My PhD concerns the political thought of the German historian Friedrich Meinecke (1862-1954). I hope to explore in particular his writings, speeches, and political activity during the First World War; and to continue the story across the 1918 divide in looking at how and why Meinecke came to soberly understand the nature of the modern state to have fundamentally changed after 1918.
I hope to argue that industrialisation, militarism, mass politics, and the other major historical forces of the nineteenth century, which attained their purest and most powerful forms during the war, ultimately led Meinecke to question the practical use earlier ideas in the history of political thought had for the European statesmen of the 1920s onwards. This helps us to further understand his peculiar support for the Weimar Republic and, to some degree, his half-hearted opposition to Nazism.
Before beginning the PhD I completed the MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History at the University of Cambridge. For my undergraduate degree I studied History and Politics at Brunel University London. My research is co-funded by the AHRC and Clare College, Cambridge.