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Chair: Dr Maeve Ryan, Lecturer in History and Grand Strategy, Department of War Studies, King’s College London

Speaker: Lord Peter Ricketts, UK’s first National Security Adviser, former diplomat and Visiting Professor, King's College London

Discussant: Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King's College London.

After decades of peace and prosperity, the international order put in place after World War II is rapidly coming to an end. Disastrous foreign wars, global recession, the meteoric rise of China and India and the COVID pandemic have undermined the power of the West's international institutions and unleashed the forces of nationalism and protectionism.       

Join this event, hosted by the Centre for Defence Studies, Department of War Studies, King's College London, with Lord Peter Ricketts, one of Britain's most experienced senior diplomats and a Visiting Professor at King's, as he discusses his new book Hard Choices: What Britain Does Next.    

In this lucid and groundbreaking analysis, Lord Ricketts highlights the key dilemmas Britain faces, from trade to security, arguing that international co-operation and solidarity are the surest ways to prosper in a world more dangerous than ever.

Chaired by Dr Maeve Ryan, during the event Lord Ricketts will discuss his book in conversation with Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman, Emeritus Professor of War Studies. This will be followed by questions from the audience.

Please note this event will take place on Zoom, please register via Eventbrite.

Speaker bios

Lord Peter Ricketts GCMG GCVO

Lord Peter spent 40 years as a member of the Diplomatic Service. His final post was Ambassador in Paris (2012-16). Before that he was the UK’s first National Security Adviser (2010-12), and in that role was the coordinator of the 2010 National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review. He was Permanent Under Secretary at the FCO and Head of the Diplomatic Service (2006-10). Peter is now a cross-bench member of the House of Lords and a Visiting Professor at King’s

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman KCMG

Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman is Emeritus Professor of War Studies, King's College London. He was Professor of War Studies from 1982 to 2014 and Vice-Principal from 2003 to 2013. Before joining King's he held research appointments at Nuffield College Oxford, the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Royal Institute of International Affairs. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1995 and appointed Official Historian of the Falklands Campaign in 1997. In June 2009 he was appointed to serve as a member of the official inquiry into Britain and the 2003 Iraq War. He has written on international history, strategic theory and nuclear weapons issues, as well as commenting on current security issues.

Dr Maeve Ryan

Maeve Ryan is a Lecturer in History and Grand Strategy at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, where she co-directs the Centre for Grand Strategy. A former Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Maeve’s research focuses on modern global history, the history of slavery, emancipation, human rights, and humanitarian governance, British foreign policy and diplomatic history, and on interdisciplinary approaches to the study of world order in the 21st century.

Before joining King’s in 2016, Maeve was a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of History at the University of Leicester. She also helped to found the University of Cambridge’s Forum on Geopolitics. She holds an MPhil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a PhD in History from Trinity College Dublin.


At this event

Maeve  Ryan

Reader in History and Foreign Policy

Lawrence Freedman

Emeritus Professor of War Studies