Department of War Studies and the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War (King's College London)

Department of War Studies
King's College London
London WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Professor Joseph Maiolo


In the 1960s the distinguished historian Sir Michael Howard had a vision for a new kind of history of war. It would be studied in all its complexity and also seek to examine how war affected history in general. Michael Howard founded the Department of War Studies at King's College London and went on to become Regius Professor of Modern History of the University of Oxford and Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University.

Inspired by this ambitious agenda, the study of the history of war has flourished at King's College London. It now has more historians studying war than any other comparable institution, not only in the Department of War Studies, but also in the Departments of History, and of Defense Studies, and indeed many others, for example the English Department. To make more visible and strengthen this remarkable concentration of effort the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War has been established under the Department of War Studies and the Department of History. It aims to promote the scholarly history of war in all its dimensions, to train research students and to host research projects and conferences. It also runs a flourishing MA in the History of War. Our aim is to promote the study of the history of war from the ancient world to the recent past, dealing not just with the history of all the armed services but also of all involved in warfare. War has been a central feature of human history which requires study by historians working in many traditions and fields. We also aim to study the history of war from many historiographical vantage points, from economic history to cultural history, from international history to the history of science and technology.

The Centre takes advantage of existing strengths such as the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives. At its heart is a resident community of over fifty nationally and internationally recognised authorities in the fields of military, naval, imperial and international history and related fields based in the Departments of War Studies, History and Defence Studies. The Centre was officially launched on the 4th of August 2014 – the centenary of Britain's entry into the Great War. It also maintains a Master Programm on the "History of War".

Cold War Interests: 

The Department of War Studies will offer a Lecture series on the Cold War soon.

The Department also offers research centres and groups on certain topics.