Dr Robert Barnes

Senior Lecturer: History

School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy

E: r.barnes@yorksj.ac.uk

T: 01904 876198

A picture of Robert Barnes

I studied for my undergraduate and Master's degrees in History at the University of Manchester. I then completed my PhD in International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. My doctoral research was supported by the LSE Research Studentship Scheme, the University of London Central Research Fund, a Royal Historical Society Postgraduate Research Support Grant, a Harry S. Truman Library Institute Research Grant, a Rajiv Gandhi Travelling Scholarship, a Gilchrist Educational Trust Travel Grant, and the Mercers' Company Educational Trust Fund. I was the Master's Programmes Senior Tutor in the Department of International History at the LSE before joining York St John University. I am currently the co-ordinator for the MA International History in the School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy.

Further Information

Research interests and projects:

My main research interests lie in the International History of the twentieth century. More specifically, my previous research focused on the complex and often fraught interactions between Britain, its Commonwealth partners, and the United States at the United Nations during the Korean War. My current research examines more broadly the relationships that existed between Britain and the members of the Commonwealth between 1945 and 1956. For this research, I have received funding from the Scouloudi Historical Award and the York St John University QR Fund. I am also keenly interested in the history of the United Nations and East Asia during this period.


PhD International History, LSE, 2011
PGCertHE, LSE, 2009
MA History, University of Manchester, 2004
BA (Hons) History, University of Manchester, 2003

Publications and Conferences



The US, the UN and the Korean War: Communism in the Far East and the American Struggle for World Hegemony (London: IB Tauris, 2014).

Journal Articles

‘'Chief Administrator or Political "Moderator"?: Dumbarton Oaks, the UN Secretary-General and the Korean War', Journal of Contemporary History 54:2 (2019), 347-367.

‘Between the Blocs: India, the United Nations and Ending the Korean War’, Journal of Korean Studies 18:2 (Fall 2013), 263-286.

‘Ending the Korean War: Reconsidering the Importance of Eisenhower’s Election’, RUSI Journal 158:3 (June 2013), 78-87.

‘Branding an Aggressor: The British Commonwealth, the United Nations and the Korean War following Chinese Intervention, November 1950 to February 1951’, Journal of Strategic Studies 33:2 (April 2010), 231-253.


‘Anglo-American Relations and the making and breaking of the Korean phase of the 1954 Geneva Conference’ in A. Best (ed.), Britain's Retreat from Empire in East Asia, 1905-1980: Essays in Honour of Peter Lowe (London: Routledge, 2016).

'Britain and the Commonwealth', in J. Matray and D. Boose (eds.), The Ashgate Research Companion to the Korean War (Farnham: Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2014), 73-84.

‘Introduction’, in Steven Casey (ed.), The Korean War at Sixty (London: Routledge, 2012), 1-13.


‘Review of Lawrence Kaplan, NATO Before the Korean War: April 1949-June 1950 (Kent, OH: Kent University Press, 2013), Journal of American Studies 48:3 (2014), 216-217.

‘Review of Allan Millett, The Korean War, 1950-1951: They Came from the North (Lawrence, 2010)’, War in History 18:3 (July 2011), 411-412.


June 2018  School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy Annual Conference, York St John University Paper: Commonwealth Bases and the ‘Special’ Relationship, 1945-1947

June 2018  Britain and the World Annual Conference 2018, University of Exeter Paper: Commonwealth Bases and the ‘Special’ Relationship, 1945-1947

Sept. 2017 Research Reflections 2017, York St John University Paper: The Commonwealth question and the 'Special Relationship', 1945-50. 

Sept. 2016 British International History Group Annual Conference, Edinburgh University
Paper: An Awkward Ally: Britain, South Africa and the Indian item at the UN, 1946-61

Apr. 2016 History and American Studies Seminar, York St John University
Paper: Britain, South Africa and the Commonwealth, 1945-1961

Sept. 2015 British International History Group Annual Conference, University of Kent, Canterbury
Paper: The ‘model’ former colony?: Britain, Ceylon and the early Cold War, 1948-1957

June 2015 A Century of Peril and Progress?: International History since the First World War, York
St John University
Paper: Britain and the Ceylon Defence Agreement, 1948-1957

May 2014 The UN and the Post-War Global Order: Dumbarton Oaks in Perspective After 70 Years,
SOAS, London
Paper: The UN Secretary-General and the Korean War

June 2013 International History Seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London
Paper: The US, the UN and the Korean War, 1950-1954

June 2013 LSE IDEAS Conference, 60 Years after the End of the Korean War
Paper: From Panmunjom to Geneva: The End of the Korean War and its Immediate Aftermath

Mar. 2012 LSE-Columbia University International and World History Seminar
Paper: India, the United Nations and the Korean War

July 2011 Historians of the Twentieth Century United States, University of Oxford
Paper: The Truman Administration, the United Nations and the Korean War

Jan. 2010 American Political Group Conference, University of Oxford
Paper: The Eisenhower Administration, the United Nations and the Korean War

June 2009 Centre for Contemporary British History Summer Conference, IHR
Paper: Britain, the United Nations and the Korean War

Apr. 2009 British Association for American Studies, University of Nottingham
Paper: The Impact of the 1952 US Presidential Election on the Korean War

Dec. 2008 HY509 International History Research Seminar, LSE
Paper: The United Nations and the Outbreak of the Korean War

June 2008 South-East Hub for History Conference, University of Reading
Paper: The Korean War Endgame, 1952-1953

Feb. 2007 International History Postgraduate Seminar, LSE
Paper: The United Nations and the Korean Armistice


Module Director:

2HI508 International Organisations in the Twentieth Century
3HI504 US Conflict on the East Asian Mainland
MHI202 Decolonisation and the Post-colonial World
MHI204 Research Dissertation in International History

Module Tutor:

1AS201 America's Century: United States Foreign Policy in the Twentieth Century
1HI501 Contemporary Crisis
1HI502 Empires
1HI504 The Making of Britain
2HI506 Sleeping Dragon: China since 1911
3HI507 Special Study in History and American Studies

Professional Activities

I am a Fellow of Royal Historical Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I am also a member of the British International History Group, British Scholar Society and British Association of Korean Studies. In addition, I have acted as a peer reviewer for Palgrave Macmillan and Peter Lang.

Lastly, I am External Examiner for the Single Honours and Joint Honours BA History programmes at the University of Wales Trinity St David.

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