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Dr Bill Foster

Dr Bill Foster

Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern and Contemporary War

Vice-Principal

Homerton College


Biography:

I am a British historian, born in America and educated in Switzerland. I hold degrees from Pennsylvania, Cornell, and Cambridge.

I specialise in the history of war and modern Europe, with a special interest in the geopolitics of Switzerland and the strategic aspects of armed neutrality.

Subject groups/Research projects

American History:
Modern European History:

Departments and Institutes

Homerton College:

Research Interests

I am a historian of the 'human dimension of warfare' -- specifically individuals, societies, cultures and political leaders under historical conditions of extreme stress. Early in my career I published widely on the question of how political, linguistic and religious borders and boundaries are conceived, tested and re-formed among peoples and nations at war. In recent years I have turned exclusively to similar questions involving Cold War and post-Cold War Europe and America. 

My current book project is entitled _Why the Cold War Did Not End: Seven Lessons in Understanding Modern Power_. This deals with questions of history, information, leadership, technology, 'hard power', 'hybrid warfare' and nationalism.

I am also writing a shorter work on Switzerland's unique political and military cultures championing strategic armed neutrality.

My long-term research goal is to develop a series of international academic collaborations pursuing the history of 'European ways of war' from a variety of historical perspectives -- including looking at changing European conceptualisations of physical and man-made borders in, and in the wake of, wartime.

Research Supervision

I am not currently accepting new graduate students.

Teaching

NOTE: I WILL BE ON RESEARCH LEAVE DURING THE 2019-2020 ACADEMIC YEAR.