Staff Profile


Professor Thomas Hennessey

Professor of Modern British and Irish History

School: School of Humanities & Educational Studies

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 921661

Profile summary

After completing his doctorate Thomas Hennessey was a Junior Research Fellow, at  the Institute of Irish Studies, at Queen’s; a Research Officer at the Centre for the Study of Conflict, the University of Ulster; a Research Assistant at the  think tank Democratic Dialogue; and a Research Fellow at the School of Politics, at Queen’s. He was also a member of the Ulster Unionist Party’s Talks Team  during the negotiation of the Belfast Agreement (Good Friday Agreement) in 1998.  Thomas joined the History team at Canterbury Christ Church that same year.

Research and knowledge exchange

Major Research Grants 2012-2014

Leverhulme Trust £,88,296 proposal to entitled: A Membership Survey of the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland

A Theoretical and Empirical Assessment of the Membership, Strategies and Tactics of Dissident Irish Republican Organisations (ESRC Grant of £288,103)



Irish Political Studies 2012-15 (official journal of the Political Studies Association of Ireland)

Teaching and subject expertise

Level 4:  Introduction to Cotemporary History

Level 5:  Land of Hope and Glory?

             Defence of the Realm: the British Secret State since 1868

Level 6: Edge of the Union: the Irish & Ulster Questions since 1886

            Nations and States: Political Violence in Ireland

External activities

Conference Papers, Roundtables and Lecture

‘Talking to the Enemy: British-IRA Talks 1972-76’ Political Studies Association, University of Ulster (March 2012)

Workshop on Dissident Republicanism in Northern Ireland, Royal United Services Institute, Whitehall (December 2011)

Conference Speaker: Strengthening Unionism debate, Democratic Unionist Party conference (November 2011)

Roundtable Participant: ‘Terrorism - Northern Ireland and British Counter-Terrorism StrategyBritish Security in the Post-Cold War World:   Challenges and Responses’Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst (November 2011)

‘The First Northern Ireland Peace Process: Conflict Resolution and Counter Insurgency’ Political Studies Association of Ireland, University College Dublin (October 2011)

‘Who Started the Troubles?’ Political Studies Association of Ireland, Dublin City University (October 2010)

‘Who Started the Troubles?’ Ireland and Victims: Recognition , Reparation, Reconciliation? University of Rennes 2, Brittany, France (September 2010)

‘Talking to Terrorists’ Political Studies Association, Edinburgh (April 2010)

‘Did Internment Work?’, Political Studies Association, Manchester (April 2009).

‘The Missing Dimension in the Northern Ireland Peace Process: IRA Containment and British counter-insurgency/ terrorism strategies’,  Political Studies Association of Ireland Peace and Conflict specialist group, Dublin (May 2009).

‘The Missing Dimension: British State Repression and the Northern Ireland Peace Process’, European Federation and Conferences of Irish Studies, Vienna (July 2009).

‘The Missing Dimension in the Northern Ireland Peace Process: IRA Containment and British counter-insurgency/ terrorism strategies‘, Political Studies Association of Ireland, Liverpool (October 2009).

‘Lessons from the Troubles’ Round Table participant; hosted by Policy Exchange, Westminster (November 2009)

'Westminster and Northern Ireland 1968-72: from Civil Rights to Insurgency', British Association of Irish Studies and Civil Rights Commemorative Committee, Houses of Parliament (July 2008)

‘Britishness in Ireland’ European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies, University of Seville (December 2007)

‘The Good Friday Agreement’ for the ‘Milestones in Irish History’ series Boston College, Dublin (May 2007)

Publications and research outputs


The Democratic Unionist Party. From Protest to Power co-authored with Jonathan Tonge, Marie Braniff, James W McAuley and Sophie A Whiting(ISBN-10: 0198705778 OUP Oxford 2014)

Hunger Strike. Mrs Thatcher’s Battle with the IRA 1980-1981 (ISBN- 10: 0716531763 Irish Academic Press 2013)

Britain’s Korean War: Cold War Diplomacy, Strategy and Security1950-53  (ISBN-10: 978-0-7190-8859-9 Manchester University Press 2013)

Spooks: the Unofficial History of MI5 co-authored with Claire Thomas (Gloucester: Amberley 2009) ISBN-10: 1848680791

The Evolution of the Troubles 1970-72 (Dublin: Irish Academic Press 2007)  ISBN 978 0 7165 28845) 

Northern Ireland: the Origins of the Northern Ireland Troubles (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan 2005) ISBN 0-7171-3382-6

The Northern Ireland Peace Process. Ending the Troubles? (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan/New York: St Martins Press 2000) ISBN 0-7171-2946-2

Dividing Ireland: World War One and Partition (London: Routledge, 1998) ISBN 0-415-174201

A History of Northern Ireland, 1920-1996 (London: Macmillan/Dublin: Gill & Macmillan/New York: St Martins Press 1997) ISBN 0-333-73162



‘Unionism and Consent’ in The Anglo-Irish Agreement: Constitutional Concepts in Transition edited by Arthur Aughey and Cathy Gormley-Heenan (Palgrave Macmillan 2011)

‘Historic Loyalism’ in Loyalism since the Good Friday Agreement edited by JM McCauley and Graham Spencer (Palgrave Macmillan forthcoming 2011)

‘Patrick Pearse and Partition’, The Life and After-life of P.H. Pearse: Padraig Mac Piarais: Saol Agus Oidhreacht, Higgins, R. and Chollatain, R.U. (eds) (Irish Academic Press, 2009). pp,111-123 isbn. 978 0 7165 3011 4

‘The Evolution of National Identity among Ulster Protestants in the Twentieth Century’, Irish Protestant Identities, Busteed, M., Neal, F. and Tonge, J. (eds) (Manchester University Press, 2009). Pp 344-365 isbn.0719077451

‘Negotiating the Belfast Agreement’, The Northern Ireland Question: The Peace Process and the Belfast Agreement, Barton, B. and Roche, P.J. (eds) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp.38-56 isbn.978 0 230 20389


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Last edited: 13/12/2018 21:16:00