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Prof Iwan Morgan
Prof Iwan Morgan profile picture
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Institute of the Americas
  • Faculty of S&HS

I hold a BA in History from Aberystwyth University and a PhD in International History from the London School of Economics.

I have held permanent positions in three universities: City of London Polytechnic, which became London Guildhall University in 1992 and London Metropolitan University in 2002 (I was head of the Politics and Modern History Department from 1994 through 2002); the University of London's School of Advanced Study, where I was Professor of US Studies and Deputy Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas from 2004 to 2012; and University College London's Institute of the Americas, which I joined in July 2012 as Professor of US Studies and Head of US programmes. I was also Fulbright Exchange Lecturer at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne in 1979-80.

I have published five monographs, thirteen edited books, and over forty journal articles and book chapters - mainly (but not exclusively) in my principal areas of research interest, namely (i) the history and politics of the US presidency and (ii) the history and politics of US economic policy.

I have supervised six PhDs to completion and currently supervise four others. 

I have been external PhD examiner at Oxford, Cambridge, King's College London, Queen Mary-University of London, UCL, Royal Holloway, Keele, Sussex, and Lancaster, among others.  I was also external examiner for the M.Phil in Historical Studies at Cambridge University from 2010-11 to 2012-13.

In terms of taught programmes I have been US History and Politics MA external examiner at Keele History, BA History external examiner at Royal Holloway, Kent, and Coventry, and American Studies BA external examiner at University of East Anglia.

I am a ESRC peer reviewer for PhD funding applications. 

I am an Honorary Fellow of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University.

I was a member of the Academy of Social Sciences from 2008 to 2013.

I have acted as a reader for the Journal of American History, the Historical Journal, the Journal of Policy History, and the British Journal of American Studies, among other journals, to evaluate articles submitted for publication.

I have made numerous TV and radio appearances to comment on US current affairs for, among others, BBC1, BBC World Service TV and Radio, ITV 3, Channel 5, CNN, NBC, and BBC Radio 5.

I write a regular blog, 'On the Economy,' for the History News Network [http://hnn.us/blog/author/8]  See too my article for CNN International, 'How U.S. shutdown could shake global economy,' Sept. 30, 2013, http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/30/business/u-s-shutdown







Research Summary

I specialise in US political history and politics from the New Deal to the present.  I am especially interested in two areas of research: (a) presidential history and politics, particularly focusing on the president as an agency of political change and domestic policy development; and (b) fiscal/budgetary/economic policy, especially pertaining to the deficit as a political and policy issue in the USA.

In recent years, my research has focused predominantly on the post-Keynesian era of US budget and economic policy history.  My book, The Age of Deficits: Presidents and Unbalanced Budgets from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush (University Press of Kansas, 2009), winner of the American Politics Group Neustadt Prize, represents my most detailed work in the field.  I have also published chapters and journal articles on budget politics in the Obama era, George W. Bush's Political Economy, Clinton's New Economics, and Reaganomics.

My recent research also demonstrated the symbiosis between monetary and fiscal policy from the 1980s onwards.  In relation to this, I published an article in the Journal of Policy History (2012) on the Federal Reserve under Paul Volcker and its relationship with the Reagan administration.

In 2011, I worked with a ESRC-funded researcher engaged in a post-doctoral project under my mentorship to explain the absence of a presidential Social Report in the US in contrast to the issuance of an annual presidential Economic Report, as mandated by the Employment Act of 1946. 

I am now returning to a more explicit focus on presidential history and politics.  I recently edited a volume of essays, Presidents in the Movies: American History and Politics on Screen (Palgrave 2012). This has led to my latest project, a biography of the president who brought  Hollywood and politics together in his personality, Ronald Reagan, which I have a contract to complete in 2015.

I work closely with a number of scholars in the UK.  I co-organize an annual international conference on a topic of mutual interest with Professor Philip Davies, director of the British Library Eccles Centre.  These have ranged widely in subject area, such as: the impact of demographic change on US politics; the student sit-ins of the 1960s; and, ultimately, Obama's America. I have also worked on co-organizing two conferences with Dr Robert Mason of Edinburgh University on post-1945 political history.  The second of these also involves association with the UCL History department, with whom we are co-organizing the 2013 Commonwealth Fund Colloquium international conference on The Post-War Liberal Consensus: Myth or Reality? I have also  given conference and symposium presentations as a member of the AHRC Obama Network.

I am director of the Institute of the Americas American Presidency Centre that promotes and facilitates research on the US presidency.  During its previous incarnation as the Institute for the Study of the Americas United States Presidency Centre, I organized the first ever UK scholarly survey rating the performance of US presidents from George Washington to George W. Bush. 

I write a regular blog 'On the Economy' for the History News Network based at George Mason University, Virginia.

I welcome queries to undertake PhD reserach under my supervision on a wide range of fields: US presidential history and politics; US political party history; US economic policy from 1933 to the present; and the development of the Sunbelt. 


Teaching Summary

My teaching has focused on US history and politics.  I have previously undergraduate survey courses on US history since 1776, US Politics and Government, Twentieth Century US political history, US foreign policy, and US politics since 1968. 

My current teaching is more specialized and predominantly delivered at postgraduate level.  I offer four one-term options on the MA US Studies: History and Politics at UCL.  These include a core course: Researching the Americas-the United States; and three options - The Rise of the Sunbelt since 1945; US Economic Policy from the New Deal to Obama; and US Presidents and the Presidency.

I also teach an undergraduate one-term course for the History Department on Richard Nixon and Watergate.  

My teaching is closely linked to my research interests and I try as far as possible to get students involved in specialized reading and documentary analysis. I place considerable emphasis on the inter-related agencies of politcal and economic change at national and regional level, the importance of individuals, movements, and institutions in shaping political change, and the complexities of the US presidency - notably the tensions between its operation in a governing system of shared powers and its tendency to overstep the constitutional limits of its authority.

I also happy to supervise BA and MA dissertations in my broad fields of interest. 

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