Overview of the research conducted by the department



Professor Vladislav Zubok

Research Committee Chair


For the Department of International History at the LSE, cutting-edge historical research lies at the centre of our activity, underpinning our international reputation as one of the leading centres for the study of history in the UK, contributing to the quality of our teaching, and providing the source of our impact and public engagement. Faculty members are all active researchers who publish in the top journals in their field and produce books for major academic presses; in the last national research assessment, over half of this output was rated as either world-leading or internationally excellent. Throughout the year faculty convene specialist seminars, speak at international conferences, and contribute their expert knowledge on radio, television and in social media. Our strengths extend across numerous areas of the discipline, ranging in time from the early-modern period to the Cold War and contemporary world history, and in geographical scope across Europe, Russia, the Middle East, Africa, India, China, Indonesia, and North and South America.

Faculty members are linked at the LSE with IDEAS (covering International Affairs, Diplomacy and Strategy), the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies, and the Latin America and Caribeean Centre. The Department also maintains strong links with the German Historical Institute — each year it hosts an eminent German historian as a German Historical Institute Visiting Professor. The Department and LSE IDEAS  have a number of international partners with whom they collaborate in terms of joint research workshops and student and staff exchanges. The closest partner is the History Department at Columbia University in New York, but links also exist with the European University Institute, George Washington University, Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington DC, the University of California at Santa Barbara, Peking University, Sciences Po in Paris, and Roma Tre in Rome.

Reflecting the wide range of interests at the staff level, the Department has a strong PhD programme with students tackling a broad range of topics from the early-modern period to the contemporary. The doctoral students are provided with research methodology training and benefit from the rich research environment provided both at the School and internationally by the Department. In addition, the students organise their own methodology workshop at the start of each academic year and their own research seminar which runs every fortnight.

Located in the centre of London, the Department is in an ideal setting for engaging in historical research, enjoying easy access to some of the most significant sets of historical resources in the world, from the collections of the British Library to government documents and papers in the National Archives at Kew. The LSE library is home to its own archives and a book collection of international significance, as well as providing a large range of online resources.

Professor Vladislav Zubok, Research Committee Chair

Research Excellence Framework

We received the results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) on 12 May 2022. Our assessment showed that 68% of outputs (i.e. publications) were world-leading (4*) in terms of originality, significance, and rigour at LSE History (International History and Economic History). The upper quartile average of outputs in the UK sector was 43%. Likewise, 75% of research environment activities were evaluated as world-leading (4*) in terms of vitality and sustainability, with an upper quartile average of 63% across the UK sector. These results were made on the basis of the combination of quality of publications and number of staff submitted, and a measure of research power. Find more information on LSE's impressive performance on the School’s 2021 REF report.