The Department of International History hosts numerous lectures, roundtables, debates and workshops by our academics, visiting academics and others. Members of the Department are also involved in a series of events around LSE. Below is a list of these events by chronological order. Our events are usually free and open to all. We make video and audio recordings available whenever possible.

Upcoming events


28 November 2017, Tuesday, 18:30, German Historical Institute London, 17 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2NJ

Department of International History and German Historical Institute London

GHIL Visiting Professorship Inaugural Lecture: National Security and Humanity. The Internment of Civilian “Enemy Aliens” During the First World War

Speaker: Professor Arnd Bauerkämper (GHIL Visiting Professor, 2017-18)

In the “total” First World War, civilian “enemy aliens” became targets of stringent state control and internment, frequently in the name of “national security”. On the other hand, national and international humanitarian organisations supported these helpless victims of the war. To what extent and how did debates and conflicts about the relationship between security and humanity impact on the changing balance?

The Visiting Professorship is a joint project of the GHIL and the International History Department of the LSE and is funded by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Owing to seating restrictions, attendance is by prior registration. Please email Anita Bellamy.

Recent events  


15 November 2017, Wednesday, 18:30, Alumni Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

Department of International History

Book Launch: 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution

Speaker: Professor David Stevenson
Chair: Professor Matthew Jones

This event comprised an illustrated talk about key developments in global political history during the pivotal year 1917, followed by a discussion. Professor David Stevenson summarized the research and arguments in his new book, 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2017).


27 October 2017, Friday, 10:00-12:00, The Women's Library, R01, Lower Ground Floor, Lionel Robbins Building, LSE

Department of International History

Black Month History: The Global in the Local

Speakers: Dr Megan Black, Dr Jack Hogan, Professor Matthew Jones and Dr Imaobong Umoren

The Department of International History hosted its inaugural Black History Month roundtable discussion based on the theme of the "Global in the Local". Speakers from the department discussed a range of topics including the 60th anniversary of the 1957 Little Rock incident, US black intellectuals and criticisms of aid development policy, black activists in interwar London, and the abolition of slavery in Zambia.

After the roundtable, the panel opened for questions and answers from the audience.


25 October 2017, Wednesday,  16:00-17:30, TW2.9.05, LSE

Department of International History and LSE United States Centre

Between the United States and Russia: Past and Present Perspectives on the creation of a separate European nuclear deterrent

Speakers: Professor Matthew Jones (LSE International History), Professor Wyn Bowen (KCL), Professor Lynn Eden (Stanford University), Dr Helen Parr (Keele University)
Chair: Professor Peter Trubowitz (LSE International Relations and LSE US Centre Director)

In the age of Trump and Brexit, does Europe need to rethink its security relationship with the US? Is it time for Europe to consider its own nuclear deterrent force?

Since the election of Donald Trump as US President there has been much discussion of the strained security relationship between the United States and its European NATO allies. Trump's assertions that the Europeans need to contribute more toward their own security, his position on several key international political issues (such as attitudes to Russian policy), and his past reluctance to offer all-out endorsement to America's Article 5 obligations under the North Atlantic Treaty, have contributed to the sense that transatlantic ties have loosened. Some commentators have spoken of the need for France and Germany, in a post-Brexit Europe, to rethink their security relationship and look more to their own defence needs, and even, with the US nuclear guarantee perhaps in doubt, to consider a separate European deterrent force.

We have, however, been here before. On several occasions in the 1960s and 1970s, when it looked as though the US nuclear guarantee to NATO in Western Europe was in doubt, ideas emerged for the creation of some kind of European-based nuclear force, whether it be an Anglo-French combination (mooted by Macmillan in 1961-62, and again by Harold Wilson in 1967), or perhaps Multilateral Force (under joint control, with US leadership and involvement), or perhaps on a Franco-German basis (the underlying fear of both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations which helped make them push for an MLF).

This seminar used the recent occasion of the publication of the first two volumes of the official history of the UK strategic nuclear deterrent, to examine these past perspectives on a European nuclear deterrent force, positioned between the US and Soviet Union, and to make comparisons to the present. Why did such schemes emerge? What practical mechanics did they involve? What were the obstacles that lay in the path to their creation? Did the experience of the 1960s and 1970s hold any lessons for today?


5 October 2017, Thursday, 18h30, Hong Kong Theatre, LSE

Department of International History and LSE IDEAS: Gorbachev: His Life and Times

Speaker: Professor William Taubman
Chair: Professor Vladislav Zubok

In this lecture, Pulitzer Prize winner William Taubman explored how a peasant boy rose to the top of the Soviet system and ended it, why the Communist regime allowed him to destroy it, why Gorbachev’s dream of democratising the USSR failed, how he and President Reagan turned out to be almost perfect partners, and why Gorbachev permitted Eastern Europe to abandon Communism with firing a shot. Taubman’s talk emphasised the impact of Gorbachev's personality on his policies and role in world history.

Listen to the recording


28 April 2017, Friday, LSE IDEAS, Tower 2, Room 9.04, LSE

LSE IDEAS: The Balkans in the Cold War: Book Launch Discussion

Speakers: Dr Svetozar Rajak, Professor Arne Westad, Dr Vesslin Dimitrov, Professor Evanthis Hatzivassiliou, Dr Eirini Karamouzi and Dr Konstantina E. Botsiou

The new edited volume ‘Balkans in the Cold War’ contains 16 contributions from renowned experts and scholars on how the global Cold War manifested in the Balkans. The book covers five key themes: the nascent Cold War, region’s uneasy relations with the Superpowers, military alliances, the role of ideology, culture and identity, and the dilemmas the Balkans faced in the 1970s and the 1980s. The event featured a Q&A with the editors on these themes, with introductory comments by Professor Arne Westad and Dr Vesselin Dimitrov.

Listen to the recording


21 March 2017, Tuesday, 18:00-19:00, CON.7.05, LSE

The Idea of Russia - Book Launch and Conversation with Professor Vladislav Zubok

Speaker: Professor Vladislav Zubok

In his new book, published in January 2017 by I.B.Tauris, Professor Zubok explores the life and works of eminent Russian intellectual Dmitry Likhachev, ranked by the contemporaries as one of the two ‘main natural ideologues of contemporary Russia,’ next to Alexander Solzhenitsyn. The life of Likhachev (1906-1999) spanned the century from Tsarist rule to the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rise of contemporary Russia. Born in St. Petersburg, Likhachev was arrested shortly after completing his university education, charged with counter-revolutionary ideas and imprisoned for four years in the Gulag. He was able to return to his home city, stayed there during the worst time of the Siege in 1941-42. During those trying times, Likhachev defended his dissertation and became a scholar of ancient Russian culture. After Stalin’s death in 1953, he became a public intellectual, engaged in the preservation of legacy and revival of cultural life of his country. One of his main missions was to combat Russian nationalism and to overcome cultural alienation between Russia and Europe.


15 March 2017, Wednesday, 14:00-16:00, 32 LIF G.24, LSE

Post-1945 US Cold War Public Diplomacy, and the Voices and Sounds of Empire

Speakers: Professor Andrew Rotter (Colgate University): ‘Imperial Soundscapes: India and the Philippines’
Professor Jason Parker (Texas A&M University): ‘A “New Babel of Voices”: US Cold War Public Diplomacy and the Rise of the Third World’
Chair: Professor Matthew Jones (pictured)


6 March 2017, Monday, 17:00, Vera Anstey Room, Old Building, LSE

Department of International History and The Radical Americas Network: In Conversation with George Ciccariello-Maher

Speaker: Dr George Ciccariello-Maher
Chair: Dr William Booth

In conversation with Dr William Booth (Radical Americas Network and LSE), Dr Ciccariello-Maher discussed the current state of the Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela, as well as his new book - which brings the theories of Sorel, Fanon and Dussel to a Venezuelan context - and the challenges for radical academics in the current conjuncture.

Watch the recording


22 February 2017, Wednesday, 16:30-18:00, Wolfson Theatre, LSE

Department of International History and LSE Literary Festival: 1917: Historical and Global Perspectives

SpeakersDr Tanya Harmer, Dr Nataliya Kibita, Dr David Motadel
ChairProfessor David Stevenson

The Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 transformed the world. But it was neither the first global revolution nor the last revolution to have widespread resonance. So how should we understand its significance and relationship to global history 100 years after it took place? To discuss these issues, this panel placed 1917 in a historical perspective and examined its implications around the world.

LSE's 9th Literary Festival marked the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, but also anniversaries of revolutions in literature, international relations, politics, religion and science.

Listen to the recording


2 February 2017, Thursday, 18:30-20:00, Old Theatre, LSE

Department of International History Public Lecture: The Holocaust: Mentality of the Perpetrators

Speaker: Laurence Rees
Chair: Professor Janet Hartley

How can we understand the mentality of those who conceived and implemented the Holocaust? By drawing on both his research for his recent book on the Holocaust, as well as the personal experience of meeting a number of those who were involved in the killing process, Laurence Rees reveals the mentalities of a number of the killers.


30 January 2017, Monday, 18:30-20:00, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Annual Gulf History Lecture: The Saudi Royal Family: Modernisation and Succession

Speaker: Steve Coll
Chair: Dr David Motadel

Since the birth of modern Saudi Arabia circa 1925, the course of the kingdom’s modernisation has been influenced by succession, consensus and conflict within the House of Saud. Today the kingdom stands at a crossroads without precedent in the royal family’s modern history as King Salman and his surviving brothers apparently seek to combine a leap of succession to the throne down generations with bold modernisation plans and departures in foreign policy. What his the historical backdrop for this dramatic turn in the royal family’s history and where will it lead Saudi Arabia and the Middle East?

This event was hosted by the Department of International History with the generous support of the LSE Kuwuait Programme.

Listen to the recording