The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Student Profiles

Tristan Martin

Project title: The British Conservative Party and European Policy since 1997: A Historical Institutionalist Analysis

Supervisors: Dr Ian O'Flynn and Dr Alistair Clark

On his election as leader of the Conservative Party in December 2005, David Cameron argued that his party had focused too much of its time in opposition since 1997 ‘banging on about Europe’. While initially successful at focusing on non-European issues in opposition, since returning to government in 2010 the Conservative Party has once again found Europe a contentious policy area, culminating in two major speeches in January 2013 (committing a future Conservative government to hold an In/Out referendum on EU membership – a policy Cameron rejected had previously rejected) and November 2014 (a policy commitment to reduce EU immigration). This period highlights the continued and unresolved tension at the heart of the Conservatives relationship with European integration, one that has haunted the party since the downfall of Margaret Thatcher.

This research will analyse the post-1997 development of European policy within the Conservative Party, utilising a historical institutionalist approach to provide an explanation of how and why European policy has changed during this period. It aims to provide an original contribution to not only the literature on the Conservative Party and European integration, in addition to the wider literature on British party politics and Europe, but also to the literature on policy change in political parties more generally.

Teaching

POL1017 : Governing Under Pressure: The Politics of the UK & EU, 2015-16

Qualifications and achievements

  • BA (Hons) History, University of Sussex 2006-09
  • MA Politics, University of Leeds 2012-13
  • MA Politics Research (Distinction), Newcastle University 2013-14
  • Hugh Berrington Research Scholarship in Politics, 2013-17
  • PGT School Rep for Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University 2013-14
  • PGR School Rep for Geography, Politics and Sociology, Newcastle University 2014-Present

Web profiles

Publications

Clark A, Martin T. 'An Audit of Transferable Skills Teaching in UK Politics Departments'. European Political Science 2015. In Press.

The Europe Dilemma: Britain and the Drama of EU Integration by Roger Liddle (Book Review).

The Foundations of the British Conservative Party: Essays on Conservatism from Lord Salisbury to David Cameron by Richard Carr and Bradley W. Hart (eds) (Book Review).

Presentations

'The British Conservative Party and European Policy since 1997: A Historical Institutionalist Analysis'. Presented at the Politics PGR Conference 2015, Newcastle University, UK.

Organiser, Politics PGR Conference 2015, Newcastle University, UK

'An Audit of Transferable Skills in UK Politics Departments'. Presented at the Political Studies Association 2015 Conference, Sheffield, UK. March 30th-April 1st

Organiser, Politics PGR Conference 2015, Newcastle University, UK