David Grealy

Postgraduate Research Student



David has a BA in History and an MA in 20th Century History from the University of Liverpool.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"Human Rights and British Diplomacy, 1977-1994: Intellectual Biography of David Owen."

David's thesis attempts to compile an intellectual biography of Lord David Owen, focusing on his diplomatic engagement with human rights from 1977 – the beginning of his tenure as Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary – through to the conclusion of his engagement with the Vance-Owen Peace Plan in 1994. By addressing this important but neglected aspect of Owen’s political career, my PhD seeks to investigate the genealogy of Britain’s ethical foreign policy prior to New Labour. The innovative periodization of my study, which bridges the late-Cold War and early post-Cold War periods, will also allow me to offer a hitherto neglected British perspective on the so-called human rights “breakthrough” by exploring the role of British diplomacy in shaping concepts of human rights and humanitarianism since the 1970s.

David's wider research interests include diplomatic history, global intellectual history, human rights and humanitarianism. His research has a strong focus on the life and political works of David Owen.

Research Funding

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)- North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP)