Dr Matthew Johnson
(email at email@example.com)
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. An early article from this project explored the political and constitutional problems raised by the presence of a large number of serving military and naval officers in the House of Commons during the Great War. The wartime blurring of the distinction between the political class and the military establishment had profound implications for the workings of civil-military relations, the operation of party politics, and popular understandings of parliamentary representation, political citizenship, and the authority of Parliament as an institution.
This research project also explores the ways in which ex-servicemen in rival parties seeking election to Parliament in the decades after the world wars sought to negotiate and present their 'military' identities when appealing to the electorate, and how their behaviour within Parliament was influenced by their experience and understanding of war and military service.
Department of History
Department of History
Indicators of Esteem
- 2017: Excellence in Learning and Teaching Award:
- Johnson, Matthew (2013). Militarism and the British Left, 1902-1914. Palgrave Macmillan.
Chapter in book
- Johnson, M. (2017). Peace and Retrenchment? The Edwardian Liberal Party, the Limits of Pacifism, and the Politics of National Defence. In Bid for World Power?: New Research on the Outbreak of the First World War. Gestrich, A. & Pogge von Strandmann, H. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 201-220.
- Johnson, M (2014). Governments, Parliaments and Parties (Great Britain and Ireland). In 1914-1918-online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War. Daniel, U, Gatrell, P, Janz, O, Jones, H, Keene, J, Kramer, A & Nasson, B Freie Universität Berlin.
- Johnson, M. (2014). Militarism in Britain? The Boy Scouts and the War Office before the First World War. In Books for Boys. Literacy, Nation and the First World War. James, Simon J. Institute of Advanced Study.
- Johnson, Matthew (2015). Leading from the Front: The ‘Service Members’ in Parliament, the Armed Forces, and British Politics during the Great War. The English Historical Review 130(544): 613-645.
- Johnson, M (2014). ‘The Great War and the collapse of the Liberal Party’. British Politics Review vol. 9, no. 1.
- Johnson, Matthew (2011). The Liberal Party and the Navy League in Britain before the Great War. Twentieth Century British History 22(2): 137-163.
- Johnson, Matthew (2008). The Liberal War Committee and the Liberal Advocacy of Conscription in Britain, 1914-1916. The Historical Journal 51(02): 399-420.
- Johnson, M (2014). More than spectators? Britain’s Liberal government and the decision to go to war in 1914. The Conversation 4 August 2014.
Other (Digital/Visual Media)
- Johnson, M (2017). Asquith, Lloyd George, and the struggle for the premiership in December 1916. History of Government blog.
- Johnson, M (2014). Media Coverage of the Centenary of the Great War. Royal Historical Society, 'History in the News' blog.
- 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)