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The Hinsley Lecture

This annual lecture takes place in memory of Sir Francis Harry Hinsley (1918-1998), the Founding Director of the Centre of International Studies (1975 – 1987) which is now part of the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS). He was a student and later Master of St John’s College (1979-1989) and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge (1981-1983). 

Harry Hinsley worked as a cryptanalyst at Bletchley Park during the Second World War and was a leading figure in the history of international relations. St John's College hosts the Hinsley Memorial Lecture on an international relations topic usually in Michaelmas Term each year.


Former Speakers

  • 2017 - Professor Nigel Biggar,  After Iraq: When to Go to War?
  • 2016Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, Treating Terrorism
  • 2015 - General Sir Mike Jackson, General Reflections: a look at UK defence in an era of Middle East turmoil, an adventurist Russia and a burgeoning refugee crisis in Europe
  • 2014 - Professor Timothy Garton Ash, “Internetional Relations”: The Struggle for Power Over the Internet in a Post-American World
  • 2013 - Professor Stephen Walt, Follies and Fiascos: Why US Foreign Policy Keeps Failing
  • 2012 - Dr Fraser Cameron, Power and the Pursuit of Peace – An EU Dream or Illusion?
  • 2011 - Sir Bryan Cartledge, The death of diplomacy?
  • 2010 - The Rt Hon The Lord David Trimble, Lessons from Northern Ireland
  • 2009 - Professor Ian Clark, Can there be a single great power?
  • 2008 - Professor Paul Kennedy, Allied Intelligence and the “Front End” of War, 1939-1945
  • 2007 - Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, Intelligence failure and the logic of conflict
  • 2005 - Professor Peter Hennessy, The last customer: British intelligence and the British historian
  • 2003 - Sir Stephen Lander, International intelligence co-operation: a modern perspective
  • 2002 - Dr Daniel Yergin, The age of globality
  • 2001 - Lord Healey, The new world disorder
  • 2000 - Professor Adam Roberts, The so-called right of humanitarian intervention
  • 1999 - Lord Hurd, The claims of justice in the making of foreign policy