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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Matthew Johnson

Associate Professor (Modern British History) in the Department of History

(email at

Matthew Johnson works primarily on modern British political history. He is interested in the impact of war on politics and society, and in militarism as a political and ideological phenomenon in Britain during the twentieth century. Recent published work has explored problems in civil-military relations, the politics of national defence, and the relationship between militarism and left-wing politics.

Matthew's current research project, funded in its early stages by an AHRC Research Fellowship and a Research Grant from the British Academy, challenges traditional assumptions about the ‘civilian’ nature of modern British political culture through a study of military involvement in parliamentary and popular politics during the twentieth century. This project focuses in particular on the activities of ex-servicemen as MPs and parliamentary candidates, and on the ways in which the experience of war influenced debates about citizenship, political representation, and parliamentary authority in modern Britain.

Research Groups

Department of History

Research Projects

Department of History

Teaching Areas

  • HIST 1561: Making History - 'The Road to 1945'
  • HIST 2922: Conversations with History: ‘Class, culture and war: British politics, 1900-1951’
  • HIST 3983: British Politics and the Great War
  • HIST 42930: Tradition, change and political culture in modern Britain
  • Undergraduate dissertations on topics relating to modern British (particularly political) history


Authored book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Newspaper/Magazine Article

Other (Digital/Visual Media)


Indicators of Esteem

  • 2017: Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award:

Selected Grants

  • 2015: Ex-servicemen, the legacy of militarization, and liberal politics in Britain after the Great War (£2489.00 from The British Academy)
  • 2012: ‘The 'Service Members' in Parliament, the Armed Forces, and British Politics during the Great War’ (£57,968 from the AHRC)