Staff Profile of Professor Andrew Edwards

Image of Andrew Edwards
Andrew Edwards
Dean of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Modern History
01248 382537 (Dean’s Room), 07789692451 (mobile). Nicola Williams (PA) 01248 382287
Room 224, College of Arts and Humanities, New Arts Building (Dean’s Room)


Professor Andrew Edwards is Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Professor Edwards came to Bangor University in 1994 as a ‘mature’ student. He graduated with first class honours in History in 1997 before embarking on an MA in Labour History which he completed with distinction in 1998. Between 1998 and 2002 he was a PhD student at Bangor under the supervision of the late Professor Duncan Tanner, conducting research into the decline of the Labour party and the rise of Plaid Cymru in north-west Wales in the 1960s and 1970s. In 2002 he was appointed research officer on an ESRC funded project on the history of Welsh devolution and in 2004 was appointed as Lecturer in modern British and Welsh History. He was co-director of the Welsh Institute for Social and Cultural Affairs (WISCA) at Bangor from 2006 to 2010 and was Director of Teaching and Learning for the College of Arts and Humanities from 2011 to 2012. He was appointed Dean of Arts and Humanities in August 2012 and was awarded a Chair in 2015. He is author of Labour’s Crisis: Plaid Cymru, the Conservatives and the decline of the Labour party in north-west Wales, 1960-74 (University of Wales Press, 2011) and writes on aspects of political change in Wales after 1945, the history of the Labour party, the history of Welsh devolution and the Conservative party under Margaret Thatcher.


Teaching and Supervision

Professor Edwards is Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was awarded a Bangor University Teaching Fellowship for excellence in teaching and learning in 2009. He teaches in the following areas:

Britain in the Sixties [40 credit third year Special Subject]
Doing Oral History [20 credit second/third year ‘topic’ module]
Thatcher’s Britain: Politics, Society and Culture in the 1980s [20 credit second/third year ‘topic’ module
USA 1945-9/11 [20 credit second/third year ‘general’ module]

The Politics of the Labour Party, 1918-83

Current PhD students
Anna Olsson-Rost, ‘The Politics of Education. Reform and response: Impact and outcomes in secondary schools in Anglesey circa 1944-1979’, AHRC funded.
Martin Hanks, ‘Temporary Migration to Wales during the Second World War’, Bangor 125th Anniversary bursary.

Completed PhDs
Dinah Evans, project on the reconstruction of Swansea after WWII (2008)
Michelle Walker, AHRC funded project on in-migrants in north Wales, 1970-2010 (2011)
Marco Giudici, Bangor 125th Anniversary funded project on Italians in Wales after 1945 (2012)
Cai Parry Jones, AHRC funded project on ‘The history of the Jewish diaspora in Wales’, (with Dr Nathan Abrams, School of Creative Studies and Media) (2014)

Please contact Professor Edwards if you require any further information on the above projects or if you are interested in conducting research in any of the following areas:

  • Devolution and constitutional change;
  • Political change in the twentieth century; Welsh Conservatism;
  • Plaid Cymru and nationalist politics in Wales;
  • Labour party history
  • Oral history.


Research interests

Professor Edwards works on various aspects of twentieth century Welsh and British social and political history. His research interests include: Labour Party history; devolution and constitutional change; political change; the Conservative Party; Thatcher and Thatcherism; Plaid Cymru and nationalist politics in Wales; Oral history.

Ongoing research projects

ESRC funded Devolution and Constitutional Change project on ‘Devolution, National Identity and Institutional Politics: Welsh Devolution 1885-2001’: Professor Edwards was a researcher on this project from October 2002 to October 2004 and has remained a member of the project team since 2004. He contributed to and co-edited the first volume from the project Debating Nationhood and Governance, 1885-1939: Perspectives from the Four Nations (Manchester University Press, 2006) and also co-edited and contributed to a festschrift ‘The art of the possible: Politics and governance in modern British history 1885-1997: essays in memory of Duncan Tanner’ (Manchester University Press, 2015) in memory of the late Professor Duncan Tanner, who directed the project until his death in 2010. Further details of the book can be found here:

He is currently working on a monograph, ‘Labour, nationalism and the politics of devolution, 1959-97’, based on the second phase of research for the project.

Thatcher, Thatcherism and the Conservative Party in Wales: Professor Edwards is currently undertaking research on the impact of Thatcher, Thatcherism and the policies of the Conservative government on Wales in the 1980s. He is also working with colleagues from the Bangor Business School on research projects that explores the impact of Thatcherism on managerialism, entrepreneurialism and management education in the 1980s and beyond.

Other research related activities: Professor Edwards is a regional networker [Wales] for the Oral History Society and provides help, advice and practical training in oral history to individuals and community groups. For more on the Oral History Society go to For advice relating to local/national oral history projects, please contact Professor Edwards by phone or e-mail.




Articles and chapters in edited volumes

  • 2015 (with Bernardo Batiz-Lazo), ‘Was Thatcherism another case of British exceptionalism? A provocation’, Bangor Business School Working Paper BBSWP/15/08 (paper at development stage)
  • 2015 'Labour, nationalism and the problem of Welsh devolution, c.1939-64' in A. Edwards and C. Williams (eds.), The art of the possible: Politics and governance in modern British history 1885-1997: essays in memory of Duncan Tanner(Manchester University Press).
  • 2013 ‘The Welsh Assembly building, Cardiff Bay’, in H. V. Bowen (ed.), Buildings and Places in Welsh History: A New History of Wales (Gomer, 2013), pp. 195-203.
  • 2012 (with M. Wiliam), ‘'The 'Red Dragon/Red Flag' Debate Revisited: The Labour Party, Culture and Language in Wales, 1945-c. 1970', Welsh History Review, 26.1 (June, 2012), pp. 105-127.
  • 2011 (with D. Tanner and P.Carlin), ‘The Conservative government’s Welsh language policies in the 1980s and 1990s’, The Historical Journal, Volume 54, Issue 02, pp. 529-551. Available online.
  • 2010   A. Edwards, ‘The Labour tradition’ in R. McKay (ed.), Understanding Contemporary Wales (OUP, 2010), pp. 197-230.
  • 2009 ‘Te parti mwncïod? Rhwyg, anghytgord a datblygiad polisi Llafur ar Ddatganoli, 1966-1979’, Cof Cenedl XXIV,pp. 162-89.
  • 2006  [with W. P. Griffith] ‘Some conceptions of Welsh identity and governance, 1918-39’, in D. Tanner, C. Williams, W. P. Griffith & A. Edwards (eds.), Debating Nationhood and Governance, 1885-1939: Perspectives from the Four Nations (Manchester University Press, 2006), pp. 118-46.
  • 2006 [with D.Tanner] ‘Defining or dividing the nation? Opinion polls, Welsh identity and devolution, 1966-1979’, Contemporary Wales, Volume 18, pp. 54-72.
  • 2004 ‘Answering the challenge of nationalism: Goronwy Roberts and the appeal of the Labour party in North-West Wales during the 1950s’, Welsh History Review, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 54-72.
  • 2004 ‘1979 Revisited: The anti-devolutionary case in historical perspective’, Agenda, Summer 2004, pp. 62-66.
  • 2004 ‘Aneurin: Re-inventing Labour: the voices of a new generation’, Llafur, Vol. 9, No. 1 (2004), pp. 71-85.

Recent and future conference papers [post 2005]

  • 2016 Paper, ‘The National Gallery, Wales and War: the letters of Martin Davies, 1939-41’, NAASWCH conference, Harvard University, July 2016.
  • 2015 Paper, ‘Fanning the flames of a moribund nationalism? Re-evaluating the impact of the Welsh Republican Movement, c,1949-59’, 35th Annual Harvard Celtic Colloquium, Harvard University, Cambridge, USA, October 2015.
  • 2015 ‘An audience with Rt. Hon. Ron Davies, former Secretary of State for Wales’, Shaping the Labour Party Conference, Bangor University, March 2015.
  • 2014 Paper, ‘(Re) evaluating Thatcher’s Wales’, Celtic Puzzles Conference, Szczecin University, Poland, November 2014.
  • 2014 Paper, 'Margaret Thatcher as Welsh History: defining the parameters of 'Thatcher's Wales', paper being presented to the North American Association for the Study of Welsh Culture and History (NAASWCH) bi-annual conference, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, July 2014.
  • 2014 Paper, 'Contemplating the modern Welsh political landscape', paper being presented to a conference on Welsh and British identities at the Basque Parliament, Vitoria, Basque Country, January 2014.
  • 2012 Paper, ‘“Disenchanted Celts”, “Fanatics”, ‘Extremists”: Images of “the Welsh” during the “nationalist” 1950s and 1960s’, Harvard University Celtic Colloquium, Harvard, Cambridge, USA, October 2012.
  • 2012 Paper (invited): ‘Mourning the death of a nation: The impact of 1979 on Welsh Politics’. WISERD annual conference, Bangor University, March 2012.
  • 2012 Organised conference (see above) and presented a paper ‘Mourning the death of a nation: The impact of 1979 on Welsh Politics’, Duncan Tanner memorial conference, February 2012.
  • 2011   Organising a panel on ‘Politics and identity in modern Wales’ and delivering a paper, ‘The lady was for turning: The Thatcher government’s u-turn(s) over Welsh language television, c.1979-84’. International Conference of Celtic Studies, Maynooth, Ireland, August 2011.
  • 2011  ‘The Liberal party, 1900-1924: The Welsh dimension’. Années de gloire – années de déclin: Le parti Liberal Britannique, 1906-1924, Université de Rouen, France, January 2011 (invited paper).
  • 2010   ‘The meaning and manipulation of public opinion in Wales in the 1980s: A case study of the Welsh language’. Harvard University Celtic Colloquium, Harvard, Cambridge, USA, October 2010.
  • 2010   ‘Division, discord and the development of Labour’s policy on devolution in the 1970s’. Centre for contemporary British History, University of London, Reassessing the Seventies conference, July 2010.
  • 2010   ‘“In a very real sense a war casualty”: The (failed) attempt to save the Welsh slate industry, c.1945-c.1970’. NAASWCH International conference on Welsh Studies, Washington, USA, July 2010.
  • 2009   ‘Gwynedd Yesterday: An Historical Analysis of Economic Regeneration Policies’. Gwynedd County Council members seminar, Caernarfon, October 2009 (with Duncan Tanner).
  • 2009   ‘Local history of national history? The historiography of modern Wales’. Victoria County History symposium, Institute for Historical Research, London, June 2009.
  • 2008.  'Plaid Cymru and the devolution dilemma, 1945-68', paper presented to the NAASWCH Conference, Toronto, July 2008.
  • 2007. ‘‘Death of a Nation’? Examining the impact of 1979 on Welsh society, paper presented to the 27th annual Harvard University Celtic Colloquium, Harvard University, Cambridge USA, October 2007.
  • 2007. ‘“A monkey’s tea party”? Change, conflict and the development of Labour’s devolution policy in the 1960s and 70s’, paper presented to the Colloque Franco-britannique ‘Le décentralisation en question: Ecosse, Pays de Galles, Catalogne’, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Lyon, France, March 2007.
  • 2006. ‘Welsh Nationalists, identity and governance’, paper presented to the 26th annual Harvard University Celtic Colloquium, Harvard University, Cambridge USA, October 2006.