John Bew – Director
Dr. John Bew is Reader in History and Foreign Policy at the War Studies Department at King’s College London and Director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence. He convenes the Foreign Policy Research Group at King’s and runs the M/A course on The Foundations of British Foreign Policy, as well as teaching on modules relating to Intelligence, Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism. He is currently running a series of seminars at the Foreign Office on ‘Interpreting Diplomatic Excellence’.
From 2007-10, Bew was Lecturer in Modern British History, Harris Fellow and Director of Studies at Peterhouse, Cambridge University, where he was previously a Junior Research Fellow. In 2009, he was profiled by The Observer as one of the rising stars of the historical profession and in 2011 the Daily Telegraph named him ‘one of the most exciting young historians in Britain’. His most recent book was launched by William Hague, the current Foreign Secretary, and praised by Jack Straw, one of Hague’s predecessors, as ‘excellent’. The current Education Secretary, Michael Gove, has described him as ‘the best historian of his generation’.
Bew has lectured on historical and contemporary political issues at a range of prestigious international institutions including the Locarno Room at the Foreign Office, the National Defense University in Washington DC and the European Parliament in Brussels. He is also a regular commentator for radio and television for outlets such as CNN, Sky News, Reuters, Monocle, France 24 and BBC, and presented a Radio 4 Analysis programme on the teaching of British history in schools and its impact on social cohesion.
In addition to two single-authored books, two co-edited and two co-authored books, Bew has also published essays and articles on a range of historical and contemporary topics. These include recent contributions to Humanitarian Intervention: A History (Cambridge University Press, 2011) and The Primacy of Foreign Policy: How Strategic Concerns Shaped Modern Britain (Palgrave, 2011). Shorter articles and reviews have appeared in The Spectator, Political Quarterly, Journal of Liberal History, Parliamentary Brief, History Today, Standpoint, and Times Higher Education Supplement and he covers the release of British State Papers for theIrish Times.
Bew’s most recent book, Castlereagh: Enlightenment, War and Tyranny, was published in October 2011 by Quercus in London and by Oxford University Press in the United States in September 2012. It was named one of the books of the year by the Wall Street Journal, Sunday Telegraph, BBC, and Total Politics magazine, and chosen by the Fondation Napoléon as ‘book of the month’ for March 2012. It was also recommended in the Foreign Office Christmas Reading list, featured on BBC Parliament’s Booktalk and described in the lead review in the Times Literary Supplement as ‘unparalleled in its size and sweep … a Life so nearly complete that it need never be written again’.
Hiss previous books include Talking to Terrorists: Making Peace in Northern Ireland and the Basque Country(Hurst and Co., London, and Colombia University Press, New York, 2009), which was named by David Kilcullen in Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers Book Club. His first book, The Glory of Being Britons: Civic Unionism in Ninetheenth-Century Belfast (Irish Academic Press, 2009), was chosen as the inaugural book in a new series initiated by the Royal Irish Academy.
Bew currently supervises six graduate students working on a range of areas including British and Irish history, Anglo-American foreign policy, engagement with terrorist groups, deterrence, and national security. He completed his own education at Pembroke College, Cambridge where he was the Thornton Scholar and attained a first class BA in History, prize-winning MPhil and a PhD.