Professor’s new book shows how the history of citizenship is relevant today

News Page 3rd October 2019

A new book written by University of Northampton History Professor, Matthew McCormack, encourages readers to understand how the UK’s political history, from the Glorious Revolution of 1688 to the Equal Franchise Act of 1928, still influences our ideas of citizenship today.

At the launch event on 2 October to mark the release of ‘Citizenship and Gender in Britain, 1688-1928‘, Matthew said; “I was pleased to celebrate the release of this book here with colleagues, students and former students, as it is very much a Northampton book.”

Matthew explained that he wrote the book during an extremely interesting time in British political history. “The book was written with Brexit in the background, which is fundamentally about issues of citizenship and history. When I was writing the section on the 1680s, the government’s decision to trigger Article 50 was being challenged in the high court, and the judgement cited the Bill of Rights of 1689. It’s interesting to see how this historic law, created to tie the hands of an unpopular King, still affects political leaders today. I believe if you’re going to be a good citizen, you need to know your history.”

Citizenship and Gender is a textbook aimed at students, introducing a key period in British history when the nature of citizenship rights for men and women were hotly debated. It therefore aims to make new links between political history and the history of gender. At the launch, Matthew explained how the book is based on a popular final year module of the University of Northampton’s BA History course: “Many of the students’ ideas have made its way into the book, so this launch on campus was a nice opportunity to thank them in person!”

Matthew’s book is available to buy through publishers, Routledge.

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