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Professor Alan Sked, Professor of International History

Research and Publications

Professor Alan Sked's main fields of interest are very wide-ranging. He is a world expert on the Habsburg Monarchy, with his books on it translated into German, Italian, Czech, Portuguese and Japanese. His first book was The Survival of the Habsburg Empire, Radetzky, the Imperial Army and the Class War, 1848 ( London and New York, 1979); his second was The Decline and Fall of the Habsburg Empire, 1815-1918 (London and New York, 1989). More recently, he has published Metternich and Austria. An Evaluation  (2008) a nd Field Marshal Radetzky, Imperial Victor and Military Genius  ( 2011). He has written several articles on Habsburg history including Metternich and the Federalist Myth; The Metternich System,1815-1848; Metternich's Enemies or The Threat from Below; Historians , the Nationality Question and the Downfall of the Habsburg Empire; Die habsburger Monarchie und die Herausforderung des Nationalismus; Nationalism in the Fin-de Siecle Habsburg Monarchy; Explaining the Habsburg Monarchy, 1830-1890; Jelacic in the Summer of 1848; Mirror Images: Kossuth and Jelacic in 1848-49; Metternich and the Ficquelmont Mission of 1847-48. The Decision Against Reform in Lombardy-VenetiaJ.A. Blackwell's Vain Attempts to Become British Consul in Hungary;  Benedek, Breinl and the ‘Galician Horrors’ of 1846; Austria and the Galician Massacres of 1846. Schwarzenberg and the Propaganda War. An Unknown but Key Episode in the Career of the Austrian Statesman; Franz Joseph and the Creation of the Ringstrasse;  Social Life and Legal Constraints. The Habsburg Army, 1890-1914; and  The European State System in the Modern World. He has also published three books on British history: Post-War Britain: A Political History, 1945-1992  ( London, 1993); Britain's Decline: Problems and Perspectives (Oxford, 1986); and An Intelligent Person's Guide to Post-War Britain (London, 1997). He is presently writing the Penguin History of Post-War (Western) Europe, which will also cover post-war Britain.

These themes apart, he has written articles on general history and has edited two books: Crisis and Controversy, Essays in Honour of A.J.P.Taylor ( London, 1976) and Europe's Balance of Power, 1815-1848 ( London, 1979). He was historical consultant to the BBC documentaryAbraham Lincoln: Saint or Sinner and is presently writing a book to be entitled Abraham Lincoln: the Critical History of an American Icon.  He has been asked by British, Czech and Austrian Funding Councils to evaluate multi-million pound research projects and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He is a member of the advisory board of two historical journals. From 1980-1990, he was Convener of European Studies at LSE.

Professor Sked was a prize-winning undergraduate at the University of Glasgow after which he moved on to Merton College, Oxford, where he took his D.Phil. under the supervision of A.J.P.Taylor. He was appointed to the Department of International History at LSE before his thesis was completed. He has remained here ever since.

Recent conference papers have been devoted to Talleyrand and the Congress of Vienna (given in Paris) and Talleyrand and England (given at the National Archives).

Professor Alan Sked will be presented with a copy of the Czech translation of his recent book,  Metternich and Austria: A Reevaluation| at a ceremony for the history faculty and students of Masaryk University in Brno. He will mark the occasion with a guest lecture on ‘Metternich and Radetzky’.

Click here for more on publications by Professor Alan Sked|.

Professor Sked is the Undergraduate Departmental Tutor

Teaching and Supervision

Professor Sked's teaching at LSE reflects the research interests outlined above. He usually teaches the following courses:

At undergraduate level:

HY208: The History of the United States since 1783 and Western Intellectuals|

HY216: Four Reichs: Austria, Prussia and the Contest for Germany since 1618|

At Masters level:

HY438: Western Intellectuals and the Challenge of Totalitarianism|

Professor Sked also supervises the following PhD students:


David Broder

Bandiera Rossa: Communists in German-occupied Rome, 1943-44

Daniel Hardegger

PhD Candidates in the Humanities in the late 19th/early 20th century in Berlin, London and at the Columbia University, New York

Michael Hemmersdorfer

Competing for the Kaiser's ear. The struggle for control over Germany's England policy, 1898-1914

Contact Details

Office: Room EAS.E503
Telephone: 020 7955 7112
Email Address: a.sked@lse.ac.uk|

Office Hours

Wednesday 12pm to 1pm and
Thursday 12.30 to 1.30pm


Professor Alan Sked