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Dr Paul Corthorn

BA (Cambridge), MA (Durham), PhD (Cambridge), FRHistS

Senior Lecturer in Modern British History

Director of Education

Tel: +44 (0) 28 9097 3896

Office: 15UQ.302

Paul Corthorn studied at the universities of Cambridge and Durham. Before coming to Queen’s in 2006, he held lectureships at Anglia Ruskin, Liverpool and Oxford universities. He is joint editor of the Labour History Review and an Associate of the Cold War Studies Programme at the London School of Economics. In 2009 he won a QUB ‘Rising Stars’ Teaching Award. In 2012 he was a By-Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge.  

Research Interests

Paul Corthorn's research is concerned with twentieth-century British history, especially its international dimensions. He has worked extensively on the political Left and on various aspects of the Cold War in Britain. He is writing a book that thematically examines the politics and ideas of the Conservative and Ulster Unionist MP, Enoch Powell, to be published by Oxford University Press. He was Co-Investigator of the Leverhulme-funded project 'The Politics of Consumer Credit in the UK, 1938-1992', directed by Professor Sean O'Connell. He is organising an international conference at Queen's in 2015 on 'Socialism and the Cold War in Western Europe'.

Select Publications


Articles and chapters:

  • 'Cold War politics in Britain and the contested legacy of the Spanish Civil War' in European History Quarterly, xliv (2014).
  • 'Governments and "soft power" in international affairs' in History and Policy (2013).
  • 'The Cold War and British debates over the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics' in Cold War History, xiii (2013).
  • ‘Enoch Powell, Ulster Unionism and the British nation’ in Journal of British Studies, LI (2012).
  • 'W.E.D. Allen, Unionist politics and the New Party' in Contemporary British History, xxiii (2009).
  • ‘Labour, the Left, and the Stalinist purges of the late 1930s’ in Historical Journal, xlviii (2005).
  • ‘Michael Foot as Labour leader: the uses of the past’ in R. Toye and J. Gottlieb (eds), Making reputations: power, persuasion and the individual in modern British politics (London: IB Tauris, 2005).
  • ‘The Labour Party and the League of Nations: the Socialist League’s role in the sanctions crisis of 1935’ in Twentieth-Century British History, xiii (2002).

Entry on PURE research profile



Dr Paul Corthorn teaches on the following programmes / modules:


HIS2019 The Making of Modern Britain
HIS2018  The Making of Contemporary Britain
HIS3042  Britain and the Cold War


MHY7035 Historiography
MHY7079 Topics in British History


Current PhD first supervision:

  • Morris Brodie, ‘The Atlantic anarchist movement and the Spanish Civil War’
  • Paul Lundy, 'The reception of Enoch Powell in Northern Ireland, 1968-1998'

Recent PhD supervision:

  • Stephen Goss, 'Northern Ireland, de-colonisation and the Cold War' (PhD 2013)


Relevant Websites