Stuart Jones


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Personal profile


I'm an historian specializing in the history of political thought, the history of universities, and the history of the humanities and social sciences. I was educated at St Catherine's College, Oxford and at Nuffield College, Oxford (D.Phil 1988). I was a Research Fellow of Nuffield College (1986-88) and Lecturer at New College, Oxford (1988-90), before appointment at Manchester in 1990. I served as Head of History from 2000 to 2003. I have been Professor of Intellectual History since 2008.

I hold a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for the period 2020-23, and was Christensen Fellow at St Catherine's College, Oxford from April to June 2021.

I have a particular interest in PhD supervision and training, and served as Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research in the Faculty of Humanities from 2017 to 2020, overseeing programmes with around a thousand research students. From 2014-17 I was Director of the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership, which in 2013 was awarded around £14 million by the AHRC to provide doctoral training across seven universities and HEIs in the region. I led the DTP's successful reapplication to AHRC, which is supporting five further cohorts of doctoral students starting in 2019.

I am the author or editor of five books, including two monographs with Cambridge University Press, and my papers have appeared in the Historical Journal, the Journal of the History of Ideas, Modern Intellectual History, the European Journal of Political Theory, History of European Ideas, etc. I have held a number of research grants (AHRC, British Academy, Leverhulme) and visiting appointments, including a Visiting Fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, where I studied the vices of endowed foundations (based on archival research, not anthropological fieldwork). I have held external examiner appointments at Oxford, Cambridge, Queen Mary University of London, Huddersfield and Cardiff.

Research interests

Main research interests:

  • modern intellectual history (19th century, France and Britain);
  • modern political thought (liberalism; civil society and the state; nationalism);
  • history of universities; history of the humanities and social sciences
  • French political culture since 1789

I am currently working on three projects:

  • My current focus is an intellectual biography of James Bryce, 1838-1922, historian, jurist, Liberal cabinet minister,Ambassador to Washington, humanitarian campaigner. This is supported by a Major Research Fellowship awarded by the Leverhulme Trust, 2020-23. Since Bryce was a quintessential polymath, this project engages with a wide range of themes including constitutional theory and comparative politics, public history and the organization of knowledge, and  cultural diplomacy and the birth of the discipline of IR.
  • a series of articles on the practices and institutions of humanities scholarship in Britain and beyond, broadly in the period 1870-1930 - see here for more detail
  • two related collaborative projects to mark the University's bicentenary in 2024 (1824 being the foundation date of the Manchester Mechanics' Institution, the earliest of our antecedent institutions)

I belong to our research group on Political Cultures, which aims to develop innovative approaches to the history of politics, the state, and public policy. I also chair the University's Research Group on University History, which promotes research in the history of universities. We host a blog on university histories: this is currently offline but will be returning shortly. 

My group

Research supervision

I am an experienced research supervisor and have supervised eighteen PhDs to completion. Six of these have led to monographs with major academic publishers. I am keen to supervise research in modern political thought and intellectual history (British and continental European) and the history of universities and the history of the humanities and social sciences. Please contact me to discuss your research ideas and funding possibilities.  

Current PhD students:

  • Juliano Fiori, 'In the Name of Humanity: A History of the Humanitarian Present', School of Arts, Languages and Cultures PhD Studentship. With Prof Bertrand Taithe.
  • Adam Waddingham, 'The Development of Euro-Scepticism within Conservative Political Thought, c. 1945-2016'. School of Arts, Languages and Cultures Studentship. With Dr Emily Jones
  • John Ayshford, 'On Liberty and Virtue: Unearthing John Stuart Mill's Republicanism'. History Departmental Studentship. With Dr Christian Schemmel and Dr Emily Jones

Supervision information

PhDs supervised to completion 

* = funded by AHRC or its precursors

David Worsley: 'Sir John Robert Seeley and his Intellectual Legacy: Religion, Imperialism and Nationalism in Victorian and Post-Victorian Britain'. 2001. Now working in transport strategy as Associate Director at WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff Engineering Services, and a Visiting Lecturer in the School of Mechanical and Systems Engineering at Newcastle University.

Leif Jerram: 'Building, Spaces, Politics: Munich City Council and the Management of Modernity, 1900-1930'. 2001. Published by Manchester University Press as Germany's Other Modernity. Subsequently Senior Lecturer in History, University of Manchester

* Richard Wright: 'Italian Fascism and the British-Italian community 1928-43: experience and memory'. 2005.

Katherine Davies: 'Three voices of the interwar French Catholic revival: Jacques Maritain, Charles du Bos and Gabriel Marcel and the tensions of reconciliation with the world'. 2008. Publications include article in Journal of the History of Ideas.

George Haralambakis: 'The Action Française: Ideology and Political Identity' 2009

Vicky Morrisroe: '"The Sword of the Lord": West vs. East in the Historical Works of E.A. Freeman'. 2010. Publications include articles in the Journal of Victorian Culture and Modern Intellectual History, and a 2020 monograph with Manchester University Press. Vicky is now Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Gloucestershire

Gareth Davies: 'From André Tardieu to Valéry Giscard d'Estaing: The Evolution of the Modéré Tradition in France from 1929 to 1981'. 2010. Download. Publications include  DOI: 10.3917/hp.016.0094

Matthew Adams: '"The Truth of a Few Simple Ideas": Peter Kropotkin, Herbert Read and the Tradition of Anarchist Communism in Britain, 1886-1968'. 2011. Now published by Palgrave DOI: 10.1057/9781137392626. Senior Lecturer in History, Loughborough University. 

* Iain Stewart'Raymond Aron and the Roots of the French Liberal Renaissance' 2011. Iain is now Lecturer in History, UCL. Publications include a 2019 monograph in C.U.P.'s premier series, Ideas in Context, and articles in European Review of History and Sartre Studies International.

Michael Perduniak: 'Pamphlets and Politics: The British Liberal Party and the "Working Man", c. 1867-c. 1925'. 2013.

Victoria Glass'British Intellectuals in the Age of Total and Nuclear Warfare'. 2014. Victoria is now a management consultant at PwC.

James Shaw, 'The Great Desideratum in Government: James Madison, Benjamin Constant, and the Liberal-Republican Framework for Political Neutrality’. 2016. Funded by the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. James now works in content marketing.

* Sean Irving, 'Friedrich Hayek: An Unrepentant Old Whig', 2016. Now Senior Research Officer at Essex University. Sean's publications from his PhD include articles in the European Journal of Political Theory and in History of European Ideas, and monograph with Routledge.

Luke Heselwood, 'British Liberals and China in the Era of the Second Opium War' (co-supervisor). 2016. Luke is now Research Assistant at Reform Research Trust.

*Jessica Patterson, ‘Enlightenment, Empire and Deism: Interpretations of Hinduism in the Work of East India “Company Men”, 1760-1790’. 2017. Jessica is Lecturer in the History of Political Thought at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Magdalene College.  Her first monograph appeared with the C.U.P. Ideas in Context series in 2021.

*Daniel Edmonds, 'Unpacking "Chauvinism": The Interrelationship of Race, Internationalism, and Anti-Imperialism amongst Marxists in Britain, 1899-1933'. 2017.

Nicholas Loizou, 'Before New Liberalism: The Continuity of Radical Dissent, 1867-1914', 2019.

Liam Stowell, 'The Athens of Example: The Classical World in British International Thought, 1900-1939', 2020. Liam was Lecturer in Modern European History, University of Manchester, 2021-2.

Anna Lanfranchi, 'Negotiating Italian Translation Rights across Anglo-American and Italian Publishing (1900-1947)', 2020 (co-supervisor). Anna is currently Lecturer in Modern European History, University of Manchester.



Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Oxford University


Award Date: 31 May 1988

External positions

Christensen Fellow, St Catherine's College

Apr 2021Jun 2021

Visiting Fellow (postponed due to Covid-19), Australian National University

Oct 2020Dec 2020

Visiting Fellow, All Souls College

Sep 2008Mar 2009

Fellow, Royal Historical Society

1995 → …

Areas of expertise

  • DC France
  • intellectual history
  • JC Political theory
  • history of political thought
  • LA History of education
  • universities
  • knowledge institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Policy@Manchester
  • Creative Manchester


  • political thought
  • intellectual history
  • universities
  • humanities
  • liberalism
  • Citizenship
  • pluralism


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