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Dr Stephen Meredith

British History and Politics

University of Central Lancashire



Dr Stephen Meredith teaches history and politics in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Central Lancashire, UK. He undertook undergraduate and postgraduate study in both history and political science in London and completed his PhD in contemporary political history in the Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield, UK. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and will be an Archives By-Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge and recipient of the John Antcliffe Memorial Fund award in 2018-19.

Stephen’s research and publications have been in the broad area of contemporary British political history, particularly the history and politics of the British Labour Party and social democracy. His research has focused on the evolution and transitions of post-war social democracy, reflected in published work analysing Labour revisionist debates and divisions in the 1960s and 1970s over Europe, political economy and industrial relations and trade unions, as potential longer-term antecedents of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and ‘New’ Labour, published in journals including Contemporary British History, Historical Research and Labour History Review.

He is the author of Labours Old and New: The Parliamentary Right of the British Labour Party 1970-79 and the Roots of New Labour (Manchester University Press). As well as studies exploring the multiple post-war crises and divisions of revisionist social democracy, he is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters concerned with issues ranging from transitions of ‘progressive’ politics in South Wales in the years following WW1, Michael Young as a ‘progressive’ alternative to Labour’s ‘state-centric’ socialism, and the oratorical and oppositional dimensions of Labour political leadership.

His current research explores ‘progressive’ Conservative responses to the ‘decline’ and ‘crisis’ of the post-war British state, the wider intellectual context and relationships in the evolution and emergence of ‘Thatcherism’ and the wider intellectual debates and influences of ideas and policy of Thatcher’s Conservative Party in opposition and early government. He is preparing a monograph entitled From the Big State to the 'Big Society': 'Progressive' Conservatism, Thatcherism and the State, 1964-79.