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Research

Overview of the research conducted by the department

stevenson

Author

Professor David Stevenson

Research Committee Chair

For the Department of International History at the LSE, cutting-edge historical research lies at the centre of our activity, underpinning our international reputation as one of the leading centres for the study of history in the UK, contributing to the quality of our teaching, and providing the source of our impact and public engagement. Faculty members are all active researchers who publish in the top journals in their field and produce books for major academic presses; in the last national research assessment, over half of this output was rated as either world-leading or internationally excellent. Throughout the year faculty convene specialist seminars, speak at international conferences, and contribute their expert knowledge on radio and television. Our strengths extend across numerous areas of the discipline, ranging in time from the early-modern period to the Cold War and contemporary world history, and in geographical scope across Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and North and South America.

Faculty members are closely linked with two major LSE research centres: IDEAS (covering International Affairs, Diplomacy and Strategy), and the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies. The Department also maintains strong links with the Institute of Historical Research and the German Historical Institute in nearby Bloomsbury. Until recently, a number of outstanding international historians were welcomed by the Department and IDEAS every year as Philippe Roman visiting professors, where they taught courses and delivered specialist lectures, including in the past Paul Kennedy (Yale), Chen Jian (Cornell), Gilles Kepel (Sciences Po), Niall Ferguson (Harvard), Ramachandra Guha, Anne Applebaum, and Timothy Snyder (Yale). The Department and IDEAS also have a number of international partners with whom they collaborate in terms of joint research workshops and student and staff exchanges. The closest partner is the History Department at Columbia University in New York, but links also exist with George Washington University in Washington DC, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Peking University and Sciences Po in Paris.

Reflecting the wide range of interests at the staff level, the Department has a strong PhD programme with students tackling a broad range of topics from the early-modern period to the contemporary. The doctoral students are provided with research methodology training and benefit from the rich research environment provided both at the School and internationally by the Department and IDEAS. In addition, the students organise their own methodology workshop at the start of each academic year and their own research seminar which runs every fortnight.

Located in the centre of London, the Department is in an ideal setting for engaging in historical research, enjoying easy access to some of the most significant sets of historical resources in the world, from the collections of the British Library to government documents and papers in the National Archives at Kew. The LSE library is home to its own archives and a book collection of international significance, as well as providing a large range of online resources.

Professor David Stevenson, Research Committee Chair

Research Excellence Framework

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) were announced on 18 December 2014. Taking into account the proportion of its eligible staff submitted for assessment, LSE History (Economic History and International History) was ranked sixth out of 83 submissions to the REF History panel for the percentage of its research outputs rated 'world leading '(4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*) and ninth for its submission as a whole. On the basis of the combination of quality of publications and number of staff submitted, a measure of research power, LSE History ranks 4th in the UK. More information on LSE's impressive performance can be found here.