After a history degree at Cambridge (1984) I undertook my doctoral thesis on religion and politics in inter-war Britain at Queen Mary, completing in 1989. I then spent a year as a research fellow at the Institute of Contemporary British History, writing an award-winning bibliography of post-war Britain. From 1989 until 1999 I was Director of this Institute. In 1999-2000 I was on a Fulbright as visiting professor of British history at Westminster College, Fulton Missouri. On my return to the UK I taught history and politics at Queen Mary University of London until my appointment as Reader in History at Westminster in October 2012. Since August 2013 I have also been Faculty International Director for the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Westminster. My interests are wide-ranging. I founded the journal National Identities, and my focus upon the history of the relationship between identities, ideas and political culture is reflected in my research, the PhDs I have supervised and my work with think tanks like the Hansard Society (for whom I teach a course on Public Policy) and the Centre for Opposition Studies. Through the latter I have been involved in research projects looking at democratisation and conflict resolution in the Middle East. I also have an interest in public history, serving as a trustee for two heritage organisations and, since 2011, on the London Historic Environments Forum.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
My principal interest is in the relationship between political and religious ideas, institutions and political culture. This has produced a wide body of work over the years in a variety of disciplines on everything from the history of international relations to constitutional theory.
I enjoy fringe theatre, art exhibitions, most forms of music, reading, good conversation and cricket.