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Prof John Keiger

Prof John Keiger

Formerly Professor of International History, University of Salford, Manchester


Diplômé de l'Institut d'Etudes Politiques d'Aix-en-Provence, section Relations Internationales (1971-74); Phd in History, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge (1980). After a Social Science Research Council scholarship for doctoral research at Cambridge, where he taught history as a graduate teaching assistant, John Keiger moved to the University of Salford where he was Professor of International History. He returned to the University of Cambridge in November 2012 where he is Director of Research in the Department of Politics and International Studies. Dr Keiger’s research and publications have concentrated on the international history of Europe from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. His research focus is principally French foreign policy, its bureaucratic politics, how it is formulated, by whom and how it is executed. Until December 2009 he was Director of the European Studies Research Institute and then Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences in the University of Salford. He has been Visiting Professor at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, University of Aix-Marseille III, the University of Clermont-Ferrand, the Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Paris (Sciences Po) and University of Paris 13. John Keiger has, in addition, given advice to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, evidence to the House of Commons Defence Select Committee and to the French Assemblée Nationale. He is an external member of the boards of the Ecoles doctorales of the universities of Paris 13 and Paris 3 Sorbonne-Nouvelle and the conseil scientifique of Université Sorbonne Paris Cité. He has served on a number of journal editorial boards in France and Britain and is President of the Association Internationale d'Histoire Contemporaine de l'Europe based in Strasbourg. He was a member of the French government 'Commission Nationale Université-Emploi' (Commission Hetzel, 2006) on the reform of French Higher Education. Since 2007 he has been an 'expert' for the French Agence d'Evaluation de la Recherche et de l'Enseignement Supérieur (AERES) for historical research and as president of a number of evaluation committees of French and francophone higher education institutions and research institutes, such as Université Paris Dauphine, Université Saint Joseph, Beirut, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Université Toulouse-Capitole, Université Aix-Marseille 3, the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme Orient and the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes. In January 2012 he was a member of the AERES international panel to evaluate France's Agence Nationale de la Recherche. In 2013 he was an Expert for the reform of the Greek national university system for ADETEF (French Finance Ministry, Paris) on behalf of the ‘Troika’ (IMF, ECB and European Commission). John Keiger is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In June 2013 Dr Keiger was awarded a four year AHRC major grant (co-investigator Professor Gaynor Johnson, University of Kent) to research: ‘Networks and Actors in the British and French Foreign Ministries: Responses to the Idea of European Integration, 1919-1957’.

Key Publications


▪ France and the Origins of the First World War, Macmillan, London, 1983.

▪ Raymond Poincaré, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1997, pp. 413.

▪ France and the World since 1870, Arnold/Oxford University Press, London/New York 2001, pp. 261.


▪   19 volumes of Europe, 1848-1914, in British Documents on Foreign Affairs: Reports and Papers from the Foreign Office Confidential Print, (general editors Kenneth Bourne, D.C. Watt). Part I, Series B, University Publications of America, Frederick (Maryland) 1989 – 1992.

▪   (with Martin S Alexander, Martin Evans), The Algerian War and the French Army, 1954-62. Experiences, Images, Testimonies, Palgrave, Basingstoke, 2002, pp. 269.

▪   (with Martin S Alexander), Guest Editor and contributor, France and the Algerian War 1954-62: Strategy, Operations and Diplomacy, Special Issue, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol 25, no 2 (June 2002) also published as a book by Frank Cass.

▪   (with Martin S Alexander), Guest Editor and contributor, Enforcing Arms Limits: Germany post 1919; Iraq post 1991, Special Issue, The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol 29, no 2 (April 2006) Articles in Books and Refereed Journals since 2003

Articles and Chapters since 2003:

▪   ‘‘Les représentations de la grande guerre : la Grande Bretagne’, in Claude Carlier, Georges-Henri Soutou (eds), 1918-1925. Comment faire la paix?, Economica, Paris, 2003, pp.

▪   `The Nature of British “Pacifism” as illustrated in The United States of Europe (Les Etats-Unis d’Europe)’ in Marta Petricioli, Donatella Cherubini; Alessandra Anteghini (eds), Les Etats-Unis d’Europe: Un Projet Pacifiste, Peter Lang, Bern 2004, pp. 391-400.

▪   How the Entente Cordiale Began’ in Richard Mayne, Douglas Johnson, Robert Tombs (eds) Cross Channel Currents: 100 Years of the Entente Cordiale, Routledge, 2004, pp. 3-10.

▪   `Poincaré and Briand: Continuity in French Diplomacy in the 1920s’, in Gaynor Johnson (ed) Locarno Revisited; European Diplomacy 1920-1929,FrankCass, 2004, pp. 95-107.

▪   ‘Foreign and Defence Policy : Constraints and Continuity’ in Alistair Cole, Patrick Le Galès, Jonah Levy (eds), Developments in French Politics 3, Palgrave/Macmillan, Basingstoke and London, 2005, pp. 138-53.

▪   (with Martin S Alexander) ‘Limiting Arms, Enforcing Limits: International Inspections and the Challenges of Compellance in Germany post-1919, Iraq Post 1991’ in Martin S Alexander and JFV Keiger (eds), Special Issue ‘, Enforcing Arms Limits: Germany post 1919; Iraq post 1991, Special Issue The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol 29, no 2 (April 2006), pp. 345-94.

▪   ‘Aristide Briand et Lloyd George, 1921-1922. Entre entente et mésentente cordiales’ in Jacques Bariéty (ed), Aristide Briand la Société des Nations et l’Europe, 1919-1932, Publications Universitaires de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, 2007, pp 60-73.

▪   ‘Britain, the Entente Cordiale and the European Context’, in James K Hiller and Christopher English (eds), Newfoundland and the Entente Cordiale 1904-2004,in journal of Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, Occasional paper no 1, 2007, pp. 22-31.

▪   ‘Engagement politique et archives des hommes politiques. Le point de vue d’un historien’, in Les archives des hommes politiques contemporains, Gallimard, Paris, 2007, pp. 40-44.

▪   ‘Raymond Poincaré’, in Steven Casey and Jonathan Wright (eds), Mental Maps in the Era of Two World Wars, Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, 2008, pp. 1-20.

▪   ‘The War Explained: 1914 to the Present’, in John Horne (ed), A Companion to World War I, Blackwell, Oxford, 2010, pp. 19-31

▪   ‘The ‘Novelty’ of Sarkozy’s Foreign Policy towards NATO and the US?: the Long View’, European Political Science, Vol 9, no 2, June 2010, pp. 155-64.

▪   ‘Wielding Finance as a Weapon of Diplomacy: France and Britain in the 1920s’, Contemporary British History, Vol 25, no. 1, March 2011, pp. 29-47.

▪   (with Robert Tombs) ‘Naissance d’un chef’, in Pierre Assouline (ed) A la recherche de Winston Churchill, Perrin, 2011, Paris, pp. 37-70. - ‘Le caractère changeant du conflit armé : retour vers le futur’ in Emmanuel Goffi, Grégory Boutherin (eds) Les conflits et le droit, Editions Choiseul, Paris, 2011, pp. 15-25.

▪   ‘L’Intégration du renseignement dans le processus de décision politique en France et en Grande Bretagne depuis 1945’ in Olivier Forcade et Sébastien Laurent (eds), Renseignement et prise de décision politique, Nouveau Monde Edition, Paris, 2011, pp. ? (in press)

▪   ‘La Grande Bretagne et la question italienne à la fin des années 1850’ in Sylvain Milbach (ed) 1860. La Savoie, la France, l’Europe, PIE-Peter Lang, Bern, 2012, pp. 421-36.

▪   ‘Un Regard Extérieur: Messmer vu de Grande-Bretagne’ in François Audigier, François Cochet, Bernard Lachaise et Maurice Vaisse (eds) Pierre Messmer. Au croisement du militaire, du colonial et du politique, Riveneuve Editions, Paris, 2012, pp.411-27.

▪   ‘British-French Foreign and Security Relations: The Historical Legacy’ in Kai Oppermann (ed) British Foreign and Security Policy: Historical Legacies and Current Challenges, Wissner-Verlag, Augsburg, 2012, pp. 31-50.

▪   ‘The Fischer Controversy, the War Origins Debate and France: a Non-History’, Journal of Contemporary History, vol 48, 2, April 2013, pp. 363-75.

▪   ‘Why Allies; Necessity or Folly’, in Robert Tombs and Emile Chabal, eds., Britain and France in Two World Wars: Truth, Myth and Memory. London and New York: Bloomsbury, 2013, pp. 29-46.

▪    ‘France’s Unreadiness for War in 1914 and its Implications for French Decisionmaking in the July Crisis,’ in Jack Levy and John Vasquez (eds) The Outbreak of the First World War. Structure, Politics, and Decision-Making, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2014, pp. 252-272.