I studied at Carleton University (Ottawa), Sciences Po (Paris), and l’Université Libre de Bruxelles before completing my PhD in International History at the London School of Economics. Before joining the Open University in 2016, I was Pinto Post-doctoral Fellow at LSE and Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute (Florence), and taught history at LSE and Queen Mary University of London. I also earned a German language certificate from Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg.
Outside the OU, I’m a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a Fellow at LSE IDEAS, where I’m Director of the Peace and Security Project and Deputy Director of the Cold War Studies Project. I’m also a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Modern & Contemporary France and Book Reviews Editor for the Journal of Contemporary History. I’m spending the 2021-22 academic year as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge.
I’m interested in the international history of the 20th century, with a focus on Western Europe (especially France) and North America. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on two main areas.
One is the international history of the final decade of the Cold War. I’m especially interested in the dynamics between peace and anti-nuclear activism, on the one hand, and policymaking and diplomacy, on the other. My next monograph deals with these issues with a focus on Canada and NATO during the ‘long 1980s’. I’m also editing a forthcoming book examining the responses of European and North American governments, peace groups, and civil society to Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defence Initiative (or ‘Star Wars’). I recently curated an online resource on Peace Activism in the UK during the Cold War, featuring newly digitised documents from the archives of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and video interviews with former and current activists, policymakers, and academics.
My other main research interest is the history of Vichy France (1940-44). My first book, Forging Europe: Industrial Organisation in France, 1940-1952, explores continuities from the Vichy regime to post-war France and the early stages of European integration. (You can watch me discussing my book here.) My current book project on Vichy deals with the regime’s foreign policy, specifically its diplomatic relations with the members of the British Commonwealth during the Second World War. This project draws on archives in France, the UK, Germany, the United States, Ireland, Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
I am currently supervising three PhD students as below, but I welcome PhD applications on any of the above topics.
-Ann Gillan, ‘”We do not wish to impose our ideas on other nations”: Promoting the aims of the Third Reich to an international audience. A study of the National Socialist journal Freude und Arbeit, 1936 to 1939’
-Sophie Dubillot, ‘Ce n'est pas une blague: Purposes and limits of humour in early post-war France (1944-46)’
-Gareth Bryant, ‘Nuclear Disarmament and the Break-up of Britain: Nationalism and Internationalism in the Peace Movement Between 1979 and 1992’
I chair the third-year module Europe 1914-1989: War, Peace, Modernity (A327). Since joining the OU, I have also contributed teaching content to Discovering the Arts and Humanities (A111), Revolutions (A113), The British Isles and the Modern World, 1789-1914 (A225), and Empire, 1492-1975 (A326). I am currently writing material on decolonisation in French Africa for the forthcoming module, Empire: Power, Resistance, Legacies (A328).
I earned a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education from LSE and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
I provide analysis and commentary for British and international news outlets, including the BBC, CNN, TRT, and The Globe and Mail. I have also acted as historical advisor on a number of BBC Television programmes, including Call the Midwife and Icons: The Greatest Person of the Twentieth Century.
[Book review] Mohammed Lakhdar Ghettas. Algeria and the Cold War: International Relations and the Struggle for Autonomy (2021-04-21)
The American Historical Review, 126(1) (pp. 427-429)
Unhelpful Fixer? Canada, the Euromissile Crisis, and Pierre Trudeau’s Peace Initiative, 1983-84 (2019)
International History Review, 41(6) (pp. 1145-1167)
[Book Review] A Vision of Europe: Franco-German Relations During the Great Depression, 1929–1932, by Conan Fischer (2018-12-31)
The English Historical Review, 133(565) (pp. 1651-1652)
'The creation of the Monnet Plan, 1945-46: a critical re-evaluation' (2018-03)
Contemporary European History, 27(1) (pp. 23-41)
Patrons Résistants? French industrialists during the Second World War (2017-11-28)
French History, 31(4) (pp. 512-534)
[Book Review] Fernando Guirao and Frances M.B. Lynch (eds), Alan S. Milward and Contemporary European History. Collected Academic Reviews (2017-06-20)
Journal of Contemporary History, 52(3) (pp. 797-799)
Forging Europe: Industrial Organisation in France, 1940-1952 (2017-07-31)
Security, Conflict and Cooperation in the Contemporary World
ISBN : 978-1-349-95197-0 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke
'A Bridge to Better Relations between London and Vichy': Jan Smuts, South Africa, and Commonwealth Diplomacy in the Second World War (2020-07-06)
In: Dubow, Saul and Drayton, Richard eds. Commonwealth History in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series (CIPCSS) (pp. 251-269)
ISBN : 978-3-030-41787-1 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke
The Role of Algeria in Debates over Post-War Europe within the French Resistance (2018-02-22)
In: Davis, Muriam Haleh and Serres, Thomas eds. North Africa and the Making of Europe: Governance, Institutions and Culture (pp. 23-42)
ISBN : 9781350021822 | Publisher : Bloomsbury | Published : London
Jean Monnet et l'organisation des économies alliées pour la guerre (1939-1940) (2018)
In: Bossuat, Gérard ed. Jean Monnet et l'économie. Euroclio
ISBN : 978-2-8076-0493-3 | Publisher : Peter Lang | Published : Bruxelles