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Dr Nicholas Owen

Fellow in Politics

Senior Tutor


I read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Christ Church, Oxford, and then studied for a doctorate at Nuffield College, Oxford. I have been the Fellow in Politics at Queen’s since 1995, as well as University Lecturer and Associate Professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations.


I teach the ‘Introduction to Politics’ first year paper, the core political history paper ‘British Politics and Government since 1900’, and the option paper ‘Modern British Government and Politics. I also supervise undergraduate theses, mostly in political history, MPhil theses and doctoral theses in the Department of Politics and International Relations and the History Faculty.


I work on British political history since 1900, especially the politics of governments and parties of the left; 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; colonial violence, and how it was made tolerable to metropolitan audiences in liberal empires; and problems of participation in social movements.


The British Left and India: Metropolitan Anti-Imperialism, 1885-1947 (Oxford University Press, 2007).

The Soft Heart of the British Empire: Indian Radicals in Edwardian London, Past & Present, 220 (2013), 143-184.

Men and the 1970s British Women’s Liberation Movement, The Historical Journal, 56 (2013), 801-26.

Facts are Sacred:The Manchester Guardian and Colonial Violence, 1930-32, Journal of Modern History, 84 (2012), 643-78.

‘Four straws in the wind’: Metropolitan Anti-Imperialism, January-February 1960, in Sarah Stockwell and Larry Butler (eds.),The Wind of Change: Harold Macmillan and British Decolonization (2013).