Dr Robert Barnes

A picture of Robert Barnes


Dr Robert Barnes studied for his undergraduate and Master's degrees in History at the University of Manchester. He then completed his PhD in International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His 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. Dr Barnes was the Master's Programmes Senior Tutor in the Department of International History at the LSE before joining York St John University. He is currently the co-ordinator for the MA International History in the School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy.



Module Director:

1HI504 The Making of Britain
2HI508 International Organisations in the Twentieth Century
3HI504 US Conflict on the East Asian Mainland
MHI201 Imperial Crisis
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
3HI507 Special Study in History and American Studies

Professional Activities

Dr Barnes is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the British International History Group and British Scholar Society. He is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In addition, he has acted as a peer reviewer for Palgrave Macmillan.


Dr Barnes' main research interests lie in the International History of the twentieth century. More specifically, his 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. His current research examines more broadly the relationships that existed between Britain and the members of the Commonwealth between 1945 and 1956 and how London sought to use this organisation to act as a ‘third force’ in the deeply polarised early Cold War. For this research, Dr Barnes has received funding from the Scouloudi Historical Award and the York St John University QR Fund. Dr Barnes is also keenly interested in the history of the United Nations and East Asia during this period.

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).


‘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.

Journal Articles

‘Chief Administrator or Political “Moderator”?: Dumbarton Oaks, the UN Secretary-General and the Korean War’, Journal of Contemporary History (forthcoming, 2019).

‘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.


‘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.

Peer Reviews

Mara Oliva, The Eisenhower Administration, American Public Opinion and the People’s Republic of China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

Conferences and seminars

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