant realignment in Italian politics (February 2021).
Dr. Dan Lomas argues that the British Labour Party’s attitudes towards the UK’s intelligence agencies has often been complex for LSE Politics Blog (February 2021).
Dr. Christopher J Murphy reflects on the passing on spy writer John Le Carré and his work (December 2020).
Samantha Newbery, ‘Digital Rights are Human Rights: The right to be free from torture’, blog for World Human Rights Day, commissioned by the Digital Freedom Fund, 27 November 2020 (November 2020).
Prof. Martin Bull announced as co-editor of ECPR’s new blog, ‘The Loop’. (July 2020).
Salford academics mark LGBT History Month by looking at the FCO bar to gay men and women (February 2020).
Salford welcomes Professor of Environmental History from China (February 2020).
Outgoing ECPR Director Martin Bull honoured after more than 25 years’ service (September 2019).
Research from Dr. Dan Lomas on race and security appears in The Guardian newspaper (October 2018).
PCH Staff engagement at Nankai University, China: Prof Alaric Searle delivered a four-week course on ‘Classic Works of British Historiography’ to undergraduates in the Faculty of History (September 2018).
Dr Brian Hall, Lecturer in Contemporary Military and International History, awarded the ‘Whitfield Prize for 2018’ for the best first book on British or Irish History by the Royal Historical Society.
Salford Historian offered distinguished visiting Professorship at Chinese University (August 2016).
In broad terms our research interests can be grouped under the following headings (although this list does not exclude other areas):
- International Security
- European Politics
- Military History
- Terrorism Studies and Counter-insurgency
- Intelligence Studies (including history of intelligence)
- The History of the Cold War
(Prospective students are also advised to examine staff members’ research specialisms and ask them whether they may be interested in a particular topic.)
Recent PhD research has been funded by a number of bodies, among them the University of Salford Pathways to Excellence Fund and the Graduate Teaching Scheme, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Monica Cockfield Trust.
Dr Dan Lomas
Lecturer in International History
Directorate of English, Politics and Contemporary History
School of Arts and Media
Salford M5 4WT