AHSS 2: The Labour Party and Ireland from Wilson to Blair

Faculty: Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Supervisors: Dr Richard Carr; Prof Rohan McWilliam

Location: Cambridge 

The interview for this project is expected to take place on Friday 21 April.

This project will analyse the relationship between the British Labour Party and the Republic of Ireland from the era of Harold Wilson to that of Tony Blair. Proposals will be considered which both interrogate the long run relationship of Labour with Ireland (i.e. from the 1960s to the 1990s/2000s) or a particular moment, aspect, or personality(ies) within that timeframe.

The project may alight on, for example, on the simultaneous entry of the UK and Ireland into the EEC, Labour’s relationship with the Irish Labour Party or other Irish political parties, The Troubles, the Northern Irish Border/Common Travel Area, the Irish diaspora (or diasporic politicians), the consequences for Irish-American and Anglo-American relations, the Good Friday Agreement, and/or the Irish contribution to particular British institutions from the civil service to the NHS.

Within the boundaries outlined above, the candidate has the potential to pick the areas that interest them the most and where they can make the best historiographical case for a significant intervention, and thus this advert is not too prescriptive.

Cambridge is an excellent place to undertake this project. The Churchill Archives Centre includes the papers of Neil Kinnock and other leading Labour politicians in contact with Ireland. The Cambridge University Library is a copyright library and thus has resources for which there are not many parallels. Key archival collections in London are an hour or so away.

The Labour History Research Unit (LHRU) at ARU provides a vibrant environment in which to pursue such a project. Labour and the Left in the 1980s and March of the Moderates are recent LHRU publications in this broad space from which the candidate would benefit.

Given the nature of the project, the candidate would gain a qualification of significant use in both academic and public policy fields and could gear any subsequent publications (whether blog, journal article or book) towards such fields.

Should the candidate wish, and where opportunities became available, there may be the opportunity to gain university teaching experience during the PhD.

The first supervisor, Dr Richard Carr, is happy to take any questions via email: richard.carr@aru.ac.uk

Apply online by 19 March 2023

Funding notes

This successful applicant for this project will receive a Vice Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship which covers Home tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. For 2022/3 this was £17,688 per year. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the scholarship terms and conditions. Please note that the University asserts the right to claim any intellectual property generated by research it funds.

Download the full terms and conditions.