Case Study: Simon Mackley, 2nd Year PhD Student

Supervisor: Professor Richard Toye

My research explores Empire as an issue within late-Victorian and Edwardian British politics. Focusing on the rhetoric of the Liberal Party, my work examines the methods by which a rhetoric of 'Liberal Empire' was constructed, and the ways in which Liberal politicians drew upon said rhetoric during moments of imperial controversy and crisis. In doing so, it is my aim to engage with many of the broader questions concerning the character of the 'Imperial State'. I was attracted to the prospect of doctoral study at Exeter by the department's combined strengths in metropolitan British history and the history of empire, as well as by the engaging research culture that I first encountered in my time here as an undergraduate. Since starting in 2012 Exeter has indeed proved to be the ideal location in which to pursue my doctorate.

With the establishment of the Centre for Imperial and Global History, I am looking forward to working with colleagues who share my research interests in the history of political cultures and ideologies of empire. In particular I am eager to engage with the platform the new centre will provide for the discussion of the latest developments in the field, as well as the networking and training opportunities provided by the attached postgraduate Imperial and Global History Network.