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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

  • Stapleton, Julia (2009). Christianity, Patriotism and Nationhood: The England of G.K. Chesterton. Lanham MD: Lexington Books.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2005). Sir Arthur Bryant and National History in Twentieth-Century Britain. Lanham, MD.: Lexington Books.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2001). Political Intellectuals and Public Identities in Britain since 1850. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • Stapleton, Julia (1994). Englishness and the Study of Politics: The Social and Political Thought of Ernest Barker. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Edited book

  • Stapleton, Julia (2017). Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Selected Writings of James Fitzherbert Stephen. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2012). G.K. Chesterton at the Daily News: Literature, Liberalism and Revolution, 1901-1913. 8 Volumes, including editorial notes, General Introduction (Volume 1, pp. xv-xxxviii)and Cumulative Index (Volume 8). London: Pickering and Chatto.

Chapter in book

  • Stapleton, Julia (2011). 'Faith, People, and Place: the English Union in the Writings of Arthur Mee and G.K. Chesterton'. In These Englands: A Conversation on National Identity. Aughey, A. & Berberich, C. Manchester: Manchester University Press. 217-235.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2010). 'The Limits of Pro-Fascism and Anti-Fascism: G. K. Chesterton and Arthur Bryant'. In Varieties of Anti-Fascism: Britain in the Interwar Period. Copsey, N. & Olechnowicz, A. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 224-244.
  • Stapleton, J. (2009). 'England'. In The Oxford Handbook of British Politics. M. Flinders, A. Gamble, C. Hay & M. Kenny Oxford University Press.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2007). 'The Classicist as Liberal Intellectual: Gilbert Murray and Alfred Zimmern'. In Gilbert Murray Reassessed: Hellenism, Theatre and International Politics. Stray, Christopher. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 261-291.

Journal Article

  • Stapleton, Julia (2020). The New Liberal Vision of C. F. G. Masterman: Religion, Politics and Literature in Early Twentieth-Century Britain. Modern Intellectual History 17(1): 85-115.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2014). T.E. Utley and Renewal of Conservatism in Post-War Britain. Journal of Political Ideologies 19 (2): 207-226.
  • Stapleton, J. (2013). 'Chesterton at the Daily News'. The Chesterton Review 39(1/2): 49-62.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2011). 'The De-Christianisation of England: Anglo-Catholic Perspectives in the Early Circle of G.K. Chesterton and in the Late Twentieth Century'. The Chesterton Review 37(1/2): 81-104.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2011). 'The Historical Context of Chesterton's Interest in Alfred the Great'. The Chesterton Review 37(3/4): 453-468.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2009). The Voice of Chesterton in the Conversation of England. The Chesterton Review 35(3/4): 617-633.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2006). 'Ernest Barker: Classics England-Britain and Europe 1906-1960'. Polis: Journal of the Society for Greek Political Thought 23(2): 203-221.
  • Stapleton, J. (2006). 'The England of G.K. Chesterton'. The Chesterton Review 32(3/4): 339-356.
  • Stapleton, Julia (2005). 'Citizenship versus Patriotism in Twentieth-Century England'. The Historical Journal 48(1): 151-178.

Edited Journal

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

Scholarly Edition

  • Julia Stapleton (orig.) (2017). Liberty, Equality, Fraternity (1873, 2nd ed. 1874), by James Fitzjames Stephen . Oxford University Press