Nicholas Owen

Nicholas Owen

(MA DPhil)

Associate Professor of Politics, Praelector in Politics, Queens College
Comparative Politics and Government
The Queen's College

I'm a University Lecturer in Politics (CUF) and Fellow and Praelector in Politics at Queens College.

My research interests lie in four main areas. First, I work on British political history since 1900, especially the politics of governments and parties of the left.  Secondly, I am interested in the working of colonial systems of government; the decolonization of the European colonial empires after 1945; the theory and practice of anti-imperialism, especially the implications of postcolonial theory for the study of anti-imperialist resistance; and the dilemmas of political leadership in anti-imperialist (and other) social movements. My book, The British Left and India: Metropolitan Anti-Imperialism, 1885-1947 was published by Oxford University Press in 2007.  since then I have been working on Britain as a colonial metropole.  The main article on this theme - 'The Soft Heart of the British Empire' - appeared last year in Past & Present.  Thirdly, and relatedly, I have an interest in how colonial violence was made tolerable to metropolitan audiences in liberal empires.  I wrote an article on this subject which has recently appeared in the Journal of Modern History.  Finally, I am interested in problems of participation in social movements.  I am now finishing a book, provisionally entitled Other People's Struggles, which looks at the problem that 'outsiders' present to social movements.  The case studies include middle and upper class participants in labour movements, men who participated in the women's suffrage movements and the women's liberation movement; and white participants in anti-colonial and anti-racist movements.  The book tries to explain why these participants are sometimes problematic, and sometimes not, drawing on examples from Britain since the mid-nineteenth century.   Some early fundings appeared in an article in Historical Journal in 2013, concerning the exclusion of men from the Women's Liberation Movement in the 1970s.  Severla of the other draft papers for this project will be appearing shortly on my website,


Government Human rights Feminism Foreign Policy and diplomacy History Identity Liberalism Nationalism Political Parties Representation Social movements Violence security and conflict

I teach the undergraduate papers in Introduction to Politics, British Politics and Government since 1900 and Modern British Government and Politics. I teach the graduate paper in Politics and Government of the UK and an optional research methods module on Archival Research.

Number of DPhil supervisions completed: 4

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