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School of History

Dr James Ellison


Reader in International History

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7882 8357
Room Number: ArtsTwo 4.07


Since joining QMUL in 1997, I have specialised in the history of international affairs, focusing on alliance politics, conflict and diplomacy after 1945.

I have commented on Britain’s international relations for BBC radio and television, LBC Radio (link is external) and RTS Switzerland (link is external), and for the Times and the Wall Street Journal (link is external). I have written articles for BBC Knowledge magazine and History Today (link is external).


Undergraduate Teaching


Research Interests:

I concentrate on the history of Britain’s relationships with Europe and the United States after 1945 and, more widely, on the history of the Cold War and European integration. I have written two books. The first, Threatening Europe: Britain and the Creation of the European Community, 1955-58 (link is external), asked why the British did not join the European Economic Community at its inception. The second, The United States, Britain and the Transatlantic Crisis: Rising to the Gaullist Challenge, 1963-1968 (link is external), examined how the Americans and the British defended Atlantic partnership, European security and unity in 1960s Cold War Europe. I am now moving on to the post-Cold War era to write about the Anglo-American relationship and the Iraq War.

  • Post-1945 international history
  • Modern and contemporary American and British foreign policies
  • Anglo-American relations
  • Britain and European unity


Editorial Positions 


I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:

  • International history
  • American foreign policy
  • British foreign policy
  • Anglo-American relations
  • Britain and Europe
  • The Cold War
  • European unity

Past PhD Students:

  • Lindsay Aqui – An exceptional case: Britain and the European Community, from entry to referendum, 1 January 1973 - 6 June 1975
  • Alun Evans – Private Office since 1945
  • Ghada Rifai (Co-Supervised with Dr Martyn Frampton) – British Economic Policy in Palestine 1919-1935: Haifa harbour construction, a case study
  • James Southern (Co-Supervised with Dr Helen McCarthy) – Diversity, Difference and Generational Change in the British Diplomatic Service
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