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Level 7

7AAH1203 Britain since 1945: Politics, Society, Economy, Culture, International Relations

Credit value: 20
Module convenor 2019/20: Dr Conor Morrissey (co-taught with Professor David Edgerton)
Teaching pattern
: 10 x 2 hour weekly seminars
Availability: Please see module list for relevant year
 1 x 4,000-word essay

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

The modules offered in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand: there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary between years.

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the main themes of British history 1945-2000.   As well as providing an overview of the political, economic, military, international and cultural history of the United Kingdom, it introduces students to differing traditions of interpretation of that history, bringing to bear the most recent fresh analyses in what is a rapidly changing field. 


Provisional teaching plan

  1. Contested themes in post-war British history
  2. Building a new Britain
  3. War, empire and anti-communism
  4. Conflict and consensus: the two-party system
  5. The British Sixties: protest and liberation         
  6. NATO, Europe and the special relationship
  7. Migration and the nation
  8. The break-up of the UK?
  9. Declinism, capitalism and the transformation of the British economy
  10. From social democracy to neo-liberalism?

Suggested introductory reading

This is suggested reading and purchase of these texts is not mandatory.

Tom Nairn, The break-up of Britain: crisis and neonationalism (London, 1982)

Nicholas Timmins, The five giants: a biography of the welfare state (London, 2001)

Stefan Collini, Absent minds: intellectuals in Britain (Oxford, 2006)

Andrew Gamble, Britain in decline: economic policy, political strategy and the British state (Basingstoke, 1994)

Jim Tomlinson, The politics of decline: understanding post-war Britain (Abingdon, 2000)

Arthur Marwick, British society since 1945 (Harmondsworth, 1990)

David Edgerton, Warfare State: Britain 1920-1970 (2005)

Darwin, John. The empire project: The rise and fall of the British world-system, 1830–1970 (Cambridge, 2009)

Richard Vinen, Thatcher’s Britain: the politics and social upheaval of the Thatcher era (London, 2010)

Francesca Carnevali and Julie-Marie Strange, 20th century Britain: economic, cultural and social change (Routledge, 2007)

Nick Tiratsoo (ed.), From Blitz to Blair: A New History of Britain Since 1939 (London, 1997)


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