Peace and Security

This project focuses on how peace activists, politicians, and ordinary citizens have imagined and practiced 'peace' and 'security' since the early twentieth century. 

By combining historical research with analysis of today’s issues, the project provides insights for anyone interested in public participation in politics including NGOs and policymakers.

This project, launched in the autumn of 2018, currently focuses on international and transnational peace activism during the ‘Second Cold War’ of the early 1980s.

There is a Call for Papers for a conference titled 'Global histories of anti-nuclear and peace activism in the late Cold War'. To find out more information, expand the 'Call for Papers' accordion.

Peace and Security Project People


Dr Luc-André Brunet  is Lecturer in Twentieth-Century History at the Open University and Visiting Fellow at LSE IDEAS. He is also Acting Director of the Cold War Studies Project, Book Reviews Editor for the journal Cold War History, and co-chairs the Open University’s Research Group on War and Conflict in the Twentieth Century. His research interests include European integration, NATO, nuclear disarmament, and the foreign relations of both France and Canada. He is currently writing a history of Canada’s role in the Euromissile Crisis and his most recent publication, ‘Unhelpful Fixer? Canada, the Euromissiles Crisis, and Pierre Trudeau’s Peace Initiative, 1983-84’ in The International History Review, was awarded the Michael J. Hellyer Prize by the British Association of Canadian Studies.’

Dr Eirini Karamouzi is a Senior Lecturer in Contemporary History at the University of Sheffield and Visiting Fellow at LSE IDEAS. She is the author of Greece, the EEC and the Cold War, 1974-1979. The Second Enlargement and co-editor of the volume Balkans in the Cold War. She is co-director of the Cultures of the Cold War network, Editor in Cold War History Journal and Book Review Editor in Journal of Contemporary history. She works on the history of European integration, Modern Greece and currently runs the Max Batley peace studies funded project on peace movements in Southern Europe during the Euromissile crisis. She tweets @EiriniKaramouzi.



Global histories of anti-nuclear and peace activism in the late Cold War
Friday 22 and Saturday 23 May

One of the most dynamic areas within the historiography of the Cold War and social movement studies in recent years has been the study of peace and anti-nuclear activism in the last decades of the Cold War. Existing scholarship in this area has for the most part focused on the largest countries within NATO, notably the US, the UK, and West Germany. This conference aims to broaden the scope beyond the North Atlantic by inviting papers on protest that opposes various aspects of nuclear technologies in any country, and to widen the periodisation beyond the Eurocentric account that solely focuses on the Euromissile crisis. One of the objectives of the conference is to bring together historians, political scientists, sociologists and academics from cultural and media studies who are conducting empirical research on peace protests globally during the late Cold War in order to tell a global story of anti-nuclear and peace activism

This conference is co-organised by the LSE IDEAS Peace and Security Project, The Open University, the University of Sheffield, Università Roma Tre, the Woodrow Wilson Center, and the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project.

More information is to follow soon.


Towards a new Euromissile Crisis? Implications of the end of the INF Treaty
Thursday 21 November

In light of the American and Russian withdrawals from the landmark 1987 INF Treaty, this event discusses the implications for European security, transatlantic relations, and nuclear disarmament.

Star Wars: A View from the Commentariat
Friday 31 May 2019

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman from King's College London delivered the keynote lecture entitled 'Star Wars: A View from the Commentariat'. This was part of the conference 'Towards an International History of the Strategic Defence Initiative'.

Digital Archive

Peace Activism in the UK during the Cold War is an online resource that features newly digitised documents from the collection of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), housed at LSE Library, providing new insights into different aspects of the British peace movement in the 1980s. These are complemented with video commentary by activists, policymakers, and academics. This resource allows us to re-examine UK peace activism in the 1980s along several themes.


The pervasive impact of the nuclear arms race is still debated, decades into the nuclear age. But scholarship has focused mainly on questions of development, deployment and diplomacy of nuclear arsenals and has neglected how the nuclear arms race nurtured the identity, economy, culture and politics of societies; and, most importantly the role played by concerned citizens to avert a nuclear disaster. The contours and implications of anti-nuclear mobilisation has been fairly well researched for key western European countries over the past decade. Developments in Southern Europe, however, have not yet been substantially studied.

The key objective of this exhibition is to shed light on anti-nuclear and anti-militarist Peace protests in Southern European countries during the late 1970s and the 1980s. The focus will be on Greece, Italy and Spain. During the nuclear crisis, people in Southern Europe like in the rest of the continent sought to re-evaluate their own past, present, and future. The societal response to arms deployment was an expression of rapid sociocultural and technological changes that started in the 1960s and continued with the transformations of the 1970s and 1980s. As activists united to oppose the dire nuclear threat, they engaged and responded to core concerns of safety, peace, democratic participation, mobilisation for disarmament and vitality of citizen engagement. The Nobel Peace Prize for 2017 to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) acts as a reminder of the existential threat that nuclear weapons still pose to humanity and the value in harnessing the power of the people.



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