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Ed Ford

Postgraduate Research

I am currently in the second year of my PhD supervised by Professors David Thackeray and Richard Toye as part of the Leverhulme-funded project Parliamentary Empire. My thesis explores the ways in which national and imperial identities interacted with understandings of parliamentary representation in Australia and South Africa c.1890-1910.

I gained my first degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at St Peter’s College, University of Oxford in 2019; and an MSt in Modern British History at Christ Church, University of Oxford in 2021.


Research interests

I am a historian of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with an interest in parliaments, constitutions, imperialism, international relations, and national identity. I am broadly interested in the way in which individuals and groups have understood their relationship to political decision-making.

I primarily work on British and imperial history, but I am also interested in wider transnational connections, particularly in European and inter-imperial exchanges of political ideas and representative practices.

My current PhD project is provisionally entitled ‘Parliamentarism and the Construction of the Settler Colonial Nation: The Politics of Representation in Australia and South Africa, 1890-1910’. This looks at what debates about parliamentary representation during these two state-formation processes can tell us about the identities and worldviews of participants.



Modules Taught

HIH1137 – Becoming a Historian (Core)

HIH1139 – Becoming a Historian (Extension).



I am originally from West Yorkshire and read for my undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Oxford. Before coming to Exeter in 2022, I worked in Westminster politics, where I focussed on modern slavery, social security, and local transport policy.


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