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Professor Odd Arne Westad

Emeritus Professor

Other Titles: Senior Fellow at LSE IDEAS
Research Interests: Cold War; Modern East Asia

Odd Arne Westad was Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and is an expert on the history of the Cold War era and on contemporary international affairs. He co-founded LSE IDEAS, a centre for international affairs, diplomacy and strategy, is an editor of the journal Cold War History, and a general editor of the three-volume Cambridge History of the Cold War. Professor Westad lectures widely on China's foreign affairs, on Western interventions in Africa and Asia, and on foreign policy strategy.

His most recent book, Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750, explores China’s foreign affairs since the mid-Qing dynasty.  In a review, Jonathan Spence called the book “thorough, fast-moving, and consistently clear.  It gives an excellent introduction to the vagaries of China’s foreign relations over the last 250 years.” The book won the Asia Society's book award for 2013.

The Cambridge History of the Cold War, a three volume history edited jointly with Melvyn P. Leffler, was published in the spring of 2010.  Seven years in the making, the Cambridge History has 75 chapters written by top scholars from 18 different countries. Cambridge University Press describes it as "a comprehensive, international history of the conflict that dominated world politics in the twentieth century… [which] signifies a transformation of the field from a national - primarily American - to a broader international approach."

Westad's 2005 book, The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times, received the Bancroft Prize, the Michael Harrington Award, and the Akira Iriye International History Book Award. It has been translated into fifteen languages.

Arne Westad was born in Norway in 1960. He studied history, philosophy and modern languages at the University of Oslo and received his PhD in history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Professor Westad served for seven years as Director of Research at the Norwegian Nobel Institute, and has held visiting fellowships at Cambridge University and New York University. Professor Westad served as Head of the LSE’s International History Department from 2004 to 2007. He left the Department in 2015 to join Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government. Read his Harvard University profile here.

Professor Arne Westad has authored many books, articles, chapters and paper. This is a list of his recent books: