The political history of Liverpool (and Merseyside)
My doctoral research focused on the causes of Conservative decline in Liverpool, from the end of World War Two to the present day. This was an area of Liverpool’s political history, and of the history of the Conservative Party, which was understudied. The core argument in my thesis was two-fold:
1) The traditional argument that declining sectarianism or the premiership of Margaret Thatcher were not the root causes of Conservative decline in Liverpool. I also discount a range of other explanations for Conservative Party decline in Liverpool - local party organisational inefficiency, municipal electoral biases, demographic change, and population drain
2) Instead, I argue that we should reconceptualise the history of the Liverpool Conservatives, into three periods - periods of success (1945-197), decline (1973-1986), and irrelevance (1987 onwards) - with each period explained by different phenomena.
You can read my book Whatever Happened to Tory Liverpool? for free via Liverpool University Press' website.
If you are interested in Merseyside's political history (and you should be!) you can view the Merseyside Election Dashboard I have built which helps to visualise local electoral changes across Merseyside since 1945.
Local Identities and Politics
My interest in local identities is primarily focused on the Scouse identity, but expands into other locally-held identities and how these influence political behaviour. I am interested in how these identities are constructed by those who hold them (and those who do not), if there is a common agreement about the constitutive elements of regional or local identities, and how/when these identities influence the electoral or political behaviour of individuals.