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Professor Arne Westad FBA

Modern history of China; 20th century international & transnatioanl history; Cold War history; comparative history of revolutions & political change; the public practice of history
Professor Arne Westad FBA profile picture

About this Fellow

Odd Arne Westad was born in Norway in 1960. He studied History, Philosophy and Modern Languages at the University of Oslo and received his PhD in History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) in 1990. Professor Westad served for seven years as Director of Research at the Nobel Institute in Oslo. From 1998 to 2015 he was in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where he served as Head of Department 2004-08. He also helped build and direct LSE's center for international affairs, diplomacy and strategy, LSE IDEAS. In 2015 Professor Westad joined the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where he currently holds the ST Lee Chair of US-Asia Relations and teaches contemporary history and international affairs. Professor Westad's book Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750 was published in 2012 and won the Schwartz Book Award from the Asia Society. He has written or edited fifteen books on contemporary international history, including The Cambridge History of the Cold War (2010, 3 vols.; general co-editor); The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of Our Times (Cambridge, 2005; winner of the Bancroft Prize and several international awards), Decisive Encounters: The Chinese Civil War, 1946-1950 (Stanford, 2003) and, with Jussi Hanhimiki, The Cold War: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts (Oxford, 2003). Professor Westad was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hong Kong University (2012-2016), and has in the past held visiting professorships at Cambridge University, Sciences Po (Paris), New York University, and the University of Venice. He has been the recipient of major grants from the Leverhulme Trust, the MacArthur Foundation, and the British Arts and Humanities Research Council.



Current post

  • S T Lee Professor of US-Asia Relations, John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Past Appointments

  • S T Lee Professor of US-Asia Relations, John F Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, 2015


The Global Cold War: Third World Interventions and the Making of our Times

The Penguin History of the World 2013, 6th ed.

Restless Empire: China and the World since 1750 2012

Other Modern History from 1850 Fellows

Professor Martin Rudwick

History of earth sciences, especially the reconstruction of the earth's pre-human history, 1750-1850; the history of visual imagery in the natural sciences; epistemic issues in field- and museum-based sciences

Professor Sir Christopher Clark

The history of 18th-, 19th- and 20th-century Prussia, Germany and Europe, especially the history of religion and religious conflict, the impact of the revolutions of 1848, the outbreak of the First World War and variations in the historical experience of

Professor Robert Gildea

Nineteenth- and twentieth-century French history; Second World War; Europe's 1968; historical memory and oral history

Professor Janet Browne

History of science, especially the natural history sciences of the 18th and 19th centuries; the rise and spread of evolutionary thought; Charles Darwin; the role of commemorations and biography in science

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