Glen O'Hara

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Glen O'Hara (born 1974) is an academic historian at Oxford Brookes University in the United Kingdom. He gained a Double First at Oxford University as an undergraduate between 1993 and 1996, and then a Distinction as an M.Sc. student in Economic and Social History in the 1996-97 academic year. While at Oxford, he won the Eubule Thelwall Prize for History and the Gladstone Prize for History and Politics. [1]

After a period as a schoolteacher, and as a journalist at The Independent, he moved back into academia at University College London. He took his PhD there in 2002 under the supervision of Professor Kathleen Burk, UCL's Professor of Modern History. In 2001 he was appointed Lecturer in Economic History at the University of Bristol, where he spent a year before moving to New College, Oxford, as Lecturer in Modern History. He took up his present post as a Lecturer at Oxford Brookes in January 2005 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in January 2006, before becoming Reader in the History of Public Policy during October 2010 and then Professor of Modern and Contemporary History in October 2013. During November 2006 he was a Visiting Fellow of the University of Oslo.

His work chiefly looks at British governments' decision-making and ideas in the twentieth century, drawing on insights from disciplines as far apart a geography, literary theory, telecommunications, politics, diplomatic history, management studies and economics. He has released a book about British economic and social planning in the 1960s; an edited collection about the Wilson governments of those years has been published by Routledge. Recently his work has begun to emphasise long-term elements in the making of British 'national identity', particularly the country's status as an island and oceanic nation as reflected in his 2010 book Britain and the Sea.

More recently, he argued—both in print and online—that the British Conservatives' electoral strength is weaker than is apparent, and that the 2010-2015 Coalition government's spending reductions were too rapid, unstable and economically unsound.[2]

At the same time, he also serves on the International Advisory Board of Reinvention: A Journal of Undergraduate Research, which aims to encourage students to pursue their own research interests by publishing articles based on original undergraduate work.[3]

Principal publications[edit]


Academic articles[edit]

  • 'Time, Exhortation and Planning in British Government, c.1959-c.1979', Journal of Modern European History (forthcoming, 2015).
  • 'Professor Kathleen Burk and the History of Diplomacy', Diplomacy and Statecraft 24, 1 (2013), pp. 1–20.
  • 'Parties, People and Parliament: Britain's "Ombudsman" and the Politics of the 1960s', Journal of British Studies 50, 3 (2011), pp. 690–714.
  • 'New Histories of British Imperial Communications and the "Networked World" of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries', History Compass 8, 7 (2010), pp. 609–25.
  • 'The Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration, the Foreign Office and the Sachsenhausen Case', Historical Journal 53, 3 (2010), pp. 771–81.
  • '"This is What Growth Does": British Views of the European Economies in the Prosperous "Golden Age" of 1951-1973', Journal of Contemporary History 44, 4 (2009), pp. 697–717.
  • '"The Sea is Swinging into View": Modern British Maritime History in a Globalised World', English Historical Review CXXIV, 510 (2009), pp. 1109–34.
  • '"What the Electorate Can Be Expected to Swallow": Nationalisation, Transnationalism and the Shifting Boundaries of the State in Post-War Britain', Business History 51, 4 (2009), pp. 1–28.
  • ‘Towards a New Bradshaw: Economic Statistics and the British State in the 1950s and 1960s’, Economic History Review 60, 1 (2007), pp. 1–34.
  • ‘“Dynamic, Exciting, Thrilling Change”: The Wilson Government’s Economic Policy 1964-1970’, Contemporary British History 20, 3 (2006), pp. 383–402.
  • ‘“We Are Faced Everywhere With a Growing Population”: Demographic Change and the British State, 1955-64’, Twentieth Century British History 15, 3 (2004), pp. 243–66.
  • ‘“Intractable, Obscure and Baffling”: The Incomes Policy of the Conservative Government, 1957-64’, Contemporary British History 18, 1 (2004), pp. 25–53.


  1. ^ "Oxford Brookes University: Glen O'Hara". Retrieved 8 March 2010. 
  2. ^ 'How (Not) to Cut Government Spending and Reduce Public Sector Debt', History and Policy (December 2009).
  3. ^ O'Hara, Glen. "Reinvention: A Journal of Undergraduate Research". Warwick University. University of Warwick. Retrieved 2015-09-14.