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Centre for War and Peace in the Twentieth Century

Directors: Dr Luc-André Brunet and Professor Annika Mombauer

The Centre for War and Peace in the Twentieth Century was established in 2021, building on long-standing research strengths in the causes, nature, and effects of war and peace. Its activities focus on the First and Second World Wars, the Cold War, and peace and anti-nuclear activism.

The Centre is located in the History Department within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at The Open University, but collaborates with researchers across the OU, the UK, and around the world.


Luc-André Brunet is Senior Lecturer in Contemporary International History. His research interests include the Second World War (particularly Vichy France and its foreign relations), anti-nuclear activism, and the end of the Cold War.

Karl Hack is Professor in Imperial and Asian History. His research interests include empire from below, decolonisation, insurgency, and empire port cities. Special geographical interests include Empire east of India, and Southeast Asia historical to contemporary. Special interests include decolonisation, both in itself and as an example of the continued re-articulation of the relationship between localities and globalisation.

Annika Mombauer is Professor of Modern European History. Her research interests are in nineteenth and twentieth-century international history, in particular Imperial Germany and the origins of the First World War. She has published widely on German military planning in the years before the First World War.

John Slight is Lecturer in Imperial and Global History. His main research interests are the relationship between British imperialism and Islam, and Arabia and the greater Middle East during the First World War.

Vincent Trott is Lecturer in History. His research interests focus on the history and memory of the First World War, and on the history of publishing and reading in the twentieth century. He is currently researching the use of humour in the First World War, with a particular focus on British and American satirical magazines.

Affiliated Researchers:

Geoff Andrews (Politics and International Studies)
Hugh Beattie (Religious Studies)
Jovan Byford (Psychology)
Jamie Gaskarth (Politics and International Studies)
Sara Haslam (English and Creative Writing)
Edmund King (English and Creative Writing)
John Maiden (Religious Studies)
Kevin McSorley (Sociology)
Shafquat Towheed (English and Creative Writing)
John Wolffe (Religious Studies)

Affiliated PhD Students:

Sophie Dubillot (History)
Ann Gillan (History)


The Centre for War and Peace in the Twentieth Century organises a programme of events every year. More details on our forthcoming and past events can be seen below.

Forthcoming Events:

Details of our events for 2021-22 will be announced shortly.

Recent events:

‘Global Anti-Nuclear Activism, Past and Present’, public panel discussion, 26 March 2021

'Global histories of anti-nuclear and peace activism in the late Cold War', international conference, 25-26 March 2021

‘Black Poppies: Britain’s Black Community and the Great War’, lecture and discussion with Stephen Bourne, 26 January 2021

'India, Empire and First World War Culture', lecture and discussion with Professor Santanu Das, 16 November 2020

‘British imperialism in the Middle East during the First World War and its aftermath’, workshop, 5 July 2019

‘Towards an international history of the Strategic Defence Initiative’, international conference, 31 May and 1 June 2019

‘Contested Commemorations: Reflections on the centenary of the First World War, 2013-2019’, symposium, 17 May 2019

‘Humour and the First World War’, workshop, 20 June 2018

‘Nuclear diplomacy in the “Second Cold War”: New perspectives of NATO and the Euromissile Crisis’, workshop, 26 March 2018

Contact us:

Luc-André Brunet (on matters related to the Second World War, the Cold War, and peace and anti-nuclear activism)

Annika Mombauer (on matters related to the First World War)

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