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Dr Bill Foster

Dr Bill Foster

Vice-Principal, Homerton College.

Senior Lecturer in the History of Modern and Contemporary War.

Late 20th and 21st-century European History.


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

Subject groups/Research projects

American History:
Modern European History:

Departments and Institutes

Homerton College:

Research Interests

My main research involves the European experience of war since 1989 -- specifically warfare and violence in the changing contexts of European integration (EU), legacies of decolonisation, and resurgent nationalism. I am especially interested in the recent historical interrelationships of defence and security policy, emerging weapons technologies, geopolitical strategies, multilateralism, peacekeeping/nation-building, genocide/'ethnic cleansing', cultures of popular protest and fear, terrorism/counterterrorism, mass migration, conceptions of borders and border controls, and intelligence/counterintelligence.

Research Supervision

I am not currently accepting new research students.


History Part I: paper 18 (modern Europe); paper 24 (modern America).

History and Politics Part 1B: Research questions on 'The Nuclear Age'.

Key Publications

Current books in progress:

Crossroads of Secrecy: A History of the Swiss Intelligence Services since 1945.

The European Experience of War since 1989: A New History of Global Challenge and Local Tragedy.


Other Publications

The Greys: 1,200 years of British History in the Life of One Family, (with Rose Grey). In progress.

The Captor's Narrative (Cornell University Press 2003, paper 2011).