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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Professor Julia Stapleton, BA (Wales), MA, PhD (Sussex), FRHistS

Professor of Political Thought in the School of Government and International Affairs
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 47205
Room number: 106, Southend House

Contact Professor Julia Stapleton (email at


I gained a BA in Politics and Philosophy at University College, Cardiff, and an MA and a PhD in Intellectual History at the University of Sussex. 

My research is focused on political ideas in Britain since 1850. I have a particular interest in political writers and thinkers who addressed a range of audiences, for example Ernest Barker, Gilbert Murray, Arthur Bryant and G. K. Chesterton. All these figures sought to inform and shape public opinion, not least through newspapers and periodicals aimed at general readers. These are rich resources for historians of political thought and I continue to make use of them.

Conceptions of English and British national identity and related ideals of patriotism feature prominently in my research. I am interested in how they have been articulated and contested, and the historical narratives that have underpinned them. I am also interested in Liberal and Conservative thought, particularly the points at which they have converged in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I would welcome enquiries from prospective PhD students with interests in these and associated areas of political thought and intellectual history.

I have just completed an edition of G.K. Chesterton's contributions to the Daily News between 1901 and 1913. This was supported by the AHRC. It is published by Pickering and Chatto in two parts.

My current research is focused on the Edwardian progressive Liberal C.F.G. Masterman, the mid-twentieth century Conservative journalist T.E. Utley, and the Victorian critic James Fitzjames Stephen. 

Research Groups

School of Government and International Affairs

  • Nations, Nationalisms and Diasporas
  • Political Theory

Research Projects

Department of History

Research Interests

  • Liberal and Conservative thought in Britain
  • National identities in British political thought
  • The writer and journalist as public moralist in Britain
  • Christianity and politics in twentieth-century Britain


Authored book

Edited book

Edited Journal

  • Stapleton, Julia (2006). Ernest Barker, The Political Theory of Plato and Aristotle (1906): A Centenary Tribute. 23 (2) (Special Issue).

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Scholarly Edition


Selected Grants

  • 2017: 'Church, State and Nation: the Journals of Herbert Hensley Henson, 1900-1939