Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Dr Richard Carr

Associate Professor
Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Humanities and Social Sciences
Areas of Expertise:
History , Politics and international relations
Research Supervision:

Richard Carr is a scholar of modern British politics – taking in the UK’s relationship with Ireland and the United States in particular. He previously worked in the think tank and public policy sphere. He is Course Leader for ARU's BA (Hons) Politics and International Relations.

[email protected]


Richard Carr has published widely on twentieth century British politics. With his first books on the British Conservative Party, he has most recently authored an acclaimed political biography of the filmmaker Charlie Chaplin, and an account of the relationship between Tony Blair and Bill Clinton. He is currently working on a book exploring British-Irish relations from the 1920s to the 1960s.

His academic articles have covered topics as diverse as the appeal of the soap opera Neighbours, the relationship between the British Labour and America Democratic parties, and the interwar eugenics movement.

Away from academia, he engages with public policy in several ways. In 2012 he published the report Credit Where Credit's Due for the think tank Localis, which looked at infrastructure finance and received praise from across the political spectrum.

This was followed in 2015 by two reports – The Next LEPs and Commercial Councils – which looked at various future facing aspects of local economic growth. He also co-authored the Labour frontbencher Rachel Reeves’ biography of Alice Bacon.

Elsewhere, in 2010 Richard was a By-Fellow at the Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge, where he was awarded the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Grant. He has previously served as a contributing editor to the blog Left Foot Forward.

In 2017 he took part in the Political Economy Workshop at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and in 2019 he was a Theodore C. Sorensen Fellow at the JFK Library, Boston.

Research interests
  • British politics, elections and parliamentary procedure in the 20th century
  • British-Irish relations
  • British Conservatism, Socialism, and Fascism
  • American politics
  • The life and times of Charlie Chaplin
  • Contemporary local government and economic growth
  • Interwar politics, and appeasement
Areas of research supervision

Richard is available to supervise any of the above areas of research interest (and more).


Richard teaches modules including Welfare State to European State?, The era of Thatcher and Blair, and The Research Toolkit.

  • PhD History, University of East Anglia
  • MPhil Modern European History, Churchill College, University of Cambridge
  • BA Modern History, University of East Anglia
Memberships, editorial boards
  • Royal Historical Society
  • Political Studies Association Conservative Group
Selected recent publications

Carr, R., 2022, Labour’s Neighbours: reconceptualising the Ramsay Street boom and British politics from Thatcher to Blair. Contemporary British History.

Carr, R., 2019, March of the Moderates: Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and the Rebirth of Progressive Politics (London: IB Tauris).

Carr, R., 2017, Charlie Chaplin: A Political Biography from Victorian Britain to Modern America (London: Routledge).

Hart, B. W., Carr, R., 2015. Sterilization and the British Conservative Party: Rethinking the failure of the Eugenic Society’s Political Strategy in the 1930s. Historical Research.

Carr, R., 2014. One Nation Britain: History, the Progressive Tradition, and Practical Ideas for Today’s Politicians (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing).

Carr, R., 2014. Huxley’s Changing Homeland: Politics and the Planned Society in Britain. In: Booker, M. K. (Ed.), 2014. Critical Insights: Brave New World (New York: Grey House).

Carr, R., 2013. Conservative Veteran MPs and the ‘Lost Generation’ Narrative after the First World War. Historical Research, 85(2), pp. 284-305.

Carr, R., Hart, B. W., 2013. Old Etonians, Great War Demographics, and the Interpretations of Interwar British Eugenics, c. 1914-1939. Journal of First World War Studies, pp. 214-239.

Carr, R., Hart, B. W., 2013. Machinations of the Centre-Right and British Engagement with the Pan-European Ideal. In: Hart, B. W., Carr, R. (Eds.,), 2013. The Foundations of the British Conservative Party: Essays on Conservatism from Lord Salisbury to David Cameron (London: Bloomsbury), pp. 107-132.

Carr, R., 2013. How to Put the People First: Conservative Conceptions of Reform Before and After the Second World War. In: Hart, B.W. and Carr, R. (Eds.), 2013. The Foundations of the British Conservative Party: Essays on Conservatism from Lord Salisbury to David Cameron (London: Bloomsbury), pp. 175-196.

Carr, R., 2013. Veteran MPs and Conservative politics in the aftermath of the Great War: The Memory of All That (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing).

Carr, R., Hart, B. W. (Eds.), 2013. The Foundations of the British Conservative Party: Essays on Conservatism from Lord Salisbury to David Cameron (London: Bloomsbury).

Carr, R., 2012. The Right Looks Left? The Young Tory Response to Macdonald’s Second Labour Government. In: Davis, J., Shepherd, J. and Wrigley, C. (Eds.), 2012. The Second Labour Government: A Reappraisal (Manchester: Manchester University Press), pp. 185-202.

Carr, R., 2011. Veterans of the First World War and Conservative Anti-Appeasement. Twentieth Century British History, 22(1), pp. 28-51.