Professor David Stevenson

Professor David Stevenson

Stevenson Professor of International History

Department of International History

+44 (0)20 7955 7115
Room No

About me

Professor Stevenson's main fields of interests lie in international relations in Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; origins, course, and impact of the First World War.

His publications include With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918 (Penguin/Harvard University Press, 2011); 1914-1918: the History of the First World War (Penguin Press, 2004) also published by Basic Books (New York) as Cataclysm: the First World War as Political Tragedy; and by Rizzoli (Milan) as La Grande Guerra: una Storia Globale. German edition with Patmos (Düsseldorf, 2006); Armaments and the Coming of War: Europe, 1904-1914 (Oxford University Press, 1996) Paperback edition, 1999; The First World War and International Politics (Oxford University Press, 1988) Paperback edition, 1991; French War Aims against Germany, 1914-1919 (Oxford University Press, 1982) (Edited with introduction), Vols 1-8, 17-21, and 3-35 of Europe, 1948-1914, Series F in Part I of British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print (University Publications of America: Frederick, Maryland, 1987, 1990, 1991).

Professor David Stevenson is currently working on ‘1917: War, Peace, and Revolution'. An international history of the year 1917, under preparation for Oxford University Press. The book will appear in October 2017.

He has recently co-edited and contributed to a book for Oxford University Press: Arms Races in International Politics from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries (2016).

He is the adviser to ‘Europeana 1914-1918 Learning Website’, which so far has had nearly 1.2 million individual visits.

Finally, Professor Stevenson is a Member of the academic advisory committee for the Imperial War Museum’s new First World War Galleries, which opened on 19 July 2014.

Other Titles: APRC Review Co-Ordinator


Modern European international Relations; First World War

Teaching & Supervsion

Professor David Stevenson teaches the following courses:

At undergraduate level:

HY116: International History since 1890 (taught jointly with other members of the Department)

HY226: The Great War, 1914-1918 (taught jointly with other members of the Department)

At Masters level:

HY400: International History in the Twentieth Century (taught jointly with other members of the Department)

HY411: European Integration in the Twentieth Century (taught jointly with Dr Ludlow)

 Watch Professor David Stevenson talk about his courses, how they are structured and how students can benefit from taking them in order to better understand the world we live in today.

He also supervises the following PhD students:

Research Student  Provisional Thesis Title
 Michael Hemmersdorfer  Competing for the Kaiser's ear. The struggle for control over Germany's England policy, 1898-1914
 Nabila Ramdani (2016-17)  The Rise of the Egyptian Nationalist Movement: The case of the 1919 Revolution




Articles, Papers, Pamphlets, etc


News & Media


Study Day with Professor David Stevenson at Loughton Festival

A festival favourite, Professor David Stevenson presented another of his Day Schools at the Loughton Festival on 20 May, this time about the Russian Revolution, its causes, course, and consequences. Professor Stevenson’s upcoming book, about the First World War and called War, Peace and Revolutions will be published later this year by Oxford University Press.


Great Centenary Lecture and Future Book Publication

On 21 March 2017, Professor Stevenson was a guest speaker at the University of Birmingham Great War Centenary Lectures, where he gave a talk on “1917 Revisited”. In its fourth series, the lectures aim to commemorate the anniversary of the First World War. They are organised by the Centre for War Studies, Department of History, University of Birmingham. Professor Stevenson’s focus on 1917 is not incidental. He is currently working on 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution, an international history of the year 1917, under preparation for Oxford University Press. The book is due for release in October 2017. It is the first international study of the events of the year 1917, a turning point in the history of the First World War and the evolution of the modern world. The book marks the centenaries of key events, including the Russian Revolutions, American entry into WWI, and the Montagu Declaration. It examines how the war was transformed, but also what kept it going and why it continued to escalate. It blends political and military history, moving from capital to capital, and from the cabinet chamber to the battle front. Read more about Professor Stevenson’s upcoming book in the publisher’s website (OUP).


Events Aimed at School Students

Professor Stevenson, a specialist in the First World War, participated in the The Great War Debate, which took place on 7 March 2017 in Birmingham and covered the topic “Peace Settlements: Did the Western Allies Win the War but Lose the Peace?”. The Great War Debate is a series of interactive panel discussions, sponsored by the Department of Education, featuring leading historians and academics aimed at helping to improve students’ knowledge of the causes and consequences of the First World War. The purpose is to get young people to think and talk about the events of a hundred years ago. Panels have run approximately monthly since June 2016 and will carry on into 2018. For more information visit The History Press. Professor Stevenson was also lead judge for the national final of the Historical Association (HA) school public-speaking competition, Great Debate. The final was held in the Imperial War Museum on 11 March 2017. Students addressed the question "How did the First World War affect me and my community?”. After twenty five-minute talks and much deliberation from the judges, Professor Stevenson announced that Hannah Boyle from Benton Park School in Leeds was this year’s winner of the Great Debate. Historian and HA Fellow Paula Kitching claims in the HA’s website that "Hannah spoke eloquently about medical developments from the Thomas Splint to CBT with a well-researched and thoughtful argument.” Read about the event in the Historical Association website.


BBC Future

Professor David Stevenson contributed to an article on why Britain introduced daylight time saving a hundred years ago for BBC Future on 11 March 2016. Love it or hate it, there’s a stubborn British campaigner one can thank. The article focuses on the builder who changed how the world keeps time. Read it here.


New Publication

Professor David Stevenson’s newest book was published by Oxford University Press in January 2016. The book, edited with Thomas Mahnken and Joseph Maiolo, is called Arms Races in International Politics: from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century. Professor Stevenson has contributed a section introduction, a chapter, and a conclusion to the book. The volume provides the first comprehensive history of the arms racing phenomenon in modern international politics, drawing both on theoretical approaches and on the latest historical research. It is divided into four sections: before 1914; the inter-war years; the Cold War; and extra-European and post-Cold War arms races. Arms Races in International Politics addresses two key questions: what causes arms races and what is the connection between arms races and the outbreak of wars. Read Chapter 1 here.


Speaking commitments

Throughout 2014, Professor David Stevenson spoke, among other places, in the Edinburgh International Festival (August), the Japanese National Institute for Defense Studies (September), and the Toronto International Festival of Authors (November).


Articles on World War One

On 1 August 2014, Professor David Stevenson contributed a short post on "LSE and the First World War", followed by another article on 4 August 2014 for Sky News, "World War One And The 'Short-War Illusion'".


BBC: The Railway War, 1914-1918

In August 2014, BBC2 showed a five-part documentary series on Railways of the Great War, a series of five programmes produced by Boundless Productions and presented by Michael Portillo. Professor David Stevenson was the historical consultant for the series and he was interviewed by Michael Portillo in episode 4, On Track to Victory.


BBC One: The Big Questions

On 18 May 2014, Professor David Stevenson appeared on a special edition of The Big Questions, BBC One, on whether the First World War changed Britain for the better.


BBC Two: 'The Pity of War'

On 28 February 2014, Professor Stevenson appeared on a BBC Two debate ‘The Pity of War’ about the First World War programme led by historian Niall Ferguson.

My research


Book Section

Author(s) David Stevenson

ISSN/ISBN 9780198735267