Bill Jones (academic)

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Bill Jones
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Born3rd March 1946
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
OccupationPolitical educator

Professor Bill Jones is a UK academic political educator who held senior posts at the universities of Manchester and Liverpool Hope.

Early life

Born 3rd March 1946 to parents Stanley Richard Jones and Doris Mary Jones, both teachers. He was educated at Westbury C of E Primary School and later at The Priory Boys Grammar School, Shrewsbury (1956-63) before studying International Politics at Aberystwyth University (1964-70) ; his doctoral thesis on 'The British Labour Party and the Soviet Union 1939-49' was awarded in 1975. In 1970 he became the last Assistant Principal to be appointed to the Civil service’s elite Administrative Grade. Apart from organising the expedition to erect a navigation beacon on the island of Rockall, he did not flourish in this profession.

Academic Career

In 1972 he was appointed Staff Tutor in Politics and Administration in the University of Manchester’s Extra-Mural department. He initiated an extensive programme of courses for the university’s hinterland, with special emphasis on seminars for politics teachers and large 6th form conferences for A level students of politics. Between 1986 and 93 he served as Director of the Department but in 1992 retired on health grounds after incurring a stroke while out jogging.

From 2005 –2010, he was a Lecturer in Politics, University Liverpool Hope and was appointed Professor in 2010 and Senior Research Fellow once retired in 2014. In 1986 Jones was made a Fellow of the Royal Society Arts (RSA).

The well-known biographer and educationalist, Sir Anthony Seldon recently told Jones that 'I’ve always regarded you as one of the truly great figures in political education, and with a real enthusiasm for history.' Jones retired with his wife Carolyn to Beverley in 2016 where he continues to write and to give lectures to adult groups on various aspects of current affairs (during the pandemic via Zoom).

Politics Association

He became deputy chair of this body for politics teachers in schools and colleges 1879-82 and then chair 1983-86. He became a Lifetime Fellow in 2003 before the Political Studies association took over its role.

Manchester University Press

  • Editor Politics Today series- over 25 volumes published.
  • Editor Political Analyses Series
  • Editor Pocket Politics Series – 12 volumes.


  • ‘The Russia Complex’, Manchester University Press (MUP) 1977
  • (With Dennis Kavanagh) British Politics Today MUP, 1979 (which subsequently ran through 7 editions).
  • Political issues in Britain Today, MUP, 1985 (three editions)
  • (With Roy Johnson) Making the grade : A Study programme for Adult Students(two vols) MUP 1990.
  • (with Lynton Robins) Debates in British Politics, MUP 2000
  • (with Lynton Robins) Two Decades in British Politics, 1992
  • (with Lynton Robins) Half a Century of British Politics, MUP) 1997
  • The Dictionary of British Politics, MUP, 2004 (2nd edition 2010.)
  • British Politics: The Basics, Routledge, 2014 (second edition (2021)
  • (with Philip Norton) Politics UK, Phillip Allan, 1991- later published by Simon and Shuster, Pearsons and 10th edition by Routledge.
  • Several articles also appeared in Political Quarterly, Talking Politics and Parliamentary Affairs.


Appeared regularly on local radio in Manchester and Merseyside as well as on regional television programmes in until his retirement. He posed questions to Tony Benn in Granada’s Under Fire programme and was a researcher on their Granada 500 programmes in 1983, 87 and 1992.

Personal Life

  1. Married Wendy Woosnam 1965 (div 1978)- daughter Mandy, 1965
  2. Ingrid Karlsson 1982 (div 2003)- son Markus 1982.
  3. Carolyn Booth 2015.


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