Dr. William King

Dr. William King, Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute London

William King is a Research Fellow at the German Historical Institute London and historian of modern Britain and Europe. His current research examines the history of Euroscepticism in Britain. Prior to joining the project, he was a Teaching Fellow in History at Sciences Po. William holds an MPhil in Historical Studies from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. in International History from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Research Project
The aim of the project is to explore ‘Eurosceptic’ and critical views towards European integration emanating from the British Labour Party. I am looking to trace and understand the development of critical views from the 1975 referendum to 1987, when Labour officially removes its policy of withdrawal from the EEC without another referendum. A key aspect of the project will be to highlight alternative visions for integration, the British ‘socialist’ reasons for resisting, and the key figures and narratives involved.
This is a topic where surprisingly little has been published on it, yet it is vital in understanding the development of Eurosceptic views and critical arguments of European integration.

Next working Steps
The main challenge at the moment is the volume of material to explore, which is slightly compounded by the limited access to some archives! I have been fortunate enough to visit the People’s History Museum in Manchester, which has files on key UK Labour Party figures, including Michael Foot, as well as pamphlets, documents, communications on European integration and the Labour Party. I have also managed to visit the archives at the Houses of Parliament. Going forward, I will be visiting Manchester many more times, as well as the Bodleian (University of Oxford); Warwick University; the LSE; the British; Churchill College (University of Cambridge); The UK National Archives. Strangely enough, another source is Youtube, with excellent recordings of debates and press coverage of key events all available on the site.

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