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

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in Sardinia House (SAR)

Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6174
Fax: +44 (0)20 7831 4495

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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. A number of outstanding international historians are welcomed by the Department and IDEAS every year as Philippe Roman visiting professors, where they teach courses and deliver 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 vibrant 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 organize 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.

PhD Programme Director
Research Committee Chair




The Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies is closely linked to the Department of International History. It was set up in 1994 with private funds generously donated by the Vicente Cañada Blanch Foundation.

Under the directorship of Professor Paul Preston, the Centre has become the focus of a flourishing new interest in contemporary Spain in Britain.

The Centre organises occasional conferences and weekly research seminars. Prominent Spanish politicians, writers and academics are frequent visitors and speakers.

A number of both doctoral and post-doctoral scholars is based in the Centre. Distinguished professors from Spain who come as Visiting Fellows, are offered the full facilities of the London School of Economics through the Centre. The Centre has published a substantial number of important books in both Britain and Spain based on research carried out at the LSE and other UK universities. The Cañada Blanch Series is the principal outlet for work in the English language on Spanish history. The Centre's newspaper collection and other documentary archives are increasingly being used by specialists from other universities in Britain, Europe and the United States.

Thanks to the support of the Fundación Cañada Blanch of Valencia, the Centre offers optimum facilities for research and teaching which it is hoped will contribute to the deeper understanding of contemporary Spain.

For more information about the Centre, please visit the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies' website.


LSE IDEAS was founded in 2008 and now runs a series of regional and topical programmes.

Under the directorship of Professor Arne Westad and Professor Michael Cox, the centre currently does research on the international affairs of East and Southeast Asia, the Balkans, the United States, the Middle East, Latin America, Africa and on the history of the Cold War.

With the International History and International Relations departments, IDEAS has pioneered a unique two-year Masters degree in international affairs with the School of International Studies at Peking University, the first European-Asian elite degree of its kind. The centre also works together with other international partners, such as Columbia University, Princeton University, Sciences Po, and the National University of Singapore, in developing new programmes and research initiatives.

IDEAS is a centre of PhD training within the LSE and hosts a number of visitors, advanced doctoral students, academics and foreign policy practitioners, from across the globe. The centre has also developed training programmes for foreign service officers from several countries.

LSE IDEAS proudly manages the MSc International Strategy and Diplomacy. The aim of this programme is to enhance decision makers' confidence in their strategic vision on how to address global challenges of the 21st century.

LSE IDEAS organises numerous public lectures and seminars and publishes two journals, two book series and a number of occasional publications. It contributes to the LSE's Summer Schools in London and in Beijing and organises a number of out-of-term events outside London, in Cambridge, Bologna and elsewhere.

LSE IDEAS holds the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs, a one-year distinguished visiting professorship for leading scholars based outside the UK. Philippe Roman professors contribute to teaching within the Centre's key areas of activity. The Philippe Roman Professors for 2007-2012 have been Paul Kennedy (Yale), Chen Jian (Cornell), Gilles Kepel (Sciences Po), Niall Ferguson (Harvard), Ramachandra Guha and Anne Applebaum. The 2013/14 holder of the Chair is Professor Timothy Snyder.

For more information about IDEAS, please visit their website.


See also:


REF 2014 Results

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.

Dr Paul Stock on "What Going on Holiday Says about Us"

What's your summer holiday got to do with the European Grand Tour? In a LSE Research video, Dr Paul Stock looks at how the Grand Tour of the 17th, 18th and 19th century has helped to define holidaymaking today. He contends that the history of going on holiday reveals important things about us, not least the UK’s complicated relationship with Europe.

Video recorded in 2016.

Dr Paul Stock is Associate Professor of Early Modern International History 1500-1850 at the International History Department, LSE. He specialises in the intellectual and cultural history of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Paul Preston: Seeking Justice for Forgotten Victims of the Spanish Civil War

Watch this LSE Research Impact video featuring Professor Paul Preston’s lifelong research into the causes, course and legacy of the Spanish Civil War.

Professor Preston is internationally recognised as the leading authority on Franco and the Spanish Civil War. Here he talks about his lifelong research, and in particular about one of his many books, The Spanish Holocaust, which challenged the pacto de silencio by which the Spanish elite had avoided dealing with Franco's legacy. The book generated international attention as well as hundreds of articles and reviews. Professor Preston’s work broke lifelong taboos and El Pais stated that he had finally helped Spain to come to terms with the consequences of political brainwashing. The Spanish Holocaust united local historians who had been researching repression since the 1980s and helped them to contextualise violent episodes and reveal a previously hidden reality. Preston also collaborated with non-governmental organisations to seek compensation for the victims of Franco's repression.

Read more about  Professor Paul Preston's LSE Research Impact here.

Video recorded in 2016.

Professor Paul Preston is Príncipe de Asturias Emeritus Professor of Contemporary Spanish History at LSE and Director of the Cañada Blanch Centre.