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Department of International History
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street

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in Sardinia House (SAR)

Tel: +44 (0)20 7955 6174
Fax: +44 (0)20 7831 4495

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We Are Recruiting! Apply by 2 July 2017

The Department of International History are looking for a LSE Teaching Fellow (History of Africa) to contribute to the teaching of undergraduate level courses, including candidates with research interests and a developing record of publications in the History of Africa. Read more. Appy now!
Dr Megan Black and Dr Imaobong Umoren Joining us in 2017-18

We are delighted to announce that the Department has recruited two new Assistant Professors, Dr Megan Black and Dr Imaobong Umoren, who will be teaching courses on U.S. and the World and in History of Race and Gender in the Caribbean, starting in September 2017.
LSE and the Brexit Referendum

Following the UK vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016, LSE Director Craig Calhoun and Interim LSE Director Julia Black published a statement for all LSE staff, students and alumni. The School launched a new LSE and Brexit section in February 2017 where students and staff can find helpful information on fees, visas, Erasmus and research funding, as well as guidance and FAQs. They can also find the latest Brexit news, plus upcoming events, research highlights, podcasts and videos that focus on Britain’s exit from the European Union.


History at LSE Highly Rated in Major World Rankings

The Department of International History has consistently performed very well in the QS World University Rankings. In the QS World University History Subject Table for 2017 History at LSE ranked 7th overall in the world ahead of Princeton, Columbia and Chicago. In the UK and in Europe, History at LSE ranked third behind Cambridge (2) and Oxford (3), but ahead of UCL (15), Leiden (17) and KCL (19).

At the national level, History at LSE jumped from 5th place to 2nd place in the Guardian's University Guide 2017, behind Cambridge, but ahead of St Andrews, Durham and Oxford.

More rankings results.

REF 2014 Results

The results of the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) were announced on 18 December 2014. Taking into account the proportion of its eligible staff submitted for assessment, LSE History (Economic History and International History) was ranked sixth out of 83 submissions to the REF History panel for the percentage of its research outputs rated 'world leading '(4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*) and ninth for its submission as a whole. On the basis of the combination of quality of publications and number of staff submitted, a measure of research power, LSE History ranks 4th in the UK. More information on LSE's impressive performance can be found here.



Dr Tanya Harmer
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.
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.


Upcoming events sponsored by us and/or featuring our academics are advertised here. Read more about these and other events in our Events section.

New events coming soon.


Articles and books published by our faculty in the last three months

For a full list of our faculty publications since 2012, visit Staff Publications.
Emeritus 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 it here (open access).
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 here.
Dr Ronald C. Po 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.
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. LSE account users, can read the article online for free here.
Dr Tanya Harmer 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.
Professor Vladislav Zubok's new book The Idea of Russia  was released by IB Tauris in January 2017. The book focuses on the life and work of one of the most prominent Russian intellectuals of the twentieth century, Dmitry Likhachev (1906-1999). Buy it here.
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 it here (with subscription).

PhD Graduates

2015-17 Successful International History PhD Vivas

Supervised by Dr Antony Best: Takahiro Yamamoto, Balance of Favour: The Emergence of Territorial Boundaries around Japan, 1861-1875 | Read Thesis; Yu Suzuki, Relationship with Distance: Korea, East Asia and the Anglo-Japanese Relationship, 1880-1894 | Read Thesis; Cornelis Heere, The British Empire and the Challenge of Japan, 1904-1911.

Supervised by Professor Steven Casey: Chris Parkes, The Welles of Loneliness: Sumner Welles and the Creation of American Foreign Policy | Read Thesis; Ollie Elliott, The American Press and the Rise of Authoritarianism in South Korea 1945-1954

Supervised by Dr Joanna Lewis: Rosalind Coffey, British Media and Decolonisation in Africa between 1957 and 1960 | Read Thesis; Jonas Fossli Gjersø, Continuity of Moral Policy': A Reconsideration of British Motives for the Partition of East Africa in light of Anti-Slave Trade Policy and Imperial Agency, 1878-96 | Read Thesis.

Supervised by Professor Dominic Lieven and Dr Antony Best: Serkan Kececi, The Grand Strategy of the Russian Empire in the Caucasus against Its Southern Rivals (1821-1833).

Supervised by Dr Kirsten Schulze: Ranj Alaaldin, The Rise of the Shi'a: 1958-1980

Supervised by Dr Kirsten Schulze and Dr Taylor Sherman: Sara Al-Qaiwani, Nationalism, Revolution and Feminism: Women in Egypt and Iran, 1880-1980. |
Read Thesis

Supervised by Professor Arne Westad: Simon Toner, The Counter-Revolutionary Path: South Vietnam, the United States and the Global Allure of Development, 1968-1973 | Read Thesis; Vladimir Dobrenko, Institutions of Peace for the Cold War: The History of the Soviet Committee for the Defence of Peace and its Affiliated Institutions, 1949-1991; Anton Harder, Defining independence in Cold War Asia: Sino-Indian relations, 1949-1962 | Read Thesis; Jin Li Lim, New China and its Qiaowu: The Political Economy of Overseas Chinese policy in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1959 | Read Thesis.

Media Appearances and Contributions

Our faculty and students in the media, podcasts and blogs, lately:
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 here
Kristina Spohr
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 interview here (in German).
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 here.
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 here.
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 here.
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).
"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. “Twenty-five years after the demise of the Soviet Union”, they argue, “Russia is consumed by an insatiable desire for recognition as the equal of the USA”. “Today’s Russian-American stand-off revolves around differing approaches to international relations. (…) 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 here (free access).
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 here.
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 here (UK only).
Spohr's Schmidt Der Weltkanzler
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 here (in German).

The Department has introduced the following new courses in 2016-2017:

Undergraduate Courses:
Professor Nigel Ashton
HY327: The Anglo-American Special Relationship, 1939-89

Professor Nigel Ashton

This course will analyse the changing nature of the Anglo-American "special" relationship from its creation against the backdrop of the Second World War through to the end of the 1980s. It will illuminate the foundations of the relationship in terms of culture and ideology, and also the threat posed by common enemies in the Second World War and Cold War. The competitive dimension of the Anglo-American relationship will also be highlighted as a means of explaining instances of discord such as the Suez Crisis of 1956. Topics addressed include: the creation of the Anglo-American alliance, 1939-41; competitive co-operation in war strategy and politics, 1941-45; the American "occupation" of Britain during the Second World War; the emergence of the Cold War in Europe and Asia, 1945-54; the Palestine question; the Suez Crisis; nuclear relations; the Cuban Missile Crisis; European integration; decolonisation; the impact of the Vietnam War; the cultural Cold War; intelligence co-operation; Anglo-American relations in the 1970s; the Falklands War of 1982; and the revival of the special relationship under Thatcher and Reagan in the 1980s.
Postgraduate Courses:
HY471: European Empires and Global Conflict, 1935-1948

Dr David Motadel

The course examines the history of the European empires in the Second World War. It covers the history of the war fought in the imperial world and its impact on the lives of millions of colonial civilians; the political, military, and social history of colonial soldiers who fought in Europe’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious armies; the history of anti-colonial movements during the war, from Ho Chi Minh’s Viet Minh to Gandhi’s Quit India movement; and the history of the war’s impact on decolonisation and the twentieth century world order. Overall, the course explores the non-European experience of the Second World War, examining the ways in which the conflict shaped societies and political orders in Africa, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and beyond. Drawing on key secondary texts, primary sources, and visual material, it provides a broad introduction to the most destructive and cataclysmic conflict in modern global history.
Dr Ronald Po
HY472: China and the External World, 1711-1839

Lecturer: Dr Ronald Po

This course provides an overview of the history of Qing China from the early eighteenth to the mid-nineteenth centuries, tracing political, institutional, cultural, and social continuities and changes, particularly in China’s land and maritime frontiers. Beginning in the Qianlong period, the Qing Empire became involved in an ever-growing network of commerce and cultural exchange, extending from Manchuria to Inner Asia, and from the East Sea to the Indian Ocean. Following the bloody suppression of the Lhasa riots in 1750, a series of events further connected China to the external world: the infamous Dzungar genocide, China’s invasion of Burma, European encroachment in Asian seas, the rise of port cities in Southeast Asia that were dominated by Chinese entrepreneurs, and increasing tension between China and Western powers over sea lanes and maritime boundaries. This course will use China’s shifting frontiers as a fulcrum to re-examine Chinese history in the modern era, factoring in the movement of people, commodities, ideas, cultural meanings, and imaginaries, which clearly indicate “China’s outwardness.” This challenges the common perception of China as isolated and inward-looking.


Books authored and edited by our faculty:


The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany

Professor Steven Casey

The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev

Professor Vladislav Zubok



Britain's Retreat from Empire in East Asia, 1905-1980

Dr Antony Best
Spohr's Schmidt Der Weltkanzler
Helmut Schmidt: Der Weltkanzler

Dr Kristina Spohr
Transcending the Cold War
Transcending the Cold War: Summits, Statecraft, and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970-1990

Dr Kristina Spohr
At Meydanı’nda Ölüm: 17. Yüzyıl İstanbul'unda Toplumsal Cinsiyet, Hoşgörü ve İhtida (Death on theHippodrome: Gender, Tolerance, and Conversion in 17th century Istanbul)

Professor Marc David Baer
Roy Jenkins and the European Commission Presidency, 1976-1980: At the Heart of Europe

Dr N. Piers Ludlow
India and the Islamic Heartlands: An Eighteenth-Century World of Circulation and Exchange

Dr Gagan D. S. Sood
The Global Chancellor: Helmut Schmidt and the Reshaping of the International Order

Dr Kristina Spohr
The Last Days of the Spanish Republic

Professor Paul Preston
Arms Races in International Politics. From the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century (co-edited)

Professor David Stevenson


Władysław Gomułka. A biography.

Professor Anita Prazmowska
Mental Maps in the Era of Détente and the End of the Cold War (co-edited)

Professor Steven Casey

Japan and the Great War (co-edited)

Dr Antony Best

Daiei Teikoku no Shin-Nichi Ha: Kaisen ha Naze Sakerare Nakattaka [British Japanophiles: Why Could Britain and Japan Not Avoid War?]

Dr Antony Best
Russia and the Napoleonic Wars (co-edited)

Professor Janet Hartley, Dr Paul Keenan, Emeritus Professor Dominic Lieven
Dans la guerre 1914-1918. Accepter, Endurer, Refuser (co-edited)

Dr Heather Jones
Muslim Belonging in Secular India: Negotiating Citizenship in Postcolonial HYderabad

Dr Taylor Sherman

International History of the Twentieth Century and Beyond
3rd Edition

Dr Antony Best, Dr Kirsten Schulze, et al

The Uses of Space in Early Modern History (edited)

Dr Paul Stock



The Last Stalinist: The Life of Santiago Carrillo

Professor Paul Preston


Siberia: A History of the People

Professor Janet Hartley


Chile y la Guerra Fría Global

Dr Tanya Harmer


Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: The United States and Iran in the Cold War

Dr Roham Alvandi

When Soldiers Fall

When Soldiers Fall: How Americans Have Confronted Combat Losses from World War I to Afghanistan

Professor Steven Casey



Restless Empire

Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750

Professor Odd Arne Westad

With Our Backs to the Wall

With Our Backs to the Wall

Professor David Stevenson


Violence against Prisoners of War in the First World War

Dr Heather Jones

Allendes Chile Tanya Harmer

Allende's Chile & The Inter-American Cold War

Dr Tanya Harmer

St Petersburg and the Russian Court

St Petersburg and the Russian Court, 1703-61

Dr Paul Keenan


See a full list of publications by our staff since 2012

LSE - Columbia University Double Masters Degree in International World History
2017 Books