Ashton, Nigel

Professor Nigel Ashton  


Position held

Professor of International History and Head of Department


Management Committee


Experience keywords:

Anglo-American relations; Middle East

Research summary > [Click to expand]

My core research interests lie in the fields of contemporary Anglo-American relations and the modern international history of the Middle East. These interests came together in my first book, 'Eisenhower, Macmillan and the Problem of Nasser: Anglo-American Relations and Arab Nationalism, 1955-59' (Macmillan, 1996), which looked at the strategies adopted by Britain and the United States to deal with the Arab nationalist challenge during the 1950s. My second book, 'Kennedy, Macmillan and the Cold War: the Irony of Interdependence' (Palgrave, 2002), broadened the frame of reference to look at Anglo-American relations over a whole range of international issues during the Kennedy Presidency.

Alongside this research on Anglo-American relations, I have continued to pursue my interest in the contemporary international history of the Middle East. In September 2008, my most recent book 'King Hussein of Jordan: A Political Life' was published by Yale University Press. Based on unique and unprecedented access to the private papers of the late King this book provides a comprehensive analysis of Hussein's statecraft, including his role in the Middle East peace process, the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973, the Iran-Iraq war, the Gulf crisis and the campaign to unseat Saddam Hussein in the 1990s. It also illuminates the personality of one of the most colourful and charismatic Arab leaders of the twentieth century.
These Anglo-American and Middle Eastern themes remain at the heart of my research strategy.

Countries and regions to which research relates:

Britain; Middle East; United States


Arabic [Spoken: Basic, Written: Basic]; Dutch [Spoken: Fluent, Written: Intermediate]

Media experience:

Has written for mainstream press; Radio

Contact Points

LSE phone number:

+44 (0)20 7955 7104

LSE email:



Ashton, Nigel J (2017) Taking friends for granted: the Carter administration, Jordan and the Camp David Accords, 1977-80 Diplomatic History, 41 (3). 620-645. ISSN 0145-2096

Ashton, Nigel J. (2017) A local terrorist made good: the Callaghan government and the Arab-Israeli peace process, 1977-79 Contemporary British History, 31 (1). 114-135. ISSN 1361-9462


Ashton, Nigel J. (2016) Searching for a just and lasting peace? Anglo-American relations and the road to United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 International History Review, 38 (1). 24-44. ISSN 0707-5332


Ashton, Nigel (2015) King Hussein of Jordan In: Wright, Jonathan and Casey, Steven, (eds.) Mental Maps in the Era of Détente and the End of the Cold War 1968–91. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, 97-113. ISBN 9781137500953


Ashton, Nigel J. (2013) Hitler on the Nile?: British and American perceptions of the Nasser regime, 1952-70 In: Freedman, Lawrence and Michaels, Jeffrey, (eds.) Scripting Middle East Leaders: the Impact of Leadership Perceptions on Us and Uk Foreign Policy. Bloomsbury Academic, London, UK. ISBN 9781441191656

Ashton, Nigel J and Gibson, Bryan, eds (2013) The Iran-Iraq War: new international perspectives Cold War history. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415685245


Ashton, Nigel J. (2012) Book review: missions accomplished?: the United States and Iraq since World War I H-Diplo Roundtable Review, XIII (26). 6-11.

Ashton, Nigel J. (2012) For king and country: Jack O’Connell, the CIA and the Arab-Israeli conflict, 1963-71 Diplomatic History, 36 (5). 881-910. ISSN 0145-2096

Ashton, Nigel J. and Gibson, Bryan (2012) Introduction: the Iran-Iraq War: new international perspectives In: Ashton, Nigel J. and Gibson, Bryan, (eds.) The Iran-Iraq War: New International Perspectives. Cold War history. Routledge, London, UK, 1-12. ISBN 9780415685245


Ashton, Nigel J (2011) Book review: in the name of oil: Anglo-American relations in the Middle East, 1950-1958 - by Ivan L. G. Pearson Journal of American Studies, 45 (2). e27. ISSN 0021-8758

Ashton, Nigel J. (2011) Book review: Three kings: the rise of an American empire in the Middle East after World War II H-Diplo Roundtable Review, XII (14). 6-10.

Ashton, Nigel J. (2011) Love’s labours lost: Margaret Thatcher, King Hussein and Anglo-Jordanian relations, 1979-1990 Diplomacy and Statecraft, 22 (4). 651-667. ISSN 1557-301X


Ashton, Nigel J (2010) Jordan’s frustration with the Middle East peace process International Affairs at LSE (30 Apr 2010) Blog entry


Ashton, Nigel J (2009) The Middle East: intractable conflict?: Jordan’s unavoidable stake in the Middle East peace process IDEAS reports - strategic updates, Kitchen, Nicholas, ed LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

Kitchen, Nicholas and Kepel, Giles and Gerges, Fawaz A. and Ashton, Nigel J and Aran, Amnon (2009) The Middle East: intractable conflict? IDEAS reports - strategic updates, Kitchen, Nicholas, ed LSE IDEAS, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.


Ashton, Nigel J (2008) King Hussein of Jordan: a political life Yale University Press, New Haven, Conn. ISBN 9780300091670


Ashton, Nigel J., ed (2007) The Cold War in the Middle East: regional conflict and the superpowers, 1967-73 Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415425780

Ashton, Nigel J (2007) Cold War, hot war, and civil war: King Hussein and Jordan's regional role, 1967-1973 In: Ashton, Nigel J, (ed.) The Cold War in the Middle East: Regional Conflict and the Superpowers, 1967-73. Routledge, London, UK.


Ashton, Nigel J (2006) Pulling the strings: King Hussein's role during the crisis of 1970 in Jordan International History Review, 28 (1). 94-118. ISSN 0707-5332

Ashton, Nigel J (2006) Anglo-American revival and empire during the Macmillan years, 1957-63 In: Lynn, Martin, (ed.) The British Empire in the 1950s: Retreat or Revival?. Palgrave, Basingstoke, UK, 164-185. ISBN 9781403932266


Ashton, Nigel J (2005) 'A special relationship sometimes in spite of ourselves': Britain and Jordan, 1957-73 Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 33 (2). 221-244. ISSN 0308-6534

Ashton, Nigel J. (2005) Harold Macmillan and the 'Golden Days' of Anglo-American relations revisited, 1957–63 Diplomatic History, 29 (4). 691-723. ISSN 1467-7709


Ashton, Nigel J (2004) Anglo-American relations from World War to Cold War Journal of Contemporary History, 39 (1). 117-125. ISSN 0022-0094

Ashton, Nigel J (2004) Britain, Nasser and the balance of power in the Middle East, 1952-1977: from the Eygptian revolution to the six day war British Foreign & Colonial Policy S. (1st). 1st, Routledge, Southgate. ISBN 0714653977


Ashton, Nigel J (2002) Kennedy, Macmillan and the Cold War: the irony of interdependence Contemporary history in context. Palgrave Macmillan, London. ISBN 0333716051

Ashton, Nigel J. (2002) A rearguard action: Harold Macmillan and the making of British foreign policy, 1957-1963 In: Otte, T. G., (ed.) The Makers of British Foreign Policy. Palgrave, Basingstoke, 238-260. ISBN 0333915798


Ashton, Nigel J and Hellema, D, eds (2001) Unspoken allies: Anglo-Dutch relations since 1780 Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam. ISBN 9789053564714

Ashton, Nigel J (2001) Anglo-Dutch relations and the Kaiser Question, 1918-20 In: Ashton, Nigel J. and Hellema, Duco, (eds.) Unspoken Allies: Anglo-Dutch Relations Since 1780. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 85-100. ISBN 9789053564714


Ashton, Nigel J. and Hellema, Duco (2000) Hanging the kaiser: Anglo-Dutch relations and the fate of Wilhelm II, 1918-20 Diplomacy and Statecraft, 11 (2). 53-78. ISSN 0959-2296


Ashton, Nigel J (1999) Managing Transition: Macmillan and the Utility of Anglo-American Relations In: Aldous, Richard and Lee, Sabine, (eds.) Harold Macmillan: Aspects of a Political Life. St. Martin's Press, New York, 242-254. ISBN 9780312219062


Ashton, Nigel J (1997) A microcosm of decline: British loss of nerve and military intervention in Jordan and Kuwait, 1958 and 1961 Historical Journal, 40 (4). 1069-1083. ISSN 0018-246X


Ashton, Nigel J (1996) Macmillan and the Middle East In: Aldous, Richard and Lee, Sabine, (eds.) Harold Macmillan and Britain's World Role. Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK, 37-65. ISBN 9780333630532

Ashton, Nigel J (1996) Eisenhower, Macmillan and the problem of Nasser: Anglo-American relations and Arab nationalism, 1955-1959 Studies in military and strategic history, Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9780333644553


Ashton, Nigel J (1993) The hijacking of a pact: the formation of the Baghdad Pact and the Anglo-American tensions in the Middle East, 1955-58 Review of International Studies, 19 (2). 123-137. ISSN 0260-2105

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In 2003 my book, 'Kennedy, Macmillan and the Cold War: The Irony of Interdependence' was awarded the Cambridge Donner Foundation Book Prize

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