News Archive


Catch up with old news from the Department. For the most current news, visit our main news page.


December 2019


Lessons from Versailles

Professor David Stevenson participated in a panel discussion on the legacy of the First World War on 28 November with Professors Michael Cox (LSE IDEAS), Linda Yueh (LSE IDEAS), Margaret MacMillan (Oxford) and Barry Buzan (LSE International Relations). The event, "From 1919 to 2019: pivotal lessons from Versailles", is available on the LSE Player and focuses on the Versailles Peace Treaty and why the treaty has been so hotly debated ever since by critics and defenders alike. On 15 December, the panel discussion was also shown on BBC Parliament. Catch up with the briefings on the BBC iPlayer (UK only).


New release by Dr David Motadel

The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire, edited by Dr David Motadel, Professor Christof Dejung (University of Bern) and Professor Jürgen Osterhammel (University of Konstanz) was released by Princeton University Press in the UK on 3 December. Bringing together eminent scholars, this landmark essay collection compares middle-class formation in various regions, highlighting differences and similarities, and assesses the extent to which bourgeois growth was tied to the increasing exchange of ideas and goods. Read more.

November 2019


Professor Janet Hartley gives opening lecture at Kazan Federal University

Emeritus Professor Janet Hartley gave the opening lecture in the “Alexander Festival” at Kazan Federal University on 28 November and participated in the unveiling of a new bust of Alexander I. The festival was held in honour of the founder of the university, Alexander I. Professor Hartley’s lecture was on “The Tsars in London: the Visits of Peter I and Alexander I”. Professor Hartley is an historian of 18th- and 19th-Century Russia. Her many publications include a biography on Alexander I. In 2016, she appeared in the first two episodes of the BBC Four programme, Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley. She is currently a Board Member of The Paulsen Programme at LSE.


BSc International Relations and History student Daniel Lawes awarded a Princess Diana Legacy Award

In his own words:

“On Tuesday [26 November], I was awarded the Princess Diana Legacy Award for my charity work, alongside 19 other young leaders from across the world. It was the most amazing of experiences, with the award being presented by Princess Diana's brother, Earl Spencer. According the British Government, it is the highest award a young person can achieve for their humanitarian efforts and so I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank the people who have helped me get to this stage. "It involved a four day intensive leadership training programme, including a reception with Prince William at Kensington Palace and I had the privilege of meeting the most inspiring people; such as the Executive Director of UN Women, Executives from HSBC and British Airways, and members of the House of Lords (meeting Baroness Lawrence was a particular highlight). The most inspirational element of the experience, however, was meeting the other award recipients from across the world who had some incredible stories. It’s fair to say that I think we had one or two future UN Secretary Generals in the room!! The award was for my work in founding and leading the non-profit organisation YouthPolitics UK which now has over 60 volunteers, has trained over 14,000 young people from low income neighbourhoods across the country and has bridged the gap between young people and decision makers, with figures such as Theresa May, Lord Heseltine, Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair all getting involved or planning to get involved with our work. It was also a recognition of my work with youth mental health, leading the #OnMyMind campaign which has the aim of lobbying the Department of Health for additional funding to youth mental health services. I recently took part in a podcast series with the BBC about my journey, hosted by comedian Isy Suttie, which can be found here”.


Spohr's media appearances and newspaper quotes

Dr Kristina Spohr has been out promoting one of her latest book, Wendezeit. Die Neuordnung der Welt nach 1989 on the radio. On 3 November she was on a one-hour radio show on Saarländischer Rundfunk called “Questions to the Author” and on 5 November she had a ten-minute slot on Das Sachsenradio’s programme “30 Years after the Fall of the Wall – History in Stories”. In an LA Times article, on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (6 November), Dr Spohr was quoted saying that the euphoria after the Berlin Wall fell led to an unprecedented East-West cooperation and the belief that global democratization was inevitable. However, that did not materialise. Today, she claimeds, there’s no spirit of cooperation. Read more. Two days later (8 November) she was also quoted in the Washington Post about US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s nostalgic tour of sites where he served with NATO forces in Germany to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Read more. On the same day, she was featured on DW News where she spoke about how the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown informs our world today.


Wenderzeit top 10 best non-fiction books

Dr Kristina Spohr's German edition of her latest book One Wall One Square, Wendezeit: Die Neuordnung der Welt nach 1989, was voted one of November's Top 10 Best Non-fiction books in Germany by a jury of 30 literary critics and journalists from ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Culture and Die Zeit. Read more (in German).

October 2019


Dr Roham Alvandi on revisionism and US culpability for the 1953 coup in Iran

Dr Alvandi has co-authored an article with Professor Mark Gasiorowski (Tulane University) for Foreign Policy. “The United States Overthrew Iran’s Last Democratic Leader” (30 October) argues that the U.S. government was the key actor in the 1953 coup that ousted Mohammad Mosaddeq—not the Iranian clergy.

LSE100 Prize Winners 2019

LSE100 Award

Many congratulations to our undergraduate students Mohammadmehdi Sharifkazemi, Elizabeth Mackarel, Millie Di Luzio and Daniel Szoeke. They won the LSE100 Award for achieving straight Distinctions across all assessments on the course in 2018. The prize was awarded at the annual LSE100 Prize Giving Dinner on 16 October. Of the over 1700 students who took LSE100 last year, 84 students across LSE received the LSE100 Award and one received the Sir Robert Worcester Prize for Exceptional Academic Performance. Read more.


Dr Kristina Spohr's new edited volume

Exiting the Cold War, Entering a New World is Dr Spohr's fourth 2019 book release. Co-edited with Professor Daniel S. Hamilton (Johns Hopkins University SAIS), the book explores how and why the dangerous yet seemingly durable world order forged during the Cold War collapsed in 1989, and how a new order was improvised out of its ruins. The book includes an unusual blend of memoirs by senior officials who were directly involved in the decisions of that time, and contributions by scholars who have been able to draw on newly declassified archival sources to revisit this challenging period. Read more about the book and download it for free here. Catch up with the official book launch on 22 October on YouTube. Other events related to the new publication took place on 29 October in Berlin at "Expert Conference - 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall" and on 30 October in London, “Europe after the Cold War: whole and free?”. Dr Kristina Spohr is Associate Professor in the Department of International History at LSE and the 2019/20 Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Chair at Johns Hopkins SAIS.


New book out by Emeritus Professor Paul Preston, Director of Cañada Blanch Centre

Professor Paul Preston's Un Pueblo Traicionado was released in Spanish by Debate on 24 October. The book analyses the history of Spain from 1876 to present time, with the underlying theme of the mismatch between a population eager to progress and elites that do not cease to block their attempts. A People Betrayed provides a chronicle of the devastating disloyalty to the Spaniards by their political class, impassive of the country's social reality. Read more.


 Milllwood on historical context of China, LeBron and NBA debacle

LSE Fellow Dr Pete Millwood has contributed an article to the Washington Post blog, Made by History (18 October). In “LeBron James didnʼt need to apologize to China for NBA tweets“, US-China Relations historian Dr Millwood contextualises the recent row over an NBA General Manager’s tweets about the Hong Kong protests through reference to rows in US-China sports diplomacy in the 1970s. Read it here (with subscription).


Media coverage of Dr Kristina Spohr's latest book

Dr Spohr presented the German edition of her new book Wendezeit at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair where she also debated the consequences of the fall of the Berlin wall on the ZDF TV show "The Blue Sofa". Watch her interview here. She was also featured in the October issue of the History magazine of the largest Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Read her interview here. In the meantime, the English version of her new book, Post Wall Post Square, was reviewed by the Financial Times on 17 October. Tony Baber in “The broken dreams of 1989” says “Kristina Spohr beautifully reconstructs the events of the 1989-92 era, reminding us of the importance of intelligent, responsible political leadership at critical moments of history.” Read the full review here.


Dr Paul Stock releases third book

Europe and the British Geographical Imagination, 1760-1830 was released by Oxford University Press in early October. In his new book, Dr Stock provides a thorough and much-needed historical analysis of Britain’s enduringly complex intellectual relationship with Europe. He traces the history of ideas in non-elite contexts to discern widespread British attitudes to Europe, and not just the views of a few familiar prominent intellectuals.


New book by Dr Kristina Spohr out now

Post Wall, Post Square: Rebuilding the World after 1989 (HarperCollins) provides an historical analysis of the crucial hinge years of 1989-1992, when the Berlin Wall fell and protest turned to massacre in Tiananmen Square, as well as the implications of these events for our times. Read more.

September 2019


Malevich's Black Square

Assistant Professor Dr Dina Gusejnova joined Professor Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Birmingham) in conversation on Third Text’s forum, “Decolonising Colour”. The conversation on “Malevich’s Black Square under X-ray: A Dialogue on Race, Revolution and Art History” ends with Dr Gusejnova stating, “let’s agree that the Black Square and its X-rayed past are another reminder that art is a social process, not a series of statements”. Read the full conversation here.

Professor Janet Hartley

Professor Janet Hartley on BBC Radio 4

Emeritus Professor Janet Hartley participated in an episode of Melvyn Bragg’s BBC Radio 4 In Our Time on 19 September. Alongside Dr Michael Rowe (KCL) and Dr Michael Rapport (Glasgow), she discussed why Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, thought he was victorious yet had to retreat, losing most of his army and, soon after, his empire. Catch up with the episode, “Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow”, on BBCiPlayer.


New article out by LSE Teaching Fellow Dr Pete Millwood in Diplomatic History

(Mis)perceptions of Domestic Politics in the US-China Rapprochement, 1969-1978” argues that it was not simply the condition of domestic politics in the two countries that influenced the diplomatic relationship, but, more precisely, the extent to which each government correctly perceived and understood the other government’s domestic politics and the influence of those politics on their counterpart’s negotiating position. Read the article for free here (LSE users).


Dr Isabelle-Christine Panreck

The Department welcomes Dr Isabelle-Christine Panreck, our 2019/20 Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Fellow in Modern European History. This fellowship gives post-doctoral fellows the opportunity to research and teach at LSE for twelve months, promoting excellence in modern history, contemporary history, and political science. Dr Panreck’s current research concentrates on the second generation of German scholars after the Second World War, specifically on the life and work of Klaus von Beyme.


Dr Cant participates in Conference in Paris

New Assistant Professor Dr Anna Cant recently attended the European Rural History Organisation Conference in Paris. Her paper was part of a panel on negotiating land reform programmes from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, which included cases as diverse as the Algarve in the eighteenth century and Chile under Allende’s Popular Unity government. Her paper, “Competing Visions of Peasant Mobilisation in Peru’s Agrarian Reform", discussed the ways in which local actors, including peasant communities and left-wing political parties, responded to the 1969 agrarian reform introduced by the military government of Juan Velasco Alvarado. Read more about the conference.


Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor

We are thrilled to welcome Professor Ulrich Herbert as our 2019/20 Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor. A renowned historian of National Socialism and the Holocaust, Professor Herbert (University of Freiburg) will spend a year with us teaching a postgraduate course on National Socialism: Old Theories and New Research Approaches. His latest book, A History of Twentieth-Century Germany, will be published by Oxford University Press in the autumn 2019. During his stay in London, Professor Herbert will prepare a book on migration policy in Germany and Europe since the 1980s.


Book prize for Dr Imaobong Umoren

Congratulations to Dr Imaobong Umoren who has received the 2019 Women’s History Network Book Prize for best first book on women and gender history! The judges thought "was an original concept, largely through its intersectional lens - the book is about the history of race, global freedom struggles and transnational history looked at through the perspective of gender". They also said the research was "breathtaking, ranging widely across geographical space – including both the Anglophone and Francophone African diaspora and which used sources in both languages". Read more here.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po at Warwick & Oxford Conference on China and Global History

On 16 September, he presented a paper entitled “Clothes Make the Modern Sailor: Naval Uniforms and Westernisation in Nineteenth Century China”. Dr Po will argue that not only does the evolution of these naval dresses provide insight into what the Qing state valued as it modernized and grew stronger, but the way fashion, as represented by these naval uniforms, shaped modernity within the confines of regulated clothing was also important. Dr Po spoke on the first day of the 2-day conference at Warwick in a panel titled “The Chinese Empire in Global Context”.


Dr Roham Alvandi quoted in The Telegraph

Dr Alvandi was quoted in The Telegrah in an article from 7 September on Iran's latest breach of the nuclear deal. He commented that Iran's step to speed up its uranium enrichment programme “does not bring them much closer to developing nuclear weapons” because “they are still subject to inspections by the IAEA who are monitoring their stockpiles”. Find out what else he had to say here.


New article by Dr Tanya Harmer

The ‘Cuban Question’ and the Cold War in Latin America, 1959-1964” is the most recent publication by Dr Tanya Harmer. Pubished in the Journal of Cold War Studies (21:3), the article explains how Latin American governments responded to the Cuban revolution and how the “Cuban question” played out in the inter-American system in the first five years of Fidel Castro’s regime, from 1959 to 1964, when the Organization of American States imposed sanctions on the island.


New book by Professor Matthew Jones

Professor Jones has released a new co-written book with Professor Kevin Ruane (Canterbury Christ Church University). Anthony Eden, Anglo-American Relations and the 1954 Indochina Crisis (Bloomsbury) recalls an earlier Eden before the 1956 Suez Crisis which led to his political downfall. The book examines Eden's vital role in settling a crucial question of international war and peace, which culminated in the 1954 Geneva Conference on Indochina.


Dr Kristina Spohr quoted in CNN article

Catch up with the latest contribution from Dr Kristina Spohr to a CNN article entitled “This chant brought down the Berlin Wall. Now the far right has stolen it” (31 August). She argues that AfD (Alternativ für Deutschland) posters and billboards declaring “We are the people!” is an abuse of history. What the AfD wants – a nationalist, inward-looking Germany – has nothing to do with what the people wanted in 1989. Read more of Dr Spohr’s comments here.

August 2019



Dr Joanna Lewis on Channel 4 documentary

Dr Lewis was featured as an expert in the first two episodes of documentary The Queen’s Lost Family. Using never-before-seen personal letters, diaries and photograph albums, the documentary tells the inside story of the royal family over three turbulent decades from the 1920s to the end of World War Two. First episode was aired on Sunday, 11 August, and the second episode followed one week later.


July 2019


Being a graduate of LSE International History pays

The latest figures from the Department for Education for Graduate Outcomes (subject by provider) show that LSE History & Archaeology graduates continue to top the ranks of average salaries five years after graduation. Results from the 2010-2011 cohort reveal that five years down the line, our graduates made on average £43,200 per year, nearly £5,500 more than Oxford or Cambridge counterparts. Read the Telegraph article here (19 July).


Accolade for The Blue Frontier

Congratulations to Dr Ronald C. Po, whose latest book The Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2018) has been awarded the Specialist Publication Accolade in Humanities by the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 2019. Earlier in the year, Dr Po’s book was longlisted by ICAS for the 2019 Humanities English Edition Book Prize.


Staff news

We’re pleased to welcome two new LSE Teaching Fellows to the department starting in September 2019 – Dr Oscar Webber and Dr Thomas Ellis (pictured). Dr Oscar Webber joins us from the University of Leeds, where he completed his MA in Modern History and PhD in History. He is an Environmental Historian of the British Empire whose research interests concern the colonial Caribbean, human responses to nature-induced disasters and other environmental encounters more broadly defined. Dr Thomas Ellis obtained a BA in History and Politics from the University of York, an MPhil in historical studies from Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Southampton. His principal research interests are American perceptions of Russia, technological utopianism and how 20th century Americans have envisaged the future, all of which converge in his current book project which expands upon his doctoral research.


Dr David Motadel opinion piece in the New York Times

In “The Far Right Says There’s Nothing Dirtier Than Internationalism – But They Depend on It” (3 July), Dr Motadel argues that “internationalism” connotes everything that contemporary nationalists despise, above all the idea that our most pressing problems need to be resolved by working across borders. But internationalism, he continues, a concept that, after all, implicitly presumes the existence of the nation, and extreme nationalism are not necessarily incompatible. Read the full article here.


Dr Roham Alvandi in podcast by the Nixon Foundation

On the 50th anniversary of the Nixon Doctrine, Dr Alvandi joined several distinguished historians to discuss the Nixon Doctrine’s evolution, the context of the Vietnam War as well as its global application. Drawing on research from his book, Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah (2014), Dr Alvandi shed light on what the Nixon Doctrine can teach us about the power dynamics of US relations with its regional allies. Listen to the Nixon Now podcast here.


Dr Paul Stock cited in The Guardian

“Global tourism hits record highs – but who goes where on holiday?”, a 1 July article written by our student Molly Blackall (3rd year BSc IR and History) on the rise of tourism and where the world’s 1.4 billion international travellers go on vacation, utilises Dr Stock’s LSE Research video “Why People Go on Holiday” as part of a section outlining a brief history of tourism. Read the full article here.


Professor Ludlow contributes to EU publication

Professor Piers Ludlow has co-edited and contributed nine chapters to a new volume on the history of the European Commission, The European Commission, 1986-2000. A total of 52 academics and researchers from more than 30 universities and research centres in Europe, the United States and around 15 countries took part in the drafting of this work. Professor Ludlow’s chapters cover topics on the Commission and other EC/EU institutions, on fraud and the budget, on the Northern Irish PEACE programme and on former President of the European Commission Jacques Delors. The whole volume, released by EU publications, is available to download for free here.

Professor Piers Ludlow

Professor Ludlow: Did we ever really understand how the EU works?

EC/EU historian Professor Piers Ludlow has recently contributed a blog post to the LSE Brexit Blog. He argues that the Brexit negotiations have highlighted the superficial understanding of the system acquired by much of the UK political class during the four decades spent inside the system. Find out why here.

June 2019


Dr Alvandi on the new US sanctions against Iran

Dr Roham Alvandi spoke to CNN's Richard Quest on 24 June about the new US sanctions against Iran. He argued that the current sanctions are a counterproductive policy that has manufactured an unecessary crisis. Additionally, new sanctions give the impression the US do not want to leave any room for a de-escalation on the part of Iran. Watch the interview here.


Third award for The Global Interior

Congratulations to Dr Megan Black, who received the Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize for best first book in the history of international relations from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR). This is the third book prize for The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power, which was also awarded the 2018 George Perkins Marsh Prize and the 2019 British Association for American Studies Book Prize.

Noemi Levy-Aksu

Statement of Support for Dr Noémi Lévy-Aksu from the Department of International History

On 13 June 2019 an LSE Fellow in the Department of International History, Dr Noémi Lévy-Aksu, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison by a Turkish court in Istanbul for signing a petition as part of an "Academics for Peace" initiative in Turkey.  This petition was originally issued in January 2016, and has attracted the support of over 2200 academics.  Since the end of 2017, over 600 of them have been summoned by the Turkish authorities to court appearances, and almost 200 of these have been given prison sentences of various lengths. The petition had the title "we will not be a party to this crime", and called for an end to violence in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, and for a peaceful resolution to the situation there.  For this, Noemi and other academics were charged with "propagandizing for a terrorist organization." Noémi’s sentence is under appeal and she is safe and no longer in Turkey.

Noémi is a much-valued member of the Department who as an LSE Fellow for the past year has engaged our students through her teaching on HY324: Muslim-Jewish Relations: History and Memory in the Middle East and Europe, 622-1945, and HY459: The Ottoman Empire and its Legacy, 1299-1950.  Her research focuses on the legal, political, and social history of the late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey.  Besides her book Ordre et désordres dans l’Istanbul ottoman (Karthala, 2013), she has published articles and book chapters on policing and urban history and justice in the late Ottoman Empire. She also co-edited The Young Turk Revolution and the Ottoman Empire: the aftermath of 1908 (I.B. Tauris, 2017).

We hope that the Turkish authorities will follow the rules and regulations of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), all of which Turkey has signed, and all of which protect the rights to freedom of expression and association.

In March 2017, after being dismissed from her position at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Noémi announced, "When I signed the Petition of Peace, I listened to my conscience, and I will continue to do so, together with many others. You may call it a political standpoint, but what 'political' means here is neither party membership nor opposition to another party. Peace, freedom and justice should be the common set of values that bind us together, despite our political differences."

We wish to express our support for our colleague, strongly protest this attack on academic freedom of expression, and would encourage the LSE community to take note of the boundaries being placed on such freedoms of expression and conscience in Turkey and elsewhere.


Cold War Conference in Budapest

The Cold War Archival Research Project (CWAR) and LSE-Columbia Visiting Professor Dr Victoria Phillips brought students from the Department and students from Columbia and West Point Military Academy to Budapest to present their research at the 10th Annual Cold War History Research Center International Student Conference at Corvinus University of Budapest on 4-5 June. Our own Professor Vladislav Zubok opened the conference with a keynote speech, “Did the Cold War End in 1991?”. Professor Phillips opened the second day with an introduction to her book, “Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy” (2019). LSE, CU, and USMA paper topics included migration and birth control, photojournalism and gender during revolutions, puppet theatre as propaganda, “Revolutionary Études,” the politics of state visits, “peace propaganda as a battleground,” and the implications of the Americanisation of Chinese food from the early 20th century through the Nixon administration. The conference was led by Corvinus Professor Csaba Békés and supported by the European Institute's Cultural Initiative at Columbia University, the Hungarian Academy of Science and the Hungarian National Bank. CWAR students also visited the Open Society Archives in Budapest in their free time to learn about its collections.


Professor Matthew Jones on the prelude to the Skybolt Crisis

Professor Jones's latest article, “Prelude to the Skybolt Crisis: The Kennedy Administration’s Approach and French Strategic Nuclear Policies in 1962”, released by the Journal of Cold War Studies, discusses the speech delivered by US Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara on 16 June 1962. The speech featured passages decrying the existence of separate, national nuclear forces within the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Professor Jones concentrates on this dimension of the speech by examining the context of McNamara’s remarks and the reactions they provoked, particularly in Great Britain. Read the article.


New article out by Dr David Motadel in the American Historical Review

“The Global Authoritarian Moment and the Revolt against Empire” sheds light on the history of anti-imperialism in the years of the global authoritarian surge of the 1930s and 1940s, looking at the evolving relations between anticolonial nationalists and the Nazi regime. Read the article here.


New book out

Dr Antony Best has just released a new edited book (with Peter Kornicki and the late Sir Hugh Cortazzi) entitled British and Japanese Royal and Imperial Relations, 1868-2018: 150 Years of Association, Engagement and Celebration. The volume is divided into three sections, the first of which examines the "royals and imperials" history during the Meiji era; the second assesses the first half of the twentieth century; and the third focuses on post-war history up to the present day. Published in association with the Japan Society, its appearance marks the abdication of Emperor Akihito and the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito in April 2019. Read more about his new publication.

May 2019


Students visit the University of Arkansas Special Collections

Departmental students Alex Penler, James Engels and Nick Cohen with Sunny Chen (Columbia University) worked at the University of Arkansas Special Collections in May 2019, researching the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Historical Collection as Cold War Archival Research (CWAR) fellows under the direction of Visiting Professor Dr Victoria Phillips. CWAR brings advanced undergraduates, MA and PhD students to archives to research cultural diplomacy during the Cold War under the sponsorship of the Columbia University European Institute's Cultural Initiative. The students work cooperatively with Dr Phillips and the archivists to further their theses and dissertations. Over five years, the students have formed an “alumni” network of historians, legal and business professionals, and international consultants to governments.


Review of The Global Interior

Dr Megan Black received a glowing review of her latest book The Global Interior in the Los Angeles Review of Books on 21 May. Reviewer Dexter Fergie writes that by zooming in on the work of this important but too easily forgotten agency, Dr Black’s book deftly arranges the last century and a half of American history in fresh and useful ways, informed by a few pioneering studies. She reads the Spanish-American War alongside space satellites and places the American Indian Movement next to OPEC. Most notably, though, her book allows us to see how settler colonialism served as the staging ground for the United States’s rise to its superpower status. Read the full review.


The Blue Frontier longlisted for book prize

Dr Ronald C. Po’s latest book, The Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire, has been longlisted by the International Convention of Asia Scholars for the 2019 Humanities English Edition book prize. The prize aims to create an international focus for academic publications on Asia, thus increasing their worldwide visibility. Learn more about the prize.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po on Shi Lang

Dr Po has just released a new article in Modern Asian Studies (53:4). “Hero or Villain? The Evolving Legacy of Shi Lang in China and Taiwan”discusses Shi Lang, the commander-in-chief who led the Qing navy to annex Taiwan in 1683, and how he is essential to our understanding of the cross-strait tension and the murky outlook for its future. By analysing most of the previous appraisals and examinations of Shi Lang, Dr Po reveals the historical narratives of this admiral as being continually under construction in a shifting and mutually reinforcing process from the Qing dynasty to the present day.


New publication

Dr Kristina Spohr released a new co-edited book with Professor Daniel S. Hamilton (John Hopkins University SAIS) at the beginning of May. On the 20th anniversary of NATO enlargement. Open Door: NATO and Euro-Atlantic Security After the Cold War takes us back to the decade when the momentous decision to open itself to new members and new missions was made. The book, with a foreword by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, features chapters by former senior officials from the United States, Russia, Western and Eastern Europe who were directly involved in the decisions of that time. They are joined by scholars who have been able to draw on newly declassified archival sources to revisit NATO’s evolving role in the 1990s. Order a hardprint copy via Brookings Institution Press. Watch the book launch at SAIS on 7 May.


Dr Kristina Spohr on The Zeitgeist podcast

On 1 May, Dr Spohr spoke with Jeff Rathke, President of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, on the “hinge” years of the Cold War in Europe from the late 80s to the early 90s and how decisions made then have ramifications today.  Listen to “Legacy of the ‘Hinge’ Years: 1990 to Today” here.

April 2019

Dr Megan Black

New article by Dr Megan Black in Modern American History

The article, “Scene/Unseen: Mining for ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’’s Critique of American Capitalist Exploitation in Mexico” (2:1), discusses the film’s little-recognised but vibrant critique of American power and capitalist exploitation in twentieth-century Mexico. This analysis lies below the surface, buried in the subtext of the film’s onscreen action and hidden beneath layers of its production and censorship. Read it with open access here.


The Global Interior wins second award

Dr Megan Black's book, The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power received the George Perkins Marsh Prize for best book in environmental history in 2018. The prize is awarded by the American Society of Environmental Historians (ASEH) and hers was selected from 95 books also submitted. This is the second prize Dr Black has received for her debut book. Earlier this year, The Global Interior was the winner of the 2019 British Association for American Studies Book Prize.


Keynote lecture at Oxford

Dr Ronald C. Po gave his first keynote lecture entitled “China and the Sea: Three Fallacies” on 23 April at the Third Annual China Humanities Graduate Conference, Resistance and Acceptance: Getting China Moving (University of Oxford). His talk offered three specific avenues of exploration to reinforce the proposition that the Qing was integrated into the sea through its naval development and customs institutionalisation throughout the long eighteenth century. He also argued that it is time to move beyond our understanding of maritime China from a “Southeast China centrism”.


New publication by Dr Kirsten Schulze

Dr Kirsten Schulze, historian of Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Southeast Asia, has a new article out in Contemporary Southeast Asia. “From Ambon to Poso: Comparative and Evolutionary Aspects of Local Jihad in Indonesia” was released in April's special issue on militant Islam in Southeast Asia (41:1) which Dr Schulze also co-edited with Dr Julie Chernov Hwang (Goucher College, USA). Access the issue here. Free for LSE users here.

Anna Cant

Staff news

We are pleased to announce that Dr Anna Cant, current LSE Fellow in the department, has been appointed Assistant Professor and will be taking up her new post from 1 September 2019. Dr Cant is a historian of Latin America with expertise in twentieth-century politics, cultural history and rural development. She gained her PhD in History at the University of Cambridge (2015) and is currently revising the thesis as a book titled Land Without Masters: Agrarian Reform and Political Change in Peru, 1968-75

Professor Janet Hartley

Professor Janet Hartley at Yale University

From 11-12 April, Professor Hartley participated in the Russian Grand Strategy in Historical Perspective Workshop at Yale University. The workshop was hosted by the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy and Professor Hartley presented a paper on “Imperial Russian and European Great Power Status”.


Visit to NATO Headquarters and SHAPE

Senior Visiting Research Fellow Dr Michael Reynolds, Visiting Professor Dr Victoria Phillips and MSc History of International Relations student Muna Hassan visited the NATO Headquarters and Shape in Brussels at the beginning of April. Students were invited by the Atlantic Council United Kingdom to meet with representatives of the Public Diplomacy Division – Engagements Section of NATO as part of NATO’s continuing interest in developing student’s interest in their work, particularly in cyber security. They were given the opportunity to question NATO staff on aspects of NATO organisation and policy, giving our LSE staff and student attendees a unique experience and an opportunity to gain insight into a highly successful organisation which has helped maintain peace in Europe since 1945.


Dr Spohr's latest events

Dr Kristina Spohr, currently the Inaugural Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Chair at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), has recently participated in two events of note. The first was a symposium commemorating Helmut Schmidt from 25-27 March called “Entangling the Pacific and Atlantic Worlds: Past and Present”, organised by the German Historical Institute Washington and ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin, und Gerd Bucerius, in cooperation with the Institute of European Studies & Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley. On the second day, she discussed “Helmut Schmidt: The Global Statesmean” with Christoph von Marschall and with Schmidt’s companions Ronny Chan (Hang Lung Properties Hong Kong), Theo Sommer (former Editor-in-Chief of Die Zeit), and Manfred Lahnstein (former Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany). Read more about this symposium. The second event of note was a panel discussion on International Institutions, as part of a conference entitled “The Future of Statecraft” on 2 April, hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Henry A Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS. The conference was part of the Future Strategy Forum, an initiative to connect scholars who research national security with its leading practitioners. More details on this conference and a recording of the proceedings can be found here. Dr Spohr's upcoming book Post Wall, Post Square: Rebuilding the world after 1989 will be released later this year.

March 2019


Staff news

Dr David Motadel has successfully passed Major Review with promotion to Associate Professor, effective from August 2019. He has also been awarded the Promotions Teaching Prize, given for outstanding teaching performance above and beyond that required to pass Major Review.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po at AAS Conference

Dr Po organised a panel at this year’s Association of Asian Studies (AAS) conference in Denver, Colorado from 21-24 March. The panel, entitled “The New Qing History: A Maritime Approach”, proposed to study the Qing dynasty in the long eighteenth century from a maritime angle in an approach framed as the new Qing maritime history (haishang xin Qingshi). Together with five senior and junior scholars from Stanford University, Northwestern University, Brandeis University, University of Akron and the University of Birmingham, Dr Po contended that the Qing administration was attentive and deliberate in developing maritime policy.


The Global Interior wins book award

Dr Megan Black's new book The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power (Harvard University Press, 2018) has won the annual British Association for American Studies (BAAS) prize for best book. The prize committee commented that this was an accomplished account of the US Interior Department’s support for extractive capitalism in the US and the wider world, offering a highly original analysis of how federal bureaucrats employed by the US Geological Survey, the Bureau of Mines, and other Interior agencies served the needs of the state, settler colonialism, and corporate capital on the expanding mineral frontier.


Islam and Nazi Germany's War French translation released to rave reviews

The French translation of Dr David Motadel’s book Islam and Nazi Germany’s War (Harvard University Press, 2014) was released in February 2019. Dr Motadel has already received positive reviews, including in Le Figaro (13 February), L’Obs (14 February) and in Libération (20 February). The book was also cover story in Tel Quel (1 March), which published a dossier of articles on the book. Islam and Nazi Germany’s War is the first comprehensive account of the history of Muslims under Nazi rule in the Second World War. It reveals Berlin’s ambitious attempts to build an alliance with the Islamic world.


Dr Imaobong Umoren’s book shortlisted for prize

Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom has been shortlisted for a Pauli Murray Book Prize in Black Intellectual History by the African American Intellectual History Society. Released in May 2018 with University of California Press, the book explores how a group of Caribbean and African American women in the early and mid-twentieth century traveled the world to fight colonialism, fascism, sexism, and racism.

February 2019


Dr Roham Alvandi quoted in The New York Times

Dr Alvandi, historian of Modern Middle East, was quoted in The New York Times on 27 February in an article about the “resignation” of Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Dr Alvandi comments that the role of the Foreign Ministry “has been sidelined to such an extent when it comes to Syria and Iraq and all the regional security issues that it’s really embarrassing”. In the Trump era, the Foreign Ministry’s remit has grown even smaller, as their function “has essentially been cut down to managing Iran’s relations with Europe”. Read the full article.


History at LSE 6th place in the world

We are extremely pleased to announce that the Department has improved its rank in the QS World University Rankings. In the latest QS World University History Subject Table for 2019, History at LSE jumped one place to 6th overall in the world (in 2018, it ranked 7th place), ahead of Stanford, Columbia, Princeton, UCLA and Chicago. In the UK and in  Europe, History at LSE continues to rank third, behind Oxford and Cambridge, but ahead of UCL, KCL and Leiden.


Staff news

The Department is thrilled to welcome Dr Dina Gusejnova (University of Sheffield) as our newest faculty member. She will join us as Assistant Professor of Modern European History starting 1 September 2019. Her research focuses on German political thought in transnational perspective. In her first monograph, European Elites and Ideas of Empire, 1917-57 (Cambridge University Press, 2016, she explores the cultural afterlife of fading empires. In a recent article, "Changes of status in states of political uncertainty: Towards a theory of derecognition" in European Journal of Social Theory, she proposes a theoretical framework for thinking about ways in which political transitions involve former holders of power. Her current interests include the cultural and intellectual history of migration and conflicts in twentieth-century central Europe, and the intellectual history of statelessness.


International History students featured on BBC2

Our undergraduate students were featured on Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys (series 10, episode 13), which aired on 20 February. They chatted with Michael Portillo about the founding principles of the LSE. Watch the full episode on BBC iPlayer. Our students' segment starts at 19m18s.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po participates in LSESU HKPASS Forum

Dr Po served as the Academic Chair for the 2019 LSE Forum organised by the Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service Society on 17 February. The LSE Forum is an annual debate competition hosted by the LSESU HKPASS, where students from universities across the UK gather to discuss and debate on some of the most contentious challenges faced by Hong Kong.

January 2019


Professor Steven Casey book award interview

Professor Casey was interviewed in the January issue of Historiography in Mass Communication (5:1) about his American Journalism Historian Association Book of the Year Award received last year for The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany (Oxford University Press). The book provides new insights into what American war correspondents witnessed, what they were allowed to publish, and how their reports shaped the home front’s perception of World War II. Read the interview.

Dr Imaobong Umoren

Dr Imaobong Umoren wins AHRC Network Grant

Dr Imaobong Umoren has won funding as a Co-Investigator on an AHRC Network Grant on Black Female Intellectuals in Historical and Contemporary Context. The project will facilitate interdisciplinary and cross-national dialogue among scholars and activist in the fields of literary studies, history, politics, and visual culture from the UK, US, Australia, Europe, the Caribbean and Africa working on transatlantic black female intellectuals (both from an historical and contemporary perspective) in the black diaspora. The project will also work with race equality ThinkTank, the Runnymede Trust and the partnership project, History and Policy. Dr Umoren will be working with Dr Becky Fraser from UEA who is the PI.


New publication by MSc student Emily Gregg

MSc History of International Relations student Emily Gregg, published a chapter in new book, Voices of Latin America, released by Latin America Bureau. “The Student Revolution” addresses the legacy of the region's dictatorships on its education systems and how students are changing that. Over the past three years, Emily has been volunteering for the Latin America Bureau, a charity made up of a group of journalists, academics and activists who write about human rights issues and grassroots activism in the region to provide a platform for voices who do not usually get heard in UK.





“We were at a moment of cooperative spirit”

Dr Kristina Spohr participated in a panel discussion hosted by Henry A. Kissinger Center and the Foreign Policy Institute on 6 December. Other participants in the event, “Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1988 Address to the UN: 30 Years Later”, included Andrey Kozyrev, former Foreign Minister of Russia, Pavel Palazhchenko, former Principal English Interpreter for Mikhail Gorbachev, and Thomas W. Simons Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and Pakistan and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for relations with the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Yugoslavia. Watch the event here.


New book by LSE Fellow Dr Andrea Mason

Released by Palgrave, British Policy Towards Poland, 1944–1956 is based on Dr Mason's doctoral research carried out in the Department under the supervision of Professor Anita Prazmowska. The book examines the outcome of the British commitment to reconstitute a sovereign Polish state and establish a democratic Polish government after the Second World War.




THE book review

Dr Joanna Lewis reviewed Jeffrey A. Auerbach's Imperial Boredom: Monotony and the British Empire for the Times Higher Education on 29 November. She argues that his fascinating study takes boredom to a new level. Auerbach maintains that a unifying feature of the British Empire was the prolonged experience of being bored. So bored had the British become, he insists, it even laid “the emotional foundations for the British to leave their empire in the twentieth [century]”. Read the review.


Dr Paul Stock reviews Horace Walpole exhibition

Dr Paul Stock reviewed the "Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill: Masterpieces from Horace Walpole’s Collection" in Criticks: The Reviews Website of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (25 November). Although Dr Stock finds that significant presentational problems make the displays and their contexts less than fully comprehensible to visitors, the exhibition offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for enthusiasts of eighteenth-century culture. Find out why.


New book edited by Dr Roham Alvandi

The Age of Aryamehr: Late Pahlavi Iran and the its Global Entanglements (Gingko Library), edited by Dr Roham Alvandi, writes Iran into the global history of the 1960s and 1970s, so as to understand the transnational connections that in many ways formed modern Iran. The book is the product of a workshop hosted at the LSE Middle East Centre in May 2016, sponsored by the LSE Kuwait Programme and the British Institute of Persian Studies.

Professor Janet Hartley

Professor Janet Hartley on Irish radio "Newstalk"

Professor Hartley, historian of 18th- and 19th-Century Russia, was part of a panel of experts on "Talking History" who discussed the history and transformation of St. Petersburg from Peter the Great's custom-built capital in 1703 to the artistic capital it remains today. Listen to "An Artistic Capital Built on Bones", first aired on 25 November.


Dr Imaobong Umoren delivers Katrina Honeyman Memorial Lecture at Leeds

Dr Imaobong Umoren delivered the Katrina Honeyman Memorial Lecture at the University of Leeds on 19 November. Her lecture, “In Search of Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles” explored how a group of Caribbean and African American women in the early and mid-twentieth century travelled the world to fight colonialism, fascism, sexism and racism. Full details.


LSE Research Showcase

The first LSE Research Showcase organised by Knowledge Exchange for the School community was held on 13 November and featured exhibits with film and photography, hands-on activities and games. One of 14 stands, Dr Joanna Lewis's research was featured in the exhibition. She presented her research with Dr Shane Marotta and Mohammed Ismail, on a contemporary case study in human resilience during and after the Somali civil war in 1991, “Rebuilding Somaliland After Conflict: The role of a London diaspora”. 


Professor Stevenson’s interviews on the centenary of the 1918 Armistice

Professor Stevenson was featured on a variety of radio and news programs in both Britain and Asia. On 10 November, he did a live telephone interview for BBC Radio Four’s PM Programme (listen here from 20m54s) and on 11 November he gave an interview on LBC Andrew Castle’s "The Whole Show" (listen here from 17m28s). In the same week, he also gave interviews to Kyodo News (Japanese news agency) and Jiemian News (Shanghai-based newspaper group).

Dr Megan Black

New piece in Modern American History blog by Dr Megan Black

Dr Megan Black, author of the recently released The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power (Harvard University Press), has contributed a post to the Cambridge Core “Modern American History” blog entitled "Appetite for Destruction? Making Sense of the Interior Department’s Request to Destroy Files". The article discusses the US Department of Interior’s recent request to destroy an unspecified number of files, including those related to the management of natural resources – energy and minerals, fishing and wildlife, and national parks – and Native American affairs. The news of this plan was flagged by transparency agencies, and has prompted a debate among academics, archivists, and others concerned about the nature and potential impact of this request.


Episode of Historias podcast featuring Dr Tanya Harmer

In the inaugural state of the field episode, Dr Tanya Harmer was featured alongside Dr Renata Keller (University of Nevada) to discuss Latin America’s Cold War. In episode 28, released on 5 November, they consider the meaning of the Cold War in Latin America, questions of chronology and areas of scholarly emphasis, and their own work highlighting voices long overlooked in the historiography. The Historias podcast is hosted by the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies based in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina.


Dr Imabong Umoren contributes to BBC Radio 3 Programme Essays

The latest run of the programme, "Minds at War", explores the impact of the First World War on individual artists through the prism of a single great work. On 5 November, Dr Umoren told the story of W.E.B. Dubois’ ground-breaking editorial, “Returning Soldiers” (1919). Today, Dubois is heralded as the father of African American intellectualism and continues to inspire a generation of new activists who, like him, demand that black lives matter. Catch up with the episode on BBC iPlayer (UK only).


LSE's War: 1914-18

To mark the centenary of the armistice of the First World War, Professor David Stevenson has curated a new LSE Library and Google Arts and Culture online exhibition about the history of the London School of Economics during the conflict. Using the Library's collections, the exhibition tells the history of the role played by those who were part of LSE during the war effort. Check out “LSE’s War: 1914 – 1918”. Watch a teaser video about the exhibition.


Centenary of the end o the Great War: Public lectures and talks by Professor David Stevenson

This month, Professor Stevenson gave several talks to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War. On 7 November, he spoke at Gresham College, Museum of London, on "The Ending of World War I: The Road to 11 November". His lecture re-examined how the First World War ended. Watch a recording of the event on YouTube. The following day, he gave a talk about "The Road to the Eleventh of November: How the First World War Ended" at the Loughton and District Historical Society, of which he now presides. Later in the month, on 13 November, he spoke on “The Armistice - Marking the 100 Years” in an event hosted by the Buckhurst Hill Residents' Society.


New co-authored chapter by PhD student Artemis Photiadou

Artemis Photiadou has just published a co-authored chapter with Professor Patrick Dunleavy (LSE Government) in the edited volume The UK's Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit. The book is the first open access publication released by LSE Press. Read the chapter, "The House of Commons: Control of Government and Citizen Representation", for free here. Artemis Photiadou is a PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at LSE supervised by Dr Joanna Lewis. Her research focuses on the development of British interrogation policy.


Professor Piers Ludlow

Professor Piers Ludlow contributes to new BBC Radio 4 documentary

Professor Piers Ludlow has contributed to a new BBC Radio 4 documentary named “Death of the Postwar Settlement”. The three-episode documentary started airing on 29 October and includes commentary from former Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair, former Foreign Minister of Poland Radek Sikorski and former US Deputy Secretary for Defense Paul Wolfowitz. The documentary discusses why the international order built after 1945 is now in deep trouble. Listen to the full documentary on the BBC iPlayer (UK only).


Dr Megan Black's new book: out now!

Dr Megan Black newest book, The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power, was released by Harvard University Press this month. The Global Interior provides a detailed analysis of how, throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, the US Department of the Interior cultivated and exploited its image as an innocuous scientific-research and environmental-management organisation in order to drive and satisfy America's insatiable demand for raw materials. Interior continues to operate in indigenous lands by coal mining and oil leasing, it pushes the boundaries of territoriality through offshore drilling, and in the guise of sharing expertise with the underdeveloped world, it has led lithium surveys in Afghanistan, among other activities abroad. Indeed, Interior is more than global: the department now manages a satellite that prospects natural resources in outer space!


Dr Joanna Lewis outreach lecture at Somali Cultural Festival

As part of the Somali Cultural Festival, Dr Joanna Lewis gave a public lecture on 22 October at the Anglo-Somali Society. The lecture, entitled “Somali Women, the Diaspora and Resilience”, was based on Dr Lewis’s current research project at LSE funded by the Institute of Global Affairs. She talked about how Somali refugees, forced to flee conflict after 1990, survived the trauma of dislocation, rebuilt or remade new lives in London and then turned their attention to helping the homeland.

Dr Megan Black

Dr Megan Black quoted in BBC article

Dr Megan Black contributed to a BBC News article on "US economy under Trump: Is it the best in history?" on 19 October. The Reality Check team at the BBC decided to test the oft repeated claim by President Trump that the US economy is the best it’s ever been. The verdict? Yes, the economy has been doing well – but there have been periods when it was even stronger.


Interview in student-led sixth-form magazine with Professor David Stevenson

A student-led publication by Bishop Stopford School, Reflections Magazine, interviewed Professor David Stevenson for the October issue in a feature entitled “Philosophy and War: How could we let this happen?”. Professor Stevenson discusses important themes such as the significance of the year 1917 (drawing from his latest monograph), the greatest impact of the First World War, and how the First World War should be commemorated and taught in the future. He is also prompted about what his advice would be to aspiring historians: “Read. Find out more about it. Use as many different means as possible to access the past. The internet is the key now to get a flavour of all types of history. Get an overview and find out about as many time periods, places and topics as possible. Read as much as you can about as many different things as you can”. Reflections Magazine is supported by a dedicated number of sixth formers, each with specific curriculum subject editorial responsibilities. Read the full interview.


Dr Padraic X. Scanlan's Freedom's Debtors wins second book prize

Congratulations to Dr Padraic X. Scanlan for winning the American Historical Association’s James A. Rawley Book Prize 2018 for his debut monograph Freedom’s Debtors: British Antislavery in Sierra Leone in the Age of Revolution (Yale University Press, 2017). The James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History was created in 1998. It is offered annually to recognize outstanding historical writing that explores aspects of integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century. Earlier in the year, the Canadian Historical Association had also awarded Dr Padraic X. Scanlan's book its Wallace K. Ferguson Prize, which recognises outstanding scholarly books in a field of history other than Canadian history. Freedom’s Debtors offers insight into how the success of British anti-slavery policies were used to justify colonialism in Africa. British anti-slavery, widely seen as a great sacrifice of economic and political capital on the altar of humanitarianism, was in fact profitable, militarily useful, and crucial to the expansion of British power in West Africa.


Dr Joanna Lewis and Dr Jack Hogan present at British Academy-funded workshop in South Africa

Associate Professor Dr Joanna Lewis and LSE Fellow Dr Jack Hogan, historians of Colonial Africa, presented at a British Academy-funded international workshop in South Africa on 11 October. The workshop, “Connecting the Local and the Global in Nineteenth Century Southern Africa” took place between 9 and 11 October and was jointly hosted by the International Studies Group, University of the Free State, and the University of Dundee in Scotland. Dr Lewis delivered one of the keynote lectures, entitled “The Pathetic Death of Bwana Ingeleshi: Late 19th Century British Imperialisms in South-Central Africa and the Graveyard of Ambition”. The lecture was based on two chapters in her recently released monograph Empire of Sentiment on the death and myth of David Livingstone. Dr Jack Hogan participated in a panel on “Sinews of Globalisation: Digital Humanities and Precolonial African History”, pitching his potential upcoming project with the Institute of Historical Research.

Ronald C. Po

New chapter by Dr Ronald C. Po in edited volume about China's global historical role

Dr Ronald C. Po has released a chapter in an edited volume entitled Voyages, Migration, and the Maritime World: On China’s Global Historical Role (De Gruyter, 2018) edited by Clara Ho, Ricardo Mak, and YH Tam. In his chapter, “The Pearl by the Bohai Sea: Qinhuangdao in the Early Modern Period”, Dr Po argues that it is a necessary and salutary corrective to existing literature that the northeastern coastline could hardly be discounted when comprehending the oceanic history of late imperial China.


Professor Paul Preston historical advisor in French documentary

Professor Paul Preston appeared extensively in a new French documentary, called “Les Derniers Jours de Franco” [“The Last Days of Franco”], which aired on 21 October at 22:30 on France 5. The documentary tells the story of how Franco divided, and continues to divide, Spain well past his death on 20 November 1975, after over 40 years of dictatorship. The ghost of Franco continues to haunt Spain, with the recent Catalan crisis awakening old antagonisms, and Barcelona accusing Madrid of Francoist sympathies. Carles Puigdemont, former president of Catalonia (2016-17), provides a testimony in the film. The film also includes other testimonies of those who rubbed shoulders with the Caudillo and those who fought against him. Ultimately, this documentary attempts to break the Spanish divide over Franco.


Dr Kristina Spohr welcomed as Inaugural Helmut Schmidt Professor at John Hopkins University

Dr Kristina Spohr was welcomed as inaugural Helmut Schmidt Professor at Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs in an event organised by the Foreign Policy Institute at John Hopkins SAIS. In a press release from 3 October opening the new joint program of the Helmut Schmidt Professorship in Washington DC, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) declared the new professorship commemorates the long and deep friendship between Dr Kissinger and Chancellor Schmidt and, together with five new post-doctoral fellowships, is part of a multi-year program to enhance research on transatlantic relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS funded by the DAAD with generous support by the German Federal Foreign Office. The event, called “The United States, Europe, and World Order” took place on 3 October at Johns Hopkins University SAIS. It was held to celebrate a brand new, multi-year program featuring the new Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Professorship, this year held by Dr Kristina Spohr, and a new Post-Doctoral program in the field of international relations and history. The inaugural event began with an introduction to the program by the President of DAAD and an address on current issues by Germany’s Deputy Foreign Minister. This was followed by a discussion on the current state of world order and contemporary issues facing the United States and Europe, involving among others, Dr Kristina Spohr. Watch the full event on YouTube.


New publication "The Unprecedented President" by Professor Steven Casey

A new article written by Professor Steven Casey was published by the H-Diplo/ISSF Policy Series America and the World – 2017 and Beyond on 2 October, edited by Robert Jervis, Joshua Rovner, and Diane Labrosse. The article, entitled “The Unprecedented President: Donald Trump and the Media in Historical Perspective” chronicles the relationship between the White House and the media in the twentieth century. Professor Casey observes that, since the start of the twentieth century, when the White House first became “a full-time propaganda machine,” the president’s relationship with the media has been in a state of constant flux. Past presidents, whether Republican or Democrat, whether dealing with print, radio, television, or the Internet, have all recognized the costs, as well as the benefits, associated with interacting with the media. Despite that, Professor Casey argues that Trump’s use of the media has been too continent, too undisciplined, too unprepared, too untruthful to fit into any pattern of previous behaviour. In this area, he is proving himself to be an unprecedented president.

Dr Megan Black

Dr Megan Black on the New Books Network podcast

In anticipation of the release of her first book later this month, The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power, Dr Megan Black has been featured on the New Books Network podcast (2 October) to discuss her research on the US Department of the Interior. The book explores the role of the US Department of the Interior, a government organ best known for managing domestic natural resources and operating national parks, in supporting and projecting American power. Listen to the podcast.


Professor Steven Casey wins AJHA 2018 Book of the Year Award

Professor Steven Casey won the American Journalism Historians Association Book of the Year Award for 2018 for his latest book, The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany published by Oxford University Press in 2017. The award, which recognises the best book in journalism history or mass media history published during the previous calendar year was presented at AJHA’s Annual Convention 4-6 October in Salt Lake City, Utah. Based on a wealth of previously untapped primary sources, Professor Casey’s book chronicles a group of highly courageous and extremely talented American journalists as they reported the war against Nazi Germany for a grateful audience back at home. War Beat, Europe, provides the first comprehensive account of what these reporters witnessed, what they were allowed to publish, and how their reports shaped the home front’s perception of some of the most pivotal battles in American history. “Our panel of judges agreed that Steven Casey’s work once again established that good history at its best should be good reading,” said Aimee Edmondson from Ohio University, chair of the book award committee. “They also agreed his book provides a landmark work for scholars, an engaging and compelling account of journalists dedicated to reporting the Allied campaigns to dislodge the German forces from Europe.” Read more about the AJHA 2018 Book of the Year Award.


Professor David Stevenson's events on the First World War

In the context of the centenary commemoration of the ending of the First World War, Professor David Stevenson spoke at a couple of public events to share his vast knowledge on the subject. On 5 October 2018 he was at the Malvern Festival of Military History for a lecture on “How It Started, How It Ended – the Continuing Debate about the Origins and Outcome of the First World War”. The following day, Professor Stevenson  delivered the Presidential Lecture of the Central London Branch of the Historical Association. He spoke on "The Road to 1918: How the First World War Ended”.



Professor Nigel Ashton on his Freedom of Information case again the Cabinet Office

Professor Ashton has written a piece for the LSE British Politics and Policy Blog (13 September) detailing his Freedom of Information case against the Cabinet Office over the release of files relating to UK policymaking and the Qaddafi regime between 1988 and 2011. The blog post follows the final, written confirmation from the Cabinet Office earlier this month that they will not be appealing any further. The case started when Professor Ashton submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request in 2014 for the Qaddafi-UK files. Although the request was for history not journalistic purposes, Professor Ashton’s request was rejected by the Cabinet Office on the grounds of section 14 of the FOI act concerning ‘“vexatious” requests. Professor Ashton fought the rejection (and eventual appeal) in the courts. Earlier this month, the Cabinet Office was finally forced to concede defeat as a result of a ruling issued by the Upper Tribunal in favour of Professor Ashton.


Dr Imaobong Umoren on BBC One's "Fake or Fortune"

Dr Imaobong Umoren appeared in an episode of BBC One’s "Fake or Fortune", entitled “A Double Whodunnit”, which aired on 2 September. Enjoy the whole episode or skip ahead to 0h 43m to watch Dr Umoren’s contribution to the historical mystery.
In the episode, Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate two rare portraits of black British subjects from the 18th and 19th centuries. Painted with extraordinary skill and sophistication, both pictures are highly unusual in their positive depiction of black sitters at a time when Britain was still heavily engaged in slavery. But this is also an intriguing double whodunnit. Watch the episode free on BBC iPlayer (UK residents only).


Staff news, 2018-19

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Professor Steven Casey, Dr Tanya Harmer, Dr Padraic X. Scanlan and Dr Paul Stock are back this month from their sabbatical/research leave. They will be teaching in the department in 2018-19. Dr Antony Best and Professor Janet Hartley will be on sabbatical leave and Professor Marc David Baer, Dr Joanna Lewis, Dr David Motadel and Professor Anita Prazmowska will be on research leave. Professor Baer was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for 2018-19. He plans to utilise his twelve-month Fellowship to write the first biography of German-Jewish Gay Muslim Writer Hugo Marcus. Dr Lewis, who has recently returned from the Horn of Africa on a field trip, will be continuing her research on the reconstruction of post conflict states for her LSE Institute for Global Affairs-Rockefeller Grant project. Dr Motadel was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize and Professor Prazmowska will be concluding a two-year Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust on the topic of “The Cold War Jigsaw: Poland's role in the Angolan Civil War, 1976-1986”. Dr Roham Alvandi and Dr Kristina Spohr will be lecturing in US universities in 2018-19. Dr Alvandi will be teaching at Columbia University, as part of the LSE-Columbia University staff exchange programme, and Dr Spohr will be the Inaugural Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Chair at Johns Hopkins SAIS. We are also thrilled to announce that six new LSE Teaching Fellows will be officially joining us this month: Dr Laura Almagor, Dr Una Bergmane, Dr Anna Cant, Dr Raghav Kishore, Dr Noémi Lévy-Aksu and Dr Pete Millwood. The 2018-19 Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor will be Professor Johanna Gehmacher (University of Vienna). Dr Victoria Phillips is our 2018-19 LSE-Columbia University Visiting Professor and Dr (des) Bastian Matteo Scianna is the 2018-19 LSE-Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Fellow in Modern History. Finally, we are sad to report that Dr Heather Jones (pictured) has left the Department and the School after ten years of service to take up a chair in Modern and Contemporary European History at UCL. During her time in the Department, she has greatly contributed to the study of WWI history with many scholarly achievements and accolades, while numerous students have benefited from her dedicated teaching and wise guidance. We will miss her presence and all-round contribution enormously and we offer her our warmest congratulations on her new appointment.



New book by Dr Ronald C. Po

Dr Po’s new book with Cambridge University Press has just been released. The Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire provides a revisionist history of the eighteenth-century Qing Empire from a maritime perspective. It explores how the Qing Empire deliberately engaged with the ocean politically, militarily and even conceptually in the long eighteenth century. Contrary to orthodox perception, Dr Po offers a much broader picture of the Qing as an Asian giant responding flexibly to challenges and extensive interaction on all frontiers, both land and sea.


Dr Taylor C. Sherman publishes new article in Postocolonial Studies

Dr Sherman has released a new article in Postcolonial Studies, entitled “’A New Type of Revolution’: Socialist Thought in India, 1940s-1960s”. Although it is often said that early postcolonial India was socialist, scholars have tended to take this term for granted. This article investigates how Indians defined socialism in the two decades after independence. Understanding how Indians defined their version of socialism, Dr Sherman argues, will help scholars re-evaluate the role of the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in defining the goals India pursued after independence. It will also re-orient our understanding of the expectations and limitations of the Indian state in this crucial period in Indian history. LSE users can access the article for free.


History and Philosophy degrees at LSE highest paid five years after graduations

Once again, History and Philosophy degrees at LSE show top of the national table with earnings of above subject average five years after graduation. The latest Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset, released by the UK’s Department for Education on 21 June 2018, lists the “historical and philosophical studies” graduates at LSE the highest earners after 5 years. Out of all UK universities, for a cohort of male and female individuals, who graduated from LSE in 2009-10 in the field of historical and philosophical studies, their median salary was the highest at £38,000 after 5 years. The LEO pinpoints which universities produce the highest-earning graduates by subject area after they have been in the labour market for five years. The Daily Telegraphy also published the data on 15 August in an article entitled "The UK's highest paying degrees, according to graduate salary". Citing the DfE data, the article shows that LSE is the UK university with the highest graduate salaries for history and philosophy, economics, maths, business, law and social studies degrees.


Dr Joanna Lewis writes for the Africa at LSE Blog

As a new exhibition commemorating the Somali effort during the First World War opened in London, Dr Joanna Lewis contributed a new article to the Africa at LSE Blog, analysing how scholarship of the Great War is increasingly encompassing the global contribution of the conflict. Read the article, "Somalis in the First World War".


Upper Tribunal dismissed Cabinet Office appeal in favour of Professor Ashton

An appeal by Cabinet Office lawyers to deny release of copies of Downing Street files to Professor Nigel Ashton has been rejected by the Upper Tribunal. Professor Ashton has been in a long-running Freedom of Information battle with the Cabinet Office. In 2014, he requested for copies of Downing Street files that covered the period from the Lockerbie bombing of December 1988 to the revolution of 2011 that resulted in Qaddafi being deposed and murdered. He subsequently narrowed his request to files from the years 1990 to 2002. At a hearing last year, the tribunal ruled that the documents should be handed to Professor Ashton. However, government lawyers appealed against the ruling in May 2018 on the basis of being “vexatious”. The judge at the Upper Tribunal has now rejected the Cabinet Office’s appeal and upheld the decision of the First Tier Tribunal in Professor Ashton’s favour. “There is a vital public interest in understanding the course of Britain’s policy towards Libya during the Qaddafi regime”, Professor Ashton told us. “From the Lockerbie bombing to Blair’s rapprochement with Qaddafi to Cameron’s role in toppling Qaddafi’s regime, Britain was at the heart of events in Libya. I am glad that the Upper Tribunal has upheld the ruling of the First Tier Tribunal that my request for the opening of Prime Minister’s Office files which chart these vital decisions was a perfectly reasonable use of the Freedom of Information Act .”
Read the full decision of the Upper Tribunal: Cabinet Office v Information Commissioner and Ashton.


Dr Roham Alvandi at Aspen Institute event

Dr Roham Alvandi, historian of Iran during the Cold War, moderated a 3-day symposium (30 July - 2 August) hosted by The Aspen Institute on Iran: Past, Present, and Future with Dr Suzanne Maloney (Brookings Institution). The expert-moderated seminar examined the emergence of modern Iran against the backdrop of Iran’s political, social and diplomatic history. From the discovery and politics of oil, to the transition from secular society to the Islamic Republic, to the rise and fall of Iranian-American nuclear diplomacy. Dr Alvandi was also joined by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the last day of the symposium.



Dr Joanna Lewis fieldwork in Somaliland

Dr Joanna Lewis left the UK on Friday, 20 July, to conduct research in Somaliland for her project on the reconstruction of post conflict states. In 2017, she was awarded an LSE Institute of Global Affairs-Rockefeller Grant for two years to lead a project on Somalia, entitled “‘Pathways to Resilience’: The Role of an Urban Diaspora in Post-Conflict Reconstruction, London and Hargeisa, 1991 to the Present Day.” The project, based at the Firoz Lalji LSE Centre for Africa, investigates the role of the Somali diaspora in building frameworks of social, political and financial resilience in a post-conflict urban environment. It case-studies the diasporic relationship between London and Hargeisa, capital of the unrecognised state of Somaliland, since civil war ended in 1991. As part of her research, Dr Lewis will interview Somaliland's Foreign Minister Dr Edna Adan in the Horn of Africa. Incidentally, Dr Adan and the issue of Somaliland’s status are discussed in an article in the Guardian on 20 July.

Ronald C. Po

New article by Dr Ronald C. Po on China and the Global South

Dr Po published a new article, “China and the Global South: A Geostrategic Perspective” in the latest issue of Radical History Review (issue 131). Reluctant to side with those analysts who regard the China Dream as being equivalent to its aspiration of rising as a Pacific power, Dr Po argues that in facilitating the China Dream, over the next few decades, the Chinese government is and will be more interested in engaging with the Global South than with any other regions of the world, particularly in its military engagement in Africa and the Indian Ocean. Even though the Pacific Ocean is no less geopolitically salient, he suggests that the Pacific has not been prioritized as the foremost strategic theatre by the Chinese Communist Party since last century.


New article by Dr Kirsten E. Schulze in Terrorism and Political Violence

Dr Kirsten E. Schulze has co-authored a new article with Dr Julie Chernov Hwand (Goucher College) in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence, entitled "Why They Join: Pathways into Indonesian Jihadist Organizations", available online now. This article explores four pathways to entry into Indonesian Islamist extremist groups: study sessions, local conflict, kinship, and schools. It argues that within all four of these pathways, social bonds and relationships are the common thread in encouraging entry as well as in fostering commitment. Drawing on original fieldwork including 49 interviews with current and former members of Jemaah Islamiyah, Mujahidin KOMPAK, Darul Islam, Mujahidin Tanah Runtuh, Indonesia’s pro-ISIS network, and other jihadist groups as well as 57 depositions and court documents, this article explores the development and evolution of these pathways and how relational ties play a role in each.

Professor Piers Ludlow

New LSE Brexit blog post by Professor Piers Ludlow

Professor Piers Ludlow has co-authored a blog post based on an event hosted by the Department in June 2018 entitled “British Influence in Brussels: Looking Back and Looking Forward”.
Britain had far greater influence in Brussels since 1973 than has been recognised. For decades the UK was a driving and liberalising force when it came to the Single Market, enlargement, competition and trade, as well as foreign policy. Professor Ludlow, Sir Jonathan Faull (Kings College London), and Professor Laurent Warlouzet (Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale) outline the story of this significant and widespread British sway over the EU.


 New opinion article by Dr Kristina Spohr in the New Statesman

On the eve of the Trump and Putin Helsinki meeting, Dr Kristina Spohr and Professor David Reynolds (Cambridge) co-wrote an article for the New Statesmen entitled “The Age of Trumputin” (13 July). They review the history of Cold War summitry, and explore Trump’s newfound stride, his unpredictable policies and rumours that he is in the Kremlin’s pocket. Dr Spohr and Professor Reynolds are co-editors of Transcending the Cold War: Summits, Statecraft, and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970-1990 (Oxford University Press, 2016).


New article in the CTC Sentinel by Dr Kirsten Schulze

Dr Kirsten Schulze has released a new article in the CTC Sentinel entitled “The Surabaya Bombings and the Evolution of the Jihadi Threat in Indonesia” (June/July 2018, Vol. 11, Issue 6). On May 13, 2018, three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia, were targeted by suicide bombers comprising one single family of six. Dr Schulze argues these are the first suicide bombings involving women and young children in Indonesia, thus marking a new modus operandi. They also show an increased capability among Indonesian Islamic State supporters when compared to previous attacks. But this increase is not necessarily indicative of a greater capacity across Indonesia’s pro-Islamic State network and the involvement of whole families reflects a broadening participation in Indonesian jihadism rather than a complete departure. The recent upsurge in violence is locally rooted, even if it is framed within the broader Islamic State ideology. The attacks also bring to the fore the role of family networks and the increased embrace of women and children in combat roles.



New co-edited book by Dr Antony Best

Dr Antony Best, historian of Modern Japan and Anglo-Japanese Relation, released a new co-edited volume this month with Renaissance Books, called British Foreign Secretaries and Japan, 1850-1990: Aspects of the Evolution of British Foreign Policy. The book reviews the role of British Foreign Secretaries in the formulation of British policy towards Japan from the re-opening of Japan in the middle of the nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. It also takes a critical look at the history of British relations with Japan over these years. British Foreign Secretaries and Japan, 1850-1990 is part of a 10-volume Japan Society's series, which includes Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits as well as British Envoys in Japan. The book is co-edited with Hugh Cortazzi, British Ambassador to Japan (1980-1984) and editor or contributor to all the volumes in the Japan Society's series.


Dr Kristina Spohr on the Trump-Kim Summit for History Extra

Dr Spohr was interviewed by History Extra, the official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC World Histories Magazine, on “The Trump-Kim Summit: What Did It Really Achieve?” (18 June). Dr Spohr shares her views on the historically significance of the Trump-Kim summit, the personal chemistry between the two leaders and the nature of the future relationship between the two countries, US and North Korea.


New article by Dr Taylor C. Sherman on education in early postocolonial India

Dr Taylor C. Sherman published a new article in the journal History of Education, entitled “Education in Early Postcolonial India: Expansion, Experimentation and Planned Self-Help” (47:4). The article provides an overview of education policy in the first two decades after 1947 and finds that, contrary to what the constituion promised, Indian planning did not monopolise control over education. Rather, India’s socialism was a socialism of scarcity, which relied on self-help efforts by the people to build the institutions of the welfare state, entrenching existing inequalities.


History students at LSE highest earners in new IFS report

On 15 June 2018, the BBC News website highlighted a new Institute of Fiscal Studies Report which calculated the difference in earnings by subject and university choice throughout Britain five years after graduation. With this interactive content, the report illustrates the average impact the different universities and subjects would have on the future income of an individual. In the subject of History, LSE ranked #1, with average lifetime earnings boost of £14,000 for men and £15,000 for women. This is higher than from studying history at any other university. LSE was ranked higher than Oxford, St Andrews, Cambridge, KCL and UCL.


Dr Roham Alvandi featured in Independent article

Dr Alvandi was quoted in a new article published by the Independent on 12 June on the Trump-Kim summit from the view of Iran. In the article, “Iran warns North Korea not to trust the US over historic summit: ‘Trump might cancel deal before returning home'”, Dr Alvandi claims Iranians will see the summit as little more than a publicity stunt that legitimises both Mr Trump and Mr Kim. Why is the United States willing to negotiate with North Korea, a nation with a nuclear arsenal, while refusing to pursue detente with Iran, a country that has no nuclear weapons and has agreed to strict international safeguards on its civilian nuclear programme, Iranians will be asking.


Professor Paul Preston awarded knighthood in Queen's Birthday Honours

Professor Paul Preston, world-renowned historian of Spain, Príncipe de Asturias Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies and Director of the LSE Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies, was awarded a knighthood in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours Diplomatic Service and Overseas List in recognition of his work furthering UK-Spanish relations. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.
Many congratulations to Professor Paul for this marvellous accolade!


Dr Kristina Spohr announced Inagural Helmut Schmidt Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Dr Kristina Spohr will be joining the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC for the 2018-19 academic year as the inaugural Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Professor in the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs. This new professorship commemorates the long and deep friendship between Dr Kissinger and Chancellor Schmidt and is part of a multi-year initiative to enhance research on transatlantic relations at SAIS funded by the German Academic Exchange Service with generous support by the German Federal Foreign Office. “The German Federal Foreign Office is thrilled to support the establishment of the Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Professor in the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs,” said the Minister of State for international cultural policy at the German Federal Foreign Office, Michelle Müntefering. “The professorship adds an important German-U.S. transatlantic scientific perspective on how to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. (…) the Helmut-Schmidt professorship is part of a larger effort by the German Federal Foreign Office, together with its partners, to stay actively engaged in a broad transatlantic dialogue.” Giovanni Agnelli, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Kissinger Center Francis J. Gavin said, “We are delighted to welcome Professor Kristina Spohr as the inaugural Helmut Schmidt Professor. She is an acclaimed scholar of transatlantic relations and historically informed strategy and statecraft.” Read the full press release by Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and German Academic Exchange Service. Read a piece by the German regional daily newspaper Rheinische Post on Dr Spohr's new position (21 June, in German).


Dr Padraic X. Scanlan awarded Wallace K. Ferguson Prize

The Canadian Historical Association was awarded Dr Padraic X. Scanlan its Wallace K. Ferguson Prize, which recognises the year’s outstanding scholarly book in a field of history other than Canadian history, to his recently published Freedom’s Debtors: British Antislavery in Sierra Leone in the Age of Revolution (Yale University Press, 2017). The Canadian Historical Association is a Canadian organisation founded in 1922 for the purposes of promoting historical research and scholarship. Dr Scanlan’s Freedom’s Debtors explores British abolitionism within the context of Sierra Leone but more than that he argues that abolitionism was connected to the imperial project of expansion and colonialism. 



New book by Dr Imaobong Umoren

Dr Imaobong Umoren’s newest book Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles was published at the end May by University of California Press. Based on newspaper articles, speeches, and creative fiction and adopting a comparative perspective, Race Women Internationalists explores how a group of Caribbean and African American women in the early and mid-twentieth century traveled the world to fight colonialism, fascism, sexism, and racism. Dr Umoren is Assistant Professor of International History. Her research interests include the intersecting history of race, gender, migration, and religion in the nineteenth and twentieth century Caribbean, US and global African diaspora.


The Paulsen Programme: new €1 million fund for historians in Russia

We are very excited to announce that the department is hosting a new €1 million fund programme offering fellowships and conference grants to historians based in Russia. Funded by Dr. Frederik Paulsen Foundation, and chaired by former head of department, Professor Dominic Lieven, The Paulsen Programme at LSE has been set up to support historians in Russia whose work focuses on the imperial period from the mid-17th century to 1918. In addition to supporting scholars, The Programme will also organise two international research seminars in Saint Petersburg in collaboration with the Higher School of Economics, and an international conference in Latvia in 2022 devoted to the history of imperial Russia (c1650-1917), bringing together leading historians of imperial Russia from across the world. Major publications are planned which will bring the best current thinking and research on imperial Russia to the attention of both English and Russian-speaking historians. Applications are invited for Paulsen fellowships and conference grants for the academic year starting on 1 October 2018 and ending on 30 September 2019. The deadline for applications is 31 July 2018.

Katherine Arnold

Four International History students receive Partnership PhD Mobility Bursaries

Four of the PhD students in the Department of International History have received Partnership PhD Mobility Bursaries. This scheme enables LSE PhD students to undertake research for two to three months at one of LSE’s institutional partners: University of California (Berkeley), the University of Cape Town, Columbia University (New York), Fudan University (Shanghai), National University of Singapore, Peking University and Sciences Po (Paris). The scheme offers a wonderful opportunity to visit another institution, to benefit from additional research resources (archival and advisory) and to experience the academic culture and professional networks of another country. Our International History PhD recipients for 2018-19 are: Katherine Arnold (pictured) who will be spending next term at the University of Cape Town. She is conducting research on ‘Between Europe and the World: German Naturalists, the Cape Colony, and the British Empire, 1781-1851’; Molly Avery, University of California, Berkeley, ‘Transnational Anticommunist Networks in Central America in the Late 1970s and Early 1980s’; Fadi Esber, Sciences Po, Paris, ‘The Politics of Partition in French Mandate Syria, 1920-1936’; and Tom Wilkinson, Columbia University (New York), ‘Youth in Colonial and Post-Colonial Northern India, 1885-1957’. They will each receive £2,500 towards travel expenses, accommodation, maintenance, educational materials and/or other education-related costs.


Professor Nigel Ashton in the Guardian: battle with Cabinet Office continues in new tribunal hearing

Professor Nigel Ashton, historian of Anglo-American relations and modern Middle East, was mentioned in an article in the Guardian on 15 May, reporting on a long-running Freedom of Information battle he has been fighting with the Cabinet Office. In 2014, Professor Ashton requested for copies of Downing Street files that covered the period from the Lockerbie bombing of December 1988 to the revolution of 2011 that resulted in Gaddafi being deposed and murdered. He subsequently narrowed his request to files from the years 1990 to 2002, but has said he may request more. At a hearing last year, the tribunal ruled that the documents should be handed to Professor Ashton. However, government lawyers are appealing against the ruling on the basis of being “vexatious” in a new hearing that took place on 16 May in London. Professor Ashton hopes ultimately to achieve a greater understanding of the role the British government played in creating Libya as it is today. “The public interest in understanding Britain’s policy towards Libya is overwhelming,” Professor Ashton told the Guardian. “It seems extraordinary that the Cabinet Office has resisted my freedom of information request at every turn.” Read the full article.


Dr Marina Perez de Arcos winner of Martin Abel Gonzalez Prize

Many congratulations to Guest Teacher Dr Marina Perez de Arcos for winning LSE Class Teacher Award, the Department’s Martin Abel Gonzalez Prize. PhD students Isaac Scarborough (pictured) and William King were also highly commended for the prize. The prize is awarded yearly to the Department's Graduate Teaching Assistants and Guest Teachers with the best TQARO teaching scores. The prize was set up in 2011-12 and is named in memory of  Martín Abel González, a Graduate Teaching Assistant who served for many years at the Department and who tragically passed away in the summer of 2011. It is a prize that recognises excellence in teaching and professionalism as these were qualities that distinguished Martín Abel González.


Dr Roham Alvandi in The Spectator Podcast, in the Independent and on Australia's ABC Radio National

Dr Roham Alvandi commented on the latest events in the Middle East in the British media. Joined by Christopher de Bellaigue he participated in an episode of the The Spectator Podcast on 10 May. They talked about the recent US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. "I think it’s unambiguous that the policy of the Trump administration", Dr Alvandi said, "very much driven by John Bolton but also by Pompeo and others is one of regime change." Listen to the podcast. On 11 May, he was quoted by the Independent newspaper on the Israeli-Iranian confrontation in Syria, which came just days after US President Donald Trump announced his country would withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Read the full article, "Did Iran attack Israel from Syria and why would they?" in the Independent website. On 14 May, Dr Alvandi appeared in Australia’s ABC Radio National. He joined presenter Phillip Adams in his show “Late Night Live” to discuss the US exit from the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iran and regime change. Listen to the podcast.


D Jeppe Mulich on the change of international systems for the Review of International Studies

Dr Jeppe Mulich, one of our LSE Fellows, has a new article out in the journal Review of International Studies. "Transformation at the Margins: Imperial Expansion and Systemic Change in World Politics” seeks to provide a framework for addressing the question of how and why international systems change over time. Empire provides a particularly illuminating window into the topic of systemic change, in part because a major driver of historical transformations has been the expansion of empires and their encounters with other heterogeneous polities across the globe, and in part because a focus on imperial interactions highlights the limitations of existing unit-centric perspectives. LSE users can read the article for free.

Ronald C. Po

New publication by Dr Ronald C. Po

Dr Po published a chapter on the topic of Chinese exports to the West in the early modern period in David Ludden’s edited volume, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History (OUP, 2018). Tracing the social lives of tea, porcelain, and silk in 18th and 19th centuries, Dr Ron argues, it is discernible that the world had been living with commodities made in and exported from China for a fairly long period of time. Conceivably, China has played a crucial role in the global history of the dissemination and consumption of commodities since the early modern period. Read the chapter for free.


International Graduate Student Conference on the Cold War

The Department of International History was pleased to co-sponsor the International Graduate Student Conference on the Cold War, hosted this year at LSE from 3-5 May. The annual conference is jointly organised by the IDEAS Cold War Studies Project at LSE, the Centre for Cold War Studies and International History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Cold War Group at George Washington University. The conference was convened this year by Dr Roham Alvandi, Associate Professor of International History and Director of the IDEAS Cold War Studies Project. A number of students and faculty from the Department participated in the conference, including Professor Vladislav Zubok, whose keynote lecture was entitled, "The Bear That Never Barked. Soviet Estimates of the Iranian Crisis, 1953." Next year’s conference will take place in Washington DC.



International History student wins LSE Volunteer 2018 Award

We are incredibly proud of Alex Selway, BSc in International Relations and History, who won the Outstanding Contribution to the LSE Community Award for his work with LSESU Raising and Giving (RAG) Society. On 26 April, the LSE Volunteer Centre and the LSESU RAG Society hosted their annual event to celebrate volunteering and fundraising at LSE. Over 60 people attended representing the student body, including LSE Students’ Union and various parts of the School. In attendance were also charities that have recruited students over the past year as volunteers and fundraisers, as well as LSE staff from LSE Careers and other professional services and academic departments. “It’s been wonderful to volunteer in so many different ways”, Alex said upon winning his Outstanding Contribution to LSE award. “I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter with RAG next year as President, which I’m sure will be very fun.” We also congratulate Saskia Roberts (BA History), who was  nominated for a LSE Volunteer of the Year award for her work Action Tutoring.


LSE History ranked 7th in the Complete University Guide for 2019

History at LSE retained its 7th place in the UK in the independent 2019 Complete University Guide for the history subject. LSE ranked behind Cambridge, Durham, Oxford, St. Andrews, Exter and UCL, but ahead of Birmingham, Warwick and KCL, making it a top two university for the study of History in London. The rankings of the Complete University Guide are based on student satisfaction, entry requirements, research excellence and employment prospects after graduation. History at LSE  ranked 5th in the UK for graduate prospects. Over the years, History at LSE has twice topped the Complete university Guide Tables and never finished lower than seventh.


Dr Kristina Spohr on the strategic importance of the Baltic

Dr Kristina Spohr participated in the Baltic Symposium 2018, organised by the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, the Baltic Council in Great Britain, and the Embassies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on 20 April. She presented a paper on “Baltic Strategies: The Big Picture” and analysed how the two periods of independence in the Baltic region (1917-18 and 1990-91) have affected the future of this strategically important region at a time when Putin has characterized the Bolsheviks' nationalities policy of self- determination as a disaster. Watch her participation on YouTube.


LSESU Student-Led Teaching Excellence Awards winners announced

We are delighted to announce that the LSE Student Union's final student panel has now chosen the winners. They have recognised Associate Professor Dr Kirsten Schulze (pictured) as a runner-up in the Inspiration Teaching category, LSE Fellow Dr Daniel Strieff as a runner-up in the Research Guidance and Support category, and Guest Teacher Dr Giovanni Graglia as a a runner-up in the Mentoring and Personal Development category and also highly commended him on the Welfare and Pastoral Support category. Overall, the awards this year led to over 900 individual nominations, with over 400 members of staff across LSE being nominated in 7 categories of awards. After careful consideration the panel  recognised 1 winner, 2-5 runners-up and 4-10 highly commended staff members in each category.


Dr Roham Alvandi gives lecture at Stanford University

On 17 April, Dr Roham Alvandi gave a lecture for the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University on “Amnesty International and the Origins of the Iranian Revolution”. Dr Alvandi explored the role of the "human rights revolution" of the 1970s and the origins of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Watch the lecture on YouTube.

Professor Marc David Baer

Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship awarded to Professor Baer

Professor Marc David Baer has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for 2018-19. This award will allow Professor Baer, a scholar of the connected histories of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Europe and Middle East, from the early modern era to the modern, to complete his work on the project “Guided by Goethe: German-Jewish Gay Muslim Writer Hugo Marcus, 1880-1966”. German Jew Hugo Marcus (1880-1966) is the only man to have played an important role in the world’s first gay rights movement and in establishing Islam in Europe. His life and work shed new light on the history of Islam in Europe, Muslim-Jewish relations, and the gay rights struggle. Despite his significance, Marcus is relatively unknown. What is published about him does not incorporate his being German, Jewish, Muslim, and gay. Professor Baer plans to utilise his twelve-month Leverhulme Research Fellowship to write the first biography of Marcus, based on his German-language publications, speeches, private correspondence, and personal documents.


Professor David Stevenson on BBC Radio 4

Professor David Stevenson and Professor Anne Applebaum (LSE Institute of Global Affairs) were interviewed by Mishal Hussein at the close of Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday, 14 April, about the historical precedents for the current international crisis over Syria. Listen to their interview on the BBC Radio 4 website, starting at 1h55m.


Professor Matthew Jones in the US for talks on research for his latest books

On 9 April, Professor Matthew Jones gave a talk to the Non-proliferation forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC on his work for the official history of the UK strategic nuclear deterrent; he also lectured on the same theme at an in-house colloquium held on 11 April at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.



Professor Stevenson at Sandhurt for Operation Reflect commemoration

On 22 March, Professor David Stevenson gave a presentation at a conference at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, on “The Strategic Context of 1918: the British Empire”. This event formed part of Operation Reflect, the British Army’s commemoration of the final year of the First World War, and was attended by the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter.


Dr Joanna Lewis's Empire of Sentiment Book of the Week

Dr Joanna Lewis’s new book, Empire of Sentiment: The Death of Livingstone and the Myth of Victorian Imperialism, released by Cambridge University Press in January, is book of the week in the Times Higher Education (22 March). Joanna Bourke reviews the manuscript while giving an account of Dr Lewis’s analysis of Livingstone’s mythologised death, as well as Livingstone’s legacy in post-imperial contexts. “Her new book on the ‘myth of imperialism’", Bourke argues, “is an enthralling analysis of the cult of Livingstone”. Read the full review in the THE website


New virtual special issue on the Cold War in Latin America edited by Dr Tanya Harmer

Dr Harmer has organised a virtual special issue for the Journal of Latin American Studies (JLAS), entitled “The Cold War in Latin America" (open access). “This virtual special issue highlights some of the exciting directions that scholarship on the Cold War in Latin America has taken over the last decade”, Dr Harmer tells us in the Introduction. New interest in Latin America’s Cold War “have provided new insights into the way that the conflict affected – and was shaped by – Latin Americans’ international, transnational and global interactions as well as their domestic politics”. As a result, our understanding of the conflict has moved well beyond simplistic ideas of a distant bipolar superpower battle over the region. “The Cold War in Latin America” showcases some of the best new scholarship on the Cold War published by JLAS in previous years with articles on women, gender and morality; the “politicization and internationalization of everyday life”; and on interactions of Latin America’s revolutionary left.


Professor Matthew Jones invited for discussion at Royal United Services Institute

On 15 March 2018, Professor Matthew Jones spoke at the Royal United Services Institute on the subject of his recently published two volumes dealing with the history of the UK strategic nuclear deterrent, 1945-70. His talk focused on the strategic, political and diplomatic considerations that compelled British governments, in the face of ever-increasing pressures on the defence budget, to persist in their efforts to develop nuclear weapons and to deploy a credible nuclear force, as the age of the manned bomber gave way to the ballistic missile. Read more about the event in the RUSI's website.


Dr Kristina Spohr's on the scramble for the arctic

The new Cold War: The race to conquer the arctic, the world’s final frontier” is Dr Kristina Spohr’s newest analysis, published on 9 March as a cover article in the New Statesman (9-15 March). Dr Spohr, a historian of the global ending of the Cold War and author of The Global Chancellor (OUP, 2016) and Transcending the Cold War (OUP, 2016), argues that in the least regulated place on earth - the polar region - all the Arctic states are now jockeying for position while several non-Arctic states, are seeking influence, with the big money and real strategic vision coming from Beijing. Over the past decade, Putin has restored political and economic stability at home, while testing the West in its quest to transform Russia into a world power. “The Arctic is a keystone of that policy", asserts Dr Spohr, "because only here – as Putin said last December – is there real scope for territorial expansion and resource acquisition.” “At the end of the 19th century the great powers engaged in a scramble for Africa”, Dr Spohr continues. “Now, in the 21st century, a scramble for the Arctic is unfolding. Across one of the bleakest landscapes of the world, the race is on for gas, oil and fish and to control the emerging shipping lanes of the High North. (…) It’s time for the West to pay attention”.


LSE History ranked 7th in the world

The QS World University Ranking by Subject 2018 has placed LSE History in 7th place for the second year. Published annually since 2011, QS World University Rankings by subject are based on academic reputation, employer reputation and research impact. The rankings are based on an analysis of 198 million citations, and the insights of 40,000 hiring managers and over 70,000 academics.
History at LSE ranked 7th overall in the world ahead of Columbia (8th), Princeton (9th) and Chicago (10th). In the UK and in  Europe, History at LSE ranked third, behind Oxford (2nd) and Cambridge (3rd), but ahead of UCL (joint 15th), Leiden (joint 15th) and KCL (20th).



David Motadel reviews Arne Westad's  The Cold War in the Times Literary Supplement

Dr David Motadel published a new book review of Professor Arne Westad's The Cold War: A World History (Penguin, 2017) in the 23 February issue of the Times Literary Supplement, which also includes some more general reflections on challenges of writing a global history of the twentieth century. “With a brilliant ability to condense complex historical information", Dr Motadel argues in the review, entitled "Persistent Chill", "Westad offers an authoritative, elegantly written panorama of a divided world. He takes ideas and ideologies seriously, without ignoring material forces – at a time when the fashion among many historians is a new materialism, and this is refreshing.”


New article by Dr David Motadel in the Journal of Global History

Dr David Motadel and Professor Richard Drayton (Rhodes Professor of Imperial History, KCL) have written a programmatic article on the “Futures of Global History”, which has just been published in the Journal of Global History (13:1, 1-21). The article is a response to critics of global history. Read it together with replies from Princeton Latin American historian Professor Jeremy Adelman (Princeton) and historian of France Professor David Bell (Princeton), part of the same discussion.


Professor Anita Prazmowksa featured on BBC and CNN

In early February, Professor Prazmowska was featured in two articles regarding the Polish legislation to outlaw references to Polish death camps in Holocaust bill. The phrase, first used by Barack Obama in a 2012 speech, has led to a controversial bill which makes it illegal to accuse Poland of complicity in Nazi crimes. According to the BBC article, there is widespread agreement that Polish citizens participated in the Holocaust through the betrayal and murder of Polish Jews, but does that equal a larger Polish complicity? She responded: “this is history as a tool, as a means for a nationalistic government to accuse everyone else of betraying the nation while painting itself as the only true carriers of the Polish flag”. In the CNN article, she adds that legislation shouldn’t be used to force a particular historic interpretation, as this forms a broader attempt to revise negative aspects of history.



New article in Asian Security by Dr Kirsten E. Schulze

Dr Schulze published a new article in the journal Asian Security with Professor Joseph Chinyong Liow (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), entitled “Making Jihadis, Waging Jihad: Transnational and Local Dimensions of the ISIS Phenomenon in Indonesia and Malaysia”. The article aims to explain how, where and why the transnational and local intersect as well as the role of religion, particularly in the ideological narratives and recruitment strategies of local jihadi groups. At the heart of their analysis is the question to what extent Indonesians and Malaysians were lured into joining ISIS as a result of its “universal” ideology and global recruitment strategy or whether they were instead propelled by local Indonesian and Malaysian dynamics into Syria and into “importing” and “indigenizing” ISIS to advance their own agendas. LSE users, can read the article for free.


Podcast with Professor Stevenson about 1917

Professor David Stevenson participated in an episode of New Books in History podcast. He talked with Dr Krzysztof Odyniec about his latest book 1917: War, Peace and Revolution, released by Oxford University Press at the end of last year. In the podcast, recorded in January 2018, Professor Stevenson discusses the causes, course, and effects of the events of the year 1917, a turning point in the history of WWI and the evolution of the modern world. He shares insights about judging historical forces and human agency, evaluating counterfactuals, and drawing comparisons between 1917 and subsequent events of the last 100 years, including the Second World War, the Vietnam War, and conflicts of the twenty-first century. Listen to the podcast in the New Book's webiste.


LSE Student Union History Society and South London Cares event with Dr Roham Alvandi

On 24 January, the LSE Student Union History Society co-hosted an event with a charity called South London Cares, inviting Dr Roham Alvandi to speak over a pizza lunch. Dr Alvandi was joined by LSE students and some of our older neighbours from south London. He spoke with them about LSE and why we study history, as well as about his own research on Iran. The neighbours (one of whom was an LSE alumnus from the 1950s) got a chance to chat with the students over lunch and were then taken on a tour of the campus by the students. “The idea was to bring our neighbours out of isolation and encourage them to come on to our campus to participate in the events that go on here,” Dr Alvandi told us. Dr Alvandi thanks the History Society and Georgina Connah, who made a huge effort in helping organising the event. He was very pleased with the student turnout, mentioning, "it was one of those days when I really love my job!"


New essay in History Today by Dr Gagan D. S. Sood

Dr Sood has published a new essay in History Today (vol. 68, no. 2, Feb. 2018) entitled “A World Revealed”. Written using research conducted for his book India and the Islamic Heartlands: An Eighteenth-Century World of Circulation and Exchange (Cambridge University Press, 2016), the article is meant to appeal to a general audience of history students, teachers and aficionados interested in extra-Western, pre-modern history. The essay focuses on an 18th-century world, spanning the Middle East and South Asia, populated by a kaleidoscope of "ordinary" people. It was a moment “of remarkable changes, politically, intellectually, culturally, economically and demographically; it was a moment of unscripted possibilities”, says Dr Sood. This world was historically significant in its own time, but it suddenly vanished and was subsequently forgotten. The aim of the piece is to recapture a sense of this world in the manner of a detective story, and what is revealed is, in many ways, unexpected.


Dr Joanna Lewis's new book released by CUP

Dr Lewis’s new book, Empire of Sentiment: The Death of Livingstone and the Myth of Victorian Imperialism, was released by Cambridge University Press in January 2018. The book argues that one singular moment, the death of David Livingstone, shaped Britain’s perception of itself as a humane power overseas when the colonial reality fell far short. The images and myths surrounding Livingstone’s death were passed down through generations, inspiring waves of sentimental feeling and further colonial rule in Africa. Order the book on Amazon UK. Watch the promo trailed for the book on Vimeo.

Corina Mavrodin

Guest Teacher and PhD alumna offered Max Weber Fellowship

Dr Corina Mavrodin has been offered a Max Weber Fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence. She is currently teaching HY 116: International History since 1890 and HY 206: The International History of the Cold War, 1945-1989 in the Department of International History. Under the supervision of Professor Piers Ludlow, her PhD thesis, “A Maverick in the Making: Romania’s de-Satellization Process and the Global Cold War (1953-1963)”, passed the viva without corrections in May 2017. At the EUI, she will expand on her doctoral research by further exploring the economic and political roots of Romania’s de-satellization process within a global context. She says, “The EUI is an unparalleled centre of academic excellence in Europe. I feel both happy and privileged to be offered the Max Weber Fellowship, which will allow me to transform my dissertation into a monograph.” 


Dr Tanya Harmer's co-edited special journal issue out now

In 2016, Dr Harmer co-organised two international conferences in London and Mexico on Global and Transnational Histories of Latin America’s Revolutionary Left and on Intellectual Cultures of of Revolution in Latin America, respectively. Both conferences were hosted by the Latin America-Europe Cold War Research Network, coordinated by Dr Harmer and sponsored by the LSE International History Department. A special journal issue has now been released based on both conferences. Titled “Revolutionary Transnationalism in Historical Perspective: Militant Networks in the Americas”, the issue has been published in Estudios Interdisciplinarios de América Latina y el Caribe (vol. 28, no. 2) with an introduction by Dr Harmer and by Dr Alberto Martin Alvarez (Instituto Mora). The whole issue is open access.


Dr Roham Alvandi on BBC Radio 4

Dr Roham Alvandi was on BBC Radio 4’s Briefing Room programme on 4 January, speaking about the historical context for the protests in Iran. Who are the protesters in Iran and what do they want? Listen to his contribution on BBCiPlayer.


LSE Summer School: New International History Course

We are thrilled to announce LSE Summer School's first ever course offered by the Department - IR106: From Sarajevo to Baghdad: Key Decisions on War and Peace, 1914-2003 with Professor David Stevenson. The course will offer an intensive investigation of a central set of topics over the last century of international politics. It will introduce students to the international history of the two world wars and the Cold War as well as the post-Cold War period. The material should be readily accessible to students with little previous background in the field, as well as rewarding for those who already have familiarity with the content. 





Professor Vladislav Zubok gives 20th Annual Alexander Dallin Lecture

Professor Vladislav Zubok delivered the 20th Annual Alexander Dallin Lecture at Stanford University on 4 December. His talk, entitled "Reformed to Death: The Strange End of the USSR" was sponsored by CREEES (Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies). Watch his lecture on YouTube.




Professor David Stevenson's 1917 Book of the Year

Simon Heffer picked 1917: War, Peace and Revolution as one of his “outstanding” books of the year for The Telegraph on 26 November. He said of the book: “David Stevenson's 1917: War, Peace Revolution (OUP, £30) magisterial overview of pivotal year in which the 'outpourings of money and of that three years earlier would have been unimaginable become routine'." Read Simon Heffer's full selection of books in The Telegraph (with subscription).


Dr Ronald C. Po Guest Panelist in Nationalism Symposium at LSE

Dr Po  was a guest panelist in a symposium organised by the LSE Student Union Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service Society. The symposium, entitled Nationalism: On Catalonia, HK and USA, was held on 22 November. Other panelists included Dr Jonathan Hopkin (LSE Government), Dr Toni Rodon (LSE European Institute) and Dr John Hutchinson (LSE Government).


German edition of Dr David Motadel's book out now

The German edition of Dr David Motadel’s book, Islam and Nazi Germany's War (Harvard University Press, 2014), was published by Klett-Cotta this month. To mark the release of the new edition, titled Für Prophet und Führer: Die islamische Welt und das Dritte Reich, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published an excerpt of the book on 7 November. On 13 November, Dr Motadel spoke to the newspaper Deutsche Welle about the German edition of his award winning book. He discussed whether pragmatism or anti-Semitism drove Adolf Hitler's overtures and why some Muslim leaders backed him. The book was officially launched in Stuttgart, Germany, on Tuesday, 21 November, in the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen. Future editions in French and Persian will be released in late 2018 by La Découverte and Saless, respectively.


Professor Vladislav Zubok guest panelist at international conference in Miller Center

On 8 November, Professor Zubok was on a panel with former Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott (Brookings Institution) and Professor Arne Westad (Harvard - former LSE International History) at an international conference in the Miller Centre, University of Virginia, US. The conference, titled "U.S. Presidents Confront the Russians: A Century of Challenge, 1917-2017", aimed to place the current US-Russia relationship into broad historical context by returning to key historical moments of crisis and controversy as well as restraint and compromise. By exploring U.S. presidents and their ties to Russian and Soviet leaders, and by analysing the perceptions of the latter, the event hoped to illuminate the real nature of the bilateral relationship: the underlying forces, ideological, geopolitical, strategic, historic—that have placed the United States and Russia at cross-purposes for the past century.

Piers Ludlow

Professor Piers Ludlow on Brexit negotiations

Professor Ludlow contributed a post to the LSE Brexit blog. He argues that Britain is making the same mistake about the EU now as Harold Macmillan did about the European Community in the 1960s. Only if the UK makes major concessions is progress likely to be made. Read his insights on the Brexit negotiations.


Dr David Motadel awarded Philip Leverhulme Prize

Assistant Professor of International History Dr David Motadel has been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize. Dr Motadel works on the history of modern Europe and Europe’s relations with the wider world. Philip Leverhulme Prizes recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers at early stages of their career whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising. This year, the Trust offered five prizes in each of the following disciplines: Biological Sciences, History, Law, Mathematics and Statistics, Philosophy and Theology, Sociology and Social Policy. Prize winners receive an award of £100,000 each, which may be used to promote further research.


Dr Kristina Spohr on Putin and German elections

Associate Professor Dr Kristina Spohr was at Cambridge Festival of Ideas on Wednesday, 25 October, to discuss Russian President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy. Alongside Professor David Reynolds (Cambridge University), co-editor of Transcending the Cold War, they brought alive Putin’s worldview, blending historical analysis with entertaining vignettes from some of his most vivid summits. The event, called “We need to talk abut Putin!”, took place in St John's College Old Divinity School. On 1 November, Dr Spohr was at Chatham House in London, to participate in an event entitled, "After the Election: A New Political Landscape in Germany?". The event also featured Anne McElvoy, Senior Editor of the The Economist, and Martin Stabe, Data Journalist of the Financial Times. The election in Germany on 24 September resulted in Angela Merkel securing a fourth term as chancellor but also saw her CDU party's worst electoral performance since 1949 and, for the first time in over half a century, six different parties occupying seats in the Bundestag.



Professor David Stevenson in Kansas City for Symposium on WWI

Professor David Stevenson will be speaking at the 2017 Symposium 1917: America Joins the Fight in Kansas City on 3-4 November. The symposium, hosted by The National WWI Museum and Memorial, is aimed at those who have a general to professional interest in the periods prior to, during and after World War I. As the title suggests, the symposium will explore the revolutionary year of 1917 with the abandonment of US’s traditional isolation and the Russian revolutions. Other guest speakers include John Calvert, Richard S. Faulkner, Jennifer Keene, Saje Matthieu, Michael Neiberg, Olga Porshneva and Erik R. Scott.


Dr Tanya Harmer in Chile for public talks

Dr Tanya Harmer spoke at two public events on the centenary of the 1917 revolutions in Santiago, Chile, this month. On the 19th she was at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile to take part in a public seminar, called "The Russian revolutions a hundred years on". She gave a talk on the historiography of the Cold War in Latin America. On 23-25 October, she attended a major international conference at the Nicanor Parra Library, entitled "The Bolshevik Revolution a hundred years on: the experience of 'real socialism' and the dilemmas of the contemporary world.” On the last day of the conference, she presented a paper on the legacy and impact of the Bolshevik Revolution on the Cold War in Latin America.


New book by Dr Padraic X. Scanlan on antislavery out now

Dr Scanlan’s first book, Freedom’s Debtors: British Antislavery in Sierra Leone in the Age of Revolutions, was released by Yale University Press on 24 October. The book, published as part of the Lewis Walpole Series in Eighteenth-Century Culture and History, argues that British antislavery, widely seen as an historic sacrifice of economic and political capital on the altar of humanitarianism, was in fact profitable, militarily useful, and crucial to the expansion of British power in West Africa. Order the book on Amazon UK (available in hardcover and Kindle edition).


LSE Excellence in Education Awards

The Department is very pleased to announce that Dr Tanya Harmer, Dr Heather Jones (pictured) and Dr Padraic X. Scanlan have won a 2016-17 LSE Excellence in Education Award. Designed to support the School’s aspiration of creating ‘a culture where excellence in teaching is valued and rewarded on a level with excellence in research’ (LSE Strategy 2020), winners of the Excellence in Education Awards are recommended by LSE Heads of Department who have demonstrated outstanding teaching contribution and educational leadership in their departments.


Documentary film screening ‘Those Who Dare’ and panel discussion

On 17 October, Dr Sophr chaired a panel discussion on the Baltic nations’ path to independence from the USSR after the premiere screening of documentary film "Those Who Dare". The film recounts how the former Icelandic foreign minister Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson’s involvement in challenging the legacy of WWII helped to make Baltic independence a reality after the international community had ignored claims for independence made by Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from 1989 to 1991. The discussion featured Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, screenwriter Kolfinna Baldvinsdóttir, as well as Tunne Kelam, Member of the European Parliament and one of the leading figures in Estonia’s quest to restore independence.  The event, attended by the ambassadors of Estonia and Iceland, Tiina Intelmann and Thórdur Aegir Óskarsson, took place in the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London.


Professor Zubok in Oxford for public lecture

Professor Vladislav Zubok gave a public talk at St Antony's College, University of Oxford, on 16 October. The talk, entitled “Dmitry Likhachev and the dilemmas of Russian Cultural Nationalism”, was based on his latest book, The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev, which focuses on the life and work of one of the most prominent Russian intellectuals of the twentieth century.


Dr Alvandi on BBC/NPR Marketplace programme

On 12 October, Dr Roham Alvandi was on BBC World Service/NPR’s Marketplace Morning Report talking about Trump’s impending decision on the Iran nuclear agreement. As the deadline for President Donald Trump to recertify the Iran nuclear deal looms, Dr Alvandi examined the implications for Europe, Asia and the rest of the global business community if sanctions are to be reimposed. Catch up with his interview in Marketplace's website.


New book by Professor David Stevenson out now

1917: War, Peace, and Revolution is Professor Stevenson’s new book, was released by Oxford University Press on 12 October. The book is the first international study of the calamitous events of the year 1917, a pivotal year in the development of the First World War and the evolution of the modern world. Professor Stevenson, a leading historian of WWI, examines how the war was transformed, but also what kept it going and why it continued to escalate. He also examines this crucial year in context and illuminates the century that followed. Two developments in particular — the Russian Revolution and American intervention — had long-lasting and worldwide repercussions. Blending political and military history, and moving from capital to capital and between the cabinet chamber and the battle front, Professor Stevenson's book highlights the often tumultuous debates through which leaders entered and escalated the war, and the paradox that continued fighting could be justified as the shortest road towards regaining peace. Read more about 1917 in the OUP's website. Order the book on Amazon UK.


Dr Joanna Lewis at Yale University

Dr Joanna Lewis was at Yale University on 12 October to talk about how she wrote her forthcoming book, Empire of Sentiment: The Death of Livingstone and the Myth of Victorian Imperialism. Her public lecture, entitled "Death, Iconicity and Emotion: (the journey) to Livingstone, Africa and an Empire of Sentiment”, is part of the International History Workshop series, sponsored by the History Department and the Council of African Studies. Dr Lewis's book, to be released by Cambridge University Press in January 2018, is the first emotional history of the British Empire. It explores how David Livingstone's death tied together British imperialism and Victorian humanitarianism and inserted it into popular culture.



Award winning essay by PhD Candidate Anne Irfan out now

In February 2017, PhD candidate Anne Irfan jointly won the Jerusalem Quarterly Ibrahim Dakkak Annual Award for Outstanding Essay on Jerusalem. Her winning essay, "Is Jerusalem International or Palestinian? Rethinking UNGA Resolution 181", has now been published in a special issue of Jerusalem Quarterly (Summer, issue 70). Anne Irfan is currently writing a doctoral thesis on Palestinian nationalism in the refugee camps (1967-82) under the supervision of Dr Kirsten Schulze. She is also a Teaching Fellow in Middle Eastern History at the University of Sussex.


New article on 18th C. Northeast Chinese port city Dengzhou by Dr Ronald C. Po

Dr Po’s newest article, entitled “A Port City in Northeast China: Dengzhou in the Long Eighteenth Century”, was released online in September 2017 by the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. In his article, Dr Po investigates the importance of Northeast China's port cities by focusing particular attention on the less familiar coastal seaport of Dengzhou. By detailing and examining the political and economic importance of this port city in the early modern period, Dr Po shows that Qing China's northeastern coast was no less important than the southeast. Even if China's northern port cities might not have been as economically vibrant as those in the south (e.g. Shanghai, Canton, Xiamen, and Macau), one should not overlook their functions and histories. Indeed, they also attained unique patterns of political and economic development throughout the long eighteenth century. LSE users, can access the article freely in the publisher's website.


Dr Heather Jones presents "The Frontline Prince" on BBC Radio 4

Dr Heather Jones was on BBC Radio 4 programme "The Frontline Prince" on 18 September, talking about the First World War experience of the future King Edward VIII. The programme, written and presented by Dr Jones, reveals the true story of the first front-line prince, at a time vital to the development and public image of the future King Edward VIII, drawing on new research from the Royal Archives. Dr Jones tells the story of the Prince who wanted to fight - and whose bravery turned sour in the years of conflict. Listen to it on BBC iPlayer (UK only).


Dr Roham Alvandi new Head of LSE IDEAS Cold War Studies Project

Dr Roham Alvandi has now succeeded Professor Piers Ludlow, now Deputy Head of Department and Director of Teaching Programmes, as head of Cold War Studies Project. LSE IDEAS has been the home of Cold War Studies since 2004. “Now in its second decade”, Dr Alvandi told LSE IDEAS, “the Cold War Studies Project is the legacy of the groundbreaking research on the global Cold War that the LSE is known for throughout the world. Building on the work of Mick Cox, Arne Westad, Piers Ludlow, and many other colleagues at LSE and our partner institutions, we hope in the years ahead to continue our global approach to the study of the Cold War".


Dr Heather Jones's IHR special issue positively reviewed by H-Diplo

On 13 September, H-Diplo published a very positive article review of the special edition of International History Review that Dr Heather Jones co-edited with Richard Smith of the Foreign Office Historians Team. The IHR special edition, called "Sir Edward Grey and the Outbreak of the First World War", was published last year (volume 38, issue 2) and includes contributions by F. R. Bridge (University of Leeds), Sir Christopher Clark (University of Cambridge), John Keiger (University of Cambridge), Annika Mombauer (The Open University), T. G. Otte (University of East Anglia) and Keith Wilson (University of Leeds). Read the H-Diplo review by Keith Hamilton (KCL), Keith Robbins (Independent Scholar) and Andreas Rose (University of Bonn/LSE) in the H-Diplo website.


Dr Ronald C. Po in Hong Kong for public lecture

Dr Ronald C. Po was in Hong Kong on 14 September to give a public lecture at the Hong Kong Baptist University. His lecture was on “What is Maritime History? Some Observations and Reflections”. Dr Po specialises in the history of late imperial China and on maritime and global studies. His forthcoming book, under contract with Cambridge University Press, is called The Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire.


New article by Professor Marc D. Baer on Hugo Marcus's Islam

In his newest article, "Protestant Islam in Weimar Germany: Hugo Marcus and 'The Message of the Holy Prophet Muhammad to Europe'", Professor Marc D. Baer explores the Islam envisioned in the extensive writings of one of the most prominent German converts to Islam in Weimar Germany, the Jewish poet, philosopher, and political activist Hugo Marcus (1880–1966). The article, published by the New German Critique last month, engages with German responses to the rupture of World War I and the realm of imagined political possibilities in Weimar Germany by focusing on one such utopia overlooked in historiography, Marcus's German-Islamic synthesis. LSE users can read the article for free.


New publication by Dr Heather Jones

A new chapter by Dr Heather Jones on “Cultures of Commemoration: remembering the First World War in Ireland” features in Atlas of the Irish Revolution - a major new scholarly work published in Ireland this month. The Atlas, released by Cork University Press, draws together existing and ongoing new research into the revolutionary period in a broad ranging and inclusive manner. It includes contributions from leading scholars across a range of disciplines, incorporating the "big issues", while also maintaining a close focus on events as they impacted at a local level. The Atlas also includes sections on the evolution of revolution, and on its aftermath, legacy and the collective memory and cultural representation of this fascinating, transformative period of Irish history. Read more about the magnificent Atlas of the Irish Revolution, edited by John Crowley, Mike Murphy and Donal ó Drisceoil, in the book's official website.


Staff news, 2017-18

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Dr Roham Alvandi, Dr Tim Hochstrasser, Dr Kirsten Schulze and Dr Taylor Sherman are back this month from their sabbatical/research leave. Professor Steven Casey, Dr Tanya Harmer, Professor Janet Hartley, Dr Heather Jones, Dr Joanna Lewis, Professor Anita Prazmowska, Dr Padraic X. Scanlan, Dr Kristina Spohr and Dr Paul Stock will be on research/sabbatical leave in 2017-18 and we wish them all the best with their academic endeavours. We are also thrilled to announce that five new members of staff will be officially joining us this month: Assistant Professor Dr Megan Black, Assistant Professor Dr Imaobong Umoren, LSE Teaching Fellow Dr Jack Hogan, 2017-18 Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor Arnd Bauerkämper and 2017-18 LSE-Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Fellow in Modern History Dr Andreas Rose.



Dr David Motadel on the history of fascism in the United States

“It has never been more important to acknowledge the history of fascism and neo-fascism in America than it is today”, claims Dr David Motadel in his latest opinion piece for The Guardian, entitled “The United States was never immune to fascism. Not then, not now”, and published online on 17 August. Dr Motadel traces the American fascist and neo-fascist movements from the interwar period until today, where although remaining fringe groups, he argues, Trump’s victory has given them new confidence. “America is currently experiencing a wave of increasingly aggressive far-right and neo-fascist activism. Observers have routinely considered fascism an ideology alien to American society. Yet it has deeper roots in American history than most of us have been willing to acknowledge.” An extended version of Dr Motadel’s opinion piece was published in print on 19 August.


Professor Steven Casey on Trump's nuclear bluster precedent

"The closest a US president has come to anticipating Trump’s shockingly bellicose statement was Harry Truman, during the Korean War", argues Professor Steven Casey in his latest piece for the The Interpreter (11 August). Much alike Donald Trump's bluster, Truman’s words also sent shockwaves through the world. Read the full piece, “Korea: Trump’s nuclear bluster has just one precedent”, in the Lowy Institute website.


NSS results show high satisfaction among International History students

In the August 2017 National Student Survey, the Department of International History recorded high levels of student satisfaction with the courses and teaching on offer, making it one of the best performing history departments in the UK with an overall satisfaction rate of 92%.  The Department is confident that it can provide an excellent learning environment and a welcoming and supportive atmosphere for all of our students.


Promotion news

We are thrilled to announce that Dr Joanna Lewis (pictured) has been promoted to Associate Professor and Dr Piers Ludlow has been promoted to Professor. Both positions became official on 1 August 2017. Dr Joanna Lewis is an expert in Modern Africa History. Her forthcoming book Empire of Sentiment: Livingstone and myth of Victorian imperialism is coming out in 2017 published by Cambridge University Press. She is currently writing a book on the history of British journalists in Africa from Henry Morton Stanley to the present day. She teaches courses on the British Empire and Africa and holds an LSE Teaching Prize. Professor Piers Ludlow's research focuses on the history of the European integration process and on Britain’s troubled relationship with it. He is the author of Roy Jenkins and the European Commission Presidency, 1976-1980 (Palgrave, 2016). Professor Ludlow teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on European Integration and on the Cold War. In 2016, he was awarded an LSE Excellence in Education Award with other members of the Department.


New Head of Department, Professor Matthew Jones

We are delighted to announce that Professor Matthew Jones is the new Head of Department as of 1 August 2017. He succeeds Professor Janet Hartley. Professor Jones joined us in 2013 as Professor of International History, after lecturing at Royal Holloway, University of London, and at the University of Nottingham. His interests span many aspects of the history of British and American foreign and defence policy in the twentieth century, as well as the Cold War more generally and the end of empire in South East Asia. His latest publications are a two volume official history exploring British nuclear policy between 1962 and 1982, released by Routledge this year: The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent. Volume I: From the V-Bomber Era to the Arrival of Polaris, 1945-64 and The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent. Volume II: The Labour Government and the Polaris Programme, 1964-70. Professor Jones teaches International History since 1890, British Foreign and Defence Policy, 1931-1968 and An International History of Nuclear Weapons and the Arms Race from the Second World War to the End of the Cold War.



Professor David Stevenson on 5 News

Professor David Stevenson was on Channel 5 News on 31 July to talk about World War I’s Battle of Passchendaele – The Third Battle of Ypres, a hundred years on. During the Battle of Passchendaele, an estimated 245,000 allied and 215,000 German casualties (dead, wounded or missing) fell after approximately 100 days of heavy fighting for a movement of the front line of only 8 kilometres. Watch a video clip of Professor Stevenson's interview.


Dr Joanna Lewis on BBC Four's A Timewatch Guide

Dr Joanna Lewis participated in an episode of BBC Four’s A Timewatch Guide, called Dictators and Despots, showed on 25 July. Through the examination of fifty years of BBC documentary archives, the episode looked at how dictators, such as Cesar, Castro Gaddafi, Saddam and Mugabe, have risen in unsettling times and why they can have such a powerful appeal. Watch it on BBC iPlayer (UK only).


Professor Matthew Jones at AWE

Professor Matthew Jones gave two presentations on 10 July at the research institute, Atomic Weapons Establishment. Professor Jones spoke about the history of Britain’s nuclear deterrent with insights and reflections on some of the key issues that arise when studying the development of British strategic nuclear policy in the early post-war era.


New article by Professor Vladislav Zubok on Soviet Union and China

'The Soviet Union and China in the 1980s: Reconciliation and Divorce' is Professor Vladislav Zubok's latest article in the Cold War History journal. The article discusses Soviet and Chinese reforms and foreign policies in the 1980s in comparative perspective, in the light of recent archival findings. It argues that key policy choices by Deng Xiaoping and Mikhail Gorbachev, which made possible China’s rise and the Soviet Union’s collapse, can be better understood in comparative perspective.


Dr Kristina Spohr on Monocle radio station

Dr Kristina Spohr was on Monocle Radio on 5 July. She explained to The Globalist's Rhys James how Germany's grand coalitions work. Listen to the Monocle radio interview.

New Statesman

Dr Kristina Spohr on Angela Merkel for the New Statesman

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel remains an enigma. Her mentor Helmut Kohl called her his assassin. She is ruthless with those who betray her. She is also now being described as the leader of the free world. Where did she come from? What motivates her? What does she want? And where is she going? Dr Kristina Spohr answers those questions in an article for the New Statesman, "The Learning Machine" (6 July).


Dr Piers Ludlow's book in 100 Books list by European Parliament

Dr Piers Ludlow’s second book, The European Community and the Crises of the 1960s: Negotiating the Gaullist Challenge (2006), was included in a list drawn up by the European Parliament of the 100 books that ought to be read about Europe. The European Community and the Crises of the 1960s was published by Routledge in 2006. The book is a detailed study of the European Community's development between 1963 and 1969, with a special focus on the struggle between France and its EC partners over the purpose, structure and membership of the emerging European Community.



It pays to study with us!

The Times Higher Education (THE) listed the “historical and philosophical studies” graduates at LSE the highest earners after 5 years. Out of all UK universities, for a cohort of male and female individuals, who graduated from LSE in 2008-09 in the field of historical and philosophical studies, their median salary was the highest at £42,200 after 5 years. The THE report is based on the latest Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset. The LEO, released by the UK’s Department for Education on 13 June, pinpoints for every subject area which universities produce the highest-earning graduates after they have been in the labour market for five years. Read the full THE article and rankings (with subscription). Read more about the latest LEO rankings from the Department for Education website.


Dr Kristina Spohr on Monocle 24 radio station

On 6 June 2017, Dr Kristina Spohr gave an interview for Monocle 24. She reflected on how the late German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt got on with his US counterparts Ford, Carter and Reagan. Listen to the interview on Monocle 24’s website from 21:20 minutes.


New Article by Professor on Europe's External Relations

Professor Vladislav Zubok, a historian of the Cold War, the Soviet Union, Stalinism, and Russia’s intellectual history in the 20th century, has a new article out with Professor William Wohlforth in the July Special Issue of International Politics. The Special Issue, entitled “Europe and the World: Rethinking Europe’s External Relations in an Age of Global Turmoil” is already available online and Professor Zubok’s article, "An Abiding Antagonism: Realism, Idealism and the Mirage of Western–Russian Partnership after the Cold War", can be read with subscription or free for LSE users. The article asserts that Europe’s security environment is critically dependent on nature of the relationship between Russia and the broader west and addresses the obstacles in the way of a stable partnership.



Dr Roham Alvandi quoted in USA Today

Dr Roham Alvandi contributed to an article on US President Donald Trump’s Middle East visit, published by USA Today on 22 May. In the article, he shares his opinion on lessons learned from Nixon’s “impeachment diplomacy” in Trump's first foreign trip. Read "The pitfalls of 'impeachment diplomacy:' Lessons from Nixon in Trump's foreign trip" on USA Today.


Two new publications by Dr Paul Stock on the concept of Europe

Dr Paul Stock’s new chapter, "What is Europe?  Place, Idea, Action", was published in May in Ash Amin and Philip Lewis’s edited volume, European Union and Disunion: Reflections on European Identity (British Academy, 2017). In “What is Europe?", Dr Stock looks at "Europe" as a “concept fashioned by humans, established and reinvented according to historically specific belief systems and ideological principles.” The chapter was first presented at the British Academy conference, "European Union and Disunion: What Has Held Europeans Together and What is Dividing Them?", which took place in November 2016. Another article by Dr Stock on a similar topic was also published online this month in The European Legacy: Towards New Paradigms. The article, entitled "Towards a Language of 'Europe': History, Rhetoric, Community", addresses the difficulty of understanding “Europe” as a concept or form of identity when language and nationality are considered the foundation of imagined communities and loyalties. LSE users can read the article for free.


English edition of Totalitarian Societies and DemocraticTransition by Professor Vladislav Zubok

The English edition of Società Totalitarie e Transizione alla Democrazia, initially published in Italian by Il Mulino in 2011, was published by Central European University Press under the title, Totalitarian Societies and Democratic Transition. Essays in Memory of Victor Zaslavsky, earlier this month. The book, co-edited by Professor Vladislav Zubok and Dr Tommaso Piffer (University of Cambridge) is a tribute to the memory of Victor Zaslavsky (1937-2009), sociologist, emigre from the Soviet Union, Canadian citizen, public intellectual, and keen observer of Eastern Europe. In seventeen essays leading European, American and Russian scholars discuss the theory and the history of totalitarian society with a comparative approach. They revisit and reassess what Zaslavsky considered the most important project in the latter part of his life: the analysis of Eastern European - especially Soviet societies and their difficult "transition" after the fall of communism in 1989-91. The book promotes new theoretical and methodological approaches to the concept of totalitarianism for understanding Soviet and East European societies, and the study of fascist and communist regimes in general. Order the book on Amazon UK.


The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent out now

Professor Matthew Jones's newest books, The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent, Volume I: From the V-Bomber Era to the Arrival of Polaris, 1945-1964, and Volume II: The Labour Government and the Polaris Programme, 1964-1970 were released by Routledge this month. Written with full access to the UK documentary record, Volume I of The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent examines how British governments after 1945 tried to build and then maintain an independent, nationally controlled strategic capability, and the debates this provoked in official circles.
Volume II examines the controversies that developed over nuclear policy following the arrival in office of a Labour government led by Harold Wilson in October 1964 that openly questioned the independence of the deterrent. The volume concludes with Labour’s defeat at the general election of June 1970, by which time the Royal Navy had assumed the nuclear deterrent role from the RAF, and plans had already been formulated for a UK project to improve Polaris which could both ensure its continuing credibility and rejuvenate the Anglo-American nuclear relationship. Both volumes are of much interest to students of British politics, Cold War history, nuclear proliferation and international relations. Order Volume I and Volume II on Amazon UK.


LSE History second best for graduate prospects

LSE history students continue to have one of the best rate of employability after graduation in the UK. The Guardian's University League Tables 2018 places History at LSE in 2nd place just behind Sussex University.


Study Day with Professor David Stevenson at Loughton Festival

A festival favourite, Professor David Stevenson presented another of his Day Schools at the Loughton Festival on 20 May, this time about the Russian Revolution, its causes, course, and consequences. Professor Stevenson’s upcoming book, about the First World War and called War, Peace and Revolutions will be published later this year by Oxford University Press.


Dr Roham Alvandi on BBC World

Dr Roham Alvandi, our expert in Iran and Modern Middle East History, appeared on BBC World on 12 May to discuss the upcoming Iranian presidential election. Watch the full interview.


Department performs impressively at the LSESU Student-Led Teaching Excellence Awards

On 10 May, several of our departmental teachers were distinguished at the LSE Student-Led Teaching Excellence Awards Ceremony. Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA), William King, won the "LSE Class Teacher Award", the Department’s Martin Abel Gonzalez Prize. Dr Rosalind Coffey (Guest Teacher), Pete Millwood (GTA) and Max Skjönsberg (GTA) were highly commended in the same category. Dr Giovanni Graglia (Guest Teacher) was also highly commended but in the category “Excellent Welfare and Pastoral Support”, as were Pete Millwood (GTA, pictured) in the category “Sharing Subject Knowledge” category, Dr Andrea Mason (Teaching Fellow) in the category “Excellent Feedback and Communication”, Dr Kirsten Schulze (Associate Professor) in the category “Research Guidance and Support” and Eline van Ommen (GTA) in the category “Innovative Teaching”. The LSESU Teaching Excellence Awards are the only awards at LSE that are student-led. Students make the nominations and students choose the winners. Pictures and full list of award winners and highly commended nominees can be found in the LSESU website.



New book by Dr Svetozar Rajak and book launch event

Dr Svetozar Rajak's new book, The Balkans in the Cold War, was published by Palgrave MacMillan in February. The edited volume, co-organised with PhD alumna Dr Eirini Karamouzi (University of Sheffield), Professor Evanthis Hatzivassiliou (University of Athens) and Dr Konstantina E. Botsiou (University of Peloponnese), explores the origins, unfolding and impact of the Cold War on the Balkans on the one hand, and the importance of regional realities and pressures on the other. Fifteen contributors from history, international relations, and political science address a series of complex issues rarely covered in one volume, namely the Balkans and the creation of the Cold War order; Military alliances and the Balkans; uneasy relations with the Superpowers; Balkan dilemmas in the 1970s and 1980s and the ‘significant other’ – the EEC; and identity, culture and ideology. The book’s particular contribution to the scholarship of the Cold War is that it draws on extensive multi-archival research of both regional and American, ex-Soviet and Western European archives. The book launch took place on Friday, 28 April, at LSE IDEAS with introductory comments by Professor Arne Westad (Harvard) and Dr Vesselin Dimitrov (LSE).


LSE History ranked 7th in Complete University Guide 2018

LSE History has retained its 7th place in the independent Complete University Guide for 2018 - History subject table. LSE is the best university in London for the study of History, behind Cambridge, Durham, Oxford, Exeter, St. Andrews, and Warwick, but ahead of UCL, Birmingham and KCL. The rankings of the Complete University Guide are based on student satisfaction, entry requirements, research excellence and employment prospects after graduation. LSE, as a whole, is ranked fourth out of the 129 universities assessed nationally by the guide and top of the 22 universities assessed in London, the region which features more institutions in the top ten than any other part of the UK.


Professor Steven Casey gives lecture at Ohio State University

On 21-22 April, Professor Steven Casey attended a conference at Ohio State University’s Mershon Center on War, Media, and Public Opinion. The conference brought together leading political scientists, communications scholars, and historians in the field, as well as journalists and policy makers. Professor Casey spoke on “The Media and Military at War, from World War I to Korea,” which highlighted some of the themes of the three major monographs he has published in the past nine years.


International History students nominated LSE Volunteer of the Year

This year, the LSE Volunteer Centre received nominations for 27 students for the LSE Volunteer of the Year award, including two international history students. Allan Rogers (BA History) and Isabella Wilkinson (BSc in International Relations and History) received nominations for their volunteer work as LSE Peer Supporter and as a volunteer for, respectively. We warmly congratulate our undergraduate students in these very deserving nominations. As LSE Careers Volunteer Centre says, “you’re volunteering has been invaluable and your nomination is a recognition of your great efforts!” The winner of the award will be announced on their celebratory ceremony on 27 April.


Professor Matthew Jones invited to give talks in Brazil on latest research 

Professor Matthew Jones, an expert in British foreign and defence policy and nuclear history during the Cold War, delivered invited talks in Brazil on his recent work on British nuclear history. He was at the Centre for International Relations of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, São Paulo, on 4 April, and at the Brazilian Naval Academy, Rio de Janeiro, on 7 April. Professor Jones's forthcoming books, The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent, Volume I: From the V-Bomber Era to the Arrival of Polaris, 1945-1964, and Volume II: The Labour Government and the Polaris Programme, 1964-1970 will be released by Routledge in May 2017. Written with full access to the UK documentary record, both volumes are of much interest to students of British politics, Cold War history, nuclear proliferation and international relations.


New article by Professor Maria José Rodriguez-Salgado

Emerita Professor Maria José Rodriguez-Salgado, a specialist in 16th and 17th Century Europe and Anglo-Spanish Relations, contributed an article to the online publication Discover Society on the European Union’s future by way of its past (April 2017). Read the article in open access.


New book by Professor Steven Casey released in the US

Professor Steven Casey’s newest book, The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany was released by Oxford University Press in the United States on 3 April. The book will be released in the UK in June. War Beat, Europe presents the challenges faced by World War II American correspondents mediating between their battlefield reporting and the US press management. Based on a wealth of previously untapped primary sources, Professor Casey provides the first comprehensive account of what reporters, such as Ernie Pyle, Robert Capa, Margaret Bourke-White and Walter Cronkite, witnessed, what they were allowed to publish, and how their reports shaped the home front's perception of some of the most pivotal battles in American history. Pre-order the UK edition on Amazon UK.


Great Centenary lecture and future book publication by Professor David Stevenson

On 21 March 2017, Professor Stevenson was a guest speaker at the University of Birmingham Great War Centenary Lectures, where he gave a talk on “1917 Revisited”. In its fourth series, the lectures aim to commemorate the anniversary of the First World War. They are organised by the Centre for War Studies, Department of History, University of Birmingham. Professor Stevenson’s focus on 1917 is not incidental. He is currently working on 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution, an international history of the year 1917, under preparation for Oxford University Press. The book is due for release in October 2017. It is the first international study of the events of the year 1917, a turning point in the history of the First World War and the evolution of the modern world. The book marks the centenaries of key events, including the Russian Revolutions, American entry into WWI, and the Montagu Declaration. It examines how the war was transformed, but also what kept it going and why it continued to escalate. It blends political and military history, moving from capital to capital, and from the cabinet chamber to the battle front. Read more about Professor Stevenson’s upcoming book in the publisher’s website (OUP).  

Professor David Stevenson participates in events aimed at school students

Professor Stevenson, a specialist in the First World War, participated in the The Great War Debate, which took place on 7 March 2017 in Birmingham and covered the topic “Peace Settlements: Did the Western Allies Win the War but Lose the Peace?”. The Great War Debate is a series of interactive panel discussions, sponsored by the Department of Education, featuring leading historians and academics aimed at helping to improve students’ knowledge of the causes and consequences of the First World War. The purpose is to get young people to think and talk about the events of a hundred years ago. Panels have run approximately monthly since June 2016 and will carry on into 2018. For more information visit The History Press. Professor Stevenson was also lead judge for the national final of the Historical Association (HA) school public-speaking competition, Great Debate. The final was held in the Imperial War Museum on 11 March 2017. Students addressed the question "How did the First World War affect me and my community?”. After twenty five-minute talks and much deliberation from the judges, Professor Stevenson announced that Hannah Boyle from Benton Park School in Leeds was this year’s winner of the Great Debate. Historian and HA Fellow Paula Kitching claims in the HA’s website that "Hannah spoke eloquently about medical developments from the Thomas Splint to CBT with a well-researched and thoughtful argument.” Read about the event in the Historical Association website.  

Professor Matthew Jones invited to give talks in Brazil on latest research 

Professor Matthew Jones, an expert in British foreign and defence policy and nuclear history during the Cold War, delivered invited talks in Brazil on his recent work on British nuclear history. He was at the Centre for International Relations of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, São Paulo, on 4 April, and at the Brazilian Naval Academy, Rio de Janeiro, on 7 April. Professor Jones's forthcoming books, The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent, Volume I: From the V-Bomber Era to the Arrival of Polaris, 1945-1964, and Volume II: The Labour Government and the Polaris Programme, 1964-1970 will be released by Routledge in May 2017. Written with full access to the UK documentary record, both volumes are of much interest to students of British politics, Cold War history, nuclear proliferation and international relations.  

PhD Candidate Judith Jacob new editor of LSE International History Blog

Judith Jacob is the new editor of our department's blog, the LSE International History Blog. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department, supervised by Dr Kirsten Schulze, and a HY509 International History Research Seminar co-convenor. Her PhD research focuses on the evolution of jihadist ideology among terrorist groups in Indonesia from 1945 to the 1990s. Ms Jacob received her masters and undergraduate degrees at the LSE, obtaining a MSc (Distinction) in Conflict Studies and a joint BSc in Government and History.In addition to her academic research, she provides political and security risk analysis on East and Southeast Asia for several media organisations.  

More scholarly praise for The Global Chancellor (OUP 2016)

After T. G. Otte, Professor of Diplomatic, International and Military History at University of East Anglia, praised Dr Kristina Spohr’s The Global Chancellor in Diplomacy & Statecraft 4/2016 as ‘international history at its best’, her book has received more positive scholarly reviews in 2017. Prof. Kenneth Dyson (Cardiff University) wrote in International Affairs 1/2017: "In this book Kristina Spohr offers a major and long overdue reassessment of German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. […] a major contribution by a first-rate scholar and should be widely read. It is testament to the importance and value of detailed archival research." Prof. Thomas W. Maulucci, Jr. (American International College) asserted in German History Spring 2017 that "In her fine new study, Kristina Spohr makes the case for re-evaluating Schmidt’s role in international politics. […] Spohr has written an excellent brief account of Schmidt’s role in Western councils during the 1970s and early 1980s. In doing so, she has gone a long way towards rehabilitating his role as a statesman as well."  

International History undergraduate elected for LSE Student Executive

Third-year BA History student, Megan Beddoe, was elected to the LSE Student Union Executive in March 2017. Her one-year long mandate as a student rep - Activities and Development Officer - will start in July 2017. “I decided to run in the Students’ Union Elections only a few days before nominations opened!", Megan told us. "I decided to run because I wanted to keep working on similar things to do with activities which I have been involved with during my time as an undergraduate at LSE. I have been captain of two sports clubs, sat on activities committee and worked as a student staff member in the SU in the last year, so I understand the challenges that students face when coming to LSE and getting involved with sports and societies, and I wanted to bring in some new projects to make the student experience better. In the coming year, (in an ideal world) I would like to achieve everything on my manifesto! Of course, there are a few things I would like to especially focus on, including organising a varsity for LSE’s sports teams, giving societies better representation in the Students’ Union and making life easier for all students who are involved in committees by improving their training. Even more than my ideas, I’m really excited to work with my future fellow sabbatical officers and spend the year listening to the voices of the students to work on the things they want to be better about LSE.”

New publication by Dr Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po has contributed a chapter to the edited volume History of Coastal Defense in Modern China: A Revisionist Approach by Ricardo Mak (Hong Kong: Joint Publishing Co. Ltd., 2017). “Camphor-harvesting and Warship Construction in Early Qing China”, written in Chinese, seeks to identify the correlations between timber harvesting (particularly camphor) in Taiwan and the changes in warship building in eighteenth century China, thereby arguing that the Qing court did not overlook the importance of administrating its maritime frontier at the time.


LSE Pro-Director Education Vision Fund awarded to Department's pilot project, "Diversifying the Curriculum"

In February 2017, the Department of International History was awarded funds from the LSE Pro-Director Education Vision Fund to support a pilot project called "Diversifying the Curriculum". Curricula in the Department of International History cover vast areas of the globe and range over more than six centuries. This pilot project, headed by Dr Tanya Harmer, the Department's Director of Teaching, will review five undergraduate courses in the department, with the aim of redesigning core topics, reading lists and teaching approaches to reflect the diversity of the discipline. The Pro-Director Education Vision Fund was established to support the delivery of the School’s Education Strategy and to allocate funds to projects designed to make a significant impact on students’ educational experiences. Following the submission of 13 proposals across LSE, the Department of International History was one of seven different academic departments and professional service units across LSE to be awarded funds. Learn more about the 2016-17 Pro-Director Education Vision Fund winners.  

Kristina Spohr on Russia's restart of the nuclear arms race

Dr Kristina Spohr has contributed an article to The Conversation on Putin’s aggressive nuclear strategy. The article, published on 21 February, argues that the deployment of new ground-launched cruise missiles known as SSC-8s is the latest manifestation of Vladimir Putin’s reassertion of Russian power in his quest to make Russia “great again”. In order to reestablish peace and security in Europe, Dr Spohr suggests it falls on US President Donald Trump to reunite the Western alliance and conduct a genuine dialogue with Russia. Read the full article in The Conversation.  

Two International History undegraduates accepted at LSE-Berkeley exchange programme

BA History student Esther Lutz Davies and BSc International Relations and History student Andrea Garcia-Ochoa Lee won a fully funded place in the coveted LSE-Berkley Undergraduate Exchange programme. LSE and Berkeley launched its undergraduate student exchange in 2016. Esther and Andrea, 2nd-year undergraduates, are two of less than ten undergraduate students from each institution to study at the other in the next academic year, 2017-18. The programme, which is open to students across most academic departments at both institutions, aims to create global citizens with enhanced study experiences and potential career prospects. Read their interview.  

Former Masters student publishes dissertation in Archival Science

Ms Tamy Guberek, former LSE-Columbia University Double MSc in International and World History student, has published a revised version of her masters dissertation in Archival Science. The article, entitled “On or off the record? Detecting patterns of silence about death in Guatemala’s National Police Archive”, is available online now and it will be published in print in a forthcoming issue. Ms Guberek graduated from the LSE-CU MSc in 2012 and received the Richard Hofstadter Prize for best dissertation. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan. Her article includes research she began in the Double MSc on patterns of silence in death records in the Historical Archive of the National Police and also a comparative section on archives by her advisor at University of Michigan, Professor Margaret Hedstrom.  

Dr Kristina Spohr in the Danish and German media

On 11 February, Dr Kristina Spohr shared her views on Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in an interview for the Danish newspaper Kristeligt Dagbald. Read the full interview here (with subscription, in Danish). Dr Spohr was also interviewed by the German regional magazine Friedrich for their January 2017 issue (pp. 10-11). Dr Spohr talked about one of her latest books, Helmut Schmidt: The Weltkanzler, and the late Chancellor's role in the creation of “summit diplomacy”. Read the full inteview (in German). 

Dr Joanna Lewis awarded IGA-Rockefeller Grant

Dr Joanna Lewis was awarded an LSE Institute of Global Affairs-Rockefeller Grant for two years to lead a project on Somalia, entitled “‘Pathways to Resilience’: The Role of an Urban Diaspora in Post-Conflict Reconstruction, London and Hargeisa, 1991 to the Present Day.” The project will be based at the Firoz Lalji LSE Centre for Africa.  

New article by Dr Kirsten Schulze in Ehtnic and Racial Studies

Dr Kirsten Schulze has a new article out in the Ethnic and Racial Studies journal. The article, entitled "The 'ethnic' in Indonesia’s communal conflicts: violence in Ambon, Poso, and Sambas", is part of a forthcoming Special Issue on "Affect, Interest, and Political Entrepreneurs in Ethnic and Religious Conflicts", which was made available online on 1 February. Dr Schulze’s article looks at the communal violence in Ambon, Poso, and Sambas in post-Suharto Indonesia from a comparative perspective. It explores why Ambon and Poso were seen as religious while Sambas was seen as ethnic despite the fact that in all three conflicts different religions and ethnicities fought each other. Examining the “ethnic” elements, the article advances three arguments. First, that the Poso and Ambon conflicts were no less ethnic than the Sambas conflict as they had similar “ethnic causes”. Second, that the religious narrative dominated in Ambon and Poso because it reflected the Islamic resurgence in Indonesia since the 1990s while the narrative in Sambas reflected that it was the latest round of a pre-existing anti-Madurese conflict which had already been “defined” as “ethnic”. Third, that the narratives were framed strategically, thus influencing the trajectory of the conflict but also responding to it. LSE account users, can read the article online for free here.  

PhD candidate Anne Irfan jointly wins award for best essay

PhD candidate Anne Irfan has jointly won the Jerusalem Quarterly Ibrahim Dakkak Annual Award for the best essay on Jerusalem, “Is Jerusalem International or Palestinian? Rethinking UNGA Resolution 181“. Anne Irfan is currently writing a doctoral thesis on Palestinian nationalism in the refugee camps (1967-82) under the supervision of Dr Kirsten Schulze. Her winning essay will appear in a special issue of Jerusalem Quarterly slated for publication in June 2017.


Professor Vladislav Zubok publishes new book, The Idea of Russia

Professor Vladislav Zubok’s newest book, The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev, was released by IB Tauris this month. As the title indicates, The Idea of Russia focuses on the life and work of one of the most prominent Russian intellectuals of the twentieth century, Dmitry Likhachev (1906-1999). His life spanned virtually the entire century - a tumultuous period which saw Russia move from Tsarist rule under Nicholas II via the Russian Revolution and Civil War into seven decades of communism followed by Gorbachev's Perestroika and the rise of Putin. In 1928, shortly after completing his university education, Likhachev was arrested, charged with counter-revolutionary ideas and imprisoned in the Gulag, where he spent the next five years. Returning to a career in academia, specialising in Old Russian literature, Likhachev played a crucial role in the cultural life of twentieth-century Russia, campaigning for the protection of important cultural sites and historic monuments. He also founded museums dedicated to great Russian writers including Dostoevsky, Pushkin and Pasternak. In this, the first biography of Likhachev to appear in English, Professor Zubok provides a thoroughly-researched account of one of Russia's most extraordinary and influential public figures. Buy The Idea of Russia on Amazon UK. The Idea of Russia is a shorter English version of Dmitry Likhachev. The Life and the Century also authored by Professor Vladislav Zubok and published in Russia by Vita Nova in 2016.  

Dr Joanna Lewis on Keith Somerville's Ivory for the the Africa at LSE Blog

Dr Joanna Lewis contributed a passionate and analytical review of BBC broadcaster Keith Somerville’s newest book, Ivory: Power and Poaching in Africa for the Africa at LSE blog (27 January 2017). Dr Lewis describes Somerville’s book as the best academic account to date of the history of the supply side of ivory trade. "He argues, that it is more the petty, everyday reality of corruption, crime and politics, which enables illegal poaching to survive (and even surge) when there is any kind of international push for a more extensive ban on the trade. The logic then is that hunting and therefore the trade should be regulated.” Dr Lewis, herself a passionate animal lover, concedes that “when the argument comes from Somerville, the heart has to yield to the head”. “Supporting and strengthening communities so they can manage wildlife responsibly from the bottom up, with some controlled hunting, is an argument that many wildlife experts have come to see is the only long term viable solution.”“Still”, concludes Dr Lewis, “what a deterrent it could be that, if caught, those men who organise the hunting and butchering of elephants for pleasure and for their tusks, also have something they hold dear cut off…” Read Dr Joanna Lewis’s full review of Ivory.  

Dr Joanna Lewis reviews Martin Plaut's Understanding Eritrea in Times Higher Education

Dr Joanna Lewis, our expert in Modern Africa History, reviewed Matin Plaut’s newest book, Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa’s Most Repressive State, in the Times Higher Education (26 January 2017). “Plaut’s extensive evidence shows how the regime’s repressive stance in power is a consequence of its ruler,” writes Dr Lewis. “A study of the North African country lays bare a ruler at war with his own people”. Read Dr Joanna Lewis’s review.  

Dr Heather Jones talks about “The Howth Mauser" on BBC Radio 3 “The Essay”

Dr Heather Jones, a specialist in First World War Studies in our Department, contributed a 15-minute long piece to The Essay, a BBC3 Radio programme where leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond provide insights, opinions and intellectual surprises on a particular theme. In an episode aired on 27 January, under the theme of Gun Culture, Dr Jones talked about the deadly symbolism of the Howth Mauser and other guns as the struggles for freedom began in 20th Century Ireland. “The arrival of crate-loads of already out-of-date German rifles in 1914 proved electrifying to the Irish Nationalist struggle and the cult of the gun had deep meaning for all sides in the struggle to come." Download the podcast.  

Dr Kristina Spohr on TV.Berlin

On 21 January, Dr Kristina Spohr was on TV.Berlin to talk about one of her latest books, Der Weltkanzler, with host Peter Brinkmann. She appeared on his weekly show 'Standort Berlin’. Der Weltkanzler, published by Theiss in 2016, is the extended German edition of Dr Spohr’s The Global Chancellor: Helmut Schmidt and the Reshaping of the International Order (OUP, 2016). The book retrieves Schmidt's true significance as a pivotal figure who helped reshape the global order during the crisis-ridden 1970s. Watch Part I and Part II (in German).  

New Modern Asian Studies special issue co-edited by Dr Valeria Zanier

Dr Valeria Zanier, an historian of Contemporary China, and a 2016-17 Visiting Research Fellow in our department, has co-edited the latest special issue of Modern Asian Studies (vol. 51, issue 1, 2017). The issue, entitled “Circumventing the Cold War: the parallel diplomacy of economic and cultural exchanges between Western Europe and Socialist China in the 1950s and 1960s”, is one of Dr Zanier's research outputs, carried out from 2013-15, whilst based in our Department as a Marie Curie (IEF) FP7 Senior Fellow. The special issue includes an introduction, co-written with Dr Angela Romano (European University Institute), and an article authored by Dr Zanier, “Western European Industrialists and China’s Dream of Self-reliance: the Case of ENI (1956-1965)". The special issue “brings together historians with expertise on China and Western Europe with the explicit intent to question the dominant narrative that argues in favour of the early 1970s, and the US move in particular, being the starting point of meaningful relations between the West and the PRC, relegates Western European states to the role of followers, and implies that Mao had curbed previous attempts at linking with the West.” Dr Zanier's article “explores the relationship between Chinese officials and Western European industrialists, revealing that in the second half of the 1950s, there already was a specific Western European interest to cater to China’s high market potential, and that this was met with favour on the Chinese side. In order to become a strong and independent country, PRC was especially interested to evaluate the most variegated range of offers in the chemical and energy sectors."  

The Global Chancellor receives positive reviews in the US

Dr Kristina Spohr’s The Global Chancellor, published by Oxford University Press last year, has received positive reviews in the United States. Foreign Affairs, the leading magazine for analysis and debate of foreign policy, economics and global affairs, claims in this month’s issue that “[Dr Spohr] has done readers a service by crafting a well-documented English-language treatment of this leading twentieth-century statesman” (January/February 2017, vol. 96, no. 1). Read the review in Foreign Affairs (free access). Choice magazine, the publishing branch of the American Library Association, highly recommends Dr Spohr’s book in this month’s issue. “Spohr deftly designs a political history that goes beyond the ordinary political biography”, argues Dr R. A. Harper, “engaging the reader to reevaluate the complex (and now often forgotten) times when Schmidt served and his ability to manage many unknowns” (January 2017, vol. 54, no. 5). Read the review in Choice Reviews (free for LSE users). Last year, the Wall Street Journal also reviewed Dr Spohr’s book, claiming that “[t]he strength of the book is the way it illuminates Schmidt's thinking on both economic and strategic questions and the relationship between them" (29 July 2016). Read the review in the Wall Street Journal (paid subscription).  

"Putin's Revenge": Dr Kristina Spohr co-writes cover essay for New Statesman

Dr Kristina Spohr and Professor David Reynolds (University of Cambridge), co-editors of Transcending the Cold War (2016), contributed an essay to the latest edition of New Statesman (13-19 January 2017). Featured on the cover of the weekly magazine, their essay, “Putin’s revenge: why the Russian leader is obsessed with America”, traces the end of the Soviet Union, Yeltsin’s failed attempt to create a new Russia and the rise of Vladimir Putin’s strong state amid a new world disorder. “Today’s Russian-American stand-off revolves around differing approaches to international relations", they argue. "Although we may not be back in the era of bipolarity some of the new ways are also old ways. Under Putin, Russia seems to have resumed its historic quest for position against the West and its insatiable desire for recognition as America’s equal.” Read the full article in the New Statesmen (free access).  

New publication by Dr Tanya Harmer

Dr Tanya Harmer, a specialist in the Cold War in Latin America with a particular interest in the international, transnational and global dynamics of the struggle, contributed a chapter to the edited volume Foreign Policy at the Periphery released in early January. The book, edited by Dr Bevan Sewell and Dr Maria Ryan from University of Nottingham, features original essays by leading scholars and examines relationships among new nations and the United States from the end of the Second World War through the global war on terror. Dr Harmer’s chapter, titled "Dialogue or Détente: Henry Kissinger, Latin America, and the Prospects for a New Inter-American Understanding, 1973-1977”, covers Henry Kissinger’s policies toward Latin America during the 1970s.  

Crumbling continent: new article by Dr David Motadel

Dr David Motadel, our expert on the history of modern Europe and Europe’s relations with the wider world, contributed an article to the Times Literary Supplement (no. 5936, 6 January 2017). The article, entitled "Anarchy Loosed upon the World", delves on the long end of the First World War and violence in interwar Europe. Read the article in the Times Literary Supplement (with subscription).




Dr Kristina Spohr's Transcending the Cold War reviewed in the German press

One of Dr Kristina Spohr’s newest books, Transcending the Cold War (co-edited with Professor David Reynolds), was reviewed by Professor Bernd Greiner in the German national newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung on 18 December 2016. Greiner says that, with Transcending the Cold War, published by Oxford University Press in 2016, Kristina Spohr and David Reynolds have not simply published an intelligent and "cleverly composed" history book on statecraft and Cold War summitry between 1970 and 1990. "Even more", he continues, "it is a commentary on the political blind flight of our days. Or a contemporary appeal." Read Greiner’s full review here (in German). See also another post by Greiner about Transcending the Cold War written for the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies blog (in German).  

New article by Dr Ronald C. Po on the coastal map of the seven provinces

Dr Ronald C. Po published a new article in the December 2016 issue of Late Imperial China - a leading journal in Chinese studies published by the Johns Hopkins University Press (vol. 37 no. 2). The article, titled “Mapping Maritime Power and Control: A Study of the Late Eighteenth Century Qisheng yanhai tu (A Coastal Map of the Seven Provinces)”, challenges “the conventional image of the Qing Empire as a land-based power that cared little about the ocean before the arrival of western imperialism in the mid-nineteenth century”. It also "seeks to show that the Qing dynasty was more involved in maritime management than has previously been acknowledged.” Read the article for free (LSE users only).  

“International History at its best” - Diplomacy & Statecraft 4 (2016) on The Global Chancellor

T. G. Otte, Professor of Diplomatic, International and Military History at University of East Anglia, reviewed Dr Kristina Spohr’s The Global Chancellor (OUP 2016) for the latest issue of Diplomacy & Statecraft (vol. 27, issue 4, 2016). This is the first major study in English of Schmidt's foreign policy and its intellectual roots. It shows Schmidt as a 'global chancellor', engaging with major world leaders. Otte praised Spohr for her “thoughtful and cogently argued reassessment of Schmidt”, which “raises profound questions about the role of individuals in international politics in general as well as about Schmidt’s posthumous standing.” The Global Chancellor, so Otte says is “a little gem; it is international history at its best. It leaves one asking for more.” Read the full review (paid subscription). LSE users may read the full review for free.  

Margaret Gowing and British nuclear history

On Monday, 5 December, LSE IDEAS and the Department of International History hosted a one-day international conference, involving academics, students, and former government officials, on the life and work of Professor Margaret Gowing. Margaret Gowing studied at LSE between 1938 and 1941. She went on later to become the doyenne of British nuclear history and was appointed the first Professor of the History of Science at the University of Oxford in 1973. Her election to the British Academy in 1975, and 13 years later to the Royal Society, recognised equally the quality and the breadth of her work which contributed to both the history of the British ‘warfare state’ and the history of science. At the conference, talks were presented by Professor Mick Cox and Sue Donnelly, the LSE Archivist, on Gowing’s years at the School and her early work at the Cabinet Office on the official histories of the Second World War on the home front. Professor Matthew Jones of the Department of International History presented on Gowing’s official history work after 1959 at the UK Atomic Energy Authority where in 1964 she produced the pathbreaking Britain and Atomic Energy, 1939-1945, which became the authoritative and still unsurpassed study on the UK’s pioneering role in the early years of nuclear weapons development. Richard Moore from Kings College London then spoke on her subsequent volumes, Independence and Deterrence (1974), co-written with Lorna Arnold, which covered the years between 1945 and 1952, the year when Britain conducted its first nuclear test. Personal recollections of Gowing’s life were shared by her son, Nik, and other members of the family who attended, as well as Lord Stern from the LSE’s Grantham Institute. A roundtable of further reflections on her achievements included Lord Peter Hennessey, Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, Professor David Edgerton, and Professor David Holloway of Stanford University. A notable feature of the conference, which was attended by about 60 people was the presence of 15 LSE Masters students from Professor Matthew Jones’s nuclear history course HY448: Living with the Bomb, bringing together current students with leading academics in the field and former officials from the policymaking world. An audio recording of the day’s proceedings can be found here. Further information on Margaret Gowing can be found on the LSE blog.  

Dr Ronald C. Po awarded the LSE Santander Travel Research Fund

Dr Ronald C. Po has been awarded the LSE Santander Travel Research Fund to visit universities in Hong Kong and South Korea, from late June to July 2017, where he will give talks and seminars. He will also conduct archival research to develop his new project, entitled “A Global History of Camphor: From an Oleoresin to a Commodity", and attend two international conferences, namely the AAS-in-Asia Conference (in Seoul) and the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) in Chingmai. Both highly regarded in the field of Asian studies.  

Dr Roham Alvandi contributes to upcoming archival series about Iran “The Third Path"

Dr Roham Alvandi is a contributor in the upcoming 12-part series The Third Path, covering the recent history of Iran. The series, produced by Archival, blends intense scholarship, visual effects and sound design to recount the history and complexities of one of the most mysterious countries in the modern world. “More often then not", says Dr Alvandi referring to the project, "the discussion about Iran is so superficial, and lacks any kind of substance or context, so I wanted to join this project because it was an opportunity to take the time to really think about Iran, think about its history, think about its culture, and give people the context within which to understand what’s going on today.” Watch a teaser of Dr Alvandi’s upcoming contribution to The Third Path.


Professor Vladislav Zubok's new book out in Russia

Professor Vladislav Zubok’s new book, Dmitry Likhachev: The Life and the Century, was launched in St. Petersburg, Russia, as part of a series of events taking place around the city celebrating the 110th anniversary of the birth of academician Dmitry Likhachev. On Tuesday, 29 November, Professor Zubok’s book was presented to the public at the State Museum of Political History of Russia. The event was mentioned by Russia News Today. Professor Zubok’s book analysis “archival materials and includes more than 150 photos from the collections of the family of the scientist, the Pushkin house and the Foundation named after Likhachev”. Read about the upcoming English version of Professor Zubok’s book, The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev.  

Dr Tanya Harmer on BBC Two Newsnight

Dr Tanya Harmer, our specialist on the Cold War in Latin America, contributed to a 5-minute piece on the life and legacy of Fidel Castro for BBC Two Newsnight on Monday, 28 November. Following the death of the Cuban leader on 25 November, BBC journalist Stephen Smith looked at the historical impact of the controversial Cuban revolutionary and leader. Watch it on BBC iPlayer (UK only).  

Der Weltkanzler in the German press

Dr Kristina Spohr's latest book continues to receive the attention of the German press. Helmut Schmidt: Der Weltkanzler – the extended German edition of the The Global Chancellor published earlier this year by OUP - centres around Helmut Schmidt’s foreign policy and its intellectual roots. On 4 November 2016, the German newspaper Darmstädter Echo covered an evening lecture in Darmstadt, where Dr Spohr introduced her book to a large audience. (Read about the event in “Strong Voice in the Concert of the Great Powers” - in German). On 10 November, she was interviewed by the main publication of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, the monthly paper Vorwärts. In her interview, which showcases Der Weltkanzler, Dr Spohr claims that chancellor Schmidt's central role in world politics has so far tended to be ignored in Germany. (Read the interview in German: "Helmut Schmidt Was More than just a Doer"). A point reiterated in Dr Spohr's interview for the German weekly news magazine, Focus, on 19 November, where she argues that contrary to what the German people might think, he was more than just a "doer" and a "crisis manager". He was a “strategic thinker” and a major international player in 1970s and 1980s who, against the odds, brought the divided semi-sovereign West Germany back to the top table in world politics. A true "global chancellor" or “Weltkanzler” - read the interview in Focus (in German).  

Professor Vladislav Zubok speaks at symposium dedicated to James Billington, Emeritus Director of the Library of Congress

On 16 November 2016, Professor Vladislav Zubok was a guest speaker at a symposium dedicated to the long-serving Director of the Library of Congress, James Billington. The symposium, titled “Culture as Conversation: A Classic Turns Fifty — A Symposium Dedicated to Re-ExaminingThe Icon and the Axe”, took place in the Washington College of Law, American University, and was organised by the Carmel Institute for Russian Culture and History in cooperation with the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies and the Wilson Center's Kennan Institute. Professor Zubok gave a speech largely based on his forthcoming book about James Billington’s Russian friend, D.S. Likhachev. Other speakers included Dr. Anton Fedyashin (Carmel Institute Director Associate Professor of History American University), Matthew Rojansky (Director of the Kennan Institute) and John R. Beyrle (US Ambassador to Russia, 2008-2012.  

Dr Kristina Spohr discusses her co-edited book Transcending the Cold War at the Berlin Centre

Dr Kristina Spohr was at the Berlin Centre for Cold War Studies in Germany, on 16 November 2016 to talk about her new edited book, Transcending the Cold War: Summits, Statecraft and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970-1990, with Professor David Reynolds (University of Cambridge). The event was co-organised with the Bundeskanzler-Willy-Brandt-Stiftung and centred around a discussion of the evolvement and impact of summits since the 1970s, as well as lessons learned since then. German hi