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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr. Christopher Massey researches in modern British history and politics and has worked at Teesside University since 2015.

His recent publications include the official biography of Lord Tom Sawyer, and a forthcoming monograph published Manchester University Press entitled The Modernisation of the Labour Party, 1979-97.

Christopher's doctoral thesis explored the 1945-51 Labour Governments’ attitude to steel nationalisation, whilst other research outputs have included articles on the Militant Tendency, Labour Party Conference, and nationalisation, alongside the curation of an exhibition in 2017 at the Middlesbrough Institute for Modern Art on the Life of Lord Tom Sawyer. 

Dr. Massey has undertaken a wide variety of media engagements including expert comment for the BBC and Al Jazeera, party political content for ITV news and the Evening Gazette, and written content for the Conversation, LSE, and Northern Echo. 

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

As a Lecturer in Politics and History, Christopher teaches across the BA History and BA Politics degrees. His teaching interests include modern British, American and European history and politics.

He is the Module Leader for ‘Introduction to Politics’, ‘Introduction to International Relations’ and ‘American Politics since 1974’, 'Contemporary Political Issues', 'Propaganda and Political Communications' and 'Dissertation' on the BA Politics degree; ‘European History 1850-1918’, 'European History 1917-1991', ‘Victorian Britain’, and ‘Labour Pains: The Labour Party: 1945-2017’ on the BA History course, and ‘Teesside: History, Literature, Culture and Society’ at Foundation level.

Research Projects & External Funding

Christopher works as a co-investigator on the ERASMUS+ funded project 'Generation Brexit', alongside Sean Murphy. Across two years 2020-22, this project investigates the impact of Brexit on young people between the ages of 14 and 26 in the Tees Valley.

PhD and Research Opportunities

Dr. Massey would happily receive enquiries for doctoral study on the area of modern British politics, particularly the history of the Labour Party and trade unions. 

He serves as the planned director of studies for a forthcoming project on Labour in opposition 1951-64, and as the second supervisor for a doctorate on the development and decline of UKIP.

External Roles and Professional Activities

Outside of academia Christopher has extensive experience in local government. He has been an elected councillor since 2011 and was elected as the Deputy Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council between 2017 and 2019, alongside serving as a Cabinet Member between 2012 and 2019. 

Dr. Massey was also elected to the North York Moors National Park Authority between 2013 and 2019 and has worked for the Local Government Association at a national level.

Christopher retains an interest in education as a recent PGCLTHE graduate, Fellow of the Higher Education Authority, alongside his experiences as a former secondary school teacher and school governor.

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Research Output

  • The modernisation of the Labour Party, 1979-1997

    Massey, C., 2019, (Submitted) Manchester University Press.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Review of Leadership and the Labour Party: Narrative and Performance, (review no. 2196)

    Massey, C., 16 Nov 2017, Reviews in History, review no. 2196.

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review

    Open Access
  • 15 Downloads (Pure)

    The Man at the Back: The Archive of Lord Tom Sawyer

    Massey, C., 2 Jun 2017

    Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

  • The Man at the Back: The Life and Journals of Lord Tom Sawyer

    Massey, C., 2 Jun 2017

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

    Press / Media

    Brexit and Boris Johnson

    Christopher Massey


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Expert Comment

    Brexit sparks boom in politics applications at University

    Christopher Massey


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media

    Momentum's new leadership is wrong to attack Labour councils

    Christopher Massey


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Press / Media


    Public Ownership and the Labour Governments of 1945-1951: The Case of Steel Nationalisation

    Author: Massey, C., 2012

    Supervisor: Copsey, N. (Supervisor) & Howell, D. (External person) (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis