Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr. Christopher Massey researches in modern British history, politics, administration and policy. He has worked at Teesside University since 2015. He currently works as Principal Lecturer (Learning & Teaching) in the School of Social Sciences Humanities and Law.

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

Christopher's doctoral thesis explored the 1945-51 Labour Governments’ attitude to the policy of steel nationalisation, whilst other research outputs have included articles on the Keir Starmer, the Militant Tendency, Labour Party Conference, Labour's National Executive Committee, and nationalisation, alongside the curation of an exhibition in 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, LBC News and Al Jazeera, party political content for ITV news and the Teesside Gazette, and written content for the i Newspaper, the Conversation, Fabian Review, LSE, and Northern Echo. 

Learning and Teaching Interests and Activities

As Principal Lecturer (Learning & Teaching), Christopher leads, develops and promotes programmes across the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law, with his particular research expertise sitting within the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. In addition to this role, he also teaches across the BA History, BA Politics with International Relations, MA History and Master of Public Administration degrees within the department. His teaching interests include modern British, American and European history and politics, alongside local and national governmental policy.

He is the Course Leader for the Master of Public Administration and serves as the module leader for 'Contemporary Issues in Public Administration, Politics and Policy' on the MPA. Christopher also serves as the module leader for 'Britain and Europe: 1870 to the Present' and ‘Labour Pains: The Labour Party: 1945-2017’ on the BA History course, and 'Propaganda and Political Communication' on the BA Politics with International Relations degree.

Research Projects & External Funding

Christopher worked as a co-investigator on an ERASMUS+ funded project 'Generation Brexit' from 2020-22 investigating 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 be interested to receive enquiries for doctoral study in the areas of modern British history and politics, particularly - but not limited to - the history of the Labour Party and trade unions. 

He serves as the Director of Studies for a doctorate on 'The Fall of the Red Wall: The Labour Party’s decline in the Tees Valley' and as a second supervisor for doctorates on the development and decline of UKIP, and also on Harnessing the socio-economic benefits of green growth in the Tees Valley

External Roles and Professional Activities

Outside of academia Christopher has extensive experience with public policy and administration in local government. He has been an elected councillor since 2011 and was the Deputy Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council between 2017 and 2019, alongside being a Cabinet Member between 2012 and 2019, and 2023-date. 

He currently serves as a Director of Teesside International Airport and, separately, as a Member of Teesside Pension Fund Board.

Previously, Dr. Massey was also a Board Member for the North York Moors National Park Authority between 2013 and 2019 and has worked for the Local Government Association as a representative on their national Resources Board.

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

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Christopher co-founded Teesside University's Public Policy Academy in November 2022 alongside Dionne Lee and Professor Matthew Cotton. This innovative Academy amplifies the voices of students in public policy and engages them in issues that impact their experiences and lives whilst introducing them to a variety of career opportunities. 

The Public Policy Academy has delivered events with external experts from the UK Government, political parties, and think tanks.



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