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Department of International History
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street

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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 at LSE and around the world. Below is a selection of these events by chronological order. Our events are usually free and open to all. We make video and audio recordings available on this page whenever possible.

Coming Soon

Dr Paul Stock
15 June 2016, Wednesday, 18:30, Legatum Institute, 11 Charles Street, London, W1J 5DW

Legatum Institute's 'Roads to Freedom' Series: "Britain and Europe: Culture, Country or Continent?"

Speakers: Dr Paul Stock, Associate Professor of International History (LSE); Patricia Clavin, Professor of International History (University of Oxford); Sir Simon Mayall, Senior Advisor (Greenhill and Co), Legatum Fellow; and Brendan Simms, Professor of the History of International Relations (University of Cambridge).
Chair: Hywel Williams, Senior Adviser (Legatim Institute)

Ahead of the UK’s forthcoming EU Referendum, the panel analysed Britain's relationship with continental Europe in the context of a thousand years of history.

Dr Paul Stock is Associate Professor of Early Modern International History at the LSE. He specialises in eighteenth and nineteenth century intellectual and cultural history. His current research focuses on the history of the idea of Europe, and on the history of spatial thought, particularly in late eighteenth and early nineteenth century Britain. Prior to joining the LSE, he was Lecturer in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Culture and Literature at Birkbeck, and Teaching Fellow in European Studies at UCL. He is the author of The Shelley-Byron Circle and the Idea of Europe and editor of The Uses of Space in Early Modern History.


9-10 June 2016, Thursday & Friday, Instituto Mora, Mexico

International Conference: Intellectual Cultures of Revolution in Latin America: A Transnational Perspective

Convenors: Dr Tanya Harmer (LSE) and Alberto Martín Alvarez (Instituto Mora)

Latin American left-wing armed organisations shared repertoires of action, strategies, symbols and ideologies. Socialism, revolution and armed struggle became identities of these groups, which became important political actors during the last decades of the 20th century. Despite strong political and ideological similarities between left-wing organisations, our understanding of the processes of construction and diffusion of this “intellectual culture of revolution” in Latin America is still limited. Some authors ascribe the diffusion of ideas regarding radical change in the Global South to the predominant role of local revolutionary intellectuals who studied in European or North American universities. However, the evidence coming from Latin America points to a much more complex phenomenon. The culture of revolution comprised an amalgamation of local revolutionary traditions and global intellectual influences. Meanwhile, the direct interaction between left-wing organisations and activists from different countries appears to have been of fundamental importance in the construction of a transnational imagined community of regional and global scope.

Dr Tanya Harmer is a International History Department specialist on the Cold War in Latin America with a particular interest in the regional, inter-American dynamics of the struggle and its links to broader developments in the Third World. Alberto Martín Alvarez holds a Ph.D. on Latin American Studies from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and is currently a researcher at the Instituto Mora in Mexico City. He is co-founder and coordinator of the Revolutionary New Left International Research Network on Political Violence. He has been a visiting researcher at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence (Universität Bielefeld), the Center of Advanced Studies on Social Sciences (Juan March Foundation) and the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. He has also undertaken extensive research on the origins and development of the Salvadoran revolutionary left.
Professor Alan Sked
8 June 2016, Wednesday, 18:30-20:00, Sheik Zayed Theatre, LSE

Department of International History Public Lecture: The Case for Brexit: Why Britain Should Quit the EU

Speaker: Professor Alan Sked
Chair: Professor Janet Hartley

Analysis of the failings of the EU and the advantages of Brexit.

Alan Sked is Emeritus Professor of International History at LSE. He is an expert on European and British history and his books have been translated into several European languages as well as Chinese and Japanese. His whole academic career was spent in the International History Department, although between 1981 and 1991 he was Convenor of LSE's postgraduate European Studies Programme, which converted him to Euroscepticism. He has also had a political career, co-founding the Bruges Group and founding and leading the Anti-Federalist League which became the UK Independence Party. He no longer supports the party but does support the cause of Britain quitting the EU. Janet Hartley is Professor of International History and Head of the Department of International History at LSE.

12 May 2016, Thursday, 18:30-20:00, Wolfson Theatre, LSE

Book Launch: Wladyslaw Gomulka: A Biography of a Polish Communist by Professor Anita Prazmowska

Speaker: Professor Anita Prazmowska
Chair: Professor Janet Hartley

The end of Communism has not decreased interest in the subject. On the contrary, the availability of new archival sources has made it possible to add depth to what is known and to generally extend the historic study of the subject. Gomulka, the party secretary of the Polish United Workers' Party during 1956-70 is the subject of a new book by Professor Prazmowska. Based on extensive archival research it seeks to explain the way Communism functioned in Poland during that time. This self-effacing man was critically important in defining Poland's road to Socialism. But what that meant can only be fully understood by tracing the evolution of Gomulka's political career and his thinking.

Anita J. Prazmowska who holds the post of Professor of International History at the London School of Economics is an author of several key books on modern Poland. She has recently focused on the Communist period after the Second World War. More recently she has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Major Research Fellowship to work on Poland's policy of supporting the Cuban intervention in Angola in the 1980s.Janet Hartley is Professor of International History and Head of the Department of International History at LSE.
15 March 2016, Tuesday, 18:30-20:00, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Each Age Gets the Inequality It Needs: 20,000 Years of Hierarchy

Speaker: Professor Ian Morris
Chair: Professor Erik Berglof

Through most of history, humans lived in tiny foraging bands with very low political, economic and gender hierarchy. After the invention of farming about 10,000 years ago, societies got much bigger and most forms of hierarchy increased; but since the coming of fossil fuels 200 years ago, although societies have become even bigger, hierarchy has declined. Philippe Roman Chair Ian Morris asked why changes in how we capture energy from the environment had these effects, and where inequality will go in the coming decades.

Professor Ian Morris is Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at LSE IDEAS for 2015-16. Professor Erik Berglof is Director of the Institute of Global Affairs.

9 March 2016, Wednesday, 14:00-16:00, 32L.B.13, 32 Lincoln's Inn Field, LSE

Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre Seminar Series: Middle Eastern and South Asian Migrants in the Colonial Philippines

Speaker: Professor William Gervase Clarence-Smith
Chair: Dr Kirsten Schulze

Middle Eastern and South Asian migrants contributed significantly to the history of the colonial Philippines, chiefly coming to profit from a frontier of economic opportunity. Armenians were the early modern trail-blazer, however, they had almost disappeared from the archipelago from around 1800. South Asians came with the liberalization of trade in the 19th century, benefiting from the umbrella of British power. Some ‘Syrians’ worked for the US colonial administration after 1898, but this stopped during the First World War. In this LSE SEAC Seminar Series presentation, Professor Clarence-Smith expanded these stories of the different Middle Eastern and South Asian migrant groups in the colonial Philippines.

William Gervase Clarence-Smith is Professor of the Economic History of Asia and Africa, at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Dr Kirsten Schulze is Deputy Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre and Associate Professor in International History at LSE.
1 March 2016, Tuesday, 18:30-20:00, Room 9.05, Tower 2, LSE

Rebooting the Cold War: A Global History of Western Triumphalism and Nostalgia

Speaker: Professor Penny Von Eschen
Chair: Dr Piers Ludlow

Taking a reboot not as repetition but as a darker do-over, and focusing on the intersection of politics and culture, this lecture considered the restructuring of Cold War binaries in the early 1990s as many Americans searched for ‘a new enemy’, and again after 9/11 with George W. Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’. It further explored elaborations of triumphalism in former Eastern Bloc nations vying for membership in the EU and NATO and the rapid deterioration of US-Russian relations in 2006-2007 and again in recent months.

Professor Penny von Eschen is the L. Sanford and Jo Mills Reis Professor of Humanities at Cornell University; Dr Piers Ludlow is Associate Professor of International History at LSE.
26-27 February 2016, Friday and Saturday, LSE

Department of International History and the Cold War Studies Project at LSE IDEAS: Global Histories of Latin America's Revolutionary Left

Convenors: Dr Tanya Harmer and Dr Alberto Martín Alvarez (Instituto Mora). Event linked to the established New Left Network led by Alberto Martín Álvarez and Eduardo Rey Tristán.

Our knowledge of Latin America’s revolutionary left after the Cuban Revolution in 1959 is growing. New archives, oral histories and published testimonies have driven history forward and encouraged new research. However, we still know relatively little about the global dimensions of the revolutionary left (or New Left) in Latin America. We know that revolutionary left-wing militants shared feelings of solidarity, collective belonging and common purpose across continents. Members of Latin America’s revolutionary left also travelled to Europe (East and West), Africa, Asia, and North America, where they found inspiration, and participated in revolutionary developments. We also know that Latin America’s revolutionary left received moral, intellectual, cultural and financial support from counterparts and sympathetic groups abroad. Yet where and how these relationships and networks originated, how they functioned and with what consequences is less clear.

This international conference was funded by a British Academy Newton Mobility Grant, the École des Hautes Études Hispaniques et Ibériques (Casa de Velázquez) and the LSE’s Research Committee RIIF Seed Fund.
24 February 2016, Wednesday, 12:30-14:00, Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

LSE Department of International History Literary Festival Discussion: Utopias in History

Speakers: Dr Tim Hochstrasser, Dr Padraic Scanlan, Dr Kirsten Schulze
Chair: Professor David Stevenson

Utopias come in many shapes and sizes - theological, ideological, or pure fantastical and visionary projections that are intended to inspire or create enthusiasm for the creation of alternative ways of living. They can also be attempts to make those ideas real in practice, with a variety of outcomes, positive and negative. Three members of the International History Department looked at case studies of theoretical and practical utopias from the eighteenth century to the present day.

Dr Tim Hochstrasser discussed "Utopias and Dystopias in 18th century Political Economy: Mandeville, Voltaire and Smith".

Dr Padraic Scanlan discussed "Freedom and Slavery in West African Colonial Utopias".

Dr Kirsten Schulze discussed "Islamic State and the utopia of the Caliphate".

This event formed part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2016, taking place from Monday 22 - Saturday 27 February 2016, with the theme 'Utopias'.

Tim Hochstrasser is Associate Professor in the Department of International History at LSE. He studied at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and gained his degrees from Cambridge University. He has also worked in a teaching and research capacity at Downing College, Cambridge and Keble College, Oxford and held a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship. Padraic Scanlan is Assistant Professor in the Department of International History at LSE. He is an historian of the British empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, with a particular focus on the histories of slavery and emancipation. Kirsten Schulze is Associate Professor in International History at LSE. Dr Schulze has conducted research on armed conflicts in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. David Stevenson is Stevenson Professor of International History at LSE.

9 February 2016, Tuesday, 18:30-20:00, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

LSE IDEAS Public Lecture: Each Age Gets the Bloodshed it Needs: 20,000 Years of Violence

Speaker: Professor Ian Morris
Chair: Professor Danny Quah

20,000 years ago, the average person stood a 10-20% chance of dying violently. Today, the chance is under 1%. We have cut rates of violent death by 90% by creating large organisations that impose peace; but the main method for creating these organisations has been war. In effect, violence has slowly been putting itself out of business. The broad trends suggest that this process will probably continue.

Ian Morris is Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at LSE IDEAS for 2015-16. Professor Danny Quah is Director of the Saw Swee Hock Southeast Asia Centre.

3 February 2016, Wednesday, 17:30, River Room, King’s College London

Book Launch: Arms Races in International Politics: from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century

Speakers: Professor David Stevenson, Professor Thomas Mahnken and Professor Joseph Maiolo

Arms Races in International Politics: from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century was by Oxford University Press on 14 January 2016. The book, edited by David Stevenson, Thomas Mahnken and Joseph Maiolo, 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 more about the book from the publisher’s website (OUP)

Read Chapter 1  

Thomas Mahnken is the Jerome Levy Chair of Economic Geography and National Security, US Naval War College; Joseph Maiolo is Professor of International History at King's College London; and David Stevenson is Stevenson Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science
1 February 2016, Monday, 18:30-20:00, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE

Department of International History Public Lecture: Empire of Things: Why We Have too much Stuff, and What To Do about it

Speaker: Professor Frank Trentmann
Chair: Professor Janet Hartley

What we consume has become the defining feature of our lives: our economies live or die by spending, we are treated more as consumers than workers, and even public services are presented to us as products in a supermarket. Frank Trentmann provided a long view on the global challenges of our relentless pursuit of more - from waste and debt to stress and inequality.

Frank Trentmann is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London, and directed the £5 million Cultures of Consumption research programme; his book Free Trade Nation won the Whitfield Prize. He was educated at Hamburg University, the LSE and at Harvard, where he received his PhD. His new book is Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First. Janet Hartley is Professor of International History and Head of the Department of International History at LSE.

14 January 2016, Thursday, 18:30-20:00, Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE

LSE IDEAS, Paulsen Project Lecture: Tsar Alexander I and the European order, ideas and practices, 1804-1825.

Speakers: Professor Marie-Pierre Rey and Professor Dominic Lieven
Chair: Professor Janet Hartley 

This Paulsen Project lecture by Professor Marie-Pierre Rey explored the reign of Tsar Alexander I. Professor Rey's lecture examined the Tsar's personality and how his diplomatic actions, including relations with Napoleon, shaped the idea of Europe. Based on her three last books (Alexander I, the Tsar who defeated Napoleon; L’effroyable tragédie, une nouvelle histoire de la campagne de Russie and 1814; Un Tsar à Paris) Professor Rey’s lecture was devoted to Alexander I’s reign. It focused, on one hand, on the personality of the Tsar (his childhood, his education…) and, on the other hand, on his action in the diplomatic and geopolitical field. In particular, the lecture stressed the key role of European affairs not only in terms of practices but also in terms of ideas, perceptions and representations.

Marie-Pierre Rey is Professor of Russian and Soviet History at the University of Paris Pantheon Sorbonne; Professor Dominic Lieven is a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College Cambridge and a Fellow of the British Academy; Janet Hartley is Professor of International History and Head of Department of International History at LSE.

Events Archive


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BY THE DEPARTMENT (internal only)

HY509 International History