Mark read Contemporary History at the University of Leicester before coming to Kent to complete his doctoral research. His recent monograph, British Human Rights Organisations and Soviet Dissent, 1965-1985 (Bloomsbury, 2016) is the first piece to critically assess the campaigns for Soviet dissidents from a number of human rights groups, including Keston College, the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry, the Working Group on the Internment of Dissenters in Mental Hospitals, the Campaign Against Psychiatric Abuse, and Amnesty International. This monograph argues that although NGOs and individual activists played an important role in broader British awareness of Soviet human rights violations, it was not until conditions in international relations were right in the mid-1970s that they began to obtain recognition. As a result, the efforts of these organisations should be considered as intrinsically linked to the Cold War, despite claims of impartiality. Mark's current research focuses on the history of Amnesty International, an organisation that has become synonymous with human rights in the twentieth century. Despite this position, the influence of Amnesty International on the wider political process has been relatively understudied, something his research is aiming to address. He is particularly interested in how organisations such as Amnesty International functioned during the Cold War, when human rights issues were often at the forefront of international relations. Alongside this, Mark has research interests in intellectual history, the reception of dissenting figures in contemporary history, alongside wider interests in historiographical issues, including the impact of postmodernism on historical study.
Mark teaches a variety of modules relating to British, Russian and European history from the enlightenment to the modern day. He puts a particular emphasis on argument and debate in his teaching, encouraging students to engage with historiographical issues.
University of Kent
- Member of the Anglo-Russian Research Network
- Member of the British Association of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies (BASEES)
- Member of the BASEES Religion and Spirituality in Russia and Eastern Europe Study Group
- Member of Keston Institute
- Reviewed Books for Cultural and Social History, Europe-Asia Studies, Journal of Religious History, Slovo, and Sport in History
- Peer-reviewed manuscripts for Bloomsbury, Palgrave-Macmillan, and Routledge