Adam Waddingham


  • Department of History, The University of Manchester

    M139PL Manchester

    United Kingdom

Personal profile


I am a historian specialising in the history of political thought and culture. 

My current project addresses the historical creation, development, and reception of Euroscepticism within British political history. I am interested, in particular, with how debates of Europe intersect with British constitutionalism in the creation of Euroscepticism. Ultimately, the project aims to explore how Euroscepticism became a dominant political idea in the post-war period and reflect on what this means for the British constitution, political actors, and parties. 


I began my academic career with a Masters degree in History (with distinction) at The University of Manchester in 2019. My thesis focused on the creation and longevity of 'Lancashire Toryism' for the Conservative Party. This followed a number of years with the University of Cambridge, and later Warwick, and following my Undergraduate degree in History with Politics (with first class honours) with a thesis that focused on 'entryism' within the Labour Party as a political tactic. 

Before returning to academic work, I spent a number of years as a research contracts and funding specialist, and later as the University of Warwick's Executive Officer between 2016 - 2018 leading on the design and development of a number of institutional priorities and policies. 

Outside of university life, I am a Trustee for a charity called Fumble which advocates for improved sex, health, and relationships education for young people. I follow Manchester City Football Club; however, my Mastermind specialist subject would be typography.

I can be found on Twitter @adamwaddingham 

Prizes and awards

Teaching and Learning: 

Nominee, The University of Manchester Outstanding Teaching Award (2021) 


Royal Historical Society, Adam Matthew Digital Award (2020) 

Minerva Prize for Political Studies (2010) 

Roy Dottie Prize for Regional and Local Historical Studies (2010)  

Grants and funding: 

School of Arts, Languages, and Cultures Studentship (2019 - 2022) 


Research interests

Working thesis title:

Eurosceptic constitutionalism: an examination of the invention and development of British constitutional arguments opposed to European integration

Abstract: This thesis examines the invention and development of constitutional critiques of European integration within British political cultures. Building on an under-examined portfolio of source material, including personal memoirs and papers, oral testimonials, and grassroots publications, the thesis considers how constitutionalism was consumed and deployed by Eurosceptic actors. This thesis also offers a complement in the historical interrogation of Britain’s relationship with the continent in the late twentieth century through the conception of ‘Eurosceptic constitutionalism’. This term teases out the connections between national identity, reverence for the historic maintenance of the constitution, and opposition to a form of European polity. The thesis argues that, far from being one-dimensional arguments of European misfortune, Eurosceptics critically developed and deployed constitutionalism in a renewed understanding of British national identity. This story is explored through a series of chapters. Chapter One reflects on the historic role of the constitution within British political cultures. Considering a series of challenges, such as the Fourth Home Rule Bill and the development of new political parties, the chapter argues that the maintenance of the constitution was geared towards a UK-specific context which was presented as diametrically opposed to forms of European organisation. Chapter Two, in turn, closely examines the critical work of Enoch Powell in fostering a renewed focus on the role of the constitution within British politics. Crucially, Powell’s work presented a framework for future Eurosceptics, arguing that any form of European development would be a drain upon the British constitution and particularly national sovereignty. Chapter Three considers the role played by a series of groups, including the Anti-Federalist League and the Bruges Group. These groups provided a space, and resources, to Eurosceptics keen to furnish arguments with credibility and credence at a time when Europe was considered to largely be a ‘settled’ issue following the 1975 referendum. It argues that the texts and tactics of these groups proved essential in raising the profile of Eurosceptic constitutionalism across political discourses, audiences, and cultures. Chapter Four continues this analysis and considers how Eurosceptic constitutionalism became enmeshed within party politics. Reflecting a growing trend of opposition throughout the 1990s, it demonstrates the role played by established political parties in developing an electorally successful form of European scepticism. This body of thought ultimately presented radicalised depictions of how further integration with Europe would create a political crisis for the constitution and British identity. Taken together, this thesis makes a timely and significant contribution for historians of modern British political cultures, seeking to understand Britain’s relationship with Europe in the formative twentieth century. 

Keywords: Political history, Euroscepticism, political thought, political cultures, Modern British History, Europe, Constitutionalism, New Political History 

Methodological knowledge

Oral histories

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Co-convenor, Political Studies Association (Politics and History Sub-Group)

Co-covenor, Manchester Postgraduate History Network 

Early Career Researcher, Royal Historical Society


I teach across a broad range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules, covering British, European, and American History. I specialise in Modern British, Political, and Intellectual History topics and themes and inform my approach to teaching and learning through my research. 

Office hours

Semester One 

Wednesdays, 10-11am in Samual Alexander, S2.18 

Semester Two

Thursdays, 4-5pm in Ellen Wilkinson, CG.15

Other research

Selected papers delivered: 

  • 'Militant in Politics! A Study of the Militant Tendency and its relationship with Liverpool City Council c.1978-88', Manchester Postgraduate Research Network, 2019
  • 'Cradle of Conservatism: The Social History of Lancashire Tories', Social History Society, 2020 
  • 'The Red Wall's Blue Foundations: Lancashire Conservatism from Disraeli to Modern Day', Political Studies Association, 2020
  • 'Enoch Powell and the Development of Eurosceptic Constitutionalism', Institut fur Zeitgeschicte Munich, 2021 

Units taught


Level One (FHEQ Level 4) 

  • (HIST10191) Imperial Nation: The Making of Modern Britain 1783 - 1902
  • (AMER10211) American History to 1877 
  • (AMER1002) From Reconstruction to Reagan: American History 1877 - 2001

Level Two (FHEQ Level 5) 

  • (HIST20252) Winds of Change: Politics, Society, and Culture in Britain 1899 - 1990 
  • (HIST20181) The Making of the Modern Mind: European Intellectual History in a Global Context 
  • (HIST21212) A Transnational History of Europe in the Short Twentieth Century, c.1917 - 1991
  • (HSTM20181) From Cholerea to Covid-19: A Global History of Epidemics

Level Three and Masters (FHEQ Level 6 and 7)

  • (HSTM30832) Madness and Society in the Modern Age

Other teaching information

Widening Participation and Outreach: 

As well as undergraduate teaching, I am also a WP Fellow. As part of this, I have led two programmes: 

  • Gateways: providing group faciltation of specific themes in the Humanities, including Victorian Social Problems, as well as tailored programmes working with partner organisations and schools. 
  • Manchester Access Programme: providing online video tutorials and support to smaller group sessions and seminars.

Alongside my work at Manchester, I am also a PhD tutor for The Brilliant Club

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, (Distinction), 'Cradle of Conservatism: A Study of Lancashire Toryism'

Award Date: 12 Dec 2019

Bachelor of Arts, (First Class), 'Militant in Politics: A Study of the Militant Tendency, The Labour Party, and the Thatcher Government'

Award Date: 1 Jul 2010

Areas of expertise

  • D204 Modern History
  • Modern British HIstory
  • Political History
  • European Union
  • Intellectual History

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Policy@Manchester


  • Brexit
  • Euroscepticism
  • Conservatism
  • Political History
  • Modern British History


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