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Our research

Research is central to Liverpool Hope’s strategic plan and the History subject team occupies the vanguard of efforts to engage academic and non-academic user groups alike.

Liverpool Hope University’s mission is to impact the community, providing a ‘life with more meaning’. History at Hope pursues this goal through impacting public history. In linking up with the museums and heritage sector, our strategic alliance with National Museums Liverpool (NML) is of particular importance.

Research Excellence Framework 2014

All members of staff are research active and this informs our teaching at all levels.

The quality of the Department’s research was recognised in the REF 2014 results where in History: 86% of the Department's research activity is internationally excellent or internationally recognised and 50% of the Impact of the research activity is at an internationally excellent level. Liverpool Hope historians did better than the Universities of Central Lancashire, Chester, Chichester, Gloucestershire, Greenwich, Leeds Trinity and Sunderland. In terms of the impact of this research outside academia, Liverpool Hope historians out performed the Universities of Central Lancashire, Chester, Chichester, Gloucestershire, Greenwich, Lincoln, Liverpool, Northumbria, Nottingham, Reading, Sunderland and Westminster.

At the same time, Politics and IR staff also entered the REF2014 where 58% of the research of the Department is internationally recognised or internationally excellent with 70% of the Impact of our research graded as internationally recognised

This is an outstanding achievement and we plan to improve on it in REF2020.

Disseminating research

Hope historians are active in disseminating research to a broader audience.

Sometimes this is achieved in innovative and unconventional ways. For instance, Sonja Tiernan’s biography of Eva Gore-Booth was dramatised and performed as a play at the 2013 Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. Research on slavery has also been performed as a play (at the International Slavery Museum) and Bryce Evans has delivered his research on food history at a community-run bakery.

Team members regularly disseminate their research findings at international conferences and events and across local and national media, as documented on the university’s online archive of News/Events updates. Additionally, History team members have been active in organising academic conferences attracting leading scholars in various fields.

Research Centres and Groups

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies

The Archbishop Desmond Tutu Centre for War and Peace Studies is proud to bring together academics who work on issues related to peace and conflict from a variety of perspectives. The Centre promotes the benefit of drawing on interdisciplinary approaches to shed light on the multidimensional challenges that are faced by deeply divided societies.

We aim to promote cooperation between academics to enable innovative and original research projects and outputs. At the same time, we believe in the importance of linking academic research to the lived realities of societies emerging from conflict. The Centre therefore aims to strengthen the links between theory and practice, inviting academics and practitioners alike to engage in its diverse activities.

Irish Studies Research Group (ISRG)

The extensive research on modern Irish history at Hope is housed within the Irish Studies Research Group (IRSG), based within the Department of History and Politics, which involves brings together the large number of researchers working on modern Ireland within the Hope History unit and involves close collaboration amongst historians across the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

Since 2009 the ISRG has run a programme of fortnightly seminars to which several members have contributed, including Sonja Tiernan, Liam O’Callaghan, Stephen Kelly and Bryce Evans. In 2013 Evans and Kelly hosted a one-day symposium on the life and legacy of Irish statesman Frank Aiken (1898-1983) under the aegis of the ISRG. The seminar series featured early career researchers seeking to build their academic careers, thus acting as a useful vehicle in the promotion of modern Irish history regionally.

John Henry Newman Studies Project

With a vision to enhance and extend the reach of John Henry Newman's life, thought and spirituality, Liverpool Hope University has developed a study and research environment to bring Newman's teachings to the community of Newman scholars in the North-West of England, as well as today's pluralistic and diverse society. The John Henry Newman Studies Project is envisaged as an international forum for research and academic study of the meaning of Newman's thoughts and work.

European Institute

The European Institute was established in 2016 as a framework for Liverpool Hope's partnership with the Catholic University of Lille. It is an inter-disciplinary centre, currently anchored in the Department of History and Politics. It includes a strong research component, with a strong concentration on European themes and issues, though it is not exclusively focused on this.

Research Opportunities

The Department of History and Politics offers opportunities for students to undertake both taught and research postgraduate degrees.

The Department welcomes applications from students wishing to undertake a postgraduate research degree (MPhil and PhD) in the areas of history, politics and international relations.

Current Research Students

Rick Blackman

Doctoral Researcher

PhD Topic: Music and the anti-Fascist Movement in post-war Britain

Research Supervisors: Dr Bryce Evans and Dr Stephen Kelly

Director of Studies: Prof. Michael Lavalette.


Martin Lloyd

Doctoral Researcher

PhD Topic: English relations with the cimaroons in Spanish America, c. 1570-1650

Research supervisors: Dr Fiona Pogson and Dr John Appleby

Director of Studies: Dr Gergely Juhasz.


Nina Rogers

Doctoral Researcher

PhD Topic: The impact of Margaret Thatcher’s early life upon her policies as Prime Minister

Supervisors: Dr Rob Busby and Dr Bryce Evans

Director of Studies: Prof. Nick Rees.


Martin Smith

Doctoral Researcher

PhD Topic: An analysis of fascism in the 21st Century - Britain and Hungary a twin case study. 

 Supervisors: Dr Michael Holmes and Dr Stephen Kelly

Director of Studies: Prof. Neil Ferguson.


Jessica Warwick

Doctoral Researcher

PhD Topic: The history of crime and punishment in Anglo-Irish literature, c. 1850-1950.

Supervisors: Dr Sonja Tiernan and Dr Trish Ferguson.

Director of Studies: Prof. Cindy Hamilton.


Katherine Jewell

Doctoral Researcher

PhD Topic: Momentum: A Critical Discourse Analysis of an Emerging Political and Social Movement

Supervisors: Dr Danny Rye and Dr Julia Lux

Director of Studies: Prof. Michael Lavalette.


Tommy Millea

Doctoral Researcher

PhD Topic: Food Surplus and related policies: a British-French comparison

Supervisors:Dr Bryce Evans and Dr Sabine Weiland

Director of Studies: Dr Gergely Juhasz


Cal de Burgh (Hope – Lille Scholar)

Doctoral Researcher

PhD Topic: An investigation into the challenges facing the Cold War world order based on international human rights with specific reference to Russia

Supervisors: Dr Nirmala Pillay, Dr Ioannis Panoussis and Dr Stephen McLoughlin.

Director of Studies: Professor George Mair.