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Dr Mark Garnett

Senior Lecturer

Mark Garnett

Lancaster University

County South



Tel: +44 1524 594299

Office Hours:

My office hours are Monday 10 -11 & Tuesday 11-12.

Research overview

My research is chiefly concerned with UK Politics, with particular reference to the relationship between ideas and practice; the Conservative Party; and think tanks. I am currently working on books concerning British Foreign Policy (with Simon Mabon and Robert Smith), and the coalition government (with Pete Dorey).

PhD supervision

UK Politics, in the following categories:

Political parties

Political ideology, particularly conservatism

Political culture

Current Teaching

Research Interests

Mark Garnett arrived at Lancaster in September 2006, having previously taught Politics at several other universities including Leicester, Bristol and Exeter. His main research interests are:

  • The interplay between political ideas, personalities, institutions and 'events';
  • Political ideologies (particularly conservatism);
  • British think-tanks;
  • Political culture in Britain since 1970.

Among a series of deviations from academic life, in 1997-8 he worked as a political researcher to the late Sir Edward Heath, and helped to prepare his memoirs. He is a frequent contributor to the electronic media, including Newsnight and a host of Radio 5 programmes. He has also contributed to many respected newspapers and journals, including the Guardian, Politics Review, Times Literary Supplement, the New Statesman and Viz comic.

His major study of contemporary British political culture, From Anger to Apathy: The British Experience, 1975-2005,was published by Jonathan Cape in 2007. Another book, Conservative Thinkers (co-written with Kevin Hickson)was published by Manchester University Press in 2009.

Additional Information


Principles and Politics in Contemporary Britain (Second edition, Imprint Academic, 2006), 299pp, ISBN 1 84540 026 7.

Exploring British Politics (Pearson Longman, 2006), 499pp, ISBN 0 582 89431 X (with Philip Lynch).

UK Government & Politics (Second edition, Philip Allan, 2005), 397pp, ISBN 1 84489 416 9. (with Philip Lynch)

From Anger to Apathy: The British Experience since 1975 (Random House, 2007), 420pp, ISBN 9780224073066.

('...provocative to the point of perversity', Boyd Tonkin, Independent.)

A selection of earlier publications

Keith Joseph: A Life (Acumen Press, 2001), 488pp, ISBN 1 902683 03 x. (with Andrew Denham)

' ....sets a new standard for political biography' - John Gray, New Statesman, 23 April 2001.

'...this scholarly and percipient biography by two young and very able historians - essential reading for all students of recent Conservative history' - Lord Blake, Times Literary Supplement, 22 June 2001.

' ....a thought-provoking and distinguished book' - Ben Pimlott

Splendid! Splendid! The Authorised Biography of Willie Whitelaw, (Jonathan Cape, 2002), 386pp, ISBN 0 224 06311 1

' .... a model political biography. The accounts of his career and his character are alike totally convincing, and so is their assessment of British Conservative Party history' - James Downey, Irish Independent.

'A vivid and sympathetic portrait... Willie's shrewdness is reflected in his choice of biographers... They write admirably, using full English sentences, and don't hesitate to pause and tease out an argument when it seems worthwhile' - Douglas Hurd, Daily Telegraph.

Whatever Happened to the Tories? (with Ian Gilmour), Fourth Estate, 1997, 440pp, ISBN 1 85702 4753

' ...such verve and cogency in this magnificently provocative book.. This is a serious, thoughtful, intelligent and convincing account of the decline and fall of a once-great party... It is as well argued as it is well written'- - David Cannadine, Independent on Sunday, 19 October 1997.

'... an excellent postwar history of the Conservative Party' - Patrick Seyd, Political Quarterly, 1998.

Articles in journals

'The Free Economy and the Schizophrenic State: Ideology and the Conservatives', in Political Quarterly, Volume 75, No. 4, October-December 2004, 367-72.

(with Andrew Denham), 'Sir Keith Joseph and the undoing of British conservatism', Journal of Political Ideologies, 2002, 7 (1), 57-75.

(with Philip Lynch), 'Bandwagon Blues: The Tory Fightback Fails', Political Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1, January-March 2002, 29-37.

(with Andrew Denham),''From "Guru" to "Godfather": Keith Joseph, "New" Labour and the British Conservative Tradition'', in Political Quarterly, Vol.72, No.1, January-March 2001, pp.97-106.

Chapters in edited books

'Planning for Power: 1964-70' in Anthony Seldon and Stuart Ball (eds), Recovering Power: The Conservatives in Opposition since 1867, Palgrave, 2005, pp. 192-218.

'The Conservative Centre' in Kevin Hickson (eds), The Political Thought of the Conservative Party since 1945, Palgrave, 2005, pp.51-68.

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