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Professor Matthew Jones, Professor of International History

Research and Publications

Professor Jones has interests in British foreign and defence policy during the Cold War, decolonization and the end of empire in South East Asia, the Vietnam War, American foreign relations since the 1930s, and nuclear history in the Cold War. His first book was Britain, the United States and the Mediterranean War, 1942-44 (Macmillan, 1996), which examined the strains brought to the Anglo-American relationship by strategic issues and command problems in the Mediterranean theatre, as well as disputes over civil affairs and the ‘politics of liberation’ as the Allied forces moved through North Africa, Sicily, and Italy, and approached the Balkans.  For his next book, Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965: Britain, the United States, Indonesia, and the Creation of Malaysia (Cambridge University Press, 2002), he looked at the process by which the federation of Malaysia was created as British decolonization gathered pace in the 1960s, the way this helped to trigger conflict with Indonesia, and the attitude of the United States toward these events as its own involvement in the region deepened.  His most recent book, After Hiroshima: The United States, Race, and Nuclear Weapons in Asia, 1945-1965, published in 2010 by Cambridge University Press, looked at the development of US nuclear strategy in Asia in the period marked by the Korean War, confrontation with China, and the early phases of US engagement in Vietnam, placing a special emphasis on the influence of the widespread perception that the atomic bomb was a ‘white man’s weapon’ and the diplomatic and military dilemmas this helped create. In 2008, Professor Jones was appointed by the Prime Minister to become the Cabinet Office official historian of the UK strategic nuclear deterrent and the Chevaline programme, a commission which will lead to the publication of a two volume official history exploring British nuclear policy between 1962 and 1982.

Scholarly journal articles published by Professor Jones include ‘”A Man in a Hurry”: Henry Kissinger, Transatlantic Relations, and the British Origins of the Year of Europe Dispute,’ Diplomacy and Statecraft, 24, 1, March 2013; ‘Great Britain, the United States, and consultation over use of the atomic bomb, 1950-1954,’ The Historical Journal, 54, 3, September 2011; (with John W. Young): ‘Polaris, East of Suez: British plans for a Nuclear Force in the Indo-Pacific, 1964-1968,’ Journal of Strategic Studies, 33, 6, December 2010; ‘Targeting China: U.S. Nuclear Planning and “Massive Retaliation” in East Asia, 1953-1955,’ Journal of Cold War Studies, 10, 4, 2008; ‘A “segregated” Asia? Race, the Bandung Conference, and pan-Asianist fears in American thought and policy, 1954-55,’ Diplomatic History, 29, 5, November 2005; ‘The Radford Bombshell: Anglo-American-Australian relations, nuclear weapons and the defence of South East Asia, 1954-57,’ Journal of Strategic Studies, 27, 4, December 2004; ‘The Preferred Plan: The Anglo-American Working Group Report on Covert Action in Syria, 1957,’ Intelligence and National Security, 19, 3, 2004; ‘Up the Garden Path? Britain’s Nuclear History in the Far East, 1954-1962,’ International History Review, 25, 2, June 2003; ‘Anglo-American relations after Suez, the rise and decline of the Working Group experiment, and the French challenge to NATO, 1957-59,’ Diplomacy and Statecraft, 14, 2, March 2003; ‘A Decision Delayed: Britain’s Withdrawal from South East Asia Reconsidered, 1961-1968,’ English Historical Review, CXVII, 472, June 2002; ‘U.S. Relations with Indonesia, the Kennedy-Johnson Transition, and the Vietnam Connection, 1963-1965,’ Diplomatic History, 26, 2, Spring 2002,; ‘Creating Malaysia: Singapore Security, the Borneo territories and the contours of British policy, 1961-63,’ Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 28, 2, May 2000; ‘”Maximum Disavowable Aid”: Britain, the United States and the Indonesian Rebellion, 1957-58,’ English Historical Review, CXIV, 459, November 1999; ‘Macmillan, Eden, the War in the Mediterranean and Anglo-American relations,’ Twentieth Century British History, 8, 1, January 1997. He has also published several review articles, including ‘Between the Bear and the Dragon: Nixon, Kissinger, and U.S. Foreign Policy in the Era of Détente,’ English Historical Review, CXXIII, October 2008; ‘”Calling three meetings in five days is foolish – and putting them off for six weeks at a time is just as bad”: Organizing the New Frontier’s Foreign Policy,’ Diplomacy and Statecraft, 15, 2, June 2004; ‘”Beyond Vietnam”: The United States, Laos and Cambodia in the Johnson Years, Diplomacy and Statecraft, 13, 1, March 2002; ‘”Groping Toward Coexistence”: U.S. China Policy during the Johnson Years,’ Diplomacy and Statecraft, 12, 13, September 2001.

After completing undergraduate work at the University of Sussex, Professor Jones gained his DPhil in Modern History from St Antony’s College, Oxford. He was appointed to a Lectureship in the History Department at Royal Holloway, University of London in 1994, and subsequently promoted to Reader in International History before moving to the University of Nottingham in 2004, where he was Professor of Modern History. He joined LSE in September 2013. 

Professor Jones has been the recipient of grants and awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the Eccles Centre for North American Studies at the British Library.

Click here for more on publications by Professor Mathew Jones|

Teaching and Supervision

Professor Jones will be teaching the following courses in 2013-14:

At undergraduate level:

HY116: International History Since 1890| (taught jointly with other members of staff in the Department)

HY311: The United States and the Wars in Korea and Vietnam, 1941-1975|

At Master's level:

HY422: Presidents, Public Opinion, and Foreign Policy: From Roosevelt to Reagan |

Professor Jones also supervises the following PhD students:


Aurelie Basha i Novosejt

Vietnam Withdrawal Plans in the Kennedy and Nixon administrations 

Contact Details

Office: Room EAS.E309
Telephone: 020 7852 3791
Email Address:  M.C.Jones@lse.ac.uk|

Office Hours

Thursdays, 3:30pm-4:30pm and
Fridays, 12pm-1pm