Photo of Professor Jon Lawrence

Professor Jon Lawrence

Associate Professor

I work on modern British social, cultural and political history and have a special interest in the intersection of class and gender in popular politics and in the wider politics of everyday life. I have recently finished a book called Me, Me, Me? The Search for Community in Post-war England (OUP, 2019) based largely on research conducted during my recent Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship. Previous books include Speaking for the People: Party, Language and Popular Politics in England, 1867-1914 (CUP, 1998), Electing Our Masters: the Hustings in British Politics from Hogarth to Blair (OUP, 2009) and the edited collection Party, State and Society: Electoral Behaviour in Britain since 1820 (with Miles Taylor [1997]). I have previously held posts at University College London, the University of Liverpool and the University of Cambridge as well as visiting professorships at Harvard, Monash and the Australian National University. I have supervised more than twenty PhDs to completion on a wide range of topics in modern British history and am keen to hear from new potential graduates to work with me at Exeter. 

Research interests

Dr Lawrence works on British social, political and cultural history from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. He has published extensively on political language and the culture of public politics. His book Electing Our Masters: the Hustings in British Politics from Hogarth to Blair was published by OUP in 2009. He is currently completing a book on the politics of social identity in Britain from the 1940s to the present, including a history of popular individualism (and its limits). This work is the product of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship award held by Dr Lawrence during 2013-2015. 

Research supervision

I am interested in supervising research students working on most aspects of British social, political and cultural history since 1900, and have particular interests in the history of class, gender, place and popular politics. 

Research students

Current:

Beebee, 'Deindustrialisation and the ‘rise and fall’ of the ‘traditional working-class’ c.1970-1990' [Exeter, 2018]

Cowan, 'Social change in everyday language in Britain, c. 1939-1990' [Cambridge, 2016]

Lockwood, 'Conceptions of public opinion and the British New Right, c.1965-1983' [Cambridge, 2016]

 

Supervised to completion:

Julie-Marie Strange (with Dr Andrew Davies), ‘This mortal coil: popular attitudes to death, c.1880-1914’ [Liverpool, 2000]      

Julie Grier, (with Dr Pat Starkey), ‘Children's charities and the welfare state, 1945-1970’ [Liverpool, 2000]

Gaynor Williams, ‘Women in public life in Liverpool between the wars’ [Liverpool, 2000]

Linda Craig (with Dr Chris Lewis), ‘Community and identity in Whalley Bridge, 1850-1950’ [Liverpool, 2002]

C. Kit Good (with Dr Andrew Davies), ‘England Goes to War 1914-15’ [Liverpool, 2002]

Ruth Clayton [Windscheffel], (with Prof. Roger Swift, Chester College), ‘A history of the working library of William Ewart Gladstone at Hawarden’ [Liverpool/Chester, 2003]                       

Victoria Barbary, ‘ “From platform to polling booth”: political leadership and popular politics in Bury and Bolton, 1868-1906’ [Cambridge, 2007]

Laura D. Beers, ‘“Selling Socialism”: Labour, democracy and the mass media, 1900-1939,’ (Harvard, 2007 [doctoral advisor]

David Thackeray, ‘Popular politics and the making of modern Conservatism, c. 1906-1924’ [Cambridge, 2010]

Gary Love, ‘Conservatives, National Politics and the Challenge to Democracy in Britain, 1931-37’ [Cambridge, 2010]

Geraint Thomas, ‘Conservatives and the culture of ‘National’ government between the wars’ [Cambridge, 2010]

Chris Cotton, ‘The Labour Party and European Integration, 1961-1983’ [Cambridge, 2011]

Christian Schlaepfer, [with Chris Andrew] ‘Counter Subversion in Britain c. 1945-1962’ [Cambridge, 2013]

Tom Cordiner, ‘British attitudes to Israel and Zionism since 1945,’ AHRC-funded [Cambridge, 2013]

Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, ‘Class, community and individualism in English politics and society, 1969-2000’ [Cambridge, 2014]

Justin Fantauzzo, ‘Experience, Memory, and British Soldiers in the Palestine Campaign of the First World War, 1916-1918’ [Cambridge, 2014]

John Barry, ‘Overspill and the impact of the town development act, 1945-74’ [with Martin Daunton] [Cambridge 2015]

Simon Abernethy, ‘Class, commuting and social change in London, 1881-1939’ [Cambridge, 2015]

Stuart Middleton, ‘Class, culture and the Left, c.1930-70’ [Cambridge, 2015]

Alex Campsie, ‘The New Left, the New Times, and the re-making of British socialism, 1962-1991’ [Cambridge, 2017]

Kieran Heinemann, ‘Popular share-owning and processes of “financialization” in post-war Britain’ [Cambridge, 2017]

Media

I have appeared in historical documentary programmes on BBC2, Channel 4 and the Parliament Channel, and on a range of BBC radio programmes including The Long ViewWestminster Hour and the recent ten part series on Conservatism, Liberalism and Socialism. In June 2014 I wrote and presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary exploring 'The Unmaking of the English Working Class'. I have written on the political and policy implications of my research for Renewal, Juncture, The New Left ProjectBBC History MagazineHistory Today and History & Policy