His(Tory): why British history needs Conservatives

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

May 3, 2023


British academia today is overwhelmingly left-leaning in its political orientation and especially pro-Labour. This article examines what impact this is having on British political history. It begins by demonstrating just how recent this left-wing preponderance is and how, as late as the 1990s, there remained a strong grouping of right-leaning political historians. This, the article argues, helps in part explain the relative vibrancy of political history in that era compared to today. Turning to the advantages a larger number of conservative voices would bring to the sub-discipline, the article identifies how those on the right are more likely to subscribe to different methodological approaches, have different historical interests and be interested in different kinds of political questions from their left-leaning colleagues. Most of all, it stresses how political diversity would help historians of every persuasion better recognise the ideological frameworks that inform their own work.

Published in

The Political Quarterly







Online Early

Open Access

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

© 2023 The Author.

The Political Quarterly published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Political Quarterly Publishing Co (PQPC).



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